issue EIGHT

the BG issue

season 2002


Contacts Section






Robert Crowther

79 Petworth Avenue, Finchley


N12 9HE

[email protected]

Peter Swindells

115 Long Walk, Epsom


KT18 5TU

[email protected]

Jerry Ward

50 Desmond Drive, Old Catton



Richard Appleby

12 Sunningdale Drive, Borough Hill, Daventry


NN11 4NZ

[email protected]

Neil Arthurton

23 Turnberry Court, Watford



[email protected]

Martyn Williams

33 Eastern Way, Letchworth,

[email protected]

Kevan Parrott

11 Hollins Lane, Sheffield

South Yorks.

[email protected]

Derek Barton

75 Alexandra Mews, Tamworth


B79 7HT


For Gameplan related stuff on the web go to ''.

Washington Redskins Draft and Mini-Camp Review - 2003 Season

This article is courtesy of Martyn Williams.

R1 - QB 4* OPS, R2 - LB 2* DPS, R3 - DB 2* DRO

Free Agent Acquisitions - OL 3* OQB aged 6, PN OPN*3 aged 5

The main areas that needed attention for the Redskins following retirements were the offensive line and defensive secondary. The first need was addressed by signing 6 year free agent OL Michael Moore, who will bring some much needed pass protection for his QB. His early signing enabled the Redskins to gamble with their first pick and so they signed promising QB Todd Husak who was much sought after by teams further down the picking order. Despite his undoubted arm strength and accuracy his lack of mobility resulted in him being released during mini-camp. In round two the Redskins snapped up linebacker LaVar Arrington who is a versatile player who is at ease both rushing the passer or falling back into pass coverage. It was primarily for these pass coverage skills that he was drafted as this was an area where Coach Williams felt the Redskins linebacking corp was seriously under strength. His signing has also prompted a switch to a 3-4 set to put a little less pressure on him during his rookie season.

In round three the Redskins really needed to address the gap that had appeared in the secondary following FS Darrell Green's retirement, but they thought they had left it too late with the rush on DBs during the second round. However their luck was in and Sam Shade somehow slipped down to the 9th pick. What he lacks in coverage skills he more than makes up for in size and aggression and he will fit straight in at SS, resulting in veteran safety Stanley Richard moving across to the FS position. In a final dip into the free agency market the Redskins decided to go for broke and significantly improved their special teams with the signing of punter Tommy Barnhardt, thought of by many as the most promising punter in the league but with exaggerated salary expectations for his position. However, if he can significantly improve on the Redskins woeful 29 yard net average per punt last season then he will be worth every cent.

A number of defensive veterans were also released prior to Training Camp to free up some Cap room and to make the defence a leaner unit. Last season there were too many players collecting big pay cheques for a minimal contribution on game day. Coach Williams wants players who want to play each and every down.

On offence Coach Williams has never favoured the run first mentality of play calling that was prevalent in Washington before his arrival and so he used his first mini-camp to introduce the Redskins to the new, more varied and (hopefully) high scoring offensive gameplan. On defence the move to a 3-4 set will be coupled with a simpler, more aggressive defensive philosophy. One thing is for sure - Coach Williams doesn't want his team to just be making up the numbers again as they have so often prior to his arrival. Next season the NFC East looks like it could be very challenging for all concerned...

Superbowl Preview

This article is courtesy of Jerry Ward.





Philadelphia Eagles (Peter Swindells)

Buffalo Bills (Philip Stables)



Philadelphia Eagles (Peter Swindells)

Pittsburgh Steelers (Roger Lindberg)



New York Giants (Jeremy Crouch)

Kansas City Chiefs (Daniel Child)



Atlanta Falcons (Richard Goodley)

Cincinnati Bengals (Michael Powell)



Dallas Cowboys (Alan Stewart)

Indianapolis Colts (Simon Creasy)



Dallas Cowboys (Alan Stewart)

Indianapolis Colts (Simon Creasy)



Dallas Cowboys (Alan Stewart)

Los Angeles Raiders (Richard Goodley)



Green Bay Packers (Jerry Ward)

Denver Broncos (M Parsons)



Detroit Lions (Philip Hunnable)

Cincinnati Bengals (Lyndon Bell)



St Louis Rams (James Fisher)

Oakland Raiders (Richard Goodley)



Chicago Bears (Douglas Fletcher)

Indianapolis Colts (Richard Appleby)



Washington Redskins (Darren Norton)

Indianapolis Colts (Richard Appleby)



San Francisco 49ers (Douglas Crawford)

Denver Broncos (Conrad Whittingham)


The AFC lead the NFC in superbowl victories by 9 to 4, and have won the last six in a row. Can the Atlanta Falcons break the sequence, or will the Indianapolis Colts win their fifth final in five visits, and the third by Coach Appleby? Coach Barton has yet to complete a full season in the NFLBG, having joined the Falcons after week two of the regular season. The two sides did not meet during the season so this is the first clash between the two coaches (in the BG, at least). The Colts' record in this league under Coach Appleby is legendary, but Coach Barton brings with him a CV which boasts a bowl win for every other team he has been with. I suspect the two coaches know more about each other than they care to let on.

During the 2002 season, the inter-conference games took place in weeks six and twelve and on that score nothing divides the NFC and AFC, they combined for six wins and six losses both times. While the Colts won 47-3 against the Detroit Lions and 45-17 against the St Louis Rams, the Falcons beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-0 and the Miami Dolphins 27-9. None of their opponents had winning records, so does this give any clear indication of a favourite?

Both teams were dominant in the playoffs. The Colts had plenty of offense in their wins over the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Jets, racking up over 700 passing yards, fifty first downs and 76 points. However, they did give up 400 yards in their win over the Seahawks. The Falcons had a very impressive win in Minnesota against the number one ranked team in the NFC and followed that up with a win over the surprise package of the playoffs, the Chicago Bears. They were also able to gain good yardage through the air but, perhaps more importantly, also held their opponents to a total of 35 yards rushing in 43 attempts (which included -1 yards against the Bears).

The outcome of the game will rest on which QB can throw for the most yards. The Falcons run defense is more than capable of shutting down the Colts' number one ranked rushing attack but, as they have shown, the Indianapolis passing game is able to keep the chains moving. The Atlanta defense will have to be at its best, but I expect both defenses will stay at home as the game explodes on offense. It will be close but, when the final gun sounds, Coach Appleby's Colts will win it by 7.