Time for another episode of Best Damn League Period. This week we will sit down with our 3 newest coaches to the TMFL, as well as discuss topics around the league as we enter Week 14. Our Panel of Experts: Matt Keller, Buffalo Rumblings Keller Shaun Mason, WaitingForNextYear.com Shaun Mason Matt Wood, Stampede Blue fuzzyl0gic Michael Timpe, The Arch Rival Timpegoose Daniel Finch, Seattle Trollies Danthraxxx Jesse Rockwell (Host), The Black and Yellow Beat PAgamer07 First we sit down with our newest coaches... Raiders coach Raidernation. JR- First of all, welcome to the TMFL. What do you know about the TMFL and why were you interested in the job? RN- I know that its the only premiere madden league on TSO. I've been interested in the TMFL for a while now, for the simple fact that it contains the cream of the crop when it comes to competition in madden and on Tradition Sports Online ..... I want a piece of that type of thing, its why I play the game JR- You will certainly get some tough competition here in TMFL but from what I have heard, you are up to the challenge. What sort of offensive and defensive coach are you? RN- I like to run to set up the pass on offense. Once I get the run game going I'll mix in some play action along with mid to long range passes. On defense I run man and zone at about 55/45 I like to play fast and aggressive. I like to take risks, some times it burns me and other times I'm taking it to the house. The rest is determined by what my opponent does well. JR- Well you certainly have the back to make your offensive vision successful. Run DMC, when healthy, is one of the best backs in the league. What other pieces do you think you need to have long term success in Oakland? RN- A quarterback with mid-grade stats. LG, RG, RT.... Those three are key to any offense, even without the QB a good O-line will bolster the win column. On Defense speed speed and more speed...... this is Oakland baby. JR- Thanks for your time and best of luck in the TMFL. JR- Next we sit down with Qui3tStorm the new coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What are your thoughts on the TMFL? QS- I know that the TMFL is the' premier Madden league here on TSO. The league seems to have the "C's". High levels of competition, commitment, and camaraderie. This is what drove me to keep pursuing a coaching gig. Time permitting, who wouldn't want to play in an elite league!? JR- The Bucs are a doomed franchise in one of the toughest divisions in the NFC. How do you think you will do in that division and what do you know about the coaches there? QS- The Bucs and Doomed have been tied together for too long, prior to Gruden taking Dungy's team and winning a Superbowl. Fortunately we do have some solid pieces in place to further build around. We don't know much about the other coaches in the division, but we do have some scouting reports and statistic to learn from. Which I think gives me the blind advantage given we will be the unknown. The Saints will be problem #1, posting the highest points difference, means they take care of the ball and make you pay A LOT if your sloppy. The Panthers & Saints both are top 10 rushing units in the league. This will be interesting, because if you can find such success with the run with these two teams, it only makes Brees & Cam's arm more deadly. The Falcons also rank high in offensive production just through the air, as expected. Julio & Roddy are arguably the best duo in the league. Matty Ice having one of the highest pass attempts in the league, gives us a chance to apply pressure and get turnovers however. And slowing down Chris Ivory & Darren Sproles / Cam, Johnathan Stewart and DeAngelo will be priorities! We feel as though once some holes are filled we will be able to compete in this division, our goal for next season will be to go above .500 with the following year a playoff push. JR- What sort of offensive and defensive coach are you? QS- On offense you will see a ball control, conservative yet opportunistic approach. Old fashion, I still believe in the run setting up the pass, and implementing the play action. Defense we cater to the strengths of our personnel, and look to alter the opposing teams game plan. We'd love to make a team one dimensional by passing. On both sides of the ball our key is not to be predictable. Football is chess, and we want you to REACT, not ATTACK. JR- What are your top priorities for the draft and what do you feel needs addressed in Tampa? QS- Taking over the team we notice quite a few players leaving due to contract negotiations. Talib will likely see the franchise tag as our current DB situation is rather lack-luster. Brees, Ryan and Newton all provide a passing threat so we need to sure up our second level. Top priorities in the up and coming draft will be bolstering mike/will-linebacker position(s) and replacing Ronde Barber at safety. With our cap situation we will likely seek some veteran help given the right player being available. All in all I don't think this team is far off from competing in the highly touted NFC & NFC South. JR- Excellent answers and I am looking forward to seeing how you do in the NFC South. JR Next up is coach OMlawdog from the Philadelphia Eagles. What do you know about the TMFL and why were you interested in joining? OM I know that several guys from Deuce are in the league and that it strives to be sim despite letting Keller in the league so I figured it could be a fun league to try. JR The NFC East has been one of the toughest divisions in the NFC. With both the Giants and Cowboys legitimate threats to win it all every year, how do you think you will do? OM Not sure, I got the breaks beat off me in the Hard Knocks league my first year in the league, primarily due to the fact that I haven't played Madden since 2008. The Eagles have some talent though, so it should be interesting. JR What sort of offensive and defensive coach are you? OM I like to run the ball and try and get big plays on offense when teams try and stop the run game. As far as defense, I like to keep things in front of me as much as possible. JR Does your recent announcement that anyone is availalbe for the right price mean that you will be rebuilding the team? What sort of additions or changes are you wanting to make? OM Im not sure yet, though what I do know is that Eagles have cap problems and I hopefully will be able to manage those right away. There are some players I will be willing to shop right away, but I probably won't make a firm decision until I see where Im drafting and also take a look at who will be available in free agency. JR- Good luck in the TMFL JR Alright... Time to bring in our panelists for the rest of the discussion. First question... Who seems to be leading the charge as we enter the final stretch of the season as the league MVP? SM- If the season ended today, Ben "Rape Me" Roethlisberger. His team is in the lead of the AFC North, he is leading the league in passer rating, and he is on pace to throw more than 30 touchdowns this year. No one is doing it better than him right now. Raping aside, he is playing QB very well also. MT- I'm going to go with a quarterback as well, but I think it has to be Eli Manning. The Giants are struggling a bit, but he is doing everything he can to keep them in it. If the Giants make the playoffs I think he has to win it. He' has a legit shot at topping 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns with less than 10 interceptions. Definitely an MVP caliber year SM- The Browns derailed Big Ben's year last night. On the topic of Eli, being MVP of a losing team is like being the smartest kid on the short bus. You're still a window licker. DF- I am going off the radar a bit here with my MVP pick, taking Matt Forte from Chicago. Forte leads the TMFL in rushing for the 8-3 Bears. Forte has had some big games against a few of the better NFC teams that the Bears have beaten ( Lions, Panthers ) getting 333 yards and 3 TD's in those games. If Forte stays healthy down the stretch he should win the rushing title hands down, as the Bears play some really weak defenses in the final 5 games. MW- I'm actually going to with Cam as well (no homer), he leads the league in the Passer Rating category (122.3), with 22 TDs and just six INTs. He also has 271 yards rushing and 7 TDs on the ground. He is a big reason the Panthers are 8-3. MK- MVP race? Too early to tell. Gun to my head I'll take Newton because of his pass efficiency and 7 rushing TDs but I think a lot will change by week 17. JR- My pick has to be Cam Newton. The Panthers sit at 8-3, and this is because of Cam. 29 combined TD and he is protecting the ball. He is a rare dual threat QB and has to give opposing defensive coordinators fits. JR- Next question... After episode 1, the Cardinals coach thought the team was snubbed. Do you feel the Cardinals are a legitimate threat in the NFC? DF- No way the Cardinals are a threat, they beat the Patriots in week 2 and since then they have beaten 0 teams with a winning record. They have not beaten any of the doormat teams by more than 7 points all season. None of those things say "threat" to me. MW- I think they will make a push in the playoffs. They have had some close wins, but being able to close out games, even if by one point, is a trait that can't be overlooked. Their remaining schedule looks favorable, I could easily see them going 12-4 or 13-3. I don't know if they have the talent yet to make it to the SB, but don't sleep on this team MK- Arizona is a pretender. They will make the post season because of a weak division but this league runs on Quarterbacks and the Cardinals don't have a good one. All it takes is one bad game in the post season and you're toast. I like their coach but they've gotta find a new guy to pull the trigger before I endorse them. MT- Don't tell the Rams that. The Cardinals passed for an average of 350 yards against the St. Louis D, although that's not saying much considering the way our hometown boys have been playing. I think Arizona is for real. Coach Gyrene really has those guys believing they can win, and it's showing. They'll come out of the West without a doubt and likely get a first round bye. I could easily see them playing in the NFC Championship game. SM- It's tough to pick against Josh, he is a talented coach. That said, he doesn't have the tools in place to make a run in my opinion. He might make me eat those words though JR- Im not sure about Arizona either. They will most likely win the division, but Im not sure they have what it takes to get past the second round. They are 4th in total yards, but only 15th in points. Which leads me to believe their drives stall. They also are 20th in rushing, and are going to need some balance against better defenses. Im not sure how their defense is doing it, but they have 40 sacks on the season (3.6 per game) and have one of the better pass defenses. JR- Since we last talked we have seen some separation in the divisions, but the AFC South remains a logjam. The Colts, Titans and Texans are all in the mix. With only 5 games left, who do you like to win the division? DF- I would take the Texans, after having multiple injuries all season they are finally healthy. The Titans have the easiest schedule of the bunch but they are close to pulling people from the stands to play down the stretch MK- I'll take the Colts in the South. Andrew Luck is a rookie but he doesn't take a lot of sacks and the Colts have won their last 2 to get back in the thick of things. I think they can get hot down the stretch the way that offensive line is playing and oh yeah that Reggie Wayne guy catches pretty much everything. JR- I like the Titans. Their coach knows that team well, and I can't remember the last time he missed the playoffs. Coach Fuzzy is in a new division with a new team, as is Gravity. The Titans have been as consistent as possible the last few years JR Final question... With three new coaches entering the league, who do you think has the best shot to have the most long term success? And with an add on to that... what coach do you think will be the next to go? Whether it be do to family obligations or to continually getting their ass handed to them. DF- I think next coach to go will be the Vikings coach. Their assistant coaches have been running a lot of their games lately. As for the most success as a new coach? I would say Lawdog based on his tenure here , I don't know much about the other two members yet. JR- Lawdog gonna get smoked in NFC East i am afraid. He's been out of the NFL coaching game since 2008 I think he said. Add in how good Cowboys and Giants are and IF he turns the Eagles trainwreck around, it will take 2 seasons minimum. Gonna have to go with Raidernation. He's very familiar with the NFL game and is now coaching his favorite team. The AFC West is a winnable division, and the Raiders are still a very young team. MK- Lawdog is a sandbagger. He would be my pick as well. My pick for leaving next is also the Jets Vikings coach. He seems like he's been away more games than me this season and given I've been out of pocket for about 10 days, thats quite a feat JR- I am betting on either San Francisco or Denver. Both of them are getting their teeth knocked in and neither seems to be too happy about it. If I had to place a bet, it would be coach Eidson in Denver. MT- I'm also going to go with Lawdog being the best of the new guys. It might take him a season to hit his stride, but I'm willing to bet he has a solid draft if he has any scouting points left. Next guy out is a tough one, it seems like we've been dropping like flies lately. I honestly don't have an answer for you. I know Matrix hates the Jets, and I think Gyrene said he has been pretty busy with work lately but I don't see either of those guys dropping either. If I had to guess, I suppose it would be Gyrene because of work, but I don't see anybody dropping anytime too soon. SM- I think Qui3tstorm has the most natural talent, but Lawdog is a good GM and a cerebral coach. That said, Raidernation might be in the easiest division. Next one to leave? I'm hoping we are stable. The guys not winning need to level up and top being so hormonal.