Safety Postion? Cowboys Scandrick says, “Not Happeing”.

In the off season, Jerry Jones has been very intentional about getting some new talent in the Dallas Cowboys too often exposed secondary. Assuming Jenkins is not traded, speculation is that the Cowboys will play 4 corners and have corner back Orlando Scandrick playing a safety spot.

Scandrick’s reaction when asked about adjusting to a safety position? He replied “not happening”. ARTICLE       Not a “whatever is best for the team”, nor a “I’m just glad to contribute any way I can,” not even a more diplomatic “let’s just wait and see what the plan is next year.” No Scandrick rejected that notion faster than NFL GMs who were recently asked to be on “Hard Knocks”.

Signing a nice big contract extension will make a player much more opinionated I suppose. And that is exactly what happened with Scandrick prior to last season as he got his contract. However Scandrick didn’t have a good season last year covering the challenging and yet critical slot receiver. Blogged about it earlier

So now the Cowboys find themselves with a cluster of corners in the secondary. You have two new very talented additions, Carr and Claiborne, that have fans excited. Mixed in with two returning players who are feeling a little threatened I would say, in Jenkins and Scandrick.

Jenkins basically said “not happening” to OTAs last week and now Scandrick is saying “not happening” to playing safety. Something has got to give here. Let’s take a frank look at the current situation Scandrick:

  • Carr was signed in free agency to a $50 million contract. So he can watch Scandrick play corner? To borrow a phrase, “not happening.”
  • Claiborne was drafted with the sixth pick in the draft and a 2nd round pick traded. So he can watch Scandrick play corner? Again, to borrow a phrase, “not happening.”
  • CB Mike Jenkins is looking to be traded but Jerry Jones has stated, “not happening”. If Jerry should hold true to his word, (I know it’s Jerry but it could happen) then Jenkins will likely play the 3rd corner spot.

So where would that leave you Scandrick? That safety-hybrid position looking a little better now?

Keep your options open Scandrick because if you think the way you performed last year is going to get it this year, it’s “not happening.”

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6 Reasons It is Best For Dallas to Just Trade Jenkins

Evidently the Colts are interested in trading for Mike Jenkins. COLTS.  However Jerry Jones and Head Coach Jason Garrett both recently said they have no plans to trade him. Which just might mean, “make us an offer we can’t refuse”. In other words, perhaps they just haven’t received the value they seek for Jenkins yet.

Or possibly they are actually sincere about keeping Jenkins and forcing a role for him in the secondary next season. Not smart I fear.

Most Cowboys bloggers and fans seem to buy into the idea of retaining the services of Jenkins however I beg to differ.

When you look at the big picture, regardless of what the Cowboys are saying right now, trading Jenkins just might be best for everyone involved.

1. BEST FOR JENKINS:

Jenkins asked for a new contract extension which Dallas ignored. It is the last year of his rookie deal so he needs to have a good year. Playing in the 4th spot at Dallas is likely to make him not appear all that valuable or needed. Trading Jenkins would offer him an opportunity for more quality playing time with a team that needs him which may result in him getting the money he wants.  If Dallas isn’t willing to sign him for a longer contract, then he deserves the right to test the waters out there.

2. BEST FOR COWBOYS LOCKER ROOM:

All indications are Jenkins wants to be traded. And with his avoiding OTAs this week, that certainly appears to be the case. The word “disgruntled” would be the way to describe Jenkins if he is kept now, and that could prove to be toxic in the Dallas locker room. Just can’t see Jenkins content to be demoted to the 4th corner spot in the secondary. Eliminate a potential disgruntled player.

3. BEST FOR DALLAS HARMONY IN SECONDARY:

Fact is the Cowboys have a new secondary coach in Jerome Henderson so there is really no relationship between he and Jenkins. Coach Campo and Newman are gone now so making a clean break with Jenkins is likely to ease tension in the Cowboys locker room. New additions Carr and Claiborne may find it uncomfortable with a demoted Jenkins looking over their shoulder. This just feels like a recipe for bad team chemistry.

4. BEST FOR THE IR LIST

Jenkins played while injured last season and is just coming off shoulder surgery. Is he really going to hold up all 16 games next season? That remains to be seen but I have my doubts. He just isn’t that healthy now.

5. BEST TO FILL OTHER TEAM NEEDS:

The Cowboys may get a player in exchange for Jenkins that can help them in other areas. And there are certainly other areas that would appear more needy than the current secondary. For example, the offensive line could certainly use someone with experience after surgery set back Bernadeau. There are other areas as well that could use more depth. Getting a player other than a CB could be more beneficial to Dallas next season.

6. BEST FOR THE OVERALL DEFENSIVE ATTITUDE:

Last year Jenkins didn’t seem very interested in coming up and making tackles. Which by the way, he wasn’t by himself ( “whiff” Newman was let go) . Is that because Jenkins was playing injured or he just wanted to avoid contact? It’s not clear but I think it’s time for the Cowboys to break ties with secondary players who are a little shy about tackling. That attitude can spread through the defense like a bad virus. “Well if Jenkins is not required to come up and tackle a RB then why should I?” The Cowboys need guys that like to tackle and hit. Make a clean break from the “whiff tackle” guys. Proof Jenkins avoids contact. VIDEO  Come on Jenkins!

JERRY AND JASON BLUFF?   It remains to be seen if the Cowboys trade Jenkins or not. When they say they aren’t interested in trading him, well I’m just not buying it. Other teams probably aren’t either. They realize Jenkins wants traded and they know with the addition of Claiborne, Jenkins isn’t needed as much in Dallas either. So let’s just stop the games and do what is best for everyone involved.  Breaking free of Jenkins may not only be best for him but the entire team next season. At least that’s the way this blogger sees it.

These 2 Plays in 2011, Kept the Dallas Cowboys Out of The Playoffs

In a 16 game season, it may be difficult to believe that you can lose your post season birth in less than 5 minutes and in only 2 plays. “Welcome to our world.” We are Cowboys fans.   

Clue: It’s not the Giants game

You might assume that I am going to go back to the Giants game at the end of the season where the Cowboys were in control of their own destiny. Just win and they were hosting a playoff game. But actually when you look back on that game, Eli Manning and the Giants were just getting hot and beginning to make their Super Bowl run.

The Cowboys on the other hand, were coming into that game with no momentum whatsoever and with injuries to key players like their young star running back Murray. The Giants were ahead 21-0 at the half and you might say this one was over before it began. No two plays make a difference in this one.

The time of the crime: Week 4, 10/2/11

I’m going all the way back to week 4 on October 2, 2011. It’s not often that your season can be blown that early in the regular season but it shows you what makes the NFL regular season so exciting. Each game can really matter but you just may not realize the repercussions until later.

The Opponent: The Lions

Now it may be coming back to Cowboy fans like a nightmare which is how the second half of this one unfolded. The Cowboys were up 20-3 at the half against the Lions and were basically dominating the game. At the time, these two teams were playing for a wildcard spot at the end of the season but they just didn’t realize it.

Discovery: 4 minutes and 30 seconds of bad football is all you need to blow a season.

Up 27-3 in the 3rd quarter, the Cowboys were in cruise control when disaster struck.

PLAY # 1- At the 10:15 mark of the third, Romo dropped back and threw a pick to former Cowboy, Bobby Carpenter who took it back for a TD. “OK, we still have a nice lead. Shake it off, burn some clock and put together a scoring drive.”

PLAY #2– At the 5:45 mark, and on the very next drive, Romo threw another pick to Chris Houston (from Austin, Texas) who took it 56 yards for a TD.

The momentum turned 180 degrees and although the Cowboys defense had an opportunity to preserve a win late in the game, they just couldn’t get it done. But they shouldn’t have been put in a back to the wall situation anyway.  Can’t really hang this one on the defense. They lost to the Lions 34-30.

What if the Cowboys hold on to a 24 point second half lead?

The Cowboys would have finished the season 9-7 (instead of 8-8) and the Lions would have finished 9-7 (instead of 10-6).  The tie breaker would have gone to the Cowboys who won the head to head battle clinching a wildcard birth.

Of course we don’t know if Dallas wins that Lions game minus those two pick sixes, but I’m convinced they would have won and consequently made the playoffs as a wildcard. And that just might have reduced the tension a little bit in the off-season around Valley Ranch.

ROMO

By no means do I intend to blame Romo for them failing to make the post season. Statistically Romo had a great 2011 season and without him, they certainly would have lost more games. He displayed guts while playing with cracked ribs but it just shows you how fragile an NFL season can be. Just a couple bad plays can haunt you later.

As the Cowboys begin OTAs this week, I hope Head Coach Garrett reminds them that every single play matters more than you may realize and it only takes 4 minutes and 30 seconds of poor play, to blow your season.

JENKINS JUST AIN’T FELLIN’ THE LOVE IN DALLAS

With the Cowboys signing free agent CB Brandon Carr for $50 million and drafting CB Mo Claiborne, along with not extending his contract, past pro bowl CB Mike Jenkins just ain’t feeling’ the love from Dallas. So he is staying in Florida during OTAs this week to continue his rehabbing. To his credit, Jenkins played while injured last season and perhaps feels a little under appreciated with the offseason acquisitions.

Word is Jenkins wants to be traded after his agent asked for a contract extension that didn’t happen. And it is reported that he will not be at Valley Ranch this week with his team. Actually Jenkins isn’t breaking any rules by blowing off OTAs.  After all, he is rehabbing a shoulder that he had surgery on and would not be able to participate anyway.

But here is what makes it feel like a classic display of “passive aggressive” behavior on Jenkins part. His head coach (Garrett) and owner (Jones) don’t really have any idea what he is doing in Florida or if he will be in Valley Ranch. That just can’t be a good sign. What’s Up with that Jenkins?  Is it asking too much to text them your plans? Or a Twitt even? At this point, Jerry would be more likely to locate Casey Anthony in Florida than Jenkins.

Jerry Jones came out and said that Jenkins is in their future plans this season which I’m just not buying. Jenkins certainly would not appear to be on board with those plans at all. Jerry, you just can’t come out and tell us he is in your future plans then turn around and confess you have no idea where he is or what he is doing during your team’s camp. That dog won’t hunt.

I’m not interested in defending Jenkins. He should get his rehabbing self up to Valley Ranch and honor his contract and commitment to his teammates in my view. But the NFL is a business and Jenkins who is in his last year of contract, wants to get paid.

With the money Jerry Jones spent on the secondary recently, that’s just not going to happen for Jenkins in Dallas and evidently he is coming to the conclusion that being traded to another team will get him his contract.

Typically trading a guy who is rehabbing and getting some value in return, isn’t an easy thing to pull off. Most teams will not sign an injured player but that didn’t stop Jerry from recently signing Panthers guard Bernadeau who after receiving starter money, is now out for months recovering from hip surgery.

Don’t get me started on that move!

Colin Cowherd Most Delusional Sports Radio Personality

ESPN sports radio host Colin Cowherd, Coward, Cow-turd or whatever you want to call him, came out with his list of must delusional fan bases in sports. He ranked Dallas Cowboys fans as the 4th most delusional fan base. Here is the entire list:

Cowherd’s Top 10: 1. Tim Tebow 2. Notre Dame football 3. Penn State football 4. Dallas Cowboys 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 6. Oakland Raiders 7. Big Ten football 8. College basketball 9. New York Knicks 10. Chicago Bulls

Wow that’s an awful lot of good fans to take a shot at in just one list.  Before I address Cowturd’s under the belt buckle cheap shot at Cowboy fans, allow me to point out that my dislike for this sports radio blow hard far preceded this list rolling out recently.

 Just a few reasons to ignore Cowturd (as if you needed some more):

1. His disdain for college basketball is not rational. Colin loves him some NBA but college hoops is for losers in his eyes. He acts like college hoops is nothing compared to the NBA although naturally most NBA players come through the college game. OK we get it. You prefer NBA but that doesn’t make college hoops terrible.

In fact, I have little doubt that last year’s Kentucky Wildcat team would make easy work of the NBA’s pathetic Charlotte Bobcat team. The point is college basketball is a great sport too. Unlike Cowturd, I think it is possible for fans to appreciate both college and NBA basketball. Cowturd is a delusional NBA fan.

2. Colin has a massive full blown man crush on Lebron James and therefore is not capable of being objective about his play at all. He continuously defends Lebron no matter how often he fails to step up and lead his team to victory in a big game. I have nothing against James and can clearly see that he is an exceptional player. I’ve always been impressed with his ability to distribute the rock however he just doesn’t step up and nail the big shot like the great ones do. It’s a fair criticism that many analyst have made. Cowturd is just a delusional Lebron fan.

3. When it comes to Tim Tebow, Cowturd has been drinking the hater-ade. Tebow fans made the top of his list. Last December, Colin was on his radio show attempting to convince listeners just how lousy a QB Tebow is when he stated that Tebow was ranked 32nd in the NFL, then inexplicably changed it to 31 the next day when in reality his QB rating ranked 14th in the NFL at that time. (mid Dec.) (I sent Cowturd an email last December calling him out, but no response)

In order to back up his argument, Cowturd evidently was ranking QBs by passing yards which obviously put Tebow at a big disadvantage, since he had far fewer pass attempts than most QBs. Manipulating the numbers to support his rant.

It’s fine if Cowturd doesn’t like Tebow. That’s an opinion he is entitled to however get your facts straight and be fair or you lose credibility with sports fans. I’m not a huge Tebow fan but I do think Tebow is a good guy, a good leader, and can step up and make a big play when his team needs one like he did in OT against the Steelers.

Tebow just needs more development to become a quality QB in the NFL just like a lot of young QBs. What made Tebow have a solid QB rating was the fact that he threw far more TDs than INTs making him a very efficient QB. He took good care of the ball which is very important in the NFL. Cowturd is a delusional Tebow hater.

4. Kate Upton (Sports Illustrated cover model) apparently hung up on Colin Cowturd after he asked a number of creepy questions during a radio interview. STORY    Just get the feeling she isn’t the first hot chick to hang up on this loser either….

Now back to dissed Dallas Cowboy fans.

Cowboy fans, like many fans on Cowturd’s list, are loyal to their team and that is what helps make the sport great. They don’t jump ship even after a decade or more of frustration.

These fans keep the faith in the face of adversity and I absolutely admire fans who stick with their teams like all the ones on the list. Any coward can jump to another team that is winning. That’s easy, but not nearly as rewarding as seeing your team win after years of not winning.

So Colin Coward, just walk into a bar down in Dallas and say “Cowboy fans suck!” And let us know how that works out for ya. ….

HBO’s “Hard Knocks” Becoming “Hard Up”

HBO’s television series that candidly covers an NFL teams preseason, has been getting turned down by more NFL teams than Donovan McNabb.

In 2011 with the player lock out (those three words still cause NFL fans to break out in a cold sweat like a drug fein) there was no “Hard Knocks” show because of the shortened season. None of that this year so let’s have our “Hard Knocks” right?

However HBOs search in 2012 isn’t going well. It’s like the pimple faced nerd in H.S. looking for a prom date as it’s becoming awkward and rather desperate.  HBO starts off asking the sexy picks like the Jets, and now they are actually thinking about settling for the boring, homely, but very eager, Jaguars.

And like the nerd, once word gets out that you have been turned down a whole bunch of times, then you are really screwed bro. Accepting your invitation now would appear completely desperate, not to mention uncool and that is where HBO finds themselves.

The list of teams not showing HBO any love by saying “no” include the Falcons, 49ers, Jets, Texans, Vikings, Seahawks, and recently the Redskins.

Coach Shanahan explained why he and the Redskins wanted no part of “Hard Knocks” this year,

“I just didn’t feel comfortable with being in that situation,” Shanahan said.  “You know, I can’t be myself.  I don’t think coaches can be their self and I’d like players to concentrate on their job.  I don’t know if it’s old school or what.  You know, for me I just didn’t feel comfortable with that atmosphere.”

(Don’t feel bad HBO, many of us guys have had chicks tell us the exact same thing. “Just not comfortable”, blah blah blah)

Some coaches fear bringing in “Hard Knocks” will have a negative impact on their season. Seriously? Blaming HBO for your lousy season, is like blaming Ronald McDonald for a bad cheeseburger. Teams have had good seasons after appearing on “Hard Knocks” like the Jets in 2010 (11-5).

Come on NFL teams, someone step up and take one for the league. I’ve enjoyed past episodes of Hard Knocks and have memories from several of the years. The Dallas Cowboys appeared in 2002 and 2008.

I remember Head Coach Wade Phillips’ “Club Med” version of training camp. With T.O. looking for a ride to practice, Martellus Bennett showing us his too ‘laid back’ side, and coach Campo chilling in the jacuzzi which actually, come to think of it, is a memory I would rather forget.

Child please. Ocho Cinco in Target.

The Bengals appeared in 2009 and what a circus that became. Ocho Cinco provided entertainment that I found myself addicted to viewing and worthy of his own reality show. “Child Please”.  The Bengals rookie talent show had a player performing a spot on imitation of rookie OT hold out Andre Smith, doing his drills while missing camp. Laughed myself to tears watching that one.

And the hilarious Jets Coach Rex Ryan “let’s go eat a ___ snack!” speech. VIDEO (R-rated language)

“Hard Knocks” provides laughs and a lighter side of the sport that only makes the NFL more appealing.

It also successfully delivers a dramatic side as well of guys who are chasing their life long dream to play in the NFL.  Watching that road end for some of them, provided moving and touching moments as their raw emotion was captured by HBO and it was real and quite authentic.

I want my “Hard Knocks” (what else am I going to watch on HBO, that vampire crap?) and have some suggestions to avoid not having it again this year while mercifully relieving HBO of this embarrassment in the future.  

Come on HBO, dude have some pride.   

PUNISHMENT

Since no team evidently wants it (other than Jags), Commissioner Goodell should assign it to the team that has misbehaved the most. For example, the Saints in 2012 for Bounty Gate. Or consider making Dallas and Washington do it back to back years for bending the salary cap rules in 2010.  Forget fines, that will teach them.

THE CHAMPS

HBO should sign a contract with the NFL to get which ever team wins the previous super bowl. That way you get a coach in a good mood (just won it all) and not cranky about it, like Shanahan. Plus it will serve like an equalizer to reduce the chance of some arrogant team developing a dynasty. Kind of like the best team drafts last. Ratings pretty much a lock to be very high to see the champs training camp.

THE TOP ROOKIE

Or sign a contract to get the team that has the very first draft pick. Usually that will be the last place team like the Colts this year. A last place team probably could use the publicity after stinking up the league, and interest will always be high to see the top NFL draft pick. Usually good story lines can be found in this scenario. Like, the lousy team down on their luck brings in their rookie saviour.

Hopefully HBO can find a team that fans will like but if not, there is always the Jags. Better than nothing I guess. Do the Jaguars have a sister?…..

UPDATE 5/29: Dolphins Selected for Hard Knocks

 

5 Position Battles to Watch in Dallas Cowboys Preseason

Now that the Dallas Cowboys have free agency and the NFL draft behind them, the roster is starting to take shape. It’s still a work in progress of course, but with undrafted free agents signed and brought in recently, we can certainly get an idea of where the most intriguing battles are likely to occur in preseason camp.

Some positions would appear to be pretty much a lock while others appear to be wide open for the taking, and those are the battles that could provide fans the most interest in camp.

I have identified the 5 position battles that will be interesting to watch unfold and see who emerges as the starters.

OFFENSE:

1. Guards– Kyle Kosier was released. This is an area that really needs to improve for the Cowboys based on last years lack of success in the interior line.

New faces: Bernadeau Mackenzy and Nate Livings were signed through free agency and come in with starter experience but are no means a lock to start in Dallas. Mackenzy actually will be recovering from hip surgery and will get off to a slow start in preseason camp.  STORY

The Cowboys did not draft a center or guard in the 2012 NFL draft.

Guard Ronald Leary went undrafted and the Cowboys signed him as an UFA. Leary has health concerns but was expected to get drafted. Jerry Jones appears to have a “man crush” on Leary referring to him as a “pet cat”. HERE    Pet cat? Really? Anyway, Based on their “bro-mance”, I would say Leary is going to get a serious look at guard.

Returning: David Arkin and Bill Nagy were drafted last year but were lost to injuries last season. The Cowboys still like these two and expect them to compete for playing time in 2012.

Wouldn’t rule out the Cowboys picking up a guard that gets cut by a team during final cuts. It will be interesting to see who stays healthy and steps up in camp to anchor the interior of the offensive line. The Cowboys have a new offensive line coach in Bill Callahan which adds an element of things are going to change.

2. Wide receivers With the departure of Robinson and Holley, the Cowboys will need at least a couple of guys to emerge as contributors and depth providers. We know we have Dez and Austin who are going to start but both have been injured at times in the past. Kevin Ogletree comes back but isn’t a lock to start at the 3rd WR spot.

New Faces: Va. Tech WR Danny Coale drafted in the 5th round and looks ready to play the slot right away. He should figure into the mix for the 3rd WR spot for sure.

Saalim Hakim; WR; Tarleton State is an undrafted free agent that is creating some buzz in camp. Inexperienced, very raw but also very quick (4.29 in the 40….WOW) but probably not quite ready to earn playing time just yet. Still interesting to watch develop in preseason.

Returning– Some guys on the practice squad last year will get their chance in 2012.  Andre Holmes is a guy that is talked about and sounds like he has a great deal of potential. He offers excellent size at 6-5/ 208 but hasn’t played in games yet, so they just don’t know what they have here.

Dwayne Harris drafted last season and played some last year. He demonstrated kick/punt return skills. It’s his time to step up and show he can make plays.

Raymond Radway was having himself an impressive  preseason last year but unfortunately went down with a serious injury when he suffered a broken left fibula and tibia in the last game. He possesses excellent speed and if now completely healthy, I look for Radway to be determined to show he can play and help this team at WR in 2012.

It should be an interesting battle between some talented but young guys at WR. Who will take the 3rd WR spot? Who will provide depth and who will be on the practice squad is all up for grabs.

DEFENSE:

3. Inside Linebacker– Parted ways with veterans Bradie James and Keith Brooking. We know we have rising star Sean Lee but the other spot is a not completely locked up yet.

New Faces: Dan Connor comes over from the Panthers and joins fellow Penn ST. LB Sean Lee. Connor is a solid run stopper and will be there if Carter doesn’t take the spot.

Caleb McSurdy was drafted in the 7th round but as a small school late round pick, I have doubts that he will be in the mix to play in 2012.

ReturningBruce Carter appears healthy now after drafted last year with a known knee injury from college. Carter was a very athletic LB at UNC and made plays on a regular basis. He has a real talent for blocking punts and kicks too. The other LB spot is Carter’s to lose however at this point he is simply unproven for the Cowboys.

Orie Lemon shows promise and could become a real surprise in camp. A “sleeper” if you will.

Interesting battle shaping up between Carter and Connor in camp to line up with Lee. Keep your eyes on Lemon too!

4. Safety- Elam was released. Sensabaugh returns and figures to be a starter but after him, I think it is wide open. Safety is another position of concern that has a lot of room to improve over last season.

New Faces- Brodney Pool was brought in from the Jets and brings experience and a familiarity with coach Ryan’s defense. Likely to start with Sensabaugh but he will be challenged for that spot.

Matt Johnson was drafted in the 4th round and brings an ability to make plays on the ball and a good hitter. He should contribute on special teams.  The staff evidently likes this guy and selected him earlier in the draft than he was projected to go so I get the impression they are going to give Matt a real good look at safety.  NFL analyst Bryan Broaddus likes Johnson’s chances to get playing time at safety. HERE

Returning– Sensabaugh who is expected to start at one safety spot. Barry Church provided depth last year and had some good games. Church is capable of earning playing time for certain and figures in the mix too.

It will be very interesting to see if Matt Johnson can adapt to play at the NFL level quickly and challenge the safeties for playing time. It’s an area where coach Ryan will be looking for someone to step up and own it during the season. With added depth, I figure Ryan will have the starters on a shorter leash than last year.

5. Corners- An area of need that Jerry Jones has given a great deal of attention in the off season but now we will have to see how it all shakes down. Terrance Newman was released.

New Faces: Signed Brandon Carr from the Chiefs and is expected to start in place of the departed Newman. Drafted Morris Claiborne with the 6th pick and he is expected to start at the other corner occupied by Mike Jenkins last season.

ReturningOrlando Scandrick and Mike Jenkins. Where these guys fit into the picture isn’t crystal clear yet so it makes for an interesting camp. Scandrick had a tough season in 2011 covering the slot receivers and it is possible that Jenkins may help with those duties.

Whether Jenkins plays with the Cowboys next season or not, remains to be seen. But if he does stay, it will be interesting to see how his role in the secondary is defined during camp. Also the Cowboys have a new secondary coach in Jerome Henderson which means a new approach and we will see which guys he prefers.

These 5 position battles should be good ones to watch and those who emerge from the pack, will play an important role in the team’s overall success next season.