2005 Fantasy Rehab/Injured Reserve Team
by Jerry Gilbert
Thanks in large part to the original idea and hard work of my friend Ron Garvida, we are now in a position to present an All Star Team composed entirely of players who will not be playing in the 2005 season in the National Football Team. The idea for a team of this type grew out of the large number of players lost to injury by the Green Bay Packers, as well as the major talent now missing from other teams.
As we worked on the project, we were particularly impressed by the offensive skill players on the list. Imagine the mutual happiness for Javon Walker to go long for a Daunte Culpepper bomb. It could be Culpepper to Moss revisited. If our admittedly good but not great line breaks down, Culpepper (or Pennington or Griese) could dump off to Priest Holmes or Ahman Green. Tight Ends Kellen Winslow, Boo Williams and Eric Johnson would also be available to move the chains. For short yardage, the quarterback could hand the ball to Deuce McCallister.
Each line has a star. On offense, it is Culpeppers favorite center, Harvard-educated Matt Birk. Joining him is the player Donovan McNabb may be missing most, his center Hank Fraley. On our team, one of them will play guard. Either Detroitss David Loverne or Cincinnatis Larry Moore would be the other guard. The tackle positions would be selected from Jason Fabini, Todd Wade, Flozell Adams and Jonas Jennings who are all adequate tackles.
The defensive line is led by Cullens big brother Carolinas all-star tackle Kris Jenkins. He would be joined by nose- tackle Russell Davis, and backed by two able veterans, Paul Grasmanis and Brandon Noble. The 2004 NFC Sack leader Bertrand Berry joins Kineche Udeze at defensive end to supply outside pass rush.
Backing the defensive line, are linebackers Takeo Spikes, Edgerton Hartwell and Barrett Green along with safeties Rodney Harrison, Donovin Darius, and Tebucky Jones. Tyrone Poole would cover the other teams best receiver. Kevin Mathis and Chad Scott would likely compete for the other corner.
Our coach? Who else but the Rams fallen leader Mike Martz. Coach Martz would be likely to go for it on fourth down, and our ordinary group of specialists would be under very little pressure.
The criteria for inclusion on the team are as follows. The player must be gone for the entire season. Second, except for the talented Kellen Winslow, the player must also have been an NFL starter with at least a couple of years experience in the league. The only other exception was Kicker. The only kicker on injured reserve this season is Cowboy Rookie Brett Vistintainer, whose only claim to fame at this point is the similarity of his name to New Englands epitome of a clutch performer Adam Vinitieri. Therefore, we stretched a point and added the possessor of the best known kicker injury, Bill Grammaticawho ended his season and career a few years back by injuring himself while celebrating a successful kick.
Finally, we ask this question. How many current teams would beat this team? Coached by currently injured St Louis Rams Coach Mike Martz, this is a team that could score points and win games. In fact, Martz may be the perfect coach for this group of players.
Finally, our team has a distinct advantageit will lose no player to injury.