Hi and welcome back to the Barbarian Blog. I don’t really feel like writing a big intro this week so let’s just get straight into it.
Liege Monarchs 22 – Charleroi Coal Miners 6
This was the only game played this weekend, with the home team picking up the victory. I didn’t go as I had a family thing to attend (it will be my only Sunday off this season). I’ll try to check out the game film at some point and make some notes!
Preview : BFL week 3
So we’ve got four games this weekend, and would you believe that I’m really looking forward to it?
Brussels Black Angels (0-1) vs Limburg Shotguns (1-0) @ Berendrecht, 12:00
Well I kind of thought that one of these teams would be 1-0 and the other 0-1 heading into this game, though I may well have been incorrect about which team would have which record (ahem). The Angels definitely cannot afford to drop to 0-2 if they hope to make the playoffs though (and of course they do).
As for the Shotguns, their offense exploded for three touchdowns in about 8 minutes against the Diamonds, and they’ll definitely be looking for that speed on the outside that helped them achieve that.
I’m expecting a much better team effort from the Angels though. They’ve had two weeks to reflect on their experience against the Gators and figure out just what went wrong, in all three phases.
Prediction : I like the Angels to bounce back and get the win this week, but they’ll want to keep the Shotguns in close and not let them use their speed around the edges. Black Angels 20 – Shotguns 7
Antwerp Diamonds (0-1) vs Leuven Lions (0-0) @ Berendrecht, 15:00
The Diamonds didn’t really play all that bad against Limburg but couldn’t find big plays on offense or defense when they needed them. I guess it’s ok if you don’t have big play capability, but then you need to ensure that you’re solid on defense 100% of the time, which they weren’t last game.
On the other hand, the Lions are a complete mystery to me, I haven’t seen or heard anything from them so I’ve no idea what to expect at all. Last year they played great defense, but didn’t really score enough points to threaten to make the playoffs, so I can only imagine that this was a focus for them.
Prediction : Well, it’s tough to say. I’m going to need to see a bit more from the Diamonds though, and I also happen to know that they like it when I pick against them! Lions 20 – Diamonds 10
GAME OF THE WEEK : Brussels Bulls (0-0) vs Gent Gators (1-0) @ Ostend, 12:00
It’s funny, but the only thing I’ve heard about the Bulls is this : “Their offensive line isn’t what it used to be”, and I’ve heard it from a lot of people, but none of them are actually a part of the Bulls. I do know that they’ve lost some experience in that area, but they have by far the most players on their roster, so they must be able to fill in the gaps, right? The Bulls have a new head coach and it’ll be interesting to see if they maintain the same philosophy that they used to have. But whatever they do, they’ll have to do it well. The Gators will punish them if they find a weakness. Fortunately they can rely on a great pass defense from last season (having said that, the Black Angels had a great one last season too).
As for the Gators, the question will be can they focus on this game having defeated the Black Angels for the first time ever. They will have to, because the Bulls aren’t to be messed around with.
Last week was a great test for the Gators and they came through with flying colors. If they win this week, then look out, because there will be a new sheriff in town, and my bold prediction won’t have been bold enough.
Prediction : The Bulls have lots of speed on defense to counter the Gators receivers, but can they pressure the quarterback too? I learnt my lesson last week, but how will Gent handle the pressure of being the favourite? – Gators 27, Bulls 21
Ostend Pirates (0-0) vs Puurs Titans (0-0) @ Ostend, 15:00
The final game of the weekend gives us a look at two teams who will play their first game of the season, so as usual, these things are tough to predict.
The Pirates get a home game to kick things off, and I’m looking for them to take control of the game at the line of scrimmage, as they certainly have the size and strength to do just that. They’ll need to, as the Titans linebackers are still amongst the best going around. Ostend’s special teams have the potential to be spectacular as well, so Puurs will do well not to let up the intensity in the kicking game.
For the Titans, their big question remains at quarterback. Can they get continued improvement from the most important position on the field? It will be neccessary, because they have some great playmakers on the outside who need to see more of the ball.
Prediction : I don’t really expect a lot of points, more of a grind-it-out type of game. But hey, I’ve been wrong before! Pirates 17 – Titans 14
Barbarian player selection
So finally we’re ready to let you know just what the plan is as far as player selection goes. There will be several steps, and here they are.
1 – Each head coach will be asked to select a maximum of 3 of their own players. All of these players will receive an invitation to the National Team Combine.
2 – We (the Barbarians scouts and coaches) will add a whole lot of other player names to the list as well. All of these players will also receive an invitation to the National Team Combine.
3 – The National Team Combine will be held in Puurs on June 22. I know that I’m going to have to say this 10 000 times over the next few months so allow me to say it in large letters now so that everybody understands. YOU MUST ATTEND THE COMBINE IF YOU WANT TO PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM. There will be more players in attendance at the combine than will be selected for the team. Some of you will not be selected. There will be no limit on how many players from any one team can be invited to the Combine, nor how many players from any one team can be selected to the National Team. You will be selected based on both your performance during the season and your performance at the combine. We will select the best team that we possibly can to represent Belgium.
I hope that this is 100% clear. Please ask any questions that you may have so that they can be cleared up as soon as possible. If I get enough, then I will have time to write a special Thursday mailbag.
Well, I guess that that’s just about everything that I had to mention this week. Sorry about the rather dismissive way I wrote about the one game that was played, but until I see game tape I can’t really comment about it. Until next time