Center – G.Stav Mahler. Awesome athletic skill set for a center, even after a decade wayfaring from team to team. Quick interior lineman, a titan who can single-block defensive tackles in pass protection. Intelligent, with a work ethic that is the very song of the earth. Snaps the ball with erratic velocity. At this age in his career you expect Mahler to be scheme versatile, but last off-season he heard the magic horn’s call of youth and resurrected his blocking skills. He can still match up on speed rushers, and anchors well against the blitz. Strength: hammer blows blockers at the point of attack.


Right Guard – Yan Sibelius. A throwback interior lineman, from the days of leather helmets and bald domes, an anti-modern modernist. Slow moving, but a severe road-grading run-blocker with heavy hands. His bullying of defensive linemen is en saga around the league. Stonewalls bull rushes. Sustains blocks until the whistle blows its broad chords.

 

Left Guard – Dick Wagner. Hard working, veteran interior lineman, quick off the snap into his blocks, though his blocks often lack a tonal center. Tough, plays banged up. Mean streak, plays with extreme chromaticism. Off-field distractions limited his playing time this season, but he’s rested and can play up to eight hours, or until the fat lady sings.

 

Right Tackle – A.Ton Bruckner. A good but not elite athlete for the position. Agility is average to below average, but his exceptional strength and stamina allows him to overwhelm defensive linemen late in the game. Bruckner is often on the balls of his feet, his hands down, passive rather than initiating contact. His footwork is unorthodox. His feet stop too often, especially upon contact, but his creative logic often overcomes all of this.

 

Left Tackle – Moose Mussorgsky. A mountain of a run blocker, but has difficulty covering the quarterback’s blind side so on passing plays he’s protected by the tight end or the halfback. Mussorgsky doesn’t move his feet enough to stay out in front of an outside rush. He often fails to remain square to the line of scrimmage and does not finish the block, opening the gate early. When he’s in the game, expect KUSC to stay close to the ground as a catacomb, Mussorgsky putting on a blocking exhibition as they promenade four yards and a cloud of dust.

 

Tight End – Nick Korsakov. A coordinated big man with speed, strength, buzzing intelligence and durability (a record 1001 consecutive offensive plays). Finishes with good movement skills and natural hands. “Sultan of the Slant Route.” He’s even better as a blocker. He fires out like a golden rooster and fits his hands inside. Alert: KUSC runs a trick play with Korsakov, a tackle eligible, and trombone.

 

Wide Receiver – Peter L. Tck. A great leaper. Excellent body control. Good route variety: symphonic deep-outs, concerto curls, In-n-Up operas, and a post pattern with which he averaged 18.12 yards per catch. Tchaikovsky runs his routes smooth as a swan on a glassy lake. Occasional “wow” catches, such as his victorious grab in the Divisional Playoffs, after a game-long duel with Moscow’s talented safety, Lensky.

 

Wide Receiver – Felix Mendelssohn. Radiates classical athleticism. Quicksilver acceleration and good lateral agility. A natural hands catcher with phenomenal ball skills. The speedy receiver will go up and get the football and is capable of making such dreamy catches, well, there are no words. Weaknesses: Showing signs of decline following his prodigious midsummer pre-season form. Slim build, needs to add more weight. Only a decent blocker, doesn’t like contact.

 

Halfback – Mo Ravel. An exquisitely balanced back with first-step quickness, elusiveness, combined with grind-it-out grit, rhythm and repetition. Can create and orchestrate for himself. Has a nose for the end zone and always finishes strong. Very hard to arm tackle. Hands as soft as goose feathers. Though it is only the result of painstaking work on the practice field, Ravel gives the effortless impression it’s all a Valse for him on the gridiron

 

Fullback – LaVanius Beethoven. The future Hall-of-Famer is charging headlong toward another title to add to his heroic career. A stoutly-built back with quick feet and tremendous vision, LaVanius still makes a serioso burst to the hole and hits the line like a hammerklavier, running runs through tackles, rarely going down on first contact. However worn down he may appear, from age and infirmity, LaVB remains an elite one-cut downhill runner with speed and improvisatory open-field skills, and is capable of controlling games himself.

 

Quarterback – Seby Bach. Football intelligence off the charts. Scans field and reads defenses like fugues, on the level of Manning, Montana and Monteverdi. Not the strongest arm, but Bach can drive the ball into the seam in front of safeties, and make all the field-side throws with precision and reliability. Calm and aware in the pocket, his decision making is what makes Bach great. The more the pressure, the more tempered his focus. Shows faith in his wide receivers, and likewise Bach is trusted and protected by his teammates.

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