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These ain’t your daddy’s Pats! – An interview with coach Gridironman

This correspondent had to remember not to chide the driver as the carriage went straight, instead of taking the usual turning towards Broekwater, so used to the trip to that blighted town was he.

The remainder of the journey to Lyonesse is uneventful and so it comes to pass that we get the our first glimpse of Saint Giles stadium, here in the capital of the Dukedom of Lyonesse. This is new home of the Patriots, the Lyonesse Patriots

Whilst one cannot fail to notice the change of location (and ownership) of the Patriots, the hospitality reserved for guests is as good as ever. Fresh fish and wine from the Morceaux River valley are plentiful and your correspondent is looking forward to a repeat visit!

This being Bretonnia, everything is more opulent, but make no mistake, there is still the reminders of that hard edge to Pats, that no relocation will remove.

After the tour of the stunning stadium, we are ushered into Coach Gridironman’s office. High above the training section of the stadium, where he keeps a close eye on his players.

Die Fauschlag Nachrichten: Coach, thank you for hosting us, its been a most enjoyable morning. It is a pleasure to finally meet you in person. You took over in-season, which is always difficult, how have you found the learning curve so far in DLE?

Coach Gridironman: I generated the majority of wins that the Patriots accrued during that transitional period, however, my team was not ready to be an upper quartile team. My disrespect to Ag+ pieces led to unnecessary draws and losses. That being said there were pieces on the team that contributed to wins but were stagnant TV drains. The best competition onsite is within Draft League Europe, because the games are balanced off a common roster and there are TV based mechanisms to promote competition. On-field coaching is what leads to wins and at this time I am still a novice. However, a novice that is willing to learn rather than rage. Although this has been a disappointing season thus far, the team can convert some standings points yet.

DFN: What prompted the move to Lyonesse? Blitz! can’t help but notice that ownership also have a second team in Bretonnia in their league
Coach G: Lyonesse Bank’s assets include the Patriots and Crusaders [A team which plays exclusively in Bretonnia]. Certainly the Patriot brand is the more storied of the two. We are excited to see how our champion being a net positive rather than a net negative if not missing games can provide an exciting season for the Crusaders.
However, the Patriots are attempting to sell pieces to become a block + mighty blow team. This will lead to unearned wins but not so unearned because we have built in this direction purposefully. However, it has become clear that the true synergy lies with block + dodge, or block + tackle; you can expect us to continue to build in the blodge direction in the future with our Patriots.
The Patriots are interesting because we have a one turn touch threat in Schuster and one thrower in Thorson–everyone else is a block + MB piece or Wrestle + strip Ball + tackle piece. Lyonesse is an entire province and holds a major city in Bretonnia. The brand was simply bigger than our previous city and we attempt repatriate the Patriot brand that is either negative or too reflective of past success.
DFN: How did you find your first Draft? Do you think there is anything you will look to do differently next draft?
Coach G: Our draft was highly beneficial for the Patriots, because each pick built the team in our preferred direction and we secured many impressive late finds. The next draft will be focus on survivability rather than being a dangerous blocking team. We are getting rid of any legends that do not have the blodge trait but we will continue to focus on MB but only as our third concern training wise. We are willing to add Agile players as often as possible to limit our need for catchers. We want to focus on ball control rather than fast scoring. We will continue to look for ST pieces but we will not oversell for it. For instance, Wren is marketable, we expect to trade him during midseason with Emmith Smith. This will lead to more draft picks and agility in the interim.
DFN: It looks like since the move to Lyonesse, you are really trying to put a new (and welcome spin) on the old Pats formula. Is the team setup fully to your liking or are there changes you still want to implement?
Coach G: The build is to my liking as it currently stands, it is still a competitive roster with emphasis on the block skill. We are facing a 3 week stretch in which we will rebuild through FA. We always dish niggled players because they are still useable in the sense that they are marketable. Whereas, an Av- player has no use in the trade market, therefore, we are even more bullish in terms of cutting those sort of players promptly.
Just having Ag+ away from catchers allows us to be more hard hitting than an average team because we do not need to roster strength on a now 3+ catcher or weigh down the team with multiple receivers. We want to build legends that are useable across time. Therefore, they need to be survivable as we accrue SP longitudinally rather than a Cap sink.
DFN: Have ownership set you any targets for S14?
Coach G: We want to at least sneak into wildcard status by the end of the season. We expect to be competitive in our division but are not ready for a divisional pennant yet. I believe that we are similarly built to the Griffins and a threat to the Thunderbolts. However, it is likely a Classics division at this time. Personally, I would like to see a standings improvement in terms of points accrued in relation to the previous season. The season is not over yet. There is still time to climb up the rankings.
DFN: How do you feel your SoS has gone to start the season what do you make of your rivals start in the KFC?
Coach G: I feel as though we have played against quality competition, but we will have better chances in the future. The River Bandits are a very well developed team, we have great respect towards them. Besides that we were at least competitive. I have relearned one turn touchdowns that were featured in the first match. That would have made these other matches much more opportune. However, these are fair losses. Most competitors in the league are trained to allay and apologize; because most people that play blood bowl are adult ragers and great crybabies–I do not aspire to be either
I feel as though the Thunderbolts are highly vulnerable to a disappointing year based upon the dead weight of high TV and niggles. While the Griffins are rebuilding similar to the Patriots but we are more mature across that path. The Classics were shown to be in good form. The playcalling just needs to meet the merit of these other coaches. The Patriots are a good vehicle as they currently stand. Divisional matches are the most important because the winner of the pennant receives an automatic playoff bid. We will be contentious but not contenders for that honour at this time.
DFN: What has surprised you most about the DLE?
Coach G: Draft League Europe is surprisingly well balanced because championships are won through player management and training skills. The quality of coach is what separates teams to win or lose. Part of that is using the skills available to you and the other involves acculturating those skills. It is the best league onsite, including mine. All the games are fun to play and watch. I would be broadcasting games if I could. However, I am saddled with work and school at this time.
DFN: The Pats history is that of the most storied franchise in the league, how do you plan to add your name into that legacy?
Coach G: I plan to add my name to the Patriots legacy by having the temerity to offload double niggle pieces and players like Bortles, I am much more impressed with the likes of Paul Wright in terms of naming the best skilled thrower in this league. We are focused on upping the troop quality of all our members before settling upon legends. Maybe those legends are developed, however, the trajectory involves no pertinent injuries and blodge + MB. This will take a few seasons but we will be a potent team with time. The Crusaders were a multiple year project and so are the Patriots. Block is the foundation, beyond that we can start to become more creative. I will eventually populate the playoffs in both leagues, just not Draft League Europe at least for S14.
Thank you for your questions, I appreciate the opportunity to talk about Patriot football! [A burly assistant then indicates it is time for this Middenheimer to leave post-haste]
Just like that, your correspondent realises as much as things change, they also stay the same. These may not be your daddy’s Pats, but they are in excellent hands with a Coach who has a plan, and that is to hurt his way to success. Sound familiar readers?