The rookie filled Omaha Heart, appeared to have some talented and athletic players on the team, but they need a lot more practice to get this team looking respectable. The Chicago Bliss are licking their lips as they saw what Atlanta was able to do offensively against Omaha Saturday night. Expect Chicago to come out strong and dominate offensively. This game will be a great opportunity for Heather Furr to develop Chicago’s passing game, which will be needed to compete with the more established teams this season. Throwing the ball down the field is not something you see very often for the run heavy Bliss offense.
Omaha’s roster consists of three returning players from the 2014 season, which head-coach Dontae Allen describes as a “fresh start”. Before Saturday’s loss Coach Allen was confident and excited about the talent of his rookies, but after the 86-0 loss to Atlanta a learning curve is evident for rookie-filled Heart. The Heart arguably have the toughest schedule in the LFL this season as they face the 2014 Legends Cup Champion Chicago Bliss and the Eastern Conference Champion Atlanta Steam, three times each.
The strong Omaha Heart defense from a season ago was nowhere to be found Saturday night at ’The Farm’ (Ralston Arena), as the Steam put up a record setting ten offensive touchdowns. Though the Heart defense looked athletic and strong, they simply did not look ready for tackle football. For many players that mental switch needs to flip quickly, to come up and make good tackles on defense. Offensively, Omaha struggled to get anything going, as mistakes and lack of confidence hurt the Heart. The offense simply looked like it needed more practice reps and a better understanding of the basics needed to be instilled. The Heart coaching staff will have their work cut out for them to make adjustments and get every player on the same page. Every practice will be critical for Omaha and the rookie-filled roster.
KEYS FOR OMAHA
Omaha will need to play a smart game, as rookie mistakes will again be deadly for Heart. The defensive line needs to fill their holes and play aggressive to stop the Chicago ground game. Offensively they will need to get a rhythm going and be confident with the playbook. The offensive line needs to know their assignments and play strong up front to allow quarterback Ashley Amick time to find her receivers. Quarterback Amick needs to be able to field a simple shotgun snap. As Omaha is expected not to have even the slightest chance of victory in the game, Saturday in Chicago will be a great opportunity for the Heart to come out strong and get their offense in the endzone and play a strong game defensively against the Chicago running game.
Chicago looks to start off the season 2-0 after they expect to have their way with the Heart Saturday night. Look for the Bliss to throw the ball more often and give Heather Furr some opportunities to develop at the position. For Chicago to become dominant offensively this season, a strong passing game will be needed to assist their ground and pound offense led by the Ferrari, ChrisDell Harris.
Chicago will look to dominate the game and possibly give other players on the roster a chance to play. Look for Nneka Nwani to get more rushing attempts and Heather Furr to seek out potential targets. Getting this win and starting off the season 2-0 will give Chicago a lot of confidence as they have plenty of time to prepare for their next game on May 10th as they welcome in Atlanta for the League’s first-ever, Sunday day game while sitting in 1st place in the Eastern Conference.
KEYS FOR CHICAGO
Chicago will need to play a smart and mistake free game. Getting some big offensive plays to Alli Alberts down the field early will be a good test for Chicago. Establishing the run game early will certainly test the Omaha Heart defensive front. Avoiding costly turnovers will be key for Chicago to control the game. On defense, the Bliss need to get pressure on rookie quarterback, Ashley Amick and remind the Heart how physical the game is.
– Text by Colton Cull, originally posted on LFL360.com