Blog, tagged with Inside Deventer Devils
2021-04-17 13:18

Albert came into the dressing room. Everyone had left already. He was alone in the dressing room...again. With a big sigh he put down his helmet and starting unstrapping his gear. This was not how he had imagined life as a professional football player.

When he was down to his underwear he sat down to reflect and his thoughts involuntarily went back to draft day 1 of season 41. He had prepared for that day thinking he would go in round 3, maybe 2 but instead he was thrusted into the limelight by being the first pick ever that the new Deventer Devils franchise would make.

He had been estatic and was really flattered by the confidence the Devils were showing in him. Before the draft, he had his critics and this is why he was expecting to go in a later round. His arm strength was never an issue, everyone agreed about that. So his speed was not great but not bad either and to be honest, he could live with that. No, the most hurtful thing that stuck with him was about his character. 'Aloof', 'Self-Centered', 'Not a Team Player' were some of the words that had been used to describe him.

But he was a team player but he was just wired differently. He was not the typical alpha male that eople expected on a football field, shouting one cliche after another. No, that was not him and he would never be that guy. He was all about prepping, talking, connecting before games. Sharing ideas and plays. And then show it on the field.

He got the idea that Vennegoor got that about him, heck that he was a bit like that himself. That is why he was so impressed and so excited about joining the Devils. To be the first franchise QB of a new franchise, what an honour.

However he soon dissovered that Vennegoor was probably the only one that thought like that. First there was the GM, Jerad Jones who had quit the day after the draft. The only thing he had heard from his mouth: "You are not MY guy!".

The rest of the team had been OK to him. Out of the other drafted players, WR Haydn Williams had been friendly to him and they struck up a friendship right away and were productive on the field as well. Working exactly as he liked to work, close-knit relationships with honest conversations, feedback and exchanging of ideas. LB Suleiman Sulaiman had been different. He was very different to Albert. He was that guy shouting on the field, a leader as most people would imagine a leader to look like in american football. And he was so driven and ambitious. And he just felt in every exchange that Suleiman was disappointed to have him as the QB. He got on with the other QB of the squad, Jayden Meinders. And if Albert was honest with himself, he thought Jayden was the better QB as well but he was five years older as well though!

It had not been his decision to become the starting QB. And he wasn't either in the beginning. It was very clear that coach Muriki shared the same view as Suleiman Sulaiman. He kept talking about not having the dark energy required to play the position. That he first needed to find his inner demon before he could even attempt to claim the starting QB. But what the hell did 'finding your inner demon' mean?!

But he now was the starting QB. After a bust-up between Vennegoor and Muriki he gathered. Muriki had to play him or be sacked. What a demand to make! Albert appreciated the faith shown in him by Vennegoor but had he not realised the position he was thrusting him into. He now was the starting QB of team that for a large part didn't want him to be the starting QB.

That is why he was now sitting alone in this dressing room. He liked reviewing tape after every practice session but no one had joined him in the film room anymore since the bust-up between the coach and the owner.

With another big sigh he walked to the shower. His mind was heavy and he was not happy. How long could this go on for!?

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2021-04-01 19:07

Rufio is back on the scene in Deventer! Well, not in Deventer, I've sworn off that place for now. Something just isn't right there and I felt ... off... from my last visit.

Since I left there's been an interesting shift in the front office. Owner Ron Vennegoor has decided the QB of the future is now going to be the QB of the present. He was quite excited when drafting Albert Jacobs with the 4th pick in this last draft. He's got a lot to like in a young QB prospect. Most agree he's got a few seasons to go before he puts it all together but he's got a big arm and a solid burst with his legs to avoid the rush.If he gets some experience there's no reason to think he won't be very good for a long time.

Jacobs has played well so far this season and has so far led the Devils to contention for a playoff berth. Top 10 in yards and TD's, while only being sacked 3 times, but 11 interceptions shows his youth and the need for better decision making which comes with experience.

Coach Muriki has other ideas. Rumor has it that him and Jacobs don't exactly see eye to eye. I tried to get an interview with Jacobs or Vennegoor but was blocked by team officials. One of the knocks on Jacobs was his lack of team first attitude. He wants to do things his way and he's confident in his abilities to succeed that way. We know Muriki has a very different view on how he prefers things to be done. A big concern here is Muriki had a hand in the draft process, he knew about this kid and decided he could handle him... he seems to have been mistaken. Clearly the kid has rejected this process of energy and creepy manipulation and feels he's got the support from the most important player in the drama...

And that's where it gets even crazier. There's rumors that the father of linebacker Suleiman Sulaiman (who donated a small fortune to upgrade the training facilities when his son was drafted) has become quite close with coach Muriki... so close that's he's apparently collecting funds for a takeover of the Devils from Vennegoor to let Muriki run everything the way he feels he must. I have no idea how this is possible, but unlimited money and whatever otherworldly abilities Muriki has keeps everything in play. I understand doing everything for your kids, but this is some pretty obsessive stuff.

I'll monitor this situation pretty closely (from a distance) and report if I hear anything else. It's difficult enough for a new young team to gel and have early success. Adding in a QB-coach rift and front office drama is certainly not a positive.

This has been Rufio far, far away from the scene!

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