Once again we are hit with a potential bombshell of a trade. One that inevitably makes fans and opposing fans say “Really?”
We’ve seen a lot of huge trades in the past 5 years: Drew Westervelt to Chesapeake and then New York, Brodie Merrill to Boston, Brendan Mundorf to Chesapeake, John Grant Jr. to Denver and then Ohio, Myles Jones to Chesapeake, Joe Walters to New York, and, of course, Paul Rabil to New York. Yes, Chesapeake and New York are very busy in the trade department and some of those have proven very fruitful and others haven’t. Westervelt won 2 championships, Rabil won one with New York in his first year as a ‘Zard, Jr. won one for Denver while the rest of the trades have garnered good play and some Championship weekend appearances, but big trades don’t always mean immediate success.
A lot of fans see a trade of a good player and think how bad of a choice it is but don’t look at the team as a whole. Denver is a great example of this: they were regularly at the top of the totem pole even when trading top-tier talent like Max Seibald, Drew Westervelt and Brendan Mundorf. Every time they made a trade everyone thought they were crazy, but the Denver management knew that players needed to work in their system. Teams change every year. The 2014 championship team/ offense was incredibly different from the 2016 championship team.
So let’s look at Florida: since its creation, Florida has stockpiled offensive talent with Lyle Thompson, Miles Thompson, Kieran McCardle, Casey Powell, Owen Blye, David Earl and Steven Brooks and that has actually been a big problem for them. Lyle, Kieran, and Casey require the ball in their stick to be most effective. In college, Lyle spent most of his time behind the cage, Kieran was the leader in his league in all offensive stats as a quarterback, and who wants to take the ball away from Casey Powell? So we have 3 quarterbacks on the same line with two who can play midfield but not as effectively which messes up the flow for the designated midis.
Now Powell has retired and they need to establish their identity with a new coach. They have decided on McCardle. To me this makes a lot of sense because “the Terminator” is the most consistent point producer on the team. It also makes more sense to have the player you build an offense around is there for the entire season. Not to mention, with how the Georgia Swarm is doing currently, Lyle might be coming to the MLL later than usual. So McCardle is now the primary poster boy and the building block for the rest of the offense to build around. Let’s just hope the show is Terminator 2 and not Terminator Genesis.
That was just the offense. Florida’s defense needs a lot of work too. Their recent pickups of Evan Connell and this trade getting Mike Lowe and Mark McNeill make sense. Connell was an enforcer at Chapel Hill while Mike Lowe was a promising rookie and top cover man for Towson. More importantly, Lowe works as a good system defender. Having these two as a helping cast with Tucker Durkin makes a lot of sense. This isn’t to say that Reid Acton and Co. are out of jobs but it helps having fresh feet in the lineup to push the veteran defenders. I’m going to need to wait and see what Mark McNeil can do.
For the Bayhawks this trade is a little puzzling. Although I can understand the want to have one of the best players and franchise faces on your team, I just don’t know how he’ll mix with the Chesapeake offense. He is replacing Joe Walters not only as a piece of the offense but also that wild card player that comes in mid-season from the NLL and add new life to the offense. Mundorf has become more of a lefty finisher rather than the relentless x-dodger that he was known for. Recent coaches have also liked Matt Donovan’s play behind the cage. It makes me wonder where Lyle’s place on the offense is going to be. Will Lyle simply step in to the quarter back role or will he play some midfield with his brother Jeremy. Plus with the addition of Garret Thule and Ryan Tucker, seeing a variation of different offenses could be fun to watch. This past season Rochester used John Ranagan as a centerpiece for an alley dodging scheme but change it up when Jesse King and Ty Thompson were on the field for a cutting style offense. It’s possible we’ll see some different offensive sets for the Bayhawks next season.
Overall I’m pretty excited to see where these goes.