Longhorns in the NFL: The Austin Orangebloods (Part 1)
It's time for change.
Today marks the beginning of the NFL Free Agency period, and the NFL Draft is just a short seven weeks away. With the uncapped year on the horizon for the NFL, your favorite franchise could be getting a face lift of Joan Rivers-type proportions.
Whether you prefer the rich tradition, pageantry, and historic rivalries of college football or the over-priced tickets and over-paid drama queens of the NFL (no bias here), the NFL Draft is a time of celebration for both fanbases.
College football fans look on like proud parents, instantly becoming fans of the NFL teams that drafted players from their favorite university. And NFL fans await Draft Day like it's Christmas in April, hoping that they have been good enough for Roger Goodell to bring them a left tackle to anchor their O-line.
Coupled with Free Agency, the two spectacles give football fans just enough to whet their appetites before the long hibernation.
This spring, however, I'm wanting something a little different. Something that would never be seen outside of NFL Madden's Franchise mode. In this, my personal fantasy football meets "what-if" world, I assemble a professional team of former University of Texas Longhorn players and stack them up against the rest of the NFL.
Of course, outside of NFL Madden, this would never happen. But what football fan wouldn't want to see their favorite college players move on together to the same NFL team after they exhausted their amateur eligibility?
First things first, though. A franchise needs to be replaced for the Austin Orangebloods to be established. And there is no more logical team to be replaced than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jaguars have a dwindling fanbase that suffered multiple television blackouts last season. They are an average football team in a city that doesn't care about them and hanging on a prayer that if drafted, Tim Tebow might be able to resurrect the franchise. Not the greatest idea with a player who is having to reinvent his throwing motion. The Jags need to circumvent the situation with Tebow and move on down the road to Austin.
With those logistics out of the way, it's time to take a look at the 53-man, all-Longhorn roster.
Quarterbacks : Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Chris Simms
Running Backs : Jamaal Charles, Cedric Benson, Ricky Williams, Selvin Young
Receivers : Roy Williams, Quan Cosby, Jordan Shipley, Limas Sweed
Tight Ends : Jermichael Finley, Bo Scaife, David Thomas
Offensive Tackles : Leonard Davis, Mike Williams, Jonathan Scott, Tony Hills
Offensive Guards : Justin Blalock, Kasey Studdard, Derrick Dockery
Centers : Lyle Sendlein, Cullen Loeffer
Kicker : Hunter Lawrence
Defensive Ends : Tim Crowder, Brian Robison, Cory Redding, Henry Melton, Derek Lokey
Defensive Tackles : Casey Hampton, Shaun Rogers, Roy Miller, Lamarr Houston, Frank Okam
Outside Linebackers : Brian Orakpo, Roddrick Muckelroy, Drew Kelson, Sergio Kindle, Rashad Bobino
Middle Linebackers : Derrick Johnson, D.D. Lewis
Cornerbacks : Quentin Jammer, Aaron Ross, Nathan Vasher, Tarrell Brown, Deon Beasley
Safeties : Michael Griffin, Earl Thomas, Cedric Griffin, Michael Huff
Punter : Thomas Morstead*
*There are no current Longhorn punters in the NFL. Thomas Morstead was made eligible, as he is from Houston and went to SMU.
Head Coach : Darrell K. Royal
Offensive Coordinator : Kyle Shannahan (former WR at Texas)
Defensive Coordinator : Jerry Gray (former DB at Texas)
Special Teams Coach : Alan Lowry (former DB at Texas)
What Longhorn fan wouldn't get excited about this roster? And what other college football fan wouldn't get excited about a similar NFL roster filled with their alma mater's players?
Imagine a weekend in Austin. Two days of tailgating, drinking, and enjoying everything Austin has to offer while getting to take in two football games?
Now that is change that I could buy into.
Part 2 of this series will take a look at the Austin Orangeblood's roster, schedule, and playoff chances.
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