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Friday, 16 September 2016 05:40

Coach Robinson reflects on Atlanta Steam season

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Steam head coach Dane Robinson (pictured during the Atlanta training camp) shared his thoughts on the recently completed LFL season. Image courtesy Tony Villatoro.

The Atlanta Steam began the 2016 season looking to establish themselves as the team to beat in the Eastern Conference of the Legends (Lingerie) Football League, but instead finished with a 1-3-1 overall record which included another season ending loss to the Chicago Bliss in the post season-the third in three years. Adding to the disappointment is the fact that the lone Atlanta win this season came against lowly Omaha.

 

Bliss 2016

It must be said that Chicago, the undisputed beast of the East since moving from the West ahead of the 2015 season, went on to earn their fourth LFL Legends Cup in the last five seasons. Steam head coach Dane Robinson took some time to reflect on the season just completed as well as the future of the team.

Robinson discussed much during our exchange, and in order to share his thoughts as completely as possible, I decided to include them in full rather than in interview form.

Coach Robinson reflects on the 2016 Steam season:

“Obviously the season did not go the way we intended. Though we feel we put together a very talented group of athletes this season, it just goes to show how hard football games are to win and that a full 4 quarters are necessary to get the victory. I don't see this organization going into "panic mode". All of our losses came by a touchdown or less this season and those kinds of losses, though tough, point to the small things around us during a game that added up that ultimately lead to our defeat. Turnovers, penalties, and costly and ill-timed miscues over 4 quarters and an entire season add up to where you lose those close games.

Playoff Loss

"The playoff loss was a very tough pill to swallow. We succeeded in our game plan and put Chicago in a deep hole in the first half knowing that they adjust very well in second and all we really have to do is play conservative football and at worst go "tit for tat" on the scoring end of thing to secure this win. Unfortunately, 2 INTs and a fumble don't allow us-or any team- to win games and it was in that second half where we were not as careful with our possessions as we should of been. You have to give Chicago their due that down double digits they rallied and rallied hard to create moments that led to their win. I have the confidence in my team and still believe my roster was more talented than the Chicago Bliss this season. This is a lesson for our ladies to learn...talent is not enough and attention to the small details is equally important. I've lost plenty of football games in my lifetime. I can deal with losing games but this one hurt more than others because the work behind the scenes these ladies put through was amazing. I probably ask the most out of any Head Coach in what I expect from players to do to be a part of my organization and for this group I'm thankful they understood my mission and philosophy to represent the Atlanta Steam.”

Robinson on the future of the Steam:

“As far as the future goes...well...our work continues. You relax for a second and then the football clock restart all over again to build a team better than the 2016 version of the Steam (with better results obviously) ending in a Legends Cup. We have some players that have been long standing veterans of the LFL and long standing members of the Atlanta Steam dating back to 2012 that will have to decide on whether this was it for them and to retire and move on from this game and this part of their life. I try not to impress my own feelings on what those players should do. It's selfish on my part and they need to make that decision on their own. That being said I do believe that there are some major puzzle pieces of veterans that will be returning to our team that we will continue to build around and also some rookies that now have a season under their belt that are ready to really step into the LFL spotlight. We will again hit the recruiting wire hard locally at the flag football level and collegiate intramural scene to scout and find our next group of LFL athletes to keep this program competitive and strong. And as always we will put out lines to the free agent pool and contact those ladies that may be interested in relocating and competing with the Steam next season.”

DH LZ 1

Dakota Hughes and Lauran Zigler are two of the veterans that Robinson refers to when discussing players that have to decide if they will return for another season.

Final Thoughts:

“Tough lessons learned but the Atlanta Steam is far from being in a tailspin as some have suggested. We've been there. I know what that looks like. We will be ok. Time for some much needed time off for our ladies and coaches. Hopefully we are lucky enough to enjoy competing and coaching in the All Fantasy tour this year and we'll be back reprogrammed, refocused, and reset for another run at the championship. It's about always trying to find players that can viably compete and challenge my returning players so that they cannot get complacent at anytime. I'm doing this team a disservice if I do not try to find players to compete and replace the ones I have currently. But I agree I feel we built a solid roster, so it's hard to improve on that. The focus will definitely be creating depth on our roster that allows for deep rotations without a drop off in talent.”

I have known Coach Robinson since the inaugural season (2012) of the franchise when he was an assistant on the staff, and I know how intense his desire to win is. He has shown his ability to teach the game to players with no experience, as well as a knack for getting the most out of his players. He, and his staff, has been key to putting a product on the field that competes in every game. While the 2016 season has to be considered a disappointment, you can be sure Robinson will be back next season with the same level of passion working towards capturing that elusive Legends Cup.

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Read 5676 times Last modified on Friday, 16 September 2016 06:04
Mike Delrio

After six seasons covering pro sports as a credentialed writer/photogrpaher in the Atlanta area, Mike began covering Gwinnett County High School sports in 2013 which led to the launch of Gwinnettsportsreport.com. GSR is a site that highlights prep and youth sports in Gwinnett County. While baseball. basketball, and football receive the majority of the attention, GSR will include updates and news on a variety of sports across the county.

GSR coverage of pro teams in the county began in June 2015.  

With many of the top athletes and teams in Georgia calling Gwinnett home, there is a never-ending stream of news and Gwinnettsportsreport.com looks forward to becoming one of your favorite sports blogs for updates on the outstanding athletes in our county.

 

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