The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

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Editor selects Super Bowl dream team

Every National Football League team’s hierarchy looks forward to its chance to build a Super Bowl-bound squad each May at the NFL entry draft.

Sports fanatics have also fallen in love with the same ritual when millions of Americans contrive rosters with what they believe gives them the best chance to score points throughout 17 weeks of NFL action.

I thought it would be interesting to build a “fantasy” team that would give me the best chance to win Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The most important aspect of the selection process is each player’s ability to rise to the occasion and win one big game – the world championship.

The first and most important position that needed to be addressed was the quarterback who will lead my offensive unit. Denver’s Peyton Manning and the Patriots’ Tom Brady are widely revered as the top two quarterbacks in the NFL, but Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers gives my team the best chance to win.

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He is the most complete NFL quarterback because of his combination of accuracy on deep and short passes, movement in the pocket and making plays with his feet when the protection collapses. Most importantly, Rodgers has proven that he can win a championship and hasn’t been denied on the world’s largest stage up to this point in his career.

Manning laid an egg in the most recent Super Bowl and his inability to deal with an effective pass rush gave the edge to Rodgers. It was very tight between Brady and Rodgers because the Patriots quarterback has proved himself as a three-time Super Bowl champion. Brady’s fiery attitude and desire to win are what I’m looking for, but Rodgers’ ability to create with his feet swung my decision.

Rodgers will be throwing to Detroit’s Calvin Johnson as his premier wide receiver, Denver’s Demaryius Thomas as his second option and Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown in the slot and bunch formations. Johnson is physically the most dominant wide out in the league and Thomas isn’t too far behind with an excellent combination of size, hands and speed. Brown has the offensive mentality that I desire, and he will want the ball in his hands when the games on the line.

Dallas’ DeMarco Murray and Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell would lead my backfield as a two-headed monster. Murray has proved that when he has a strong offensive line, he can consistently move the ball down the field while having big-play potential each time he carries the rock. Bell is on his way to being a perennial top-five tailback in the NFL because of his great ability to run with power and speed. In addition to his remarkable vision, he also can catch the ball out of the backfield and will offer Rodgers a security blanket.

The Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski will be the tight end because his deceiving quickness and size will open up favorable offensive matchups.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Texans’ J.J. Watt, Miami’s Cameron Wake and Buffalo’s Marcel Dareus will anchor the line. Watt has proved himself as the most athletic all-around player in football and Wake’s ability to come off the edge with speed and ferocity makes him an asset to the team. The Buffalo big man has contributed 10 sacks to the Bills’ NFL-leading 48 sacks in 2014 and clogs running lanes. Detroit’s Ndamukong Suh and Denver’s DeMarcus Ware were honorable mentions.

Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, Denver’s Von Miller and Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David would make up the linebacking core. Kuechly and David have developed into the premier linebackers in 2014 with a knack for getting after ball carriers. Miller’s ability to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks while being involved with a variety of coverages gave him the edge over Green Bay’s Clay Matthews.

Patrick Peterson will cover the opponent’s top wide receiver, Patriot Darrelle Revis will cover the second option and Cleveland’s Joe Haden will be the nickel corner. I would also give the nod to Seattle’s safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

I’m certain differences in opinion will arise from my selection process and I would love for you to email me who made your “fantasy” Super Bowl team. Who knows, we might be able to have our teams meet on the field in a rousing game of Madden 15.

CONNOR SONDEL

[email protected]

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