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Revolver

October 27, 2010

 

Revolver has done quite a bit to improve since losing to Chain in the 2009 Finals. Co-founder Nick Handler is back, and in the wake of Jam’s departure, Bart Watson (also of 2005 and 2009’s Team USA), Brian Garcia, Jon Hester and Taylor Cascino join the team. Also, they’ve added Sam Kanner, who is coming off of a 2009 College National Championship win and a second-place finish in 2010. Revolver enters Sarasota with a 23-4 record; 33-4 if you count Worlds. Beating Sockeye to win tournament finals seems to be their thing, as they did it in Prague (17-13), at Labor Day (15-9), and at Northwest Regionals (15-8). The only teams that they’ve lost to are Ironside (14-15 on Saturday of ECC, 12-15 on Sunday), Sockeye (8-15 at ECC), and Johnny Bravo (14-15 at Labor Day).

As a team, Revolver relies a lot on its speed.

On offense, open dump looks are sometimes looked off in favor of waiting for another stall count or two because there is an expectation that someone will get open for a gainer. Robbie Cahill is the offensive focal point, and with good reason: his ability to consistently break the mark and get open on the dump are among the very best. When watching Revolver, you’ll often see the disc stay on whatever side of the field Cahill is on. If it’s the force side, the team looks to continue to gain up the line, knowing that they can rely on him to be open for a reset. If it’s the break side, the team clears the break lane and allows him a lot of time to break the mark, and when that throw gets off, it is often followed by a continuation huck. Another player to watch on Revolver’s offense is Cassidy Rassmusen. As a young handler who doesn’t take too many throwing risks, Rassmusen often draws other teams’ weaker defenders, allowing him to sneak up field and find himself in the endzone quite often. This is similar to Adam Simon with Ironside.

One thing I found interesting at Worlds was Revolver’s use of Beau. In last year’s Finals, he drifted too deep, clogging deep lanes and allowing Chain’s Joel Wooten to poach. In Prague, he rarely cut deep, and he took advantage of backing defenders by running give and goes and looking to distribute. That was the most I had ever seen Beau touch the disc, and it was pretty effective.

The addition of Watson and Garcia has been huge for Revolver. Watson, who has spent a lot of his career playing behind the disc, is most effective downfield as his abilities as a deep that can also act as a primary thrower take pressure off of handlers and allow for greater continuity in the Revolver offense. Similarly, Garcia must be respected both deep and as a thrower, and he brings a level of experience that makes the team’s attack more versatile when combined with Wiseman and Beau. At Worlds, Garcia was often the cutter that threw the goal, showing an ability to adjust as the disc moves down the field while setting himself up to get open just as defenses start to clamp down.

Beyond their playmaking abilities, Watson and Garcia are appreciated just as much for who they allow not to play. With the added offensive depth, standouts Mark Sherwood and Mac Taylor do not have to play as many offensive points, even in close games. This is extremely noteworthy because tighter lines and fatigue were a big part of why Revolver fell short in 2009.

On defense, look for downfield defenders that make it hard for cutters to breathe, along with handler defenders that do a great job of poaching lanes when appropriate but also locking down and making it difficult to re-set the disc. Mark Sherwood leads a squad that marks well (see Mac Taylor’s job against Wiggins in the Worlds Finals) and is quite threatening on a turn. Sherwood runs the offense similar to Cahill, with great IO break throws, intelligent distribution, and speed. I know that Cascino has contributed a lot. In particular, Revolver tried a few different match ups on Brodie Smith while playing Doublewide at Labor Day, and it was Cascino that wound up making Smith’s life most difficult.

I think that Revolver’s still a Universe Point-type team. While I could see Chain or Ironside sticking with their established O and D lines late into the tournament, I see Revolver tightening it up a bit earlier. Still, they’ve gotten deeper this year, so if those additions can carry them one or two games farther than last year, they aren’t likely to succumb to fatigue.

For a small bit of history and accompanying banter, go here.

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