Champs kick off 12th seasonMarch 29, 2004 - National Football League Europa (NFLE)
A gruelling month-long training camp has been completed in Tampa Bay, Florida, and it is time for the battle for championship rings to begin. The road to World Bowl XII in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on June 12, begins this weekend as all eyes turn to the playing field.
The action gets underway on Saturday as the defending champion Frankfurt Galaxy plays host to the Amsterdam Admirals in the Waldstadion.
Sunday April 4 sees the dawning of a new era in NFL Europe League history as the Cologne Centurions play their first-ever game against local rivals the Rhein Fire in the Arena AufSchalke.
The third Week 1 contest features the Scottish Claymores, as they take their league-best opening day record (7-2) on the road to face the Berlin Thunder in the Olympic Stadium.
WEEK ONE SCHEDULE
SATURDAY APRIL 3
Amsterdam Admirals at Frankfurt Galaxy
Waldstadion, 7:00 p.m.
SUNDAY APRIL 4
Cologne Centurions at Rhein Fire
Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, 4:00 p.m.
Scottish Claymores at Berlin Thunder
Olympic Stadium, Berlin, 4:00 p.m.
2003 Award Winners
(Players of the Week to appear in this section during 2004 season)
OFFENSIVE MVP · KEN SIMONTON · RB, Scotland
871 yards rushing, 8 TDs (led league)
39 receptions, 382 yards, 2 TD
DEFENSIVE MVP · RASHIDI BARNES· S, Frankfurt
4 interceptions (led league), 45 tackles
COACH OF THE YEAR · DOUG GRABER · Frankfurt
Led Galaxy to victory in World Bowl X, becoming first team in league history to win three championships
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 2
Familiar faces in new places but goal remains same in 2004
IT has been an off-season of change in the NFL Europe League but the goal remains the same for all six teams and their players and coaches heading into the 2004 campaign win World Bowl XII in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Saturday June 12.
Since a tackle was last made in anger in NFL Europe, the Cologne Centurions have been unveiled as the leagues newest franchise, four teams will have new head coaches and just one of the 12 offensive and defensive coordinators across NFLEL remains in the same position at the same team.
Taking charge of the Cologne Centurions for their inaugural season is two-time World Bowl-winning head coach PETER VAAS, who led the Berlin Thunder to league titles in 2001 and 2002.
Vaas has been impressed with Colognes development during preseason training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, but knows there is a long way to go before teams can even begin to dream about World Bowl. For the Centurions, the long road begins on Sunday when they meet nearby rivals Rhein Fire.
Vaas says: I am very excited about the upcoming season in Cologne. I love the atmosphere in the city and I like the enthusiasm of the people.
There are going to be a lot of firsts happening in Cologne this year and it is always exciting to take on new challenges. I am as excited about this season and this challenge as I have been in many, many years.
Standing on the opposite sideline to Vaas on Sunday is one of just two coaches who return to the team they led in 2003 Rheins PETE KUHARCHEK.
Kuharchek and the Fire will aim to go one better in 2004 after losing the last two World Bowls to Frankfurt (2003) and Berlin (2002).
Sundays other contest will see a pair of coaching colleagues from the 2003 season go head to head but both former Barcelona Dragons sideliners will be in charge of different teams.
JACK BICKNELL returns for a 12th season as an NFLEL head coach but following the suspension of the Barcelona Dragons in the off-season the veteran boss will coach a new team for the first time as he attempts to lead the Scottish Claymores to a second World Bowl victory.
Bicknell says: I have left a lot of friends behind in Barcelona but there are plenty more to be made in Scotland. On all my previous trips here, the fans have always been great and I look forward to having them behind us now.
Bicknell the all-time leader in career wins in NFL Europe with 59 has taken much of his Dragons backroom staff to Scotland with him, including tried and
trusted veterans such as offensive coordinator VINCE MARTINO, defensive coordinator DAN DANIEL and former NFL head coach with the Cleveland Browns, SAM RUTIGLIANO.
One assistant coach from the 2003 season who did not join Bicknell in Scotland was RICK LANTZ, who instead was named as head coach of Berlin.
Lantz will be ably assisted in 2004 by a pair of former Scottish Claymores assistants in offensive coordinator DON ECK and defensive coordinator JIM TOMSULA.
Looking ahead to his first season as an NFL Europe League head coach, Lantz says: Everybody on this team is excited to be going to Berlin and discovering the city. Training camp went very well. This is a great group of players to work with and we know what we need to do to become a successful football team.
Before the Centurions take on the Fire and the Claymores visit the Thunder, the Amsterdam Admirals and Frankfurt Galaxy will get the 2004 NFL Europe League season underway in a Saturday night game that features a new head coach in MIKE JONES and a returning boss in BART ANDRUS.
Jones served as offensive coordinator for the Rhein Fire in 2002 and 2003 before replacing the departed Doug Graber as head coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy in January.
NFL Europes newest head coach says: It is a great opportunity for me to return to Frankfurt. I remember the fans cheering on the team each year, and we have to provide them with something to make them do that again this year.
Andrus returns to the Admirals for a fourth season and is keen to record a winning record for the first time after posting three 4-6 marks in a row during his time in the Netherlands.
Andrus says: We have been through a really smooth camp and we are ready for the new season. We have taken some positive steps during our preseason work in Florida and cant wait to get started.
Off-Season Coaching Moves (head coaches & coordinators)
Name From To New Position
Rick Lantz Barc Ber Head Coach
Peter Vaas Ber Col Head Coach
Mike Jones Rhe Fra Head Coach
Jack Bicknell Barc Sco Head Coach
John Allen Ber Ams Off Coordinator
Don Eck Sco Ber Off Coordinator
Jim Tomsula Sco Ber Def Coordinator
Bob Bicknell Ber Col Off Coordinator
David Duggan Ber Col Def Coordinator
Ed ONeil Rhe Fra Off Coordinator
Vince Martino Barc Sco Off Coordinator
Dan Daniel Barc Sco Def Coordinator
Darryl Sims (Amsterdam), Whitey Jordan (Rhein) and Adrian White (Rhein) were promoted from within their teams, while Dwain Painter returns as defensive coordinator in Frankfurt.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 3
A rivalry begins as Centurions aim to douse Fire in opener
PRO football history has been littered with rivalries through the years, from the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears to the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.
The NFL Europe League has been no different in its 11-year history. The 1991 London Monarchs and New York/New Jersey Knights hated each other, there was no love lost between the 1995 Monarchs and the Amsterdam Admirals, and the Rhein Fire and Frankfurt Galaxy have competed in keenly-contested and well-attended Deutschland Derbies since 1995.
In Week 1 of the 2004 campaign, NFL Europe will see the dawning of a new rivalry as the Cologne Centurions make the short trip to Gelsenkirchen to face the Rhein Fire.
The German cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf have long enjoyed a healthy rivalry and that makes Sundays meeting between the Centurions and Fire especially important for fans of both teams.
Players and coaches from the Centurions and Fire sense the importance of the season opener and are excited to be taking part in what will be one of the biggest games of the year in NFL Europe.
Centurions head coach PETER VAAS says: I love playing in that kind of passionate environment. The atmosphere in the stadium where we play our opening game is the most intense in the league. I always look forward to that type of game. I think our players will look this challenge in the eye and give it their best effort.
Fire head coach PETE KUHARCHEK adds: I think it will be really exciting. I know the fans will be fired up for it and that, in turn, will fire our players up. This will be like if you play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL no matter where you are from, you want to play your best game when you take on the Cleveland Browns. Thats the kind of rivalry you are going to see between the Centurions and Fire.
Returning Fire linebacker CHARLES BURTON says: I played in the Arena AufSchalke last season so I know what a great stadium it is it is going to be really loud when the Centurions come and play us. I know the people in Düsseldorf dont like people in Cologne too much so I expect it to be pretty tense.
We already have a great rivalry with Frankfurt, but this one might be even bigger. When we go and play them there, we are going to take a lot of fans with us and get noisy in their place. We are going to let them know this team has been around for 10 years now, and that they have to play up to us.
Fire German linebacker RICHARD ADJEI admits: I am from Düsseldorf and there has always been a rivalry between the two cities. When we play the Centurions the stadium will be full and it will be a special day.
Big-name quarterbacks among allocated players out to shine on European stage in 2004
SOME of the NFLs brightest young stars will be on display throughout the 2004 NFL Europe League season, including promising quarterbacks such as Berlins ROHAN DAVEY (New England Patriots), Frankfurts J.T. OSULLIVAN (New Orleans Saints) and CHAD HUTCHINSON, of the Rhein Fire and Dallas Cowboys.
In another outstanding show of support for the NFL Europe League, the 32 NFL clubs allocated more than 240 players for the 2004 season.
A record 19 quarterbacks were allocated to NFL Europe and will be battling for World Bowl glory this spring.
Davey, OSullivan and Hutchinson displayed their NFL class throughout preseason training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, and are keen to use NFL Europe as a springboard to greater success, following in the footsteps of Super Bowl quarterbacks KURT WARNER (Amsterdam Admirals/St. Louis Rams), BRAD JOHNSON (London Monarchs/Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and JAKE DELHOMME (Amsterdam Admirals & Frankfurt Galaxy/Carolina Panthers).
Davey, a fourth round draft pick in 2002 who joins the Thunder having just won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots, says: When I heard that I could come and play in NFL Europe, it was a no-brainer because it gives me a chance to get with a team, to run a team and to help a team win a championship that was the big thing for me, it all comes down to winning the World Bowl.
OSullivan was a sixth round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2002 following an outstanding college career at Cal-Davis.
After shining during the preseason action in Florida, OSullivan says: Camp went great and we have put together a good team. We still have to go out on the field on gameday and see what happens but I am excited about the season. I have heard nothing but great things about Frankfurt Galaxy fans so I want to get over to Europe and give them a winning team.
Hutchinson started nine games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2002 and has the most NFL experience of any allocated quarterback to head to NFL Europe.
He says: I am excited to get on the field and start winning games. Im looking forward to going to Europe and experiencing a new culture but this is all about winning games and getting that World Bowl ring.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 4
Looking Back: Opening Day
records through the years
Most points: 62, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Most points in one game (combined): 93, Berlin 31 at Scotland 62, 2003.
Fewest points: 0, Barcelona at Frankfurt, 1992.
Fewest points in one game (combined): 12, Raleigh-Durham 3 at Sacramento 9, 1991.
Biggest margin of victory: 31, Scotland 62 vs Berlin 31, 2003.
Smallest margin of victory: 1, five times (last time: Frankfurt 21 at Berlin 20, 1999; Rhein 20 at Scotland 21, 1999).
Most yards rushing: 159, Lawrence Phillips, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1999.
Most rushing attempts: 28, Tony Vinson, London at Frankfurt, 1997.
Most TDs rushing: 4, Ken Simonton, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Longest TD run: 93 yards, Maurice Hicks, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Most yards passing: 420, Kelly Holcomb, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1996.
Most pass attempts: 50, Brad Johnson, London at Frankfurt, 1995.
Most pass completions: 29, Brad Johnson, London at Frankfurt, 1995.
Most TDs passing: 5, Kerwin Bell, Orlando vs San Antonio, 1991.
Longest TD pass: 97 yards, Stan Gelbaugh to Jon Horton, London at Frankfurt, 1991.
Most times intercepted: 4, Reggie Slack, NY/NJ at London, 1992; Steve Matthews, Scotland at London, 1996.
Most pass receptions: 10, Kenny Bell, Birmingham vs Montreal, 1991.
Most receiving yards: 196, Dialleo Burks, Rhein at Scotland, 1999.
Most TDs receiving: 3, Byron Williams, Orlando vs San Antonio, 1991; Kevin Drake, Rhein vs Barcelona, 2000.
Most Interceptions: 3, Ron Carpenter, Amsterdam vs Barcelona, 1995; Jack Kellogg, Frankfurt vs London, 1995; Mike Maslowski, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1999.
All-time Opening Day records of NFLEL teams
Home Away Total
Amsterdam 2-1 1-5 3-6
Berlin 0-2 0-3 0-5
Cologne 0-0 0-0 0-0
Frankfurt 4-1 4-2 8-3
Rhein 3-3 1-2 4-5
Scotland 5-1 2-1 7-2
Hart out to kick his way to the top of the points-scoring tree
SCOTTISH Claymores kicker ROB HART is set to climb to the top of the NFL Europe League scoring charts in 2004 as he enters the new campaign needing just 13 points to surpass former Barcelona Dragon Jesus Angoy.
Hart has notched 317 career points and should become the leagues all-time leading scorer at some stage during his seventh NFLEL season.
The barefoot kicker made his NFLEL debut with the England Monarchs in 1998 and has spent the past five seasons as a key member of the Scottish Claymores.
Despite standing on the threshold of a memorable individual achievement, Hart continues to praise those he has played with over the years, as he explains: The record will be something I am very proud of but it is a real team effort.
There have been some great offensive players who have got me into the position to make the field goals and PATs that have got me this far.
Hart has enjoyed a stellar career in NFL Europe, earning All-League honors in 2001 and 2003. He holds the league record for most successful conversions in a row with 139 (1998-2003) and led NFL Europe in scoring a year ago with 64 points.
Despite a host of individual accomplishments, Hart craves success in the World Bowl. His only World Bowl appearance came in World Bowl 2000 Scotland lost 13-10 to Rhein Fire.
Hart says: When the league began in 1991 I was a fan and I went to watch the first World Bowl between the London Monarchs and Barcelona Dragons. At that point I had lots of ambition and wanted to go somewhere.
Now, in 2004, I am with the Scottish Claymores at a point in my career where I am breaking records. I have been in the league for seven years now, so I have a lot of memories. But obviously what I really want is a World Bowl ring to be part of a World Bowl-winning team would be unbeatable.
Other NFL Europe League records to look out for in 2004
Most Points Scored (Career)
329 Jesus Angoy (Barcelona Dragons 1997-2003)
317 Rob Hart (England/Scotland 1998-current day)
304 Manfred Burgsmüller (Rhein 1996-2002)
Most PATs attempted (Career)
171 Jesus Angoy (Barcelona Dragons 1997-2003)
159 Rob Hart (England/Scotland 1998-current day)
Most Field Goals (Career)
55 Jesus Angoy (Barcelona Dragons 1997-2003)
54 Ralf Kleinmann (Frankfurt Galaxy 1996-2000, 2003)
53 Rob Hart (England/Scotland 1998-current day)
Most Kickoff Returns (Career)
49 Jordan Younger (Rhein Fire 2001-2003)
48 Marco Martos (Barcelona Dragons 1997-2003)
Scottish Claymores WR SCOTT COUPER will extend his league record for regular season games played (77) every time he steps on the field during the 2004 campaign.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 5
Fast start can lead to glory
GETTING off to a good start in a 10-week NFL Europe League regular season can be very beneficial to a teams World Bowl chances.
A quick look at the 2003 World Bowl champion Frankfurt Galaxy is a perfect example. They started the year with three straight wins, became the first team to book a berth in the championship game and then went on to defeat the Rhein Fire in World Bowl XI at Glasgows Hampden Park.
In the previous two NFLEL seasons, the Berlin Thunder made 1-2 (2001) and 0-3 starts (2002) and still went on to win World Bowl. However, of the 11 World Bowl winners to date, the 2001 and 2002 Thunder teams remain the only ones to lose on opening day and still win the championship game.
Winning on opening day is, of course, not enough to guarantee a berth in World Bowl. A good start must be maintained, as the Scottish Claymores can testify.
The Claymores have the best opening day winning percentage in NFL Europe League history (.777, 7-2 record) but have just one World Bowl victory to their name (1996).
Scotland opened the 2002 campaign with a record-setting 45-17 defeat of the F.C. Barcelona Dragons. They kicked off last season by making another assault on the record books with a 62-31 thrashing of the Berlin Thunder. Both outstanding beginnings failed to kick-start World Bowl seasons. By the middle of both campaigns, the Claymores were back in the middle of the pack with a 2-3 record.
So just how important is a winning start in Week 1 to NFLEL head coaches?
RICK LANTZ, head coach of a Berlin Thunder team that has never won a Week 1 contest (0-5 all-time record) says: To win the first game is obviously very important. But, on the other hand, it is only one of 10 games. In the NFL, the New England Patriots lost the first game of the 2003 season and went all the way to winning the Super Bowl after that. But we really want to win our first one at home it is important for the fans, players and coaches.
Despite his team being winless on opening day and heading into battle with the leagues best Week 1 team, Lantz insists those facts will count for little come the opening kickoff.
He explains: Football is a game and is not about streaks or statistics. This is the first game of a new season and it doesnt matter if the Thunder has never won an opener. We want to win our first game this year but not because we have gone 0-5 in previous seasons.
Here is a look at how World Bowl winners fared in Week 1
Year- Team Week 1 Mid-Season Record
2003 Frankfurt W 3-2
2002 Berlin L 2-3
2001 Berlin L 3-2
2000 Rhein W 4-1
1999 Frankfurt W 3-2
1998 Rhein W 5-0
1997 Barcelona W 4-1
1996 Scotland W 4-1
1995 Frankfurt W 2-3
1992 Sacramento W 3-2
1991 London W 5-0
NFLEL Tiebreaker Procedures
If two or more clubs finish with identical won-lost-tied percentage, the following steps will be taken until a winner is determined:
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs)
2. Best points differential in games between tied teams
3. Best points differential in all games
4. Best net touchdowns in games between tied teams
5. Best net touchdowns in all games
6. Coin toss
Three or more clubs
1. Head to head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the tied teams)
2. Best points differential in games between tied teams
3. Best points differential in all games
4. Best net touchdowns in games between tied teams
5. Best net touchdowns in all games
6. Coin toss
If clubs remain tied after third or other clubs have been eliminated from or have won a multi-team tiebreaker, the tiebreaker reverts to Step 1.
In a three-way tie for first place, Team A has a 3-1 record against other tied teams, Team B has a 2-2 record, Team C has a 1-3 record. Team A advances, Team C is eliminated, therefore World Bowl is Team A vs Team B.
In a four-way tie for first place, Team A has a 4-2 record against other tied teams, Team B has a 3-3 record, Team C has a 3-3 record, Team D has a 2-4 record. Team A advances to World Bowl, Team D is eliminated and Teams B and C revert to Step 1 of the two-team tiebreaker.
NFLEL FACTS:Six and in
SINCE the NFLEL became a six-team league in 1995, only two clubs have posted a regular season record better than 7-3. That was the 1995 Amsterdam Admirals, who finished the regular season 9-1, and the 2001 Barcelona Dragons, who led the league at 8-2. Both teams lost in World Bowl. The last five World Bowls have featured at least one team with a 6-4 record.
NFLEL FACTS: Scots rush in
Scottish Claymores have had the leagues leading rusher in six of the last nine seasons (SIRAN STACY, 1995-97), AARON STECKER (2000), HERBERT GOODMAN (2002) and KEN SIMONTON (2003).
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 6
Running backs eye big prize
WHILE the NFL Europe League has done wonders for the careers of NFL star quarterbacks such as BRAD JOHNSON, JAKE DELHOMME and KURT WARNER, it is running backs who regularly walk away with the prizes at the seasons end.
The last five NFL Europe League Offensive MVPs have been running backs and that will be music to the ears of a talented group of rushers set to showcase their skills on European shores this spring.
NFL Europe League Offensive MVPs (1999-2003)
1999 Lawrence Phillips Barcelona
2000 Aaron Stecker Scotland
2001 Mike Green Barcelona
2002 Jamal Robertson Rhein
2003 Kenneth Simonton Scotland
The running back Class of 2004 is an impressive one and boasts several NFL draft picks with experience in the big league.
CHRIS DOWNS (Oakland Raiders) and JASON ANDERSON (Houston Texans) will spearhead Amsterdams rushing attack, while RAY JACKSON (Tennessee Titans) will lead the Thunder into battle having played for his NFL club in the final game of the 2003 regular season, returning 3 kickoffs for 77 yards.
AVON COBOURNE (Detroit Lions) should be a key member of the Cologne Centurions offense after playing in seven games for the Lions in the 2003 NFL season. Cobourne rushed for 27 yards on 10 carries, added 4 catches for 30 yards, returned 7 kickoffs for 123 yards and added 5 special teams tackles.
The defending World Bowl champion Frankfurt Galaxy boast an impressive pairing in the backfield in veteran SKIP HICKS (Cincinnati Bengals) and LEONARD HENRY a seventh round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 2002.
Hicks racked up 1,109 rushing yards, 160 receiving yards and scored 16 touchdowns during his 38 games in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers.
JOFFREY REYNOLDS (Cleveland Browns) played in four regular season games for the St. Louis Rams in 2003, recording 2 special teams tackles and returning 6 kickoffs for 109 yards. He will spearhead the Rhein Fire ground attack in 2004.
The Scottish Claymores will turn to AAHMAD GALLOWAY (Denver Broncos) a seventh round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2003 and record-setting returnee MAURICE HICKS (San Francisco 49ers), who rushed for 546 yards on 74 carries in 2003, scoring on a record-breaking 93-yard run on opening weekend vs. Berlin. Completing the trio of Claymores backs is IAN SMART (New York Jets), who scored a college football record 95 touchdowns at C.W. Post University.
How NFLEL teams are built
Here is how NFL Europe League rosters are built:
35 Active roster players
2 Active NFLEL players (eligible to play in games)
2 Inactive NFLEL Practice Squad players (ineligible to play in games)
8 Active roster players (must include at least one kicker). Three teams will carry an additional national player during the 2004 season and these players will be listed as Active NFLEL players.
TOTAL ROSTER SIZE
47 (45 Active, 2 Inactive / 39 American, 8 National)
1. After selecting the team's 35 active American players at the end of training camp, teams, in consultation with the league office, selected two additional players to be part of the active roster. These players are designated as Active NFLEL players.
2. Teams, in consultation with the league office, have also designated two players to become part of the NFLEL Practice Squad.
3. Regardless of which team roster the players are on, all Active NFLEL players and all NFLEL Practice Squad players are the 'property' of the league office.
4. In the case of injuries etc., teams can request that an NFLEL Practice Squad player or an Active NFLEL player is reassigned from the roster of another team. A decision will be made by the NFLEL personnel department in consultation with the relevant teams. Competitive balance remains the most important factor in such decisions. Wherever possible, NFLEL Practice Squad players will be reassigned before Active NFLEL players.
NFLEL regular season rosters will indicate those players who are Active NFLEL players and members of the NFLEL Practice Squad.
NFLEL FACTS: Fast Starters
Dont be late taking your seats for the Week 1 meeting between Scotland and Berlin because the Scots have developed a reputation for making fast starts to the new season. For the past three years, the Claymores have scored a touchdown on their opening drive of the new campaign. In 2001, WR DANTE HALL scored on a 6-yard run vs. Frankfurt. The 2002 campaign began with SCOTT DREISBACHS 4-yard touchdown pass to WR SCOTT McCREADY against Barcelona. In last seasons defeat of Berlin, KEN SIMONTON scored on an 11-yard run on the games first drive.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 7
Claymores on scoring roll
THE Scottish Claymores are owners of the longest scoring streak in NFL Europe heading into the 2004 campaign.
The 2003 season saw the Claymores end the Rhein Fires 86-game scoring streak (every game in franchise history at that point) with a shutout victory in Week 7, while extending their own points-scoring run to 86 games by the years end.
Scotlands 33-0 defeat of the Fire on May 18, 2003, was the only shutout of last season.
Current scoring streaks of NFLEL teams:
Scottish Claymores 86
Amsterdam Admirals 61
Berlin Thunder 42
Frankfurt Galaxy 11
Rhein Fire 3
Cologne Centurions 0
Fantasy Football to debut at NFLEurope.com this season
NFLEurope.com the official internet site of the NFL Europe League will be offering fans around the world yet another reason to follow the 2004 season with the introduction of NFLEL FANTASY FOOTBALL.
With the competition starting in Week 3 of the 2004 season, fans will be invited to select their very own NFLEL all-star squad consisting of a quarterback, running back, one wide receiver, tight end, team defense, kicker and an offensive national player.
Trades and player transactions can be made throughout the season and the lucky fan who ends the year with the highest-scoring team will be on their way with a friend to the 2005 Pro Bowl in Hawaii to see the NFLs biggest stars in action. Visit www.nfleurope.com/fantasy to register.
NFLEurope.com will also offer live play-by-play coverage of every game, comprehensive reports and pictures within minutes of the final gun and post-match analysis from every team, including reaction from head coaches and key players.
The site also includes behind-the-scenes features, diaries from star performers and profiles on every player in the league. Up-to-the-minute news, statistics, rosters and depth charts make NFLEurope.com the best way to follow the 2004 campaign.
Former NFL players learning
the ropes as NFLEL coaches
NFL Europe League players will have the opportunity to learn from some NFL stars of the past during the 2004 season as the NFL EUROPE COACHING PROGRAM enters its second season.
Under the scheme organized by NFL Player Development in New York and the NFL PLAYERS ASSOCIATION, 12 former players will serve as intern coaches for the six NFLEL teams this spring.
Among those participating in the program are former Pro Bowlers BEN COATES and DMARCO FARR, Super Bowl-winning offensive lineman TOM NÜTTEN and former Rhein Fire World Bowl-winning wide receiver JEFF OGDEN.
Nütten, who retired as a player in 2003, will tutor tight ends for the Cologne Centurions during the 2004 season. Nütten was born in Germany and played in NFL Europe with Amsterdam before going on to win a Super Bowl ring with the St. Louis Rams.
He is relishing life as a coach in NFL Europe, as he explains: Football is something I have been doing professionally for the last eight years and it is something I know and something I love doing. I am here to find out if coaching is the thing for my second career. I am here to see if I like coaching and if I have what it takes. If it is, then this program has put me in a good position to get started in this business.
2004 Coaching Interns
Amsterdam Willie Davis, Ron Heller; Berlin DMarco Farr, Amp Lee; Cologne Robert Harris, Tom Nütten; Frankfurt Ben Coates, Dwight Hollier; Rhein James Harrell, Jeff Ogden; Scotland Tim Lester, Tim Watson.
NFLEL FACTS:Odds and ends
PLAYERS from 12 countries outside North America will participate in the 2004 NFLEL season. Countries represented by 'national' players are: Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
ONLY one team has ever posted a losing record at home and gone on to win World Bowl. That was in 1997, when the Barcelona Dragons were 2-3 at home (5-5 overall) in their championship season.
SINCE 1995, only one 7-3 team has failed to qualify for World Bowl (the 1998 Amsterdam Admirals, who were beaten in a three-way tiebreaker by Rhein and Frankfurt).
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 8
AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS (0-0)Head Coach: Bart Andrus (12-18 in NFLEL)Colours: Orange and blue
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: John Allen (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Darryl Sims (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 46-44 (4-6 in 2003)
MEDIA CONTACT: Perry Hendriks
LAST GAME: Lost 14-31 at Scotland (6/8/03)
OFFENSE: 2003 23.0 pts/game; 344.4 yds/game (rank 3); 78.4 yds rush/game (rank 6); 266.0 yds pass/game (rank 1)
Passing: 2003 Shaun Hill, 2,256 yds
Rushing: 2003 Tellis Redmon, 310 yds
Receiving: 2003 Matthew Hatchette, 61 rec, 790 yds
DEFENSE: 2003 27.3 pts/game; 3,361 yds/game (rank 4); 132.7 rush yds/game (rank 4); 203.4 pass yds/game (rank 2)
Sacks: 2003 Jonathan Brown, 6.5
Interceptions: 2003 Five Players, 1
· THIS WEEK: at FRANKFURT GALAXY ·
Head coach BART ANDRUS leads the Admirals into the 2004 season looking to snap a sequence of four 4-6 campaigns in a row... The fourth-year head coach says: This group of players has made coaching them a very enjoyable experience. They have paid attention to detail and been very professional throughout the preseason. QB CLINT STOERNER (Miami Dolphins) returns to NFL Europe having played in 10 regular season games for the Scottish Claymores in 2001, throwing for 1,866 yards and 10 touchdowns. Has played in five NFL games, starting twice for the Dallas Cowboys in 2001. Has NFL career figures of 29 completions from 54 attempts for 367 yards and 4 touchdowns QB GIBRAN HAMDAN (Washington Redskins) was a seventh round selection in the 2003 NFL Draft and spent the final four weeks of this past NFL season as Washingtons number two quarterback, seeing playing time in the season-finale vs. Philadelphia QB DAVID PRIESTLEY (Seattle Seahawks) returns for a second season with the Admirals after excelling in limited playing time in 2003. Priestley completed 28 of 52 passes for 326 yards, 4 touchdowns and a 90.6 quarterback rating RB CHRIS DOWNS (Oakland Raiders) played two seasons at Maryland after two years at Valley Forge Military Academy. Best season came as a senior when he gained 1,154 rushing yards and scored 13 touchdowns WR CHRIS HORN (Kansas City Chiefs) played in 35 Arena Football League games over three seasons for the Arizona Rattlers, catching 183 passes for 2,247 yards and 51 touchdowns. Also scored 10 rushing touchdowns, 1 return touchdown and added 62 tackles and 2 interceptions doubling as a defensive back WR CHRIS TAYLOR (Houston Texans) was a seventh round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 WR CARLOS ROSADO caught 25 passes for 377 yards in first season with the Admirals in 2003 The Admirals head into the 2004 campaign with a pair of former defenders at the tight end position in TONY DONALD (Green Bay Packers) and KANE ANDERSON (Minnesota Vikings). Donald was a three-time All-Rocky
Mountain Conference selection as a safety at Western State, while Anderson was a defensive end at New Hampshire, where he led the school with 17 tackles for losses during his final two seasons T MARIO BRANCH (Tennessee Titans) earned All-SWAC honors at Mississippi Valley State and started every game as a junior and senior T JOSH BURR (Pittsburgh Steelers) is an intimidating figure at 6-foot-9 and 320 pounds. Served as team captain at South Dakota T DAVE VOLK (Dallas Cowboys) has NFL experience with Dallas and Chicago following an outstanding college career, where he was a three-year starter at Nebraska DT JOHN NIX (Cleveland Browns) was a seventh round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2001 and played in 30 NFL games from 2001-02, recording 25 tackles, 13 quarterback pressures and 3 forced fumbles DE CLINT MITCHELL (Denver Broncos) was a seventh round draft pick of the Broncos in 2003 DE DARRELL WRIGHT has NFL experience with the Dallas Cowboys and was Amsterdams first selection in the 2004 Free Agent Draft LB BEN MAHDAVI (Indianapolis Colts) was a former walk-on fullback at the University of Washington before going on to become one of the most productive linebackers in school history LB JERRY SCHUMACHER (Chicago Bears) topped 100 tackles in each of his final three seasons at Illinois LB STEVE JOSUE (Green Bay Packers) was a seventh round draft pick of the Packers in 2003, having developed a reputation as a pass-rushing specialist at Carson-Newman college LB DREW WAHLROOS earned All-Conference honors at Colorado CB DEREK COMBS (Green Bay Packers) returns for a second season in NFL Europe having played running back and defensive back for the Admirals in 2002. Recorded 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 pass defense and 2 kickoff returns for 50 yards in two games against Frankfurt in 2002 CB LIGARIUS JENNINGS returns for a second spell with the Admirals after playing for the Dutch club in 2002. Made 4 tackles and knocked down 4 passes in two contests against Galaxy in 2002 CB TODD HOWARD also returns for second season with Admirals after being protected by Amsterdam. Registered 29 tackles and knocked down 4 passes last season. Registered 5 tackles in two defeats of the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2003 S JASON PERRY (New England Patriots) was a fourth round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers in 1999 and started five games as a rookie. Best NFL season came in 2001 when he registered 24 tackles and 2 interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown. Also has NFL experience with Cincinnati and Minnesota S WILLIE PILE (Kansas City Chiefs) was a seventh round draft pick of the Chiefs in 2003 after starting 36 games in a row at Virginia Tech Dutch kicker SILVIO DILBERTO returns for an eighth season with the Admirals and has scored a club record 254 career points K TODD SIEVERS (Houston Texans) scored 309 career points at the University of Miami, ranking second all-time behind Carlos Huerta P NATE FIKSE (San Francisco 49ers) served as placekicker and punter during his college career at UCLA. Converted 92.3 percent of his field goals and averaged 41.9 yards per punt as a senior.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 9
BERLIN THUNDER (0-0)Head Coach: Rick Lantz (0-0 in NFLEL)Colours: Black, green and gold
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Don Eck (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Jim Tomsula (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 22-28 (3-7 in 2003)
MEDIA CONTACT: Maik Matischak
LAST GAME: Won 27-14 vs Frankfurt (6/7/03)
OFFENSE: 2003 24.8 pts/game; 335.4 yds/game (rank 4); 120.2 rush yds/game (rank 4); 215.2 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Passing: - 2003 Phil Stambaugh, 1,759 yds
Rushing: 2003 David Allen, 635 yds
Receiving: 2003 Elijah Thurmon, 37 rec, 412 yds
DEFENSE: 2003 31.8 pts/game; 369.8 yds/game (rank 5); 153.2 rush yds/game (rank 6); 216.6 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Sacks: 2003 Lamanzer Williams, 10.5
Interceptions: 2003 4 players, 2
· THIS WEEK: vs SCOTTISH CLAYMORES·
Former Barcelona Dragons assistant RICK LANTZ assumes control of the Berlin Thunder and is excited about the challenge that lies ahead as the Thunder goes in search of a third World Bowl crown in four years. Lantz says: Every once in a while you get 50 guys who come together and gel. That has happened with this team and it has accelerated their progress. These guys are on a mission to make this a good football team and we know what to do to succeed. QB ROHAN DAVEY (New England Patriots) has just won a Super Bowl ring as the Patriots third quarterback during the 2003 NFL season and looked impressive during NFLEL training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida. The 2002 fourth round draft pick played in two NFL games as a rookie, completing 1 of 2 passes for 4 yards. Broke several records during college career at LSU and remains only player in school history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season (3,347 in 2001) QB MARC DUNN (Kansas City Chiefs) played in 18 games at Kansas State before being allocated to NFLEL by the Chiefs QB DAVID RIVERS was outstanding in limited playing time with the Amsterdam Admirals prior to his season-ending injury in Week 3 of the 2003 NFLEL campaign, completing 23 of 28 passes for 224 yards, 2 touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 123.8 RB RAY JACKSON (Tennessee Titans) saw action in Week 17 of the 2003 NFL season, returning 3 kickoffs for 77 yards RB ED STANSBURY (Houston Texans) played two seasons as a fullback at UCLA, paving the way for current Carolina Panthers star DeShaun Foster WR RICHARD ALSTON (Cleveland Browns) played quarterback and then running back at East Carolina before settling at the wide receiver position in 2002 WR CHAS GESSNER (New England Patriots) scored 36 receiving touchdowns during college career at Brown second-most in Ivy League history WR LASHAUN WARD (Kansas City Chiefs) spent the first 14 weeks of the 2003 NFL season on Kansas Citys practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in December German WR JÖRG HECKENBACH is the clubs all-time leading receiver with 62 catches. Caught 4 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown in two games against the Claymores in 2003. Spent 2003 NFL preseason with the Green Bay Packers TE BRYAN FLETCHER (Indianapolis Colts) returns for a second season with the Thunder. Four of
his 13 receptions in 2003 resulted in touchdowns C LUKE BUTKUS returns to NFLEL after earning All-League honors as a member of the Rhein Fire in 2003. His uncle is former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus TE MIKE PINKARD (Kansas City Chiefs) was an All-Pac 10 selection during college career at Arizona State G TROY ANDREW returns for a second season in NFL Europe after earning All-NFLEL honors with the Barcelona Dragons in 2003 T DANTE ELLINGTON (Philadelphia Eagles) started 25 games in a row at Alabama C BEN CLAXTON (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was selected in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos DE T.J. BINGHAM faces his old club in Week 1 having led the Scottish Claymores with 7 sacks in 2003 DE COREY SMITH (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) played in Tampa Bays season finale in 2003. Recorded 2 tackles and a sack as a rookie in 2002 DT MONTIQUE SHARPE (Kansas City Chiefs) played in five games for the Chiefs in 2003, recording 4 tackles and a quarterback sack DT TANK REESE (Indianapolis Colts) was an All-Big 12 selection at Kansas State and also boasts NFL experience with the Kansas City Chiefs LB LAWRENCE FLUGENCE (New England Patriots) was a three-year starter at Texas Tech and is the Big 12s all-time leader with 500 tackles LB KEVIN DeRONDE (Houston Texans) played defensive end for the Barcelona Dragons in 2003. Recorded 5 tackles in two outings against the Claymores CB WILLIE FORD (Kansas City Chiefs) also boasts NFL experience with Oakland, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Led Syracuse with 18 pass defenses as a senior in 2002 CB OLIVER CELESTIN earned All-SWAC honors at Texas Southern, where he set a school record with a 100-yard kickoff return vs Grambling State CB JERMAINE MAYS (Minnesota Vikings) was a special teams standout at the University of Minnesota, where he blocked a school-record 5 punts as a senior in 2002. Also returned a kickoff for a touchdown CB JAMES THORNTON was the first overall selection in the 2004 NFLEL Free Agent Draft S KEITH DAVIS (Dallas Cowboys) played in eight games for the Cowboys in 2002, recording 5 tackles, 2 quarterback pressures and 1 pass defense Danish K HEINZ QUAST makes his NFL Europe League debut against the Claymores K JONATHAN RUFFIN (Dallas Cowboys) set school records at Cincinnati by scoring 315 career points. Won the Lou Groza Award as college footballs top kicker in 2000 P HAYDEN EPSTEIN (Denver Broncos) was a seventh round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002 Played seven games as a kicker for the Jaguars in 2002 and eight games for the Minnesota Vikings in 2003. Reverts to punter position in NFL Europe. Kicked and punted during college career at Michigan.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 10
COLOGNE CENTURIONS (0-0)Head Coach: Peter Vaas (19-21 inNFLEL, plus 2-0 in World Bowl)Colours: Black, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Bob Bicknell (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: David Duggan (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 0-0
MEDIA CONTACT: Karsten Meier
· THIS WEEK: at RHEIN FIRE ·
The NFL Europe Leagues newest franchise prepares for its inaugural season in 2004 under the guidance of two-time World Bowl-winning head coach PETER VAAS. Vaas takes charge of the Centurions having guided the Berlin Thunder to back-to-back league titles in 2001 and 2002. Following a productive training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, Vaas is excited about the 2004 campaign, as he explains: Training camp went exceptionally well for us. One of the things we have done is stay relatively healthy and we have got better over the course of the preseason. We still have a few days to go so my hope and expectation is that we will continue to improve ahead of our season opener. QB RYAN VAN DYKE (New York Giants) enjoyed a strong training camp and also has NFL experience with Seattle. Started five games in college at Michigan State QB ROB ADAMSON (Carolina Panthers) never lost during his college career at Mount Union (25-0) and led the school to Division III national titles in 2001 and 2002 Japanese QB KENTARO NAMIKI impressed Vaas during national player tryouts in Tokyo, Japan, in December RB AVON COBOURNE (Detroit Lions) played seven games for the Lions in 2003, rushing for 27 yards on 10 carries and catching 4 passes for 30 yards. Added 7 kickoff returns for 123 yards and 5 special teams tackles RB CHAD BRINKER (New York Jets) earned All-Mid-American Conference honors at Ohio and scored 2 touchdowns in the 2003 NFL preseason for the Jets RB RODNICK PHILLIPS played for Vaas in Berlin in 2001, rushing for 261 yards and 4 touchdowns WR REGGIE NEWHOUSE (Arizona Cardinals) is the all-time reception leader at Baylor (183 catches). Father, Robert, played in three Super Bowls for the Dallas Cowboys WR BEN NELSON (Minnesota Vikings) earned All-America honors at St. Cloud State while scoring a school record 43 touchdowns WR ALBERT JOHNSON (Houston Texans) played in five NFL games for Miami (2002) and the New York Jets (2003), returning 14 kickoffs for 380 yards and 8 punts for 69 yards Mexican WR MARCO MARTOS will make his Cologne Centurions debut in 2004 having played the previous seven seasons with the Barcelona Dragons. Scored 9 touchdowns (second all time among nationals) in his first three seasons but has had no touchdown catches in the past four years TE MARK INKROTT (New York Giants) also has NFL experience with Carolina and enjoys writing poems Cologne native TE WERNER HIPPLER makes his Centurions debut after establishing himself as one of the best national players of all time with the Frankfurt Galaxy. Has caught 78 passes during NFLEL career. First two career receptions (Week 10, 1995 at Barcelona) were for touchdowns but has not found the end zone since C MIKE MABRY (Cincinnati Bengals) was a seventh round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2003 and earned a reputation as a tough, physical blocker T ELLIOT SILVERS (Houston Texans) was a fifth round draft pick of the
San Diego Chargers in 2001. Was an All-Pac 10 selection at Washington T LANCE NIMMO (New York Jets) was a fourth round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003 T TONY PASHOS (Baltimore Ravens) was a fifth round pick of the AFC North club in the 2003 NFL Draft and earned All-Big 10 honors at Illinois DE FELIPE CLAYBROOKS (Cleveland Browns) has played in 11 NFL games for the Browns from 2001-2003, recording 7 tackles DE DEMETRIC EVANS has NFL experience with the Dallas Cowboys. Best season came in 2001 when he recorded 35 tackles, 1 sack, 5 quarterback pressures, 2 pass defenses and a forced fumble LB MARCUS REESE (Chicago Bears) played four seasons at UCLA and earned second team All-Pac 10 honors. Also has NFL experience with San Francisco LB LaMARCUS McDONALD (New Orleans Saints) earned All-America honors at Texas Christian University after registering 118 tackles and 8.5 sacks as a senior LB BOBBY BROOKS played in 36 games for Oakland and Jacksonville from 1999-2002, recording 7 tackles and 34 special teams stops CB MARCUS FLOYD (Carolina Panthers) played two games for the Buffalo Bills in 2002, recording 6 tackles CB WILL HUNTER has NFL experience with the New York Jets CB ERWIN SWINEY (Green Bay Packers) has played in six games for the Packers over the past two NFL seasons S JERTON EVANS (San Diego Chargers) was a four-year starter at Virginia, recording 293 tackles and 6 interceptions S RICHARD NEWSOME played in 11 games for the New Orleans Saints in 2001, recording 1 tackle, 1 fumble recovery and 14 special teams takedowns Swedish K OLA KIMRIN returns to NFL Europe after gaining NFL experience with the Denver Broncos and Dallas Cowboys. Played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2001-02. Has converted 5 of 7 field goals and 2 of 2 conversions for 17 career points in four games against the Fire K DEREK SCHOREJS (Cleveland Browns) earned All-Mid American Conference honors during his college career at Bowling Green University and has been in NFL camps with the Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets P STEVE CHEEK (Houston Texans) played for Vaas as a member of the Berlin Thunder in 2003, punting 43 times and ranking second in NFLEL with a 41.2-yard average.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 -Page 11
FRANKFURT GALAXY (0-0)Head Coach: Mike Jones (0-0) in NFLEL)Colours: Purple, orange, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dwain Painter (4th season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Ed ONeil (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 58-52 (6-4 in 2003)
MEDIA CONTACT: Joachim Haas
LAST GAME: Won 35-16 vs Rhein, World Bowl XI (6/14/03)
OFFENSE: 2003 25.2 pts/game; 363.6 yds/game (rank 2); 135.1 rush yds/game (rank 3); 228.5 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Passing: 2003 James Brown, 1,402 yds
Rushing: 2003 Jonas Lewis, 669 yds
Receiving: 2003 Marc Lester, 45 rec, 678 yds
DEFENSE: 2003 18.2 pts/game; 293.3 yds/game (rank 1); 89.4 rush yds/game (rank 1); 203.9 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Sacks: 2003 Joey Evans, 8.0
Interceptions: 2003 Rashidi Barnes, Jeremy Unertl, 4
· THIS WEEK: vs AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS ·
The defending World Bowl champions will aim to make another quick start to the season having opened with a 4-0 record in 2002 and a 3-0 mark last term The new man in charge of the three-time World Bowl winner is former Rhein Fire offensive coordinator MIKE JONES. Heading into the season opener, Jones feels good about his team, as he reveals: Each week throughout the preseason we have got better. We now have a physical team that is capable of finishing on people. We have to iron out some wrinkles before the first game but we are in good shape. QB J.T. OSULLIVAN (New Orleans Saints) was a sixth round draft pick of the Saints in 2002 following an outstanding career at Cal-Davis QB KIRK FARMER (Kansas City Chiefs) also has preseason NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams. Started 14 games in college at Missouri The Galaxy boasts a formidable-looking rushing duo in SKIP HICKS (Cincinnati Bengals) and LEONARD HENRY (Miami Dolphins). Hicks has played in 38 NFL games for the Washington Redskins, Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers, rushing for 1,109 yards and 13 touchdowns. Also has 3 receiving touchdowns to his name and scored a school record 55 touchdowns during college career at UCLA. Henry was a seventh round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2002. Both men ripped off 65-yard runs during a combined training camp workout with the Admirals in St. Petersburg, Florida FB COREY McINTYRE returns to Frankfurt for a second season after catching 3 passes for 33 yards and recording 3 special team tackles in 2003 WR DREW HADDAD (Indianapolis Colts) is the all-time leading receiver in University of Buffalo history, leaving with 12 school records to his name. His father-in-law is Galaxy defensive coordinator Ed ONeil French WR MARC SOUMAH spent the 2003 NFL preseason with the Cleveland Browns after consistently impressing during his NFL Europe League career, catching 37 passes for 559 yards and 4 touchdowns from 2001-2003 WR DERRICK LEWIS (New Orleans Saints) was a sprinter at San Diego State and also competed in the long jump as a high school student in Louisiana WR DONOVAN MORGAN (New York Jets) has pro experience with the
Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League TE LEONARD STEPHENS (Washington Redskins) was in training camp with the Scottish Claymores in 2001. Played in five NFL games for the Redskins in 2002, catching 1 pass for 13 yards C JOHNATHAN INGRAM (Kansas City Chiefs) played tight end at San Diego State C BEN NOWLAND (Washington Redskins) started 33 games at Auburn and earned first-team All-SEC honors. Also has NFL experience with San Francisco G KONRAD DEAN (Jacksonville Jaguars) was a two-year starter at Akron and also has NFL experience with Cleveland, Oakland and Seattle T DAVID PRUCE (New England Patriots) started all 10 regular season games and World Bowl XI for the Galaxy in 2003 German T PATRICK VENZKE joins the Galaxy in 2004 after spending two years with the Rhein Fire. Has NFL regular season experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars DE COREY JACKSON (Cleveland Browns) played two seasons of basketball at Nevada before switching to football DE BOBBY SETZER (Oakland Raiders) played two NFL seasons in 2001 and 2002. Best campaign came in 2001 when he played in 14 regular season games and one playoff contest, recording 4 tackles and 6 special teams stops German DE DANIEL BENETKA has spent the past three NFL preseasons in training camp with Indianapolis (2001), New England (2002) and Kansas City (2003). Also has NFL experience with San Francisco DT CLENTON BALLARD (San Diego Chargers) was a sixth round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002 LB JASON McWILLIAMS (St. Louis Rams) played in 26 career games at Western Illinois, recording 232 tackles and 5 sacks LB MASON UNCK (Cleveland Browns) returned from a serious knee injury at Arizona State to sign as a free agent with the Browns LB ROBERT CHAPMAN (Oakland Raiders) was a three-year starter at Southern University, registering 140 tackles CB LYNARIS ELPHEAGE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) earned All-Conference USA honors during college career at Tulane CB AHMAD BROOKS (New Orleans Saints) played six games for the Buffalo Bills in 2002, starting twice, and recorded 10 tackles and 1 interception S CHRIS BROWN (Jacksonville Jaguars) was a college cornerback at Alabama-Birmingham but is moving to safety in NFL Europe S RICKY SHARPE (Cleveland Browns) was one of the top cover corners in the Mountain West Conference during his college career at San Diego State K RALF KLEINMANN returns for an eighth season in NFL Europe and will look to add to his collection of three World Bowl rings. Kicked 10 of 14 field goals and 22 of 23 PATs in 2003 to rank second among kickers in NFLEL with 52 points. Ranks fourth all time with 287 career points K JAMIE RHEEM ranks second all-time at Kansas State University with 252 points P MIKE BARR (Pittsburgh Steelers) played college football at Rutgers from 1998-2002 and ended career as schools all-time leader with a 40.2 average, earning team special teams MVP award.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 12
RHEIN FIRE (0-0)Head Coach: Pete Kuharchek (18-12 in NFLEL, 0-2 in World Bowls)Colours: Burgundy, black and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Whitey Jordan (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Adrian White (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 52-38 (6-4 in 2003)
MEDIA CONTACT: Markus Müller
LAST GAME: Lost 16-35 vs. Frankfurt, World Bowl XI (6/14/03)
OFFENSE: 2003 18.9 pts/game; 308.5 yds/game (rank 5); 138.5 rush yds/game (rank 2); 170.0 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Passing: 2003 Nick Rolovich, 907 yds
Rushing: 2003 Autry Denson, 725 yds
Receiving: 2003 Charlie Adams, 36 rec, Kendall Newson, 437 yds
DEFENSE: 2003 18.8 pts/game; 311.3 yds/game (rank 2); 116.5 rush yds/game (rank 3); 194.8 pass yds/game (rank 1)
Sacks: 2003 Bastian Lano, 6.5
Interceptions: 2003 Greg Brown, Lemual Ligon, 3
THIS WEEK: vs. COLOGNE CENTURIONS
The Rhein Fire will be hungrier than ever to clinch a third World Bowl crown in 2004 having lost in the last two championship games to Berlin (2002) and Frankfurt (2003) Head coach PETE KUHARCHEK returns for a fourth season and boasts a 10-2 regular season record against German teams. He says: We have enjoyed a really good training camp and our players have done everything we asked of them. I believe we have a good group of people and we can be a very good football team in 2004. QB CHAD HUTCHINSON (Dallas Cowboys) started in nine regular season games for Dallas in 2002 and is the only athlete to pitch in Major League Baseball and start at quarterback in the NFL QB GREG ZOLMAN (Buffalo Bills) started 34 games at Vanderbilt record, setting school marks for completions (596) and passing yards (7,981) QB BRET ENGEMANN (Oakland Raiders) was reassigned to the Fire from the Frankfurt Galaxy at the conclusion of training camp RB JOFFREY REYNOLDS (Cleveland Browns) played in four games for the St. Louis Rams in the 2003 NFL season returning 6 kickoffs for 109 yards. Also added 2 special teams tackles. Rushed for school-record 1,545 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior at Houston, winning Conference USA Player of the Year honors RB WALTER WILLIAMS (Green Bay Packers) also boasts NFL experience with New England and New Orleans FB JEREMY ALLEN (Atlanta Falcons) also has NFL experience with New Orleans and Minnesota WR SHOCKMAIN DAVIS (Green Bay Packers) played in 12 NFL games as a rookie for the New England Patriots in 2000, with one start, catching 2 passes for 12 yards and returning 2 kickoffs for 45 yards. Also has pro experience with Seattle and the Toronto Argonauts, of the Canadian Football League
WR NATE JACKSON (Denver Broncos) was traded to the AFC West club by the San Francisco 49ers in 2003 following an outstanding career at Menlo University in California WR ADAM HERZING (San Francisco
49ers) spent the 2002 NFL season on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts following a productive four-year career at Cal-Poly Obispo WR WILLIE QUINNIE (Atlanta Falcons) reeled in 90 passes for 1,395 yards and 10 touchdowns during college career at University of Alabama-Birmingham TE DWAYNE BLAKLEY (Tennessee Titans) returns after catching 13 passes for 116 yards for the Fire in 2003 C STEVEN GRACE (Arizona Cardinals) has spent time on the Cardinals 53-man roster G KEVIN BREEDLOVE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) set a school record at Georgia by making 47 starts, earning second team All-SEC honors in the process T CHUCK KLABO (Cleveland Browns) was a four-year starter at North Dakota State, winning a string of All-America and All-Conference honors DE DAVID NUGENT (Oakland Raiders) played in 24 games for the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens from 2000-2002, recording 9 tackles. Won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots in 2001 DE RANDY GARNER was a sixth round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons in 2001 and also has NFL experience with Jacksonville and St. Louis DE CHRIS DEMAREE (San Francisco 49ers) has spent time on the practice squad of the Chicago Bears and played in 41 career games at Kentucky DT CEDRIC KILLINGS (Washington Redskins) played in 18 NFL games in 2000 and 2001 for San Francisco and Carolina. Registered 17 tackles and 3 sacks. First career sack came against Troy Aikman, of the Dallas Cowboys DT DAVID THOMPSON (St. Louis Rams) won a national title in college with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2002 LB CURTIS RANDALL (Jacksonville Jaguars) is a former defensive end at Louisiana Tech who earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors LB WES BAUTOVICH (New York Jets) played strong safety at Texas A&M, finishing with 104 tackles in two seasons LB JAMES HARRISON (Baltimore Ravens) was a first team All-Mid American Conference selection while at Kent State LB MAUGAULA TUITELE earned All-NFLEL honors while recording 61 tackles and 1 sack for the Fire in 2002 CB EARTHWIND MORELAND also earned All-NFLEL honors while starring for the Fire in 2002. Recorded 27 tackles, 11 pass defenses and 1 interception for 8 yards CB TONY LUKINS (Seattle Seahawks) returns for a second season with the Fire after starting every game in 2003 and leading the club with 14 pass defenses S CHARLES DRAKE (Detroit Lions) is a former RB who converted to strong safety at Michigan S ABDUAL HOWARD started every game for Rhein in 2003, recording 63 tackles and 2 interceptions for 93 yards and a touchdown K INGO ANDERBRÜGGE returns for a second season in NFL Europe after converting 6 of 7 field goals and 18 of 20 PATs in 2003 K MIKE SHAFER (Buffalo Bills) was a punter during college playing days at Syracuse P BROOKS BARNARD (Chicago Bears) played for the New England Patriots in their December 7 defeat of the Miami Dolphins a game played in severe snowstorms at Gillette Stadium. He punted 10 times for an average of 36.5 yards-per-kick and landed 4 inside the 20-yard line.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2004, Week 1 - Page 13
SCOTTISH CLAYMORES (0-0)Head Coach: Jack Bicknell (59-51 in NFLEL, 2-5 in post-season)Colours: Navy, white and silver
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Vince Martino (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dan Daniel (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 41-49 (6-4 in 2003)
MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Livingstone
LAST GAME: Won 31-14 vs Amsterdam (6/8/03)
OFFENSE: 2003 30.3 pts/game; 416.9 yds/game (rank 1); 160.6 rush yds/game(rank 1); 256.3 pass yds/game (rank 1)
Passing: 2003 Craig Nall, 2,050 yds
Rushing: 2003 Ken Simonton, 871 yds
Receiving: 2003 Ken Simonton, 39 rec, Edell Shepherd, 518 yds
DEFENSE: 2003 19.0 pts/game; 315.7 yds/game (rank 3); 103.3 rush yds/game (rank 2); 212.4 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Sacks: 2003 T.J. Bingham, 7.0
Interceptions: 2003 Deveron Harper, Robbie Robinson, 2
· THIS WEEK: at BERLIN THUNDER ·
The Claymores will celebrate their 10th season in NFL Europe this spring and will embark on a new era in club history as JACK BICKNELL takes control as head coach. Bicknell has won more games than any other coach in league history (59) and is aiming for a fifth World Bowl appearance. On the eve of the 2004 season, Bicknell says: In all my years in the league it has become apparent that making a fast start is very important. Teams have to set the tempo early and do what they do best. We have a great bunch of guys and a fantastic coaching staff that has made for a good team atmosphere. QB NATE HYBL (Cleveland Browns) compiled a 19-3 record as a starter at Oklahoma QB CURT ANES (Detroit Lions) set school career passing record with 115 touchdown passes, 753 completions and 10,768 yards at Grand Valley State College QB TOM ARTH (Indianapolis Colts) holds a total of 18 all-time passing records at John Carroll University RB MAURICE HICKS (San Francisco 49ers) returns for a second season with the Claymores after rushing for 546 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2003. Scored on a league record 93-yard touchdown vs. Berlin in Week 1 RB IAN SMART (New York Jets) is the all-time leader in college football history with 95 touchdowns and 570 points during an illustrious career at C.W. Post University RB AHMAAD GALLOWAY (Denver Broncos) was a seventh round draft pick in 2003 following a career as a three-year starter at Alabama WR NICK DAVIS (Miami Dolphins) played in 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings in 2002-03 and was the top-ranked punt returner in the NFL as a rookie in 2002, when he played 15 games. Returned 18 kickoffs for 368 yards and ran back 24 punts for 190 yards English WR SCOTT McCREADY is the only British player to win a Super Bowl ring when he was a member of the New England Patriots in 2001. Has career figures of 6 receptions for 124 yards and 1 touchdowns in four games vs Berlin WR HERB HAYGOOD (Kansas
City Chiefs) was a fifth round draft choice of the Denver Broncos in 2002 Scottish WR SCOTT COUPER is the all-time receiving leader among national players with 101 catches for 1,089 yards and 12 touchdowns. Caught a 35-yard pass in season-opening victory vs Berlin in 2003 TE AARON GOLLIDAY (Kansas City Chiefs) only caught 8 passes for 93 yards and 2 touchdowns in 49 games at Nebraska but delivered 139 knockdown blocks during that time TE MARCUS HELFMAN (San Francisco 49ers) is also a long-snapping specialist C JIMOND PUGH (Pittsburgh Steelers) earned first team All-Conference USA honors as a three-year starter at Memphis State G CHAD WARD (San Diego Chargers) was a sixth round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2001 G TODD WIKE (Oakland Raiders) started 35 consecutive games at Maryland, earning All-America honors T MARQUES OGDEN (Jacksonville Jaguars) is the brother of All-Pro offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden. Was a sixth round draft choice in 2003 DE DURRAND ROUNDTREE (Indianapolis Colts) started 29 college games at Maryland and also has NFL experience with Washington Scottish DE ROBERT FLICKINGER returns to the Claymores after recording 21 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2003. Forced and recove
National Football League Europa Stories from March 29, 2004
- Champs kick off 12th season - NFLE
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