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AFL Q&A: Raymond Philyaw

February 19, 2004 - New York-Penn League (NYPL) - Aberdeen IronBirds News Release

Entering his fifth season, Chicago Rush quarterback RAYMOND PHILYAW (6-1, 200, Louisiana-Monroe) is off to arguably the best start in his AFL career. Philyaw joined the Rush roster as free agent during the offseason with his eyes fixed on his first-ever ArenaBowl championship. Heading into Week 3, Chicago is undefeated (2-0), has the top rushing offense and owns the best defense in the AFL.

Philyaw, 29, is currently ranked No. 7 among all AFL quarterbacks with a 126.2 passer rating and is one of just six AFL passers with no interceptions and no turnovers. In 2003, Philyaw’s touchdown-interception ratio was 44-3, the best in the AFL (12 games or more).

Protected by one of the best front lines in the AFL this season, he has passed for 456 yards and seven touchdowns (no sacks) in two games. Philyaw’s athletic versatility is equally impressive. To date, he has produced four rushing touchdowns, making him the No. 1 (tie) scoring rusher in the AFL. Philyaw is also tied for No. 12 overall in scoring.

This Sunday on NBC, Philyaw faces his old coach, Colorado’s MIKE DAILEY, and the undefeated Colorado Crush (2-0). Philyaw played under the guidance of Dailey his entire career (2000-2003) until this season when he joined Rush head coach MIKE HOHENSEE in the Windy City. The kickoff, live from Allstate Arena, is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET this Sunday, February 22 on NBC.

Q: When was the first time you ever played football?

A: The first time I ever played football was when I was seven years old.

Q: Can you play any other sports?

A: I played basketball in high school and I still play it all the time.

Q: What is your pregame ritual?

A: I like to get the game plan for the week, walk out on field, go to certain spots and call plays just to myself. It helps me prepare for kickoff.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

A: I mostly listen to hip-hop.

Q: What is your favorite sport movie?

A: I recently saw the movie “Radio” and really enjoyed it. It might now be my favorite sports movie.

Q: What makes you a good teammate?

A: I think I’m understanding and easy-going. I like to help others.

Q: What would you be doing if you weren’t playing in the AFL?

A: I would probably be coaching high school football.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years?

A: I want to have the option to still be playing in the AFL. If not, I will be coaching.

Q: Which AFL arena do you think is the toughest to play in?

A: Arizona. They call it (American West Arena) the ‘SnakePit.’ Many people tell me Orlando, but I've never played there, so I have to say Arizona is the toughest.

Q: Who is the toughest AFL player you’ve faced in your career?

A: (Chicago OL/DL) JAMES BARON. Now, luckily, we play together. But he is definitely the toughest I’ve ever faced.

Q: What two AFL teams would you like to see in the ArenaBowl this year? A: Chicago and Colorado.

DID YOU KNOW? Philyaw participated in football, basketball and track at Southwood High School in Shreveport, La., where he won a district championship in both football and basketball during his senior year. His cousin, DINO PHILYAW, played with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.


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New York-Penn League Stories from February 19, 2004


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