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Austin Wranglers game notes

February 28, 2007 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

QUICK FACTS

Austin Wranglers (0-0) vs.

Las Vegas Gladiators (0-0)

Date: Sunday, March 4, 2007

Kickoff: 3:00 p.m. (CT)

Site: The Frank Erwin Center (14,866)

Officials: Referee: Riley Johnson; Umpire: Rick Podraza; Head Linesman: Jullian Mapp; Line Judge: R.G. Detillier; Back Judge: Bud McCleskey;

Series Record: Wranglers lead 2-0 - Austin has won at home and in Las Vegas

Coaches:

Brian Partlow, AUS - 1st season (0-0)

Danton Barto, LVG - 1st season (0-0)

TV: Fox Sports Southwest - Bill Land and Gary Reasons (Tape Delayed/Will Air at 11 p.m. CST)

Radio: KVET, AM 1300, The ZONE with Erin Hogan, Aaron Humphrey and Chance Mock (JIP)

TUNE IN

The Wranglers will be televised on FSN Southwest for nine games in 2007 and locally for an additional three games. Fans can check out other AFL action around the league Monday nights on ESPN2.

LISTEN UP

All 16 Wranglers games can be heard on AM 1300 The Zone with Erin Hogan, Aaron Humphrey and Chance Mock at home and Kent Koen with Glyn Milburn on the road.

ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE'S 21ST SEASON BRINGS CHANGE

As the AFL begins it's next twenty years, there will be some changes to the game. During the off season, the rules and competition committee (Wranglers GM Glyn Milburn serves on this committee) voted to allow free substitution. Prior to the rule change, teams were restricted on the number of substitutions they could make per quarter. With the new rule, teams can substitute freely, allowing for more true position players and different personnel schemes depending on the situation, down and location on the field. The AFL will begin a new era on television after ESPN purchased an equity stake in the League. Over ESPN's several properties, there will be an increased AFL presence, beginning with opening weekend coverage on ABC and Monday night games televised on ESPN2. Lastly, teams will now be outfitted in Russell Athletic gear. Russell has also introduced a compression uniform that the Dallas and LA will sport this season.

THIS WEEK IN WRANGLERS FOOTBALL

This season marks a new era in Austin Wranglers history as the team enters it's fourth AFL season with a new head coach in Brian Partlow and a new coaching staff. In addition, the team returns 10 players to the roster (24-man and injured reserve) from last year's team and boasts 13 new faces that look to make an impact in front of the home crowd Sunday. Notably, the Wranglers added kicker Mark Lewis and OL Kimani Jones at the conclusion of training camp on 2/24. Lewis will serve as the team's kicker while Jones will be the Wranglers third center and a back-up offensive lineman.

WRANGLERS HISTORY IN SEASON OPENERS

All-time the Wranglers are 2-1 in the opening game of the season. The Wranglers won on the road in 2004, dropped the opener at home in 2005 and won convincingly in 2006 at home.

2006 Season Opener

January 27, 2006 64-46 win vs. Las Vegas

DB Damon Mason made two interceptions and the Wranglers scored five rushing touchdowns en route to the win.

2005 Season Opener

January 30, 2005 35-66 loss vs. Philadelphia

QB Tony Graziani threw a season-high 8 touchdowns for the Soul in route to a Philadelphia victory.

2004 Season Opener

February 13, 2004 49-48 (OT) win at Orlando

A Predators failed two-point conversion attempt in OT wins the game for the Wranglers, giving them their first win in franchise history.

SERIES HISTORY-AUSTIN LEADS 2-0

The Austin Wranglers have faced the Las Vegas Gladiators twice in the last three years, with Austin winning both games. In 2005 in Las Vegas, the Wranglers won a nail biter as Wranglers wide receiver Kevin Nickerson made a 14-yard touchdown grab as time expired to raise Austin over Las Vegas 42-41. Last season, the Wranglers got their season off to a 1-0 start with a 64-46 victory in Austin. The Wranglers ground attack tallied 47 yards and five rushing touchdowns, including 34 yards and one touchdown coming from fullback Dane Krager. Damon Mason also helped Austin's cause, making two interceptions and nine tackles in his Wranglers debut.

AUSTIN WRANGLERS TEAM BREAKDOWN

RETURNING (10 players - including 2 IR)

Offense

C: Eric Thomas - 4th season with Wranglers

-Has allowed a combined six sacks in two years as the starting center (2005-06)

WR: Derrick Lewis - 2nd season with the Wranglers

-Broke the AFL's rookie receiving yardage mark with 1,411 yards on the season

WR: Sedrick Robinson - 2nd season with the Wranglers

-Tops in AFL history with 24 kick return touchdowns during career

WR: Kevin Nickerson - 3rd season for the Wranglers

-Had 184 yards receiving against Tampa (4/15/06)

Ironman

OL/DL: Ramon Richardson - 4th season with the Wranglers

-Played in all 16 games and one playoff game last season, emerging as a top lineman on both sides.

FB/LB/DL: Dane Krager - 4th season with the Wranglers

-Led AFL in rushing last season with 197 yards

OL/DL: Donovan Arp - 2nd season with the Wranglers

-Earned Defensive Player of the Game with one INT (5/12/06) (currently on injured reserve)

Defense

LB: Greg Brown 4th season with the Wranglers

-Former Texas Longhorn

DB: Damon Mason - 2nd season with the Wranglers

-First player in AFL history to reach over 800 tackles

DB: Deveron Harper - 2nd season with the Wranglers

-Played all 16 games with Mason in defensive backfield (currently on injured reserve)

WRANGLERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

DB - DAMON MASON

Entering his second season with the Austin Wranglers and tenth year in the AFL, Damon Mason returns from another standout year in '06. He set a new Wranglers record with eight interceptions in a season and three in a single-game. Mason also set a Wranglers record with 94.5 tackles in a season and ten in a single-game. He was the first player in AFL history to reach over 800 tackles and has a career total of 823.5 tackles. Mason was named ADT Defensive Player of the Game four times in 2006, the first of which he registered against Las Vegas (1/27). The other three came against Arizona (2/3) and Kansas City (3/18) and Grand Rapids (5/7). Notorious for his trashy talking and jokester persona, look for Mason's animation each week on the field.

A former Gladiator, Mason started all 16 regular season games for the Las Vegas Gladiators in 2003 and helped them to their second playoff berth in franchise history (first in Las Vegas).

Did You Know? While splitting time between the Orlando Predators and Grand Rapids Rampage in 2005, Mason was named Defensive Player of the Game seven times, Defensive Player of the Week twice and Defensive Player of the Month once. He also played in 17 regular season games for two consecutives seasons due to the bye week.

DB - NATE COGGINS

Nate Coggins is entering his first year with the Wranglers after being acquired during free agency from the Georgia Force. Austin looks to Coggins to make an instant impact in the defensive backfield, teaming up with Mason. Coggins had a tremendous 2006 campaign starting 13 games and registering 91.5 tackles, one interception, 13 pass breakups, one fumble forced and one fumble recovery for the Force. He finished third on the team in overall tackles with 67 in 2005, helping Georgia get to ArenaBowl XIX. He is an excitable and volatile player whose hard-hitting nature is often intimidating to opponents receivers.

McPherson should prove to be a threat running the ball also as he carried the ball 65 times for 259 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry, and scoring 19 touchdowns. He sat out the 2005 AFL season, to enter himself in the NFL Draft. He was drafted in the fifth round (152nd overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2005 NFL Draft and served as the third quarterback for all 16 games. His NFL season in 2006 was cut short due to an incident with the Tennessee Titan's mascot. Austin has some major star power with McPherson and his host of receivers this season.

Did You Know? McPherson is the only athlete to ever be named Mr. Football and Mr. Basketball in the State of Florida. He won both awards along with being named Gatorade Florida Football Player of the Year and first team Class 4A all-state during his senior season at Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida. He also played outfield for his American Legion baseball team that won a state championship in the summer of 2003.

NEW COACH BRINGS CHANGE

This season is sure to be action-packed as first year Head Coach Brian Partlow brings his dynamic offense to Austin along with a defense led by Coach Lee Johnson. He comes over from the Colorado Crush where he spent the last three seasons as the team's offensive coordinator. Partlow led the Crush's offense to an Arena Bowl XIX Championship in 2005. Often called an offensive guru, he was behind the AFL's second ranked scoring offense, averaging 56.4 points per game in 2006. Partlow was an influential part of helping Crush wide receiver Damian Harrell to be named the AFL's Offensive Player of the Year for two consecutive seasons in 2005 and 2006. This will be Partlow's eighth season as a coach in the AFL, sixth as an offensive coordinator, and first as head coach. Both Partlow and Johnson spent the last three seasons together on the Colorado staff as offensive and defensive coordinators respectively.

RUSHING INTO 2007

Dane Krager is running into his 4th AFL season with the Wranglers after leading the AFL in rushing during the 2006 season and being named to the AFL's All Ironman Team. Krager started on both offense and defense for the Wranglers last year. He set new Wranglers records in 2006 in rushing touchdowns (12), single-game rushing attempts (8), single-game rushing yards (34), and tied the Wranglers record scoring three rushing touchdowns in two games.

TEXAS' OWN - RETURNS TO AUSTIN

Mike Williams returns to Austin, now playing with the Austin Wranglers. Williams originally came to the capital city to attend college and play football at the University of Texas. During his time at the University of Texas he ranked second on the team with six sacks in 2003 and shared the Frank Medina Rehabilitation Award that same year. Due to some academic trouble, Williams transferred to Texas College and dominated the Central States Football League (CSFL) in 2005, tallying tackles (13 for loss), 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

FORMER FIRST ROUNDER IN "BIG GIB"

The 6-6, 370 pound offensive lineman was drafted in the first round (27th overall), in the1999 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. He spent five years in the NFL playing for Detroit, Dallas, Chicago and San Francisco. IN college at the University of Wisconsin (1995-98), Gibson played on an offensive line in which he blocked for Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, the all-time NCAA Division I leader in rushing yards with 6,397.

LAS VEGAS GLADIATORS IN 2007

RETURNING

Eddie Canonico: on exempt list in 2005

Joe Douglass: 3rd season with Gladiators

Kevin Prentiss: 2nd season with Gladiators

Tupe Peko: 2nd season with the Gladiators

ROOKIES

DJ Johnson

Vontez Duff

Sarth Benoit

Shawn King

Brian Jones

Joshua Rue

Joe Clear

John Nix

Joseph Carlos

Reggie Harrell

Terrance Martin

Karon Riley

Will Thompson

Khaleed Vaughn

NEWCOMERS (last played with)

Earthwind Moreland: Georgia Force

Thabiti Davis: Columbus Destroyers

Jimond Pugh: Tampa Bay Storm

Konrad Dean: Philadelphia Soul

PLAYERS FROM MEMPHIS af2 in 2006

Steven Azar

EXPERIENCE BREAKDOWN

Total AFL Experience: 20 years

Returning Players from 2006: 4 players

Total New Players: 19 players

Veteran to rookie ratio: 9/14

LAST TWO MEETINGS

-The leader in possession time has won the game.

-Wranglers have had 19 chances in the red-zone and they scored on 14 of them. Gladiators have had only six chances and scored on four.

THE LAST TIME: AUSTIN VS. LAS VEGAS

Week 1Austin Wranglers 64, Las Vegas Gladiators 46January 27, 2006The Wranglers kicked off the inaugural game of the Arena Football League 2006 season against the Las Vegas Gladiators. An early Wrangler defensive mindset combined with impressive offensive execution gave the Wranglers a lead which proved to be the difference maker at the end of the 64-46 Wrangler victory. Wranglers quarterback John Fitzgerald led the offense that took a 7-0 lead on the first Wranglers possession and never looked back. For the night, Fitzgerald passed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, while Dane Krager led a rushing attack that totaled 47 yards and five touchdowns. Damon Mason anchored the Wranglers defense, leading the team with two interceptions to go along with nine tackles. The Gladiators offense led by QB Craig Whelihan and OS Marcus Nash managed a comeback in the second half, scoring five touchdowns to get within 18 points of the Wranglers, but that was as close as they came in the Wranglers' home opener.

REMEMBER THE HORNETS

Austin Wranglers wide receiver Otis Amey and Las Vegas Gladiator Eddie Canonico were teammates at Sacramento State for the Hornets.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Opponent Player

LAS VEGAS

at Georgia

at Orlando

NASHVILLE

at Dallas

UTAH

at Columbus

NEW ORLEANS

NASHVILLE

TAMPA BAY

at Arizona

ORLANDO

PHILADELPHIA

at New York

GEORGIA

at New Orleans

at Tampa Bay

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME

Opponent Player

LAS VEGAS

at Georgia

at Orlando

NASHVILLE

at Dallas

UTAH

at Columbus

NEW ORLEANS

NASHVILLE

TAMPA BAY

at Arizona

ORLANDO

PHILADELPHIA

at New York

GEORGIA

at New Orleans

at Tampa Bay

U.S. ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME

Opponent Player

LAS VEGAS

at Georgia

at Orlando

NASHVILLE

at Dallas

UTAH

at Columbus

NEW ORLEANS

NASHVILLE

TAMPA BAY

at Arizona

ORLANDO

PHILADELPHIA

at New York

GEORGIA

at New Orleans

at Tampa Bay

THE LAST TIME...

WRANGLERS

25+ Yards Rushing - 30, Dane Krager, @ Orlando (5/12/06)

100+ Yards Receiving - 105, Derrick Lewis, vs. Grand Rapids (5/7/06)

300+ Yards Passing - 302, John Fitzgerald, vs. Columbus (4/29/06)

Four Passing Touchdowns - 4, John Fitzgerald, vs. San Jose (4/22/06)

Two+ Field Goals Made - 2, Todd Sievers, at Kansas City (2/12/06)

Two+ Passes Intercepted - 2, Damon Mason, vs. Kansas City (3/18/06)

Kickoff Return for Touchdown - 1, Sedrick Robinson, @ Orlando (5/12/06)

Interception Return for Touchdown - 1, Aaron Humphrey, @ New Orleans (5/14/05)

Fumble Return for Touchdown - 1, Donvetis Franklin, vs. Orlando (3/25/06)

Safety - 1, Bernard Holsey, @ Orlando (5/12/06)

Blocked Field Goal - 1, Torrance Marshall, vs. Grand Rapids (5/7/06)

Blocked Extra Point - 1, Donovan Arp, vs. Orlando (3/25/06)

Three+ Defensive Stops - 5, INT, Safety, Downs, INT, INT, Downs @ Orlando (5/12/06)

OPPONENT

25+ Yards Rushing -34, Dawan Moss - Kansas City (2/12/06)

100+ Yards Receiving -154, Anthony Hines - Grand Rapids (5/7/06)

300+ Yards Passing - 301, Chad Salisbury- Grand Rapids (5/7/06)

Four Passing Touchdowns - 5, Jake Eaton- Orlando (5/12/06)

Two Field Goals Made - 3, Peter Martinez - Grand Rapids (5/7/06)

Kickoff Return for Touchdown - 1, Damien Groce - Columbus (4/30/05)

MFG Return for Touchdown - 1, Chris Jackson - Georgia (4/9/06)

INT Return for Touchdown - 1, Jamin Elliott - Georgia (4/9/06)

Fumble Return for Touchdown - 1, Dashane Dennis - New York (3/19/05)

Safety - 1, TEAM - Philadelphia - (1/30/05)

Blocked Field Goal - 1, Jermaine Smith - Georgia (3/4/06)

Three+ Defensive Stops - 4, Fumble, Fumble, INT, INT vs. Columbus (4/22/06)

LONGEST PLAYS

WRANGLERS

Run - 22 yards, Dane Krager vs. Indiana 3/14/04

Pass Completion - 49 yards, John Fitzgerald to Derrick Lewis @ Philadelphia (3/31/06)

Kickoff Return - 57 yards, Sedrick Robinson @ Dallas (2/17/06) and @ Georgia (3/4/06)

Missed Field Goal Return - 42 yards, Tacoma Fontaine @ Las Vegas (3/4/05)

Fumble Return - 36 yards, Donvetis Franklin vs. Orlando (3/25/06)

Interception Return - 29 yards, Damon Mason - @ Arizona (2/3/06)

Field Goal - 54 yards, Todd Sievers @ Philadelphia (3/31/06)

OPPONENT

Run - 27 yards, Adrian McPherson - Indiana (3/14/04)

Pass Completion - 49 yards, Matt Nagy to Derek Lee - @Georgia (5/30/04)

Kick Off Return - 58 yards, T.T. Toliver - @ Tampa Bay (4/18/04)

Missed Field Goal Return - 53 yards, Jerrian James - Orlando (5/7/05)

Fumble Return - 28 yards, Lawrence Samuels - @ Tampa Bay (4/18/04)

Interception Return - 49 yards, Jonathan Ordway - @Tampa Bay (2/6/05)

Field Goal- 59 yards, Clay Rush- Indiana (3/14/04)

AUSTIN WRANGLERS

PLAYERS BY THE NUMBERS

RETURNING FROM LAST YEAR'S TEAM (11)

Donovan Arp, Greg Brown, Deveron Harper, Aaron Humphrey, Dane Krager, Derrick Lewis, Damon Mason, Kevin Nickerson, Ramon Richardson, Sedrick Robinson, Eric Thomas

NFL EXPERIENCE (15)

Otis Amey - San Francisco; Donovan Arp - Carolina, (practice squad), Tennessee (practice squad), Washington (training camp); Greg Brown - Denver (practice squad), Tampa Bay (signed); Nate Coggins - New York Giants (training camp); Chad Dukes - Carolina (training camp), Washington (practice squad), Jacksonville, St. Louis, San Diego (practice squad); Aaron Gibson - Buffalo (training camp), Detroit, Dallas, Chicago; Deveron Harper - Carolina, New Orleans; Aaron Humphrey - Jacksonville (signed), NY Jets (signed), Tampa Bay (signed); Dane Krager - Minnesota (signed), Seattle (signed); Derrick Lewis - Houston, Tampa Bay (training camp), New Orleans; Adrian McPherson - New Orleans; Kenny Smith - Tennessee (signed); Eric Thomas - Jacksonville (signed), Tampa Bay (practice squad); Duvol Thompson - Baltimore, St. Louis (practice squad); Michael Williams - Denver (work outs), New York Giants (work outs)

DRAFTED IN THE NFL (1)

Aaron Gibson - 1st round of 1999 by the Detroit Lions;

CFL EXPERIENCE (3)

Kevin Nickerson - Saskatchewan Roughriders; Rob Schroeder - Hamilton TigerCats; Kenny Smith -- Montreal Alouettes, Ottawa Renegades

NFL EURPOPE EXPERIENCE (8)

Greg Brown - Rhein Fire; Lang Campbell - Berlin Thunder; Deveron Harper - Scottish Claymores; Aaron Humphrey - Rhein Fire; Dane Krager - Rhein Fire; Derrick Lewis - Frankfort Galaxy; Eric Thomas - Frankfort Galaxy; Duvol Thompson - Berlin Thunder;

DRAFTED IN THE NFL EURPOE (3)

Deveron Harper - 2nd round of 2003 NFL Europe Free Agent Draft by the Scottish Claymores; Aaron Humphrey - 5th round of 2002 NFL Europe Free Agent Draft by the Rhein Fire; Eric Thomas - 3rd round draft of 2001 NFL Europe Free Agent Draft by the Frankfort Galaxy

af2 EXPERIENCE (4)

Kimani Jones - Arkansas Twisters; Mark Lewis - Tennessee Valley Vipers; Kevin Nickerson - Tulsa Talons; Ramon Richardson - Tulsa Talons

AUSTIN WRANGLERS TEAM BREAKDOWN

NEWCOMERS (13 players)

Offense

QB: Adrian McPherson - 2nd AFL season

-2004 AFL Rookie of the Year

-2004 Walter Payton Award Winner (Div. i-AA)

OL: Kimani Jones - 1st AFL season

-Recorded 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, 14.9 tackles and a safety for the Arkansas Twisters in af2.

OL: Donny Klein - 4th AFL season

-Played for Soul in 2006 (against Wranglers twice) and Crush in 2004-05 with Austin coaches Partlow and Johnson.

OL: Aaron Gibson - 1st AFL season

-Former 1st round draft pick by the NFL's Detroit Lions out of Wisconsin.

WR: Otis Amey - 1st AFL season

-Brother Vince Amey plays for Arizona Rattlers

Ironman

OL/DL: Rob Schroeder - 1st AFL season

-Spent with the CFL's Hamilton TIgerCats

FB/LB: Chad Dukes - 8th AFL season

-Won ArenaBowl XIX with Colorado Crush

WR/DB: Toure' Carter - 4th AFL season

-Last played with Colorado

Defense

DL: Mike Williams - 1st AFL season

-Former Texas Longhorn

DL: Kenny Smith - 1st AFL season

DB: Nate Coggins - 3rd AFL season

-Member of National Conference Champion Georgia Force in 2005

DB: Duvol Thompson - 1st AFL season

-Teammate of Wranglers part-owner Deion Sanders on the NFL's Baltimore Ravesn.

Special Teams

K: Mark Lewis - 4th AFL season

-With Georgia Force in 2007 training camp

Did You Know? Coggins started at safety all four years at West Georgia University and left West Georgia as the school's all-time leader in tackles (416) with 416, fumble recoveries (9) and most consecutive games started (46).

WR - DERRICK LEWIS

After spending all but one week of the 2007 NFL season with the Houston Texans, Derrick Lewis returns to Austin after one of the better rookie seasons in AFL history and having overcome many personal obstacles. In 2006, Lewis started every game setting an AFL rookie receiving yardage record and a new Wranglers team record with 1,411 yards. Lewis tied the Wranglers record for touchdowns in a season with 23, while making 113 receptions for an 88.2 yard per game average. In addition, he set a new Wranglers record with the longest pass reception, a 49-yard touchdown in a game against Philadelphia (3/31). He was named Offensive Player of the Game twice. Although Lewis is going on his fifth straight season of football (NFL Europe - Frankfort Galaxy in 2005, NFL -Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2005, AFL - Austin Wranglers in 2006, NFL - Houston Texans in 2006 and now AFL - Austin Wranglers in 2007, he is rested and ready to unleash his skills on the indoor field this season. Look for Lewis and his five children after each Wranglers home game and on 6/17 in New Orleans.

Did You Know? Lewis was the first player to catch a touchdown pass during the AFL's 20th season and Wranglers 2006 season.

QB - ADRIAN MCPHERSON

The acquisition of Adrian McPherson in a trade from the Utah Blaze should prove to be the difference in the Wranglers offense this season. McPherson has one AFL season under his belt as he was a quarterback with the Indiana Firebirds in 2004, winning the AFL's Rookie of the Year honor at just 19 years old. He completed 209-of-352 passes for 2,965 yards, with 56 touchdown passes and five interceptions in 14 games.

Did You Know? During his first season (2004) in Colorado, Partlow's offense averaged 49.6 points per game and committed just 18 turnovers after giving the ball away 46 times the year prior to his arrival.

MULTI-TALENTED COACH

Head Coach Brian Partlow played quarterback from 1998-99 for Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Having only played two seasons, he finished as the Yellow Jackets' all-time leading passer. His talents extend beyond the football field as he also pitched for the Randolph-Macon baseball team. R-MC is a div. III. school.

MR. ROBINSON'S NEIGHBORHOOD:

AROUND THE NETS

Returning for his second season with the Wranglers, Sedrick Robinson hopes continue his success off the nets and build to his AFL all-time kickoff return touchdown mark of 24. In 2006, he returned six kickoffs for touchdowns and set the franchise record for all-purpose yards in a season with 2,235 and 279 in a single game. He also set other franchise records including kickoff returns (78), return touchdowns in a season (6), and combined kick returns during the season (84).

LINE ANCHOR

Wranglers center Eric Thomas anchored one of the AFL's best offensive lines in 2006, only allowing two sacks in his fourth season in Austin. In 2005, Thomas and the line only allowed six sacks. Now that Thomas will mainly play on offensive, look for even less sacks this season.

FIRST TIMES THE CHARM

In his NFL debut, Otis Amey became the first San Francisco 49ers player to score the first time he ever touched the ball since 1993. He scored on a 75-yard punt return against the St. Louis Rams. This will be his first season with the Wranglers as he hopes to excite the crowd with some of that first time magic.

Brian PartlowHead CoachAustin WranglersBrian Partlow spent the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Colorado Crush. With the Crush, the team boasted the league's second ranked scoring offense, averaging 56.4 points per game in 2006. Having worked with Crush wide reciever Damian Harrell since 2004, Partlow has been important in his development as Harrell was named the AFL's Offensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row.Partlow's other coaching experience includes the AFL's Firebirds (Indiana/Albany), Shenandoah University, Randolph-Macon College and Williams and Mary. He graduated from R-MC and played football and baseball. Danton BartoHead CoachLas Vegas GladiatorsDanton Barto spent the last five seasons as the Head Coach of the Memphis Xplorers of af2. His career regular season record entering the season stands at 49-35 and 4-2 in the postseason. He is the winningest coach in af2 over the last three seasons. He was named the af2 Coach of the Year in 2005 as he led the Xplorers to their best season in franchise history; a 13-3 regular season mark, a Midwest Division title and the 2005 ArenaCup Championship. Coach Barto is still considered a University of Memphis legend; he played for the Tigers from 1990-1993. He currently is the only player to be named to the All-American team three different years. Barto played professionally in the CFL and AFL.

QB - SHAUN KING

Shaun King will play his first season in the AFL in 2007, after spending seven years in the NFL, including two seasons as the starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. King owns a 14-8 record as a starting quarterback in the NFL. He was the #2 quarterback behind Payton Manning for the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 training camp. King is very quick in the pocket, and is able to maneuver around the rush and release the ball quickly. At Tulane University he was the first player in the NCAA to ever pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in the same game. He was also a finalist for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's top passer.

WR/LB - JOE DOUGLASS

Joe Douglass, a six-year veteran of the Arena Football League, will re-join the Gladiators as an intricate part of the Gladiators offense in 2007. Coach Barto has consistently praised Douglass as one of the stand out-receivers throughout training camp, and feels he has been the biggest surprise on offense. In 2005 Douglass was named Las Vegas' Ironman of the Year. He finished the season with 74 receptions for 677 yards with 20 touchdowns. Douglass also returned five missed field goals for 88 yards, 16 kick returns for 296 yards and one fumble returned for a touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball Douglass tallied a career-high 26 tackles with one tackle for a loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one interception.

DL - KARON RILEY

Karon Riley will be entering his first season in the AFL. Riley joins the Gladiators after stints with the Redskins, Atlanta and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts where he played in all 16 games for the Falcons mainly on special teams and as a reserve linebacker. Riley was an All-American selection as a junior and senior at the University of Minnesota (1999-2000) where he recorded a school record 29 sacks in just two seasons.

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