Colorado Crush game notes

January 27, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Colorado Crush News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Colorado Crush (0-0) at Orlando Predators (0-0)
Date: January 30, 2005
Kickoff: 10:00 a.m. MT
Site: TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, FL
Officials: Wes Fritz (Referee), Paul Frerking (Umpire), Greg Shields (Head Linesman), Dave Chesney (Line Judge), James Cole (Back Judge)
Television: NBC (KUSA Ch.9 in Denver) (Bob Papa – play-by-play, Ray Bentley – analyst, Marty Snider – sideline)
Radio: 850 AM KOA (Marc Stout – play-by-play, David Diaz-Infante – analyst)
Series Record: first meeting
Last Meeting: Orlando won 48-42 (OT) on 5/4/03 in Denver
Coaches: Mike Dailey (75-52 in 9th year, 12-6 w/ Colorado)
Jay Gruden (53-30 in 3rd year, 53-30 w/ Orlando)

ALL-TIME SERIES: This will be the second meeting between the Crush and Predators. This will be the first meeting between in Orlando. Orlando won the first meeting, 48-42 in OT, at Pepsi Center during the Crush’s inaugural season on 5/4/03. Current Predators coach Jay Gruden was the Offensive MVP and Cory Fleming was the Ironman of the Game.

RADIO/TV COVERAGE: The game will be televised by NBC with Bob Papa handling the play-by-play, Ray Bentley the analysis, and Marty Snider the sidelines. The game will also be broadcast on 850 AM KOA with Marc Stout handling play-byplay duties and former NFL lineman David Diaz-Infante serving as color commentator.

Colorado Crush
Date Opponent Time TV
Sun, 1/30 @ Orlando 10:00 a.m. NBC
Sat, 2/5 GRAND RAPIDS 12:00 p.m. CET
Sun, 2/13 CHICAGO 1:00 p.m. NBC
Sat, 2/19 @ Arizona 7:30 p.m. FSN
Sun, 2/27 LOS ANGELES 1:00 p.m. NBC
Bye week
Sun, 3/13 @ Nashville 4:30 p.m. FSN
Sun, 3/20 COLUMBUS 1:00 p.m. CET
Fri, 3/25 @ Dallas 6:30 p.m. FSN
Sun, 4/3 LAS VEGAS 1:00 p.m. CET
Sun, 4/10 PHILADELPHIA 11:00 a.m. NBC
Sun, 4/17 @ Chicago 11:00 a.m. NBC
Fri, 4/22 SAN JOSE 7:00 p.m. CET
Sat, 4/30 @ Grand Rapids 5:30 p.m. FSN
Sun, 5/8 @ New Orleans 11:00 a.m. NBC
Fri, 5/13 NASHVILLE 7:00 p.m. CET
Sat, 5/21 @ New York 5:00 p.m. FSN

AFL ON NBC, (Sun, January 30):
10 a.m. (MT)
Colorado at Orlando
Philadelphia at Austin
1 p.m. (MT)
Los Angeles @ Las Vegas
Chicago @ Dallas

Mike Dailey (75-52 in 9th year, 12-6 in 2nd w/ Colo.):

Dailey enters his second season in Colorado and ninth as head coach in the AFL, after becoming the Crush’s second head coach on June 26, 2003. Dailey joined the Crush following 13 seasons in the Albany/Indiana Firebirds organization, including the final seven as head coach.

In his first season in Colorado, Dailey helped guide the Crush to the largest turnaround in AFL history, inheriting a 2- 14 team and leading them to an 11-5 record in 2004, tied for the best in the league. He also led the Crush to their first playoff appearance and first win, advancing to the AFL Semifinals before falling nine yards short of up-ending topseeded Arizona and earning a trip to ArenaBowl XVIII.

One of the most successful and well-respected coaches in AFL history, Dailey’s teams have compiled an overall record of 75-52 record, a winning percentage of .591, and he ranks sixth on the AFL’s all-time list for coaching wins (regular season and playoffs). His teams have made six postseason appearances and he has won three division titles.

All-Time Winningest AFL Coaches
Including Postseason
Rk Coach Team Wins This Week
1. Tim Marcum Tampa Bay 167 vs. San Jose
2. Danny White 141
3. Perry Moss 86
4. Mike Hohensee Chicago 85 at Dallas
5. Michael Trigg Philadelphia 78 at Austin
6. Mike Dailey Crush 75 at Orlando
7. John Gregory 73
8. Darren Arbet San Jose 73 at Tampa Bay

Jay Gruden (53-30 in 6th yr, 53-30 in 6th yr w/ORL):

In his second stint and begins his 6th year overall as head coach and Dir. of Football Operations for the Predators. After a Hall of Fame career as a quarterback for the Tampa Bay Storm, Gruden began his coaching career in 1997 by serving as offensive assistant for the Nashville Kats. One season later, the Predators made him the youngest head coach in the AFL. Gruden would go on to lead the Predators to three consecutive appearances in the ArenaBowl and a pair of championships. After guiding the Predators to a fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs in 2001, Gruden announced his intentions to resign in order to return to the playing field after a five-year layoff. In two seasons as Predators quarterback, Gruden directed the Orlando to back-to-back appearances in the semifinals. In 2003, he recorded a 10-0 mark with 49 touchdown passes and two interceptions as a starting quarterback. Offseason surgery, combined with the tragic loss of former Head Coach Fran Papasedero in a June 19, 2003 traffic accident, resulted in Gruden returning to the sideline. Gruden will take a 53-30 (.639) all-time coaching record into the Colorado game. He is 45-27 in regular season games (.625) and a solid 8-3 as a head coach in playoff games (.727). Gruden’s brother is John Gruden, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

OS Damian Harrell: Named to the All-Arena Second Team in 2004 … Now in his seventh AFL season, Harrell has amassed 6,931 receiving yards on 487 catches, an average of 14.23 yards/catch, along with 148 career touchdowns (1 on return) … Has second-most receiving yards in the AFL since 2000 … Has a TD catch in 33 straight games, including all 30 games as a member of the Crush (longest active streak in AFL)… Has reached 1,000 receiving yards in four straight seasons … Finished 2004 season ranked 3rd in AFL in first downs (97), receiving yards (1,715), receiving TDs (43), scoring (non-kickers) with 258 points, 4th in third-down receptions (19), and 5th in receptions (114) … Led the Crush in catches, receiving yds and scoring … Had eight 100-yd receiving games in 2004 season … Caught 3+ touchdowns in a game 10 times.

QB John Dutton: The former ArenaBowl MVP (XVI w/ SJ) has thrown for 10,760 yards, 201 touchdowns and 26 interceptions in career … Completed 342-of-536 passes (63.8%) for 4,195 yards, 76 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions in 2004 … Finished 2004 ranked 3rd in AFL in passing yards, 4th in pass attempts and interceptions per attempt, 5th in completions, 6th in TD passes and QB rating and 7th in completion percentage … Has thrown for 300+ yards five times this season, including 3 of his last 5.

WR/LB Kevin McKenzie: Named to the All-Ironman team … Twice named AFL Ironman of the Week in 2004 … Crush’s second leading receiver with a career-high 1,023 yards and 14 TDs on 85 catches … Tied for 8th in the AFL in interceptions (4), tied for 16th in receptions and 21st in receiving yards… Scored a TD rushing, receiving and on an interception return in a win @ GR (Ironman of the Week) … Scored TDs 4 different ways in 2004 (rushing, receiving, Int. return and net recovery) … One of only 22 receivers w/ 1,000+ receiving yds … Scored six touchdowns in playoff game with San Jose in 2003.

DS Rashad Floyd: Named to All-Arena Second Team in 2004 … Set new AFL single-season record with 123.0 tackles … Voted AFL Defensive Player of the Mid-Year by the AFLWA … Named AFL Defensive Player of the Month for March of 2004 … Also Defensive Player of the Week for Week 8 after 11.5 tackles, a forced/recovered fumble, an INT and a 4-yd. net recovery for a TD vs. Arizona … Led league in tackles 123.0, solo tackles (107), and tackles for a loss (5.5) … Second in pass breakups (24), tied for third in interceptions (6) and tied for 7th in fumble recoveries (4).

INJURY REPORT
Colorado Crush
Player Pos. Injury Status
Touré Carter WR/DB Strained right quad on IR 1/20
Chad Dukes FB/LB Strained right groin on IR (1/20)
Darcey Levy WR/LB Strained lower back on IR (1/24)
Derrick Pickens OL/DL High left ankle sprain on IR (1/19)
Jabir Walker DS Strained right groin on IR (1/24)

RECENT CRUSH TRANSACTIONS
Date Transaction
1/26/05 Recalled OL/DL Maurice Anderson from waivers … Placed OL/DL Chris Watton on recallable waivers.
1/25/05 Signed WR/DB Thal Woods to practice squad.
1/24/05 Placed DS Jabir Walker (strained right groin) and WR/LB Darcey Levy (left lower back) on injured reserve … Placed OL/DL Maurice Anderson on recallable waivers.
1/22/05 Waived WR/DB Thal Woods and OL/DL Marcus Adams.
1/20/05 Traded FB/LB Sunungura Rusununguko to Las Vegas Gladiators for future considerations … Waived OL/DL Matt Norwood and QB James MacPherson … Placed WR/DB Touré Carter (strained right quadriceps) and FB/LB Chad Dukes (strained right groin) on injured reserve.
1/19/05 Waived FB/LB Dennis Dottin-Carter, WR/DBs Ron Israel, Andre Rone and Lance Taylor, and OL/DL Paul White Jr.. 1/19/05 Placed OL/DL Derrick Pickens on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.
1/16/05 Signed WR/DB Lance Taylor and OL/DL Paul White Jr..
1/15/05 Signed OL/DL Tank Reese.
1/14/05 Waived WR/DBs Ben Kelly and Frank Rice and OL/DL Nate Bolling.
1/11/05 Signed WR/DB Ben Kelly.
1/10/05 Waived WR/DB Nashville Dyer.
12/13/04 Signed OL/DL Nate Bolling … Placed OL/DL Aaron Johnson on Reserve/Exempt List (NFL).
12/7/04 Released K Anthony Brenner.
12/1/04 Signed OL/DL Marcus Adams … Waived WR/DB Nate Jacquet.
11/15/04 Signed OL/DLs LaWaylon Brown, Delbert Cowsette and Chris Watton … Waived OL/DL Herb Coleman and WR/DBs Dwayne Stukes and Windrell Hayes.
11/9/04 Claimed WR/LB Darcey Levy off waivers (from Nashville)
10/22/04 Signed DS Jabir Walker.
10/19/04 Signed OL/DL Matt Norwood.
10/14/04 Selected WR/LB Andy McCullough (3rd) (via Philadelphia), DS Delvin Hughley (9th) (via Los Angeles), OL/DL Tom Burke (12th) and WR/DB Jon Pendergrass (29th) in the 2005 Dispersal Draft.
10/1/04 Sign free agent K Clay Rush from Indiana.
9/29/04 DS Tony Scott (7th) and WR/LB Darcey Levy (11th) selected by NASHVILLE in 2004 Expansion Draft.
8/2/04 Activated WR/DB Darcey Levy from Reserve/Exempt list.
6/14/04 Released OL/DL Brian Creel from practice squad

MILESTONES & RECORDS

Coach Mike Dailey: A win over New Orleans would move Coach Dailey within two wins of Philadelphia head coach Michael Trigg for fifth on the AFL’s all-time list. Including the playoffs, Dailey is currently 75-52.

OL/DL Kyle Moore-Brown: A true AFL Ironman, he is in his 11th season in the league and has never missed a game. The game at Orlando will mark his 158th consecutive start. The first 139 all came with the Firebirds organization before he signed with the Crush this past offseason.

CONSECUTIVE STARTS:

157 Overall (142 regular season, 15 playoffs)

DS Rashad Floyd: Set a new AFL single-season record for tackles in a season with 123.0, breaking Cornelius Coe’s previous mark of 121.5 with Indiana from 2001 … Finished 30.0 tackles ahead of second place this season - Indiana’s Anthony Derricks with 93.0 .

AFL Record - Most Tackle in a Season
Player Team Year Total
Rashad Floyd COL 2004 123.0
Cornelius Coe IND 2001 121.5
Damon Mason ORL 2000 108.0
Damon Mason ORL 1999 103.0
Damon Mason ORL 2001 101.0

OS Damian Harrell: Has caught a TD pass in 33 straight regular season games, including all 30 games as a member of the Crush … That streak is the longest active streak of scoring a TD and of consecutive games with a TD reception … The mark is tied for the second longest streak of consecutive games with a TD reception in AFL history … It is also tied for the fourth longest streak of consecutive games with a TD … Harrell’s streak began with the Toronto Phantoms vs. Carolina on 7/4/02 … Ironically, Chris Jackson’s consecutive TD streak (2nd all-time), was snapped by the Crush, at LA during Week 15 of the Crush’s inaugural season (5/10/03).

Three Amigos

In their first season together in 2004, Damian Harrell, Kevin McKenzie and Willis Marshall were instrumental in the Crush turnaround and quickly formed one of the most prolific receiving corps in the Arena Football League. As a threesome, Harrell, McKenzie and Marshall ranked 2nd in the league in receiving yards (3,592) and receptions (285) and 4th in receiving touchdowns (70).

FB/LB Chad Dukes ranks fifth on the AFL’s all-time rushing list with 1,111 yards. Dukes was the fourth player in AFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in his career. Currently on IR, Dukes trails Chicago’s Bob McMillen by 38 yards for 4th place.

COLORADO CRUSH NEXT WEEK

The Crush return home to host their home opener against division rival Grand Rapids Rampage. The Crush swept both meetings from the Rampage in 2004 by a combined total of 124-67. This will be the first of two meetings, also @ GR 4/30.

AFL ACCOLADES

A trio of Crush players received 2004 AFL awards. OS Damian Harrell and DS Rashad Floyd each were named to the All-Arena Second Team, while WR/LB Kevin McKenzie was named to the All-Ironman team.

All-Arena (Second Team) – OS Damian Harrell
All-Arena (Second Team) – DS Rashad Floyd
All-Ironman Team – WR/LB Kevin McKenzie

FAMILIAR FACES

The Crush and Predators will meet for the first time in Orlando, but several Crush members are familiar with Florida.
• Crush DS Rashad Floyd played his first two seasons as a two-way player with Orlando from 2002-03
• Crush FB/LB Rich Young played the lone XFL season with the Orlando Rage in 2001.
• Crush OS Damian Harrell attended Florida State and is a Miami native.
• Crush rookie OL/DL Tank Reese is a native of Auburndale, Fla.

HISTORIC TURNAROUND

The Crush set a new record for the biggest turnaround in AFL history in 2004, winning nine more games than the previous season. The 11-5 Crush finished 2-14 in their inaugural 2003 campaign. The Chicago Bruisers won +8 games in 1988, finishing 10-1-1, but played only 6 games the year before as they finished 2- 4. The New Jersey Gladiators improved from 2-12 in 2001 to post a 9-5 mark in 2002 and the Detroit Fury turned a 1-13 season in 2002 into an 8-8 record in 2003.

HANDS OFF

After allowing 14 sacks in 2003 (12 on Dutton), the Crush pass protection was stellar in 2004. The team allowed just four sacks, and none after Week 6 at San Jose (3/14). The Crush have not allowed a sack in their last 446 offensive plays (includes FG attempts as Dutton is holder). Crush quarterbacks in 2003 combined to throw 24 picks to 86 touchdowns. With the extra time, Dutton decreased his interception total from 19 in 2003, to just eight in 2004, and the team threw 76 TDs (Robert Redd had 1). In 2003, 4.1 % of Crush passes were intercepted. In 2004 that percentage was down to just 1.5.

TAKEAWAY

The Crush defense was active in forcing turnovers. The team finished 11-2 when they had a positive or even turnover margin (7-1 with a positive margin). Only three teams forced more turnovers than the Crush’s 31. The Crush also ranked fourth in the league in turnover margin at +13 and only two teams forced more fumbles (18).

KEEPAWAY

The Crush also limited their own mistakes. They threw just 8 interceptions, fifth fewest in the AFL. In fact, the Crush finished with the fourth fewest turnovers in the league (18). In 2003 the Crush committed 46 turnovers while forcing just 20. In 2004 they committed 18 turnovers and forced 32, finishing +14, +40 better than the previous season.

STREAK FREE

After a 2-14 inaugural campaign, the Crush managed to make it through the entire 2004 season without losing consecutive games. On the otherhand, the Crush won consecutive games five times (current 2-game win streak). A win at Orlando would give the franchise its first-ever three-game win streak.

DON’T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?

A few current Crush players were also teammates in college. Here are some of those faces that are familiar to one another. Virginia – Ahmad Hawkins, Maurice Anderson Nevada – John Dutton & John Peaua

FLOCK OF FIREBIRDS

With Coach Dailey’s move to the Crush came a flock of former Albany and Indiana Firebirds migrated west to Denver. The 2004 offseason only bolstered those totals with the addition of Andy McCullough, Delvin Hughley and Clay Rush, although Rush was the only one to play under Dailey (2003).

Former Firebirds (years with Firebirds)
Players Coaches
Jose Davis (2003) Mike Dailey (1992-2003)
Chad Dukes (1996-98) Ernesto Purnsley (1997-98, 2000-03)
Delvin Hughley (2004) Brian Partlow (2000-03)
Hugh Hunter (2002-03)
Andy McCullough (2004)
Kyle Moore-Brown (1995-03)
Clay Rush (2003-04)
Rich Young (2002-03)

Aaron Johnson (2001-03) is also a former Firebird who played for the Crush in 2004 and is currently on exempt NFL list (Kansas City Chiefs).

THEY’RE BACK

After 2004 saw a brand new coaching staff and only five returning players on the opening day roster from 2003, this year’s Crush team strongly resembles the 2004 squad. In fact, the team lost no players to free agency, and features 15 of 20 players on the active roster from 2004. Another three returnees are currently on the injure list.

Third Year Crush Players
John Dutton Saul Patu Ahmad Hawkins
Damian Harrell Bryant Shaw (Thal Woods, Pr. squad)

NFL BOUND

The Crush lost four players to the NFL, including two key members of the 2004 team. OL/DL Aaron Johnson finished the 2004 NFL season on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad while WR/DB recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Two rookies also signed with NFL teams, af2 Ironman of the Year signed with the Carolina Panthers and OL/DL Delbert Cowsette signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

KEY ADDITIONS

While the Crush returns the core of last year’s playoff team, they did add a few key parts in the offseason. Two-time kicker of the year Clay Rush signed as free agent to bolster kickoffs and add range on field goals. Former All-Rookie team member and 1,200- yard receiver WR/LB Andy McCullough and defensive specialist Delvin Hughley were added through the Dispersal Draft. Hughley was a member of the inaugural Crush team in 2003, leading the team in tackles before being included in a trade with Indiana that brought Coach Dailey to Denver. All three players were previously with Indiana. Four AFL rookies made the roster, with former Kansas City Chief Tank Reese expected to make the biggest impact.

OPENING GAMES

The Crush are 1-1 in season openers, losing their first franchise game to Georgia 44-40 on 2/2/03. In the 2004 opener, John Dutton connected twice with Damian Harrell in the final 12 seconds of a miraculous 43-42 win over Las Vegas at Pepsi Center on 2/6/04. That game marked the first home win in Pepsi Center in franchise history. This will be the Crush’s first road season opener.

2/2/03 44-40 L vs. Georgia
2/6/04 43-42 W vs. Las Vegas
1/30/05 ??? at Orlando

CRUSH NOTABLES

THE STAKES: A Crush win would …
• Give the Crush their first win over Orlando.
• Give the Crush their first-ever franchise three-game winning streak.
• Improve the team to 2-1 all-time in season openers and 2-1 in road openers.

Team
• The Crush had the biggest turnaround in AFL history in 2004 with +9 wins (11-5 in 2004, 2-14 in 2003): (+8 wins by Chicago Bruisers, 2-4 in 1987, 10-1-1 in 1988)
• The Crush were 7-1 in games with a positive margin, 4-1 with an even margin and 0-3 with a negative margin.
• The Crush have not allowed a sack in the regular season since Week 6 of 2004, @ San Jose (3/14). Entering the game at Orlando, the Crush have not allowed a sack in their last 446 offensive plays (includes FG attempts as Dutton is holder).
• The Crush finished 2004 +14 in turnovers (committed 18, forced 32). They were -26 in 2003 (46 committed, 20 forced), for a turnaround of +40.
• The Crush were 3-4 on Sundays and 8-1 on all other days in 2004.
• The Crush are 5-8 all-time on NBC, 4-7 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs. They are 3-4 in road NBC games in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs.

Individual
• Rashad Floyd broke the AFL’s single-season tackle record in 2004, finishing with 123.0 (Cornelius Coe, Ind., 121.5, 2001).
• The game at Orlando will mark the 158th straight start for Kyle Moore-Brown – every game in his 11-year career.
• Kevin McKenzie surpassed 1,000 receiving yards for the season vs. Chicago, 1 of only 22 receivers to reach that mark in 2004.
• Damian Harrell has caught a TD pass in 33 straight games, including all 30 career games with the Crush, tied for the 2nd longest streak of consecutive games with a TD reception at 33 (Eddie Brown, Ind. 1994-96), and for 4th longest streak of scoring a TD in consecutive games (any type).
• WR/LB Kevin McKenzie was named to the AFL’s All-Ironman team for 2004
• OS Damian Harrell and DS Rashad Floyd were named to the AFL’s All-Arena Second Team.

Approaching Milestones
• Damian Harrell needs 3 receiving TDs for 150 in his career.
• Kevin McKenzie needs 153 receiving yards to reach 2,000 for his career.
• Willis Marshall needs 37 kickoff return yards to reach 2,000 for his career.
• Clay Rush needs 3 made field goals for 100 for his career.

• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League (1987-2008) message board...

Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from January 27, 2005


The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Colorado Crush Stories



Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew