Dorados kick off 2007 season this Saturday night
GAME #1, SATURDAY, APRIL 7, AT CORPUS CHRISTI SHARKS, 7:00 PM
RADIO: JAMMIN' 104.9/95.3 FM (Dennis Scott) WEBCAST: doradosfootball.com and allinbroadcasting.com
The Rio Grande Valley Dorados kick off the 2007 season on the road as they face the Corpus Christi Sharks at American Bank Center. The Dorados look to return to prominence as one the top teams in the National Conference after a disappointing campaign in which the team went 7-9. In 2005, the team made it all the way to the National Conference Finals, losing to the eventual ArenaCup Champs the Memphis Xplorers. Last season's team was hampered by a Week 7 injury to quarterback Josh Kellett. The 4-2 Dorados went on to lose three in a row and five of their next six games. Head Coach Marty Hammond hopes to keep Kellett healthy and has provided his starting QB a pair of veteran receivers in Coco Blaylock and George Williams. Add a strong emphasis on defense thanks to the hiring of Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Cory Stone (who coached Bakersfield's top-ranked defense in 2006) and the Dorados could be the favorite in the Southwestern Division.
NEXT HOME GAME
The Dorados kick off the home half of their schedule on Saturday, April 14, vs. the Laredo Lobos at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets for the game and all other home games are already on sale at ticketmaster.com and the Dodge Arena Box Office. Season ticket packages and advertising opportunities are still available by contacting the Dorados offices at 956-843-7825.
A DORADOS FIRST; A SECOND-YEAR HEAD COACH
For the first time in franchise history, the Dorados have a second-year head coach in Marty Hammond. His predecessor, Kevin Guy, led the team to the Conference Finals in 2005 and then promptly accepted the defensive coordinator position with San Jose of the Arena Football League. Gary Gusman was the team's first head coach; he spent two seasons as the special teams coach and director of football operations for Las Vegas of the AFL, and recently took the same role with New Orleans (AFL).
The af2 league grew by nine teams this past offseason including four new teams in Texas. The Corpus Christi Sharks, Laredo Lobos and Texas (Katy) Copperheads join the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings as Dorados rivals in the Southwestern Division of the National Conference.
Other Expansion teams -
Boise Burn, Cincinnati Jungle Kats, Fort Wayne Fusion, Lubbock Renegades, Mahoning Valley Thunder (Youngstown, Ohio), Tri Cities Fever (Kennewick, Wa.)
A FEW NEW RULES APPLY
The arenafootball2 league (af2) has agreed to implement several rule changes that were approved by the Arena Football League's Board of Directors. The adopted changes will take effect for the 2007 af2 season.
The most notable change is the introduction of free substitution. Previously, AFL/af2 coaches were limited to one substitution per position per quarter. Beginning this season, coaches will be permitted to substitute players at will. Free substitution will improve the af2's overall quality of football. The new rule provides coaches with the freedom to put their best players on the field for every play of the game. Because players will receive more rest than ever before, the new rule is also expected to decrease penalties, particularly late in the game. In addition, teams are also able to select from a wider player talent pool when building their teams.
Another noticeable change is the removal of defensive coaches from the field and allowing only offensive coaches on the field during the game. In past seasons, one defensive coach per team was allowed on the field of play during game action. Last season coaches were not allowed on the field for special teams plays as a pilot program to this year's rule change.
Additional changes approved for the 2007 season are: 1.) "Box Rule" Markings: Field markings will be instituted to provide the officials with a point of reference to aid in enforcing the "Box Rule," which restricts the movement of the "Jack" linebacker until the ball is thrown or the quarterback scrambles out of the pocket, and 2.) Injured Reserve: If a team puts a player on Injured Reserve, the player will be out for four weeks instead of two. These rule changes for the league are necessary as the af2 continues to serve as the developmental league of the AFL.
ROSTER NEARLY SET
The opening night roster is nearly set; all coach Hammond needs to do is sign a kicker.
2007 RGV DORADOS OPENING ROSTER
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. College Exp.
1 George Williams WR/LB 6-1 210 Kansas State 6
2 Torry Joubert (zjho-BEAR) DS 6-0 180 Bemidji State 2
3 Coco Blalock WR 5-10 188 Western Illinois R
4 Josh Kellett QB 6-3 250 Samford 4
6 Damarcus Moody DB 6-2 216 Jones County JC R
7 Derrick Harris WR/DB 5-10 185 Sam Houston State R
10 Aaron Karas (CARE-us) QB 6-0 185 Oklahoma R
11 Mel Long WR/LB 6-2 190 Toledo 4
13 Keenan Washington FB/LB 6-0 245 Southern Arkansas 1
15 Lono Manners (low-no) WR/DB 5-10 215 Hawaii-Monoa R
21 Donte Williams DS 6-1 200 Syracuse 0
34 Alveritis Gatlin FB/LB 6-2 255 Harding Univ. R
37 Andre Burns DB 6-0 190 Missouri Western St. R
44 Reggie Hudson FB/LB 6-2 240 None R
55 Tony McClain OL/DL 6-4 275 Auburn 1
56 Quinton Staten OL/DL 6-2 260 MTSU R
74 Dominique Steamer OL/DL 6-4 321 Texas A&M - College Stat. R
75 Roy Stroud OL/DL 6-4 315 Texas A&M - Kingsville 1
91 Will Goodloe OL/DL 6-6 320 West Texas A&M 2
92 Kendrick Goss OL/DL 6-4 250 Houston R
94 Tolifili Liufau OL/DL 6-3 300 Kansas R
LONG TERM INJURED RESERVE
8 Jermaine Carpenter DB 5-7 162 Pittsburg State R
9 Travis McAlpine WR/LB 6-2 210 Saginaw Valley State 3
95 Arthur Robinson DL 6-2 266 Wayne State College R
PRONUNCIATION GUIDE (RIO GRAND VALLEY dor-AH-does)
Head Coach/Director of Football Operations: Marty Hammond
Asst. Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator: Cory Stone
DB Coach: Kelly Snell
Strength & Conditioning/Asst. to OC: Frank Franz
The opening roster lists 14 af2 rookies, two of which are on long term injured reserve. The 'rookie' notation is somewhat of a misnomer for one player; Coco Blalock has six years of Arena Football experience, including the last three with Las Vegas. All totaled, Blalock has 44 TD's on 258 catches and 3,076 receiving yards in Arena1. He is also a key kick returner; he has accumulated 147 returns for 2995 yards and 5 TD thorough his career. The league considers anyone without af2 experience a 'rookie' even if he has played in Arena1.
BY THE NUMBERS
2 - Marty Hammond returns for his second season as head coach.
3 - The number of times the Dorados play both Corpus Christi and Laredo. The Dorados travel to both cities twice.
7 - The team returns seven players from the 2006 season. That does not include Chris Canty, who is still expected to join the team.
10 - The week of May 10, 2007 is the only in-season bye week the Dorados have. Week 1 of the regular season was the other bye week for the team.
14 - April 14, 2007 is the date the Dorados open up at home vs. Laredo.
16 - The number of games in the af2 regular season.
10,645 - Josh Kellett's career passing yards.
DORADOS ON THE AIR
Every Dorados game will be broadcast on Jammin' 104.9/95.3 FM and also on doradosfootball.com and allinbroadcasting.com. Rich Bocchini will call the play-by-play for most games. Dennis Scott will handle the action when Bocchini is not available and Alex Del Barrio will contribute as well.
af2 WEEK 1 RESULTS
WEEK 1 RESULTS:
Thursday, March 29
Bakersfield 58, LAREDO 52 (2,454)
Friday, March 30
Boise 57. LOUISVILLE 52 (9,678)
TENNESSEE VALLEY 44, Alabama 27 (4,854)
Saturday, March 3
W-B/SCRANTON 50, Manchester 36 (5,110)
FORT WAYNE 36, Green Bay 28 (5,133)
MAHONING VALLEY 48, Tri-Cities 40 (5,984)
Quad City 81, CINCINNATI 21 (4,853)
SOUTH GEORGIA 47, Arkansas 31 (4,215)
FLORIDA 55, Oklahoma City 22 (6,537)
SPOKANE 51, Stockton 35 (10,653)
TULSA 61, Everett 30 (3,952)
Bye: Albany, Amarillo, Bossier-Shreveport,
Central Valley, Corpus-Christi, Rio Grande Valley, Lubbock, Texas
af2 WEEK 2 PREVIEW
Friday, April 6, 2007
Mahoning Valley at Albany 7:00 p.m.
Florida at Texas 8:30 p.m.
Lubbock at Amarillo 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 7, 2007
Louisville at South Georgia 7:30 p.m.
Fort Wayne at Bos.-Shreveport 8:00 p.m.
Quad City at Spokane 8:00 p.m.
Rio Gran. Valley at Cor. Christi 8:00 p.m.
Everett at Central Valley 10:00 p.m.
Bye: Arkansas, Bakersfield, Alabama, Boise, Cincinnati, Green Bay,
Laredo, Manchester, Oklahoma City, Stockton, Tennessee Valley,
Tri-Cities, Tulsa, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
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