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Lyles and Young relieved of coaching duties

March 21, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Grand Rapids Rampage News Release

The Grand Rapids Rampage have relieved assistant head coach Robert Lyles and defensive coordinator Brian Young of their duties with the team, head coach Sparky McEwen announced on Monday.

“As the head coach, I am ultimately responsible for all facets of our team. Our offensive unit is coming along nicely and you should win games when you’re averaging 52 points a game in this league,” said McEwen. “Every team averaging that many points in the AFL this season has a winning record except for us and that’s unacceptable. A change needed to be made.”

Lyles and Young led the Rampage’s defensive and special teams units through the team’s first seven games, however, Grand Rapids ranks last in the AFL in points allowed by nearly seven points per game (64.3), last in touchdowns allowed (63), last in takeaways (six), last in opponent passer rating (129.7), 16th out of 17 teams in defensive interceptions (three), 16th in red zone defense (90.0%), 15th in total defense (300.0 yards per game) and 14th in pass defense (282.3 yards per game).

On the flipside, the Rampage offense is near the top of the AFL in most of these categories (aside from passing offense since they are tops in rushing offense). Grand Rapids’ special team unit has given up four touchdowns and a league-worst 992 yards on kickoffs, including 235 yards and two scores last week by San Jose’s Rashied Davis.

The coaching staff will reshuffle its responsibilities, including those of defensive and special teams play calling.

Grand Rapids (1-6) travels to Philadelphia this Saturday, March 26 to take on the Soul (3-5) at 7:00pm. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Detroit.

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