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Philadelphia Soul game notes

April 26, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Philadelphia Soul News Release

QUICK FACTS:
Orlando (9-4) vs. Philadelphia (5-8)
Site: Wachovia Center (17,639 capacity)
Officials: Referee: Terry Brown; Umpire: Rick Lowe; Head Linesman: Rusty Baynes; Line Judge: Gary Cavaletto; Back Judge: Scott Helverson.

RADIO: Soul Radio Network
WNTP 990-AM (Phila.)
106.7 FM WDOX (Atlantic City)
Play-by-Play: Jacob VanRyn
Color: Bill Osborn

THE MATCHUP:

The Philadelphia Soul lost a key divisional game to the New York Dragons by a score of 51-37 last week. In what was supposed to be a match-up of marquee quarterbacks, it was the defenses that stole the show last week. The Philadelphia defense recorded three turnovers in the game, but were out-performed by their counterparts in New York, who managed to stop the Philadelphia offense five times. The Orlando Predators come into the game with a two-game winning streak after defeating Georgia 52-49 in a thrilling divisional game at home. Chris Sanders led the team after starting QB Joe Hamilton was placed on the IR with a separated shoulder.

PHILADELPHIA SOUL SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

Date Opponent Time (ET) Result/Streak
1/30 @ Austin 12:00 p.m. W, 66-35/ W1
2/6 @ Chicago 1:00 p.m. L, 51-41/ L1
2/13 Nashville 3:00 p.m. W, 59-48/W1
2/20 @ New Orleans 12:00 p.m. L, 61-47/L1
2/27 Dallas 3:00 p.m. L, 72-43/L2
3/6 New York 12:00 p.m. L, 61-54/L3
3/11 @ San Jose 10:30 p.m. L, 52-26/L4
3/20 Tampa Bay 12:00 p.m. W, 69-63/W1
3/26 Grand Rapids 7:00 p.m. W, 64-41/W2W
4/3 @ Columbus 12:00 p.m. W, 62-45/W3
4/10 @ Colorado 1:00 p.m. L, 77-56/L1
4/17 Las Vegas 1:00 p.m. L, 56-44/L2
4/24 @ New York 1:00 p.m. L, 51-37/L3
4/30 Orlando 7:00 p.m.
BYE
5/15 Columbus 1:00 p.m.
5/22 @ Dallas 3:00 p.m.

ORLANDO PREDATORS SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

Opponent Time (ET) Result/Streak
1/30 Colorado 12:00p.m. W, 39-36/W1
2/3 @ Arizona 9:00 p.m. W, 51-40/W2
2/11 Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. W, 61-46/W3
2/17 @ Dallas 8:30 p.m. L, 28-42/L1
2/25 @ Chicago 8:30 p.m. W, 48-35/W1
3/6 San Jose 12:00 p.m. L, 38-57/L1
3/13 @ New Orleans 3:00 p.m. W, 63-52/W1
3/193/25 @ GeorgiaAustin 7:00 p.m.7:30 p.m. L, 47-49/L1W, 51-21/W1
4/3 Los Angeles 12:00 p.m. W 55-54/W2
4/9 @ Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. L, 42-54/L1
4/15 New York 7:30 p.m. W, 72-60/W1
4/22 Georgia 7:30 p.m. W, 52-49/W2
4/30 @ Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.
5/7 @ Austin 9:30 p.m.
5/14 BYE
5/20 New Orleans 7:30 p.m.

If the Soul defeat the Predators, it would…

· Improve their record to 3-1 vs. the Southern Division
· Set the franchise mark for wins in a season with six.
· Mark their first win over Orlando in franchise history.

The Coaches Corner

James Fuller: Now in his eighth year of Arena Football, James Fuller (3-5 reg. season) takes over as the Soul’s interim Head Coach after more than a season as the team’s defensive coordinator. His time with the Soul follows a two-year stint as head coach of the Bakersfield Blitz (af2). Fuller spent two seasons with the Oklahoma Wranglers and established himself as one of the top coaches in Arena Football. His team ranked number one in total defense and pass defense in 2000 while he served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. Previously, Fuller spent two years as an assistant defensive coach for the Portland Forest Dragons of the AFL, where he played in 1998. An 8th round draft pick of the San Diego Chargers and coach Bobby Ross in 1992, he went on to play for the New Orleans Saints under Jim Mora and the Philadelphia Eagles under Ray Rhoades. Fuller was an All NFL-Europe free safety for Scotland under Jim Criner before a knee injury ended his career.

Jay Gruden: Jay Gruden is in his 8th season with the Orlando franchise. He started as a coach of the Predators in 1998 becoming the youngest coach ever in the AFL. In his first season at the helm, Gruden led the Predators to their first ArenaBowl championship with an upset win over Tampa Bay. Gruden won the ArenaBowl in 2 of his first three years coaching. In 2002 Gruden took a hiatus from coaching to quarterback the team. Gruden played two years for the Predators posting a 20-9 record. After the tragic death of coach Fran Papasedero, Gruden took over the reins of the team for the 2004 season. As a player in his first stint, Gruden led the Tampa Bay Storm to four championships from 1991-1996. He garnered League MVP honors while leading the Storm to a 9-1 season.

Philly Phlavor

Two players on the Soul’s active roster are Philadelphia natives: Sean Scott and Keita Crespina. Scott, last year’s Soul MVP, grew up in Overbrook and attended Millersville University in Lancaster. Crespina, who grew up in North Philly and continues to reside there, graduated from Temple University and was voted the Owls’ MVP in 1992.

Soul WR/DB Rob Milanese is a rookie and a graduate of Penn, where he holds the school record in receiving yards.

2005 Standings

Philadelphia Soul – 5-8 (3rd in Eastern Division)

Orlando Predators– 9-4 (T-1st in Southern Division)

2005 Record When…

Wachovia Center 3-3
On the Road 2-5
Score First 2-2
Opp. Score First 3-6
Leading at Half 5-1
Trailing at Half 0-6
Tied at Half 0-1
Friday 0-1
Saturday 1-0
Sunday 4-7
On NBC 4-7
Hammond/Haden 0-4
Hammond/Bentley 0-2
Papa/Bentley 2-1
Papa/Pawlawski 1-0
Weber/Pawlawski 1-0
On FSN/CSN 1-1
Vs. Eastern 1-3
Vs. Central 2-2
Vs. Western 0-2
Vs. Southern 2-1
January 1-0
February 1-3
March 2-2
April 1-3

Tracking the Soul’s New Superstar

· In October, Tony Graziani signed the wealthiest contract in AFL history. As the most coveted free agent on the market, Graziani’s addition sent waves through the National Conference.
· Graziani leads the AFL in TD passes with 73.
· He also leads all passers on 3rd down with a rating of 121.4
· For the 2005 season, Graziani has completed 254 of 431 passes for 3,328 yards and 11 INTs.
· As 2004 All Arena First Team QB, he threw a career-best of 99 touchdowns.

The Gruden Connection

Orlando Head Coach Jay Gruden is the brother of current Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden. Jon was the offensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1995-1997.

Scott’s the Heart of the Soul

· Philadelphia-born WR/LB Sean Scott has been the Soul’s Ironman through the first 13 weeks of the season, winning US Army Ironman of the Game honors five times.
· Last Sunday, Scott snagged six receptions and had 0.5 tackles, and an interception that he returned for a touchdown.
· Scott is second in the AFL with 13.5 special teams tackles.
· Scott leads the team (9th in the AFL) with 25 TDs and is 2nd w/ 66 catches.
· His 750 receiving yards are second on the team while his 42.5 tackles are fourth.
· For his performance in Chicago in Week 2, Scott was named the AFL’s US Army Ironman of the Week for the second consecutive week.
· With the award, Scott became the first AFLer to win back-to-back US Army Ironman of the Week honors since Chicago’s Dameon Porter in Weeks 7 and 8 of 2001.

Soul Defense Forcing Turnovers

The Soul defense continues to force opponents into turnovers. The unit intercepted New York QB Aaron Garcia twice and recovered one of his fumbles for three turnovers on Sunday. The Soul defense currently ranks third in the AFL in takeaways with 25.

Marcus Knight Impresses Early

Despite not making his Soul debut until Week 6 of this season, Knight has been a solid addition to the team’s receiving corps. An ex-NFLer who played with the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, performance over the last several weeks has been particularly impressive. Knight has caught 16 touchdown passes from Graziani in that time. Below are his numbers in the eight games he has played this season.

Receptions Yards TDs
41 614 16

Local Connections

Predators DS Arkee Thompson played for the Soul in this season until being waived midseason. K Brian Gowins was traded by the Soul last season before playing a game. FB/LB Kevin Nagle attended East Stroudsburg University and FB/LB Kevin Jefferson went to Lehigh University.

Saturday Night Live?

The Soul will play their second Saturday night game of the season tonight. Their first game was a success when they pummeled the Grand Rapids Rampage 64-41 back on March 26th. The team is 4-5 in Saturday games in its two-year history.

Coleman Provides a Boost

Soul DS Calvin Coleman continued his solid play since being acquired in week 6 trade from New Orleans. He intercepted one of Garcias first passes of the game after it ricocheted off the top of the boards. He is now tied for sixth in the AFL in interceptions with six.

Knight’s TD Streak Stopped

Soul rookie WR/LB Marcus Knight saw his impressive streak of games with a touchdown snapped on Sunday. For the first time in his eight-game career, Knigh was held without a score. He did catch five passes for 60 yards, however, and add a fumble recovery on defense.

Not Out of It Yet

Despite a Week 13 loss that dropped the Soul’s record to 5-8, the team remains in the National Conference playoff hunt. However, the Soul must win out and receive some help from other teams to qualify for the AFL playoffs.

Playoff Picture

If the Playoffs started today:
National Conference
IN
Georgia 9-4-0
Orlando 9-4-0
New Orleans 8-4-0
Dallas 7-4-1

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
Tampa Bay 7-5-0
New York 7-5-0
Philadelphia* 5-8-0

*If Dallas wins the Eastern Division and the Soul, New York, New Orleans and Tampa Bay finish 8-8, the Soul would advance to the playoffs based on wins over common opponents (Austin, Orlando and Nashville).

Graziani vs. Orlando Predators

Tony Graziani is 1-1 in games against the Orlando Predators. In those games, he has connected on 41 of 59 passes (69%), for 545 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

2005 vs. 2004

Below are the numbers of Tony Graziani and his top two receivers through 13 games in 2004 in L.A. vs. his 2005 numbers with Steve Smith and Sean Scott:

2004
comp-att-yards-TDs-INTs
Graziani: 273-420-3,581-81-4
rec.-yards-TDs
Chris Jackson: 108-1,603-38
Greg Hopkins: 55-630-12

2005
comp-att-yards-TDs-INTs
Graziani: 254-431-3,328-73-13
rec.-yards-TDs
Steve Smith: 77-1,048-21
Sean Scott: 66-750-21

Philly Football’s New Ironman

Following in the footsteps of another #7, Ron Jaworski, Tony Graziani has started 62 straight games – the second longest current streak in the AFL.

Results in the Red Zone

Phi offense TD%: 75.5% (6th)
Orl offense: TD%: 76.2% (3rd)

Phi defense TD%: 77.8% (13th)
Orl defense: TD%: 70.5% (9th)

Good Things Come in Small Packages

· At just 5-foot-9, Steve Smith is not one of the biggest offensive specialists in the League, but he is one of the most explosive.
· His 2,339 total yards place him first in all-purpose yardage.
· His 24 TDs are also 13th-best in the League
· His 1,048 receiving yards rank eighth in the AFL and his 77 catches are 14th.
· He ranks first in kick off return yards (1,215) and 2nd in kick returns (56).
· Smith’s five TDs in Week 1 set a career and franchise record, which was then tied by Sean Scott’s 5-TD performance in Weeks 2 and 6.

No TV This Week

For the 1st time in ’05, the Soul’s game will NOT be televised. It had originally been slated to air on NBC Sports prior to the date change.

Recent Milestones

· Steve Smith caught his 300th career reception in Week 12’s loss.
· Tony Graziani surpassed the 15,000 career passing yards mark in Week 10 with a fourth quarter pass.
· Newly acquired kicker Tim Seder converted his first AFL field goal – a 25-yarder – in the Week 9 win over Grand Rapids.
· Scott caught the 100th pass of his career in the Soul’s Week 9 win over Grand Rapids.
· Ryan picked up his 200th career carry in the first quarter of the Soul’s 3/26 win over Grand Rapids.
· Graziani threw his 300th career TD in the Soul’s loss on 3/6 to NY.
· Tyronne Jones caught his 500th career pass in the Soul’s 3/6 loss.

Players to Watch

Philadelphia

#7 – QB Tony Graziani
Armed with a wealth of talented receivers, led by Sean Scott and Marcus Knight, Graziani continues to put up big numbers. For the season, #7 has thrown 73 TDs (1st in the AFL), amassing 3,328 passing yards (4th) and a QB rating of 110.4 (10th).

#88 – WR/LB Sean Scott
Sean Scott is coming off another great performance, after collecting 0.5 tackles, six catches and an interception return for a touchdown. Scott has won US Army Ironman of the Game honors five times already this season and his 21 TD catches are tied for the team lead while his 66 receptions are second. Scott’s 42.5 tackles place him fourth on the team.

#24 – DS Calvin Coleman
A second-year player out of Montana, Coleman came over in a trade with the New Orleans VooDoo five weeks ago. In nine games this season, he has racked up 45 tackles, five interceptions and five pass breakups.

#12 – WR/LB Marcus Knight
After being inactive through the season’s first five games, Knight has caught fire since entering the lineup. In seven games of play, he has tallied 41 catches for 614 yards and a very impressive 16 touchdowns. Knight’s play four weeks ago earned him his first ever US Army Ironman of the Week award. He also scored the game-tying touchdown with just :13 in Week 12’s loss to Las Vegas.

Orlando

#13 – QB Chris Sanders
Making just his second start in the AFL after starting QB Joe Hamilton was put on the IR. He led the team to a victory in his first start last week by defeating the Georgia Force 52-49. His numbers for the season are 38-for-60 for 414 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.

#12 – WR/LB Cory Fleming
Last year, Fleming was named US Army Ironman of the Year. This nine-year veteran out of the University of Tennessee has earned All-AFL First Unit three times in his career. In his first two season with the Predators, he has won 13 US Army Ironman of the Game awards. This season he is once again putting up some pretty good numbers for the Predators, as he has already scored 25 touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball. On the defensive side, he has 16 tackles to go along with two interceptions and one fumble recovery

#3 – DS Johnnie Harris
Harris signed with the Predators in March after being out of football in 2004 and playing in the NFL from 1999-2003. He has played in just five games with the Orlando Predators, but already has 22.5 tackles and three interceptions.

#80 – OS Jimmy Fryzel
Fryzel made his debut in Week 5 after starting the season on IR. He won Offensive Player of the Game honors in his first game, and has continued to improve since. Coming into this game he is just 21 yards short of the 1,000 yard plateau. For the season he has 66 receptions for 979 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Turnovers are Telling

The Soul are 9-8 all-time when the team ties or wins the game’s turnover battle and 1-12 when they don’t. They are 3-4 when winning the battle this season but just 1-4 when losing it.

NFL Experience

Soul players boasting NFL exp:
Donovan Arp - Wash, Car, Tenn
Cyron Brown - Den
Marvin Brown - KC, Bal, Cle
Keita Crespina - Phi, Ari
Winfield Garnett - Minn, NO, Sea
Tony Graziani - Atl, Cle
Marcus Knight - TB, Oak
Tim Levcik - Mia, Pit
Arnold Miller - Cle
Dwayne Missouri – Bal
Wes Ours – Ind, Tenn, Pit
Sean Scott - Phi
Tim Seder -- Dal
Charles Stackhouse - NYG, Min

QB Stats 2004 vs. 2005

The Soul’s top offseason priority was an upgrade at the QB position. Here’s a breakdown of the position’s play in 2004 vs. 2005:

Through 13 Games
2004:
Nick Browder and Todd Hammel – 217 of 372 (58.3%); 2,730 yards; 48 TDs; 14 INT; 46.5 pts/game; 5 wins.

2005:
Tony Graziani – 254 of 431 (59%); 3,328 yards; 73 TDs (1st in League); 13 INT; 51.7 pts/game; 5 wins.

2005 Award Winners

Offensive Player of the Game:
Week 1: Steve Smith (PHI)
Week 2: Raymond Philyaw (CHI)
Week 3: Steve Smith (PHI)
Week 4: Andy Kelly (NOV)
Week 5: Clint Stoerner (DAL)
Week 6: Mike Horacek (NY)
Week 7: James Roe (SJS)
Week 8: Tony Graziani (PHI)
Week 9: Tony Graziani (PHI)
Week 10: Tony Graziani (PHI)
Week 11: John Dutton (COL)
Week 12: Clint Dolezel (LVG)
Week 13: Aaron Garcia (NYD)

US Army Ironman of the Game:
Week 1: Sean Scott (PHI)
Week 2: Sean Scott/John Moyer (PHI/CHI)
Week 3: Sean Scott (PHI)
Week 4: Lamont Moore (NOV)
Week 5: Duke Pettijohn (DAL)
Week 6: Sean Scott (PHI)
Week 7: Matt Kinsinger (SJS)
Week 8: Keita Crespina (PHI)
Week 9: Marcus Knight (PHI)
Week 10: Sean Scott (PHI)
Week 11: Kevin McKenzie (COL)
Week 12: Cornelius Bonner (LVG)
Week 13: Billy Parker (NYD)

Defensive Player of the Game:
Week 1: Arkee Thompson (PHI)
Week 2: Russell Shaw (CHI)
Week 3: Arkee Thompson (PHI)
Week 4: Monty Montgomery (NO)
Week 5: Jermaine Jones (DAL)
Week 6: Chris Angel (NY)
Week 7: Tremain Mack (SJS)
Week 8: Eddie Moten (PHI)
Week 9: Calvin Coleman (PHI)
Week 10: Eddie Moten (PHI)
Week 11: Rashad Floyd (COL)
Week 12: Steve Konopka (LVG)
Week13: Chris Anthony (NYD)

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from April 26, 2005


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