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San Jose SaberCats game notes

February 8, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - San Jose SaberCats News Release

THE QUICK FACTS:
Game: SaberCats (1-1) at New Orleans VooDoo (1-1).
Date: Sunday, February 13, 2005.
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. (PST).
Site: New Orleans Arena (16,021).
Officials: Referee: Bill LeMonnier; Umpire; Mike Delany; Head Linesman: Allen Baynes; Line Judge: Dana McKinzie; Back Judge: Billy Beckett.
Television: NBC Sports will broadcast the game live with Allen Bestwick (play-by-play), Charles Davis (commentator) and Rich Lenz (sideline).
Radio: San Jose’s flagship station KNBR-1050 will broadcast the game live with Ted Robinson (play-by-play) and George Atkinson (commentary).
SaberCats Sideline Report: SSR can be seen every Sunday night on KNTV (NBC11) at 11:50 p.m. immediately following Sunday Sports Final.
Internet: Log on to www.KNBR.com to hear a live webcast of Sunday’s game.
Series Record: SaberCats lead 1-0.
Last Meeting: SaberCats 68, VooDoo 34 on May 1, 2004 in San Jose.
Series Streaks: SaberCats Won 1.
Coaches: San Jose, Darren Arbet (7th season; 65-25 regular season, 74-28 overall). New Orleans, Mike Neu (4th season; 18-14 regular season, 19-17 overall).

OVERVIEW: The SaberCats evened their record at 1-1 by beating the Las Vegas Gladiators, 66-31, on Feb. 5 for their 8th straight home opening win. The defending ArenaBowl champs now embark on a franchise record tying three-game road trip which begins on Feb. 13 in New Orleans. Mixed in is the team’s bye week meaning the SaberCats will not play at HP Pavilion until March 11 when they host the Philadelphia Soul…San Jose doubled its point total from the Week 1 loss at Tampa Bay to avoid its first 0-2 start since 1998. Behind QB Mark Grieb the SaberCats equaled their Week 1 point total midway through the second quarter in their win over Las Vegas. Grieb had a strong effort throwing six TD passes and completing the 1,400th pass of his AFL career…Head coach Darren Arbet earned his 74th career coaching victory to move ahead of John Gregory in to sole possession of 7th place on the AFL’s all-time coaches win list…San Jose defeated the VooDoo, 68-34, on May 1, 2004 in San Jose in the only previous meeting between the clubs…The SaberCats will also travel to Los Angeles (Feb. 20) and Orlando (Mar. 6) to complete the road trip with all three games scheduled to be broadcast on NBC.

THE SCHEDULES:

2005 San Jose SaberCats (1-1)
Date Opponent Result Score
Jan. 30 @Tampa Bay Lost 33-63
Feb. 5 LAS VEGAS Won 66-31
Date Opponent Time (PT) Radio/TV
Feb. 13 @New Orleans 12:00 pm 1050/NBC
Feb. 20 @Los Angeles 3:00 pm 1050/NBC
Mar. 6 @Orlando 9:00 am 1050/NBC
Mar. 11 PHILADELPHIA 7:30 pm 1050
Mar. 18 GRAND RAPIDS 7:30 pm 1050
Mar. 28 @Las Vegas 7:00 pm 1050
Apr. 3 ARIZONA 6:00 pm 1050-680
Apr. 10 @Chicago 10:00 am 1050/NBC
Apr. 15 DALLAS 7:30 pm 1050
Apr. 22 @Colorado 6:00 pm 1050
Apr. 29 NASHVILLE 7:30 pm 1050
May 7 LOS ANGELES 7:30 pm 1050-680
May 14 @Arizona 7:00 pm 1050
May 21 GEORGIA 7:30 pm 1050

2005 New Orleans VooDoo (1-1)
Game Opponent Result Score
Jan. 30 @Georgia Lost 44-46
Feb. 4 @Nashville Won 59-34
Game Opponent Time (PT) TV
Feb. 13 SAN JOSE 12:00 pm NBC
Feb. 20 PHILADELPHIA 9:00 am
Feb. 25 TAMPA BAY 5:00 pm
Mar. 5 @Dallas 5:30 pm
Mar. 13 ORLANDO 12:00 pm
Mar. 20 @Chicago 9:00 am NBC
Mar. 26 GEORGIA 5:00 pm
Apr. 1 @Austin 5:30 pm
Apr. 16 COLUMBUS 5:00 pm
Apr. 23 @Grand Rapids 4:30 pm
Apr. 30 @Tampa Bay 4:30 pm
May 8 COLORADO 10:00 am NBC
May 14 AUSTIN 5:00 pm
May 20 @Orlando 4:30 pm

THE SERIES: San Jose leads the all-time series 1-0 after beating the VooDoo 68-34, on May 1, 2004 in San Jose…This will be the first meeting between the teams in New Orleans and it will also be the VooDoo’s home opener.

WHAT’S AHEAD – The SaberCats will continue their road trip with a game at Los Angeles on Sunday, February 20 followed by their bye week. The team will then travel to Orlando on Mar. 6 for a nationally televised NBC game before returning home to the HP Pavilion on Friday, March 11 to face the Philadelphia Soul.

SERIES NOTABLES: San Jose tied a team record with four interceptions against New Orleans on May 1, 2004. Omarr Smith had a pair of picks with Rashied Davis and Charles Pauley getting the others…Keala Keanaaina, Matt Kinsinger, Fred Coleman, Barry Wagner and Mark Grieb each scored a rushing TD in the first meeting between the clubs…The SaberCats overcame two 13-point first half deficits and outscored the VooDoo 40-7 in the second half of their 68-34 win on May 1, 2004…WR/LB James Roe had two receptions, both for scores, against New Orleans…Mark Grieb was 10-of-10 passing for 155 yards and 3 TDs in the second half of San Jose’s win over the VooDoo…Former SaberCat OS Aaron Bailey led all New Orleans receivers with 7 receptions and 118 yards in the first meeting.

LAST SERIES MEETING: SABERCATS 68, New Orleans 34 • Saturday, May 1, 2004 • HP Pavilion – The San Jose SaberCats outscored the New Orleans VooDoo 40-7 in the second half to post a 68-34 win in a battle of the top two teams in the Arena Football League. Mark Grieb had a perfect second half to propel the San Jose offense. Grieb completed all 10 of his passes for 155 yards and three scores as the SaberCats scored on each of their six possessions over the final two quarters. He finished the game 23-of-29 for 290 yards with five touchdowns to earn Offensive Player of the Game honors. San Jose's balanced offensive attack produced five rushing touchdowns and five passing scores as the SaberCats overcame an early 13-0 deficit to improve to 10-2. New Orleans jumped out to a quick two-score lead following a 39-yard John Fitzgerald to Ira Gooch scoring toss and a 2-yard Dan Curran run. Curran's score was set up by a Calvin Coleman interception in his own endzone on San Jose's first series. San Jose closed out the first half with a pair of touchdowns in the final minute to grab its first lead of the game. Fred Coleman scored on a 2-yard run with 52 seconds left and, following the first of two Omarr Smith interceptions, Grieb connected with James Roe on a 3-yard scoring pass to give San Jose a 28-27 lead at the break. Matt Kinsinger scored on a 4-yard run to open the second half scoring blitz and the SaberCats capitalized on back-to-back New Orleans turnovers to build a 48-27 lead late in the third quarter. The SaberCats turned five New Orleans turnovers into touchdowns and intercepted a team record tying four passes. Omarr Smith, the Defensive Player of the Game, intercepted two passes to increase his league-leading total to eight. Ironman of the Game Fred Coleman caught a pair of scoring passes in the fourth quarter and Barry Wagner scored on a 1-yard run as the SaberCats shutout the VooDoo 20-0 in the final stanza.

Score By Quarters
VooDoo.................................... 13 14 7 0 – 34
SaberCats................................ 7 21 20 20 – 68

SCORING SUMMARY
Team Scoring Play
NWO Gooch 39 pass from Fitzgerald (kick failed)
NWO Curran 2 run (Schmitz kick)
SAN Keanaaina 7 run (Frantz kick)
NWO Bailey 24 pass from Fitzgerald (Schmitz kick)
SAN Roe 7 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
NWO Hamilton 0 net recovery (Schmitz kick)
SAN Coleman 2 run (Frantz kick)
SAN Roe 3 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
SAN Kinsinger 4 run (kick failed)
SAN Grieb 3 run (Frantz kick)
SAN Hundon 27 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
NWO Browning 4 run (Schmitz kick)
SAN Coleman 26 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
SAN Coleman 37 pass from Grieb (Frantz kick)
SAN Wagner 1 run (kick blocked)

INDIVIDUAL STASTICS
Passing: NWO – Fitzgerald 18-30-4-243, Rayborn 3-5-0-31. SAN - Grieb 23-29-1-290.
Rushing: NWO – Curran 5-26; Browning 1-4. SAN – Keanaaina 3-13; Johnson 3-6; Kinsinger 1-4; Coleman 1-2; Wagner 1-1; Grieb 3-1.
Receiving: NWO – Bailey 7-118; Moore 5-51; Spears 3-20; Gooch 2-45. SAN – Hundon 7-105; Coleman 6-94; Wagner 6-66; R.Davis 2-15; Roe 2-10.
Kick Returns: NWO – Bailey 3-56; Rumph 1-24; Gooch 1-11; Moore 1-3; Spears 1-0. SAN – R.Davis 3-54; Wagner 2-45; Hundon 1-19.

ALL-TIME SERIES SCORES
Date Score
May 1, 2004 @San Jose 68, New Orleans 34

THE IFS…:
If the SaberCats defeat New Orleans it would…
*Snap San Jose’s 3-game reg. season road losing streak.
*Be San Jose’s 2nd straight win.
*Give San Jose a 2-0 series lead over the VooDoo.
*Give San Jose a 20-9 all-time record against Southern Division teams.
*Give San Jose a 10-5 all-time road record against Southern Division teams.
*Give San Jose a 95-50 all-time regular season record.
*Give San Jose a 43-30 all-time reg. season road record.

THE COACHES:
San Jose – Darren Arbet, 7th season
65-25 (.722) reg. season; 74-28 (.725) overall
1-0 (1.000) career vs. New Orleans
Now in his seventh season at the helm of the SaberCats, two-time Coach of the Year Darren Arbet surpassed John Gregory for sole possession of 7th place in career coaching victories when he won No. 74 on Feb. 5, 2005 and his career overall winning percentage of .725 (74-28) ranks as one of the best in AFL history. Last season Arbet led his club to its second league title in three years and the SaberCats tied a league record by winning 10 or more regular season games for the fifth consecutive season. Since the start of the 2000 season his teams have compiled a 59-17 (.776) regular season record and have set league records for most regular season wins (13 – 2002), most wins in a season (16- 2002), most consecutive wins in a regular season (12 – 2002), most wins to end a season (11 – 2000) and the longest regular season win streak (15 – 2000-01).

New Orleans – Mike Neu, 4th season
18-14 (.563) reg. season; 19-17 (.528) overall
0-2 career vs. San Jose
Mike Neu, the 2004 AFL Coach of the Year, returns for his second season with the VooDoo and his third full season as a head coach in the AFL. Neu led the VooDoo to an 11-5 record last season, making them the only team in league history to win 11 games in their first year. The VooDoo's Southern Division title marked only the fourth time in AFL history that an expansion franchise has won their division in their first year of play. Neu came to New Orleans after serving as head coach of the Carolina Cobras. Neu guided the Cobras to a 6-8 record and their second-straight playoff berth in 2002. His squad posted the first playoff victory in club history as the team featured the AFL's fourth-ranked defense. He was the Cobras’ offensive coordinator in 2001, before being promoted to head coach prior to the team's first round playoff game. He recorded a 7-10 (.412) overall record in his stay with Carolina and is currently 12-7 (.632) in his New Orleans career.

RECENT RESULTS: SaberCats 66, Las Vegas 31 – Mark Grieb threw six touchdown passes and the SaberCats defense held the Las Vegas Gladiators (1-1) scoreless in the second half to earn their first win of the season, 66-31, before a regular season-record crowd of 16,221 at HP Pavilion at San Jose. The SaberCats won their eighth straight home opener to even their record at 1-1. Grieb completed 15 of 21 passes and threw four touchdowns in the first half to three different receivers. He hit his favorite target of the game Calvin Schexnayder to open up the third quarter and give the SaberCats a 47-31 lead. Las Vegas quarterback Clint Dolezel threw for four touchdowns of his own but also tossed two interceptions, including one to Omarr Smith. Gladiators OS Marcus Nash caught two touchdown passes before being forced to leave the game with an injury sustained while going over the boards reaching for a pass in the second quarter. The second half was dominated by San Jose as Grieb threw two more touchdown passes to Schexnayder to finish his day with 275 total yards passing. Dolezel finished his day completing 18 of his 30 attempts. Coco Blalock led the Gladiators with five catches for 61 yards in the absence of Nash who had amassed 128 yards in the first half alone. Dolezel would throw one more interception, this time to Matt Kinsinger as Las Vegas was unable to reach the SaberCats endzone in the second half. San Jose DS Omarr Smith, who had 7.5 tackles and a pair of break ups to go along with his interception, was named the ADT Defensive Player of the Game while Schexnayder, who totaled 131 yards and three TDs on his 11 receptions, earned Offensive Player of the Game honors. Kinsinger, who ran for a pair of scores and had a game-high 16 yards on 3 rush attempts to go along with his 1st career interception, was tabbed the game's Ironman.

ROSTER MOVES: Prior to their home opener the SaberCats placed OL/DL Kevin Jordan on IR (knee) and activated OL/D Frank Beede from Refused to Report. The club also announced the signing of veteran OL/DL Tony Plantin to the practice squad.

RECENT ROSTER MOVES
Date Action
Jan. 22 Placed DS Clevan Thomas and FB/LB Kevin Buck on Injured Reserve.
Jan. 24 Waived K Nick Browne, FB/LB Jamaal Cherry, WR/DB Chad Lucas, DS Ron Ockimey, FB/LB Sigmund Platt, OL/DL Kurt Sigler and WR/DB George Williams. Released WR/LB Shalon Baker.
Jan. 24 Placed OL/DL Jeff Ruffin, WR/DB Yardon Brantley, OL/DL Rex Richards, OL/DL Sebastian Barrie on IR.
Jan. 26 Signed WR/LB Shalon Baker, WR/LB Mike Duncan and WR/LB George Williams to the practice squad.
Jan. 28 Re-signed OL/DL Cedric Pittman and OL/DL George Williams. Signed WR/LB Shalon Baker from the practice squad. Placed OS James Hundon on IR.
Feb. 4 Activated OL/DL Frank Beede from Refused to Report. Placed OL/DL Kevin Jordan on IR. Signed OL/DL Tony Plantin to practice squad.

INJURY REPORT
Player Injury Status
James Hundon Cervical Spine OUT (IR)
Kevin Jordan Knee inflammation OUT (IR)
Cedric Pittman Patellar dislocation OUT
Matt Kinsinger Turf toe Probable

MILESTONES:
*OS Calvin Schexnayder needs 10 receptions for 600 career.
*FB/LB Matt Kinsinger needs 2 rush yards for 350 career and 4 rush attempts for 100 in SJ career.
*DS Omarr Smith needs 1 INT for 25 career and 1.0 tackle for 200.0 in SJ career.
*WR/DB Barry Wagner needs 4 TDs for 400 career; 1 rush TD for 120 career, and 137 receiving yards for 13,000 career; 350 all-purpose yards for AFL’s career lead and 9 receptions for 300 in SJ career.
*WR/LB James Roe needs 12 receptions to become San Jose’s all-time leader and 72 receiving yards to pass Steve Papin for 2nd place on SJ career list.

2005 LEAGUE TEAM RANKINGS
Category SaberCats VooDoo
Scoring Offense (Rank) 49.5 (8th) 51.5 (7th)
Scoring Defense 47.0 (T-9th) 40.0 (3rd)
Total Offense 305.5 (3rd) 316.5 (2nd)
Total Defense 292.0 (11th) 227.5 (1st)
Pass Offense 292.0 (3rd) 311.0 (1st)
Pass Defense 279.0 (14th) 199.5 (1st)
Rushing Offense 13.5 (11th) 5.5 (17th)
Rushing Defense 13.0 (5th) 28.0 (11th)
Touchdowns 15 (T-3rd) 14 (T-6th)
Pass Rating 93.4 (11th) 125.7 (2nd)
Pass Defense Rating 121.5 (15th) 69.0 (1st)
Interceptions 2 (T-8th) 4 (T-1st)
Kickoff Return Avg. 22.6 (2nd) 11.5 (16th)
Field Goal Return Avg. 0.0 (T-7th) 0.0 (T-7th)
Turnover Margin +1 (T-3rd) +2 (2nd)
Sacks By 1 (T-9th) 3 (T-3rd)
Sacks Against 4 (T-15th) 2 (T-9th)

TRENDS:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN – San Jose begins a stretch of three consecutive road games with its contest at New Orleans on Feb. 13, matching the longest road trip in team history. Dating back to last season the SaberCats have lost three straight regular season road games and four out of the last five. San Jose lost its final three road games in 1996 and its first three in 1997 for a record six straight regular season road losses.
SOMETHING NEU – The SaberCats are 2-0 against Mike Neu coached teams, beating the Carolina Cobras, 58-41, in Raleigh on July 21, 2002 and posting a 68-34 win over the VooDoo last season. San Jose went on the win the ArenaBowl title in both years.

THAT SIXTIES SHOW – San Jose reached the 60-point mark for the 1st time this season and the 43rd time in team history in its 66-31 win over Las Vegas on Feb. 5. The SaberCats have now won nine straight games in which they crack the 60-point barrier and are 39-4 (.907) all-time in games where they score 60-or-more points.

JUST WIN – In 67 career regular season starts as a member of the SaberCats, quarterback Mark Grieb owns a 53-14 (.791) record. He led San Jose to a 68-34 win over New Orleans in the only meeting between the clubs on May 1, 2004.

THREE’S COMPANY – The SaberCats will play in a home opener for the third consecutive week. San Jose will help the VooDoo open their home schedule on Feb. 13 after having their own opener on Feb. 5. San Jose started the season at Tampa Bay on Jan. 30.

DUE SOUTH – San Jose is 19-9 all time against teams from the Southern Division, including a 9-5 mark on the road. The SaberCats had their 3-game road winning streak against Southern Division foes snapped in their season opening loss at Tampa Bay.

HEADS OR TAILS – Dating back to last season and including playoffs, the SaberCats have lost the coin toss in nine consecutive games. San Jose is 5-4 in those games, including three straight playoff wins to capture the ArenaBowl XVIII title. The last time the SaberCats won the toss was against New Orleans on May 1, 2004, a game they won 68-34.

SHUT DOWN – The SaberCats shut out the Las Vegas Gladiators in the second half of their 66-31 win on Feb. 5, just the fourth time in team history and third during the regular season that they have pitched a shutout during a half. San Jose blanked Arizona for the first three quarters in ArenaBowl XVI and tossed a second half goose egg against Grand Rapids on May 23, 1998 and at Iowa on June 24, 1995. The SaberCats have never been shutout in a half in their history, but came close on June 22, 1996 when they scored only a first half safety at Connecticut in a 39-29 loss.

NOTES:
ROAD TRIPPIN – San Jose begins a three-game road trip with its contest at New Orleans on Feb. 13, matching the longest in team history. The team has played three consecutive road games on four different occasions, most recently to open the 2003 season. San Jose’s overall record during its four 3-game trips is 7-5. The SaberCats won all three games during the 2002 campaign when they set a league record with a 16-1 overall record.

NICE TO SEE YOU – The SaberCats attracted the largest regular season crowd in franchise history on Feb. 5 when 16,221 fans experienced the lowering of the ArenaBowl trophy from the rafters and the unfurling of the 2004 Championship banner in pre-game festivities. The crowd was also treated to a post-game concert by the rock group Smash Mouth. In between the enthusiastic throng saw the SaberCats defeat the Las Vegas Gladiators 66-31. The largest crowd to witness a SaberCats game was the 16,942 fans that attended ArenaBowl XVI.

TOP FIVE CROWDS IN TEAM HISTORY
Rk Opponent Date Attend
1. Arizona (ABXVI) Aug. 18, 2002 16,942
2. Las Vegas Feb. 5, 2005 16,221
3. Colorado Feb. 22, 2003 15,604
Buffalo July 22, 2000 15,604
5. Arizona Aug. 6, 1995 15,569

WINNING TRADITION – The SaberCats posted a league-high regular season win total for the third straight season in 2004 and they posted double-digit wins for the fifth straight year, tying an AFL record. Arizona had five seasons of 10 or more wins from 1996-2000. Since the start of the 2000 season the SaberCats own a league-best 59-17 regular season record. Arizona (53) and Orlando (50) are the only other team to exceed 50 wins in the same time frame. Below is a look at the current records of teams that have been in the league since 2000.

Team Record Pct.
San Jose SaberCats 59-17 .776
Arizona Rattlers 53-23 .697
Orlando Predators 50-26 .658
Tampa Bay Storm 47-29 .618
Nashville/Georgia Force 41-35 .539
Iowa/New York Dragons 38-37 .507
Los Angeles Avengers 37-39 .487
Grand Rapids Rampage 34-42 .447
New Jersey/Las Vegas Gladiators 32-44 .421
Buffalo/Columbus Destroyers 28-47 .373

THE MALLEY FACTOR – After putting up the lowest point total in offensive coordinator Terry Malley’s tenure in a season opening loss at Tampa Bay, the SaberCats responded by scoring 66 points in their win over the Gladiators on Feb. 5. Malley has been on the sidelines for 82 regular season games and the SaberCats have scored 60 or more points 37 times posting a 33-4 record in those games. Prior to Malley taking over, the team scored 60-or-more points just six times in 62 regular season games.

COUNTDOWN – With six more regular season wins the SaberCats will become the fourth franchise in AFL history to post 100 victories in regular season play. San Jose currently has 94 wins with only Tampa Bay (133), Orlando (125) and Arizona (122) having more. Tampa Bay and Orlando both came into existence in 1991 while Arizona joined the league in 1992. San Jose didn’t join the AFL until 1995.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS – Head coach Darren Arbet moved into sole possession of 7th place on the league’s all-time coaches win list with the SaberCats 66-31 win over Las Vegas on Feb. 5. Arbet’s 74th career win broke a tie with former Iowa/New York/Carolina coach John Gregory. It may be difficult for Arbet to catch any one of the three coaches currently ahead of him on the list since they are all still active. Tampa Bay coach Tim Marcum heads the list with 169 wins followed by former Arizona coach Danny White with 141.

Coach, 2005 Team Record Pct
Tim Marcum, Tampa Bay 169-63 .728
Danny White 141-65 .684
Perry Moss 86-35 .711
Mike Hohensee, Chicago 86-78 .524
Michael Trigg, Philadelphia 79-85 .482
Mike Dailey, Colorado 76-53 .589
Darren Arbet, San Jose 74-28 .725
John Gregory 73-57 .562

ALL-PURPOSE PLAYER – If you play 13 years in an 18-year old league you are likely to hold some records. Barry Wagner holds some records. The AFL’s career leader in scoring, TDs scored, rushing TDs, receiving yards and tackles is closing in on another milestone. Wagner became just the third player in AFL history to crack the 20,000 mark in all-purpose yards at Tampa Bay on Jan. 30 and needs just 349 to match the record held by George LaFrance.

AFL CAREER ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE
Rank Player Recv. Yards
1. George LaFrance 20,480
2. Hunkie Cooper 20,454
3. Barry Wagner 20,131
4. Eddie Brown 16,437
5. Steve Papin 15,427

HUNDON-LESS – The SaberCats will be without one of their top receiving threats for some time after placing OS James Hundon on IR Jan. 28. Hundon experienced numbness in his right arm in practice before the team’s season opener and an MRI revealed a bulging disc in his upper back. As of right now there is no timetable for his return to the field.

IRONMAN – FB/LB Matt Kinsinger earned his 1st career game honor when he was voted Ironman of the Game against Las Vegas on Feb. 5. The only true FB/LB on the roster, Kinsinger ran for a game-high 16 yards and 2 TDs on his 3 attempts and also registered his 1st career INT. Kinsinger surpassed Steve Papin (326) and Mike Jones (328) to move into 3rd place on the team’s career rushing list with 335 yards.

TEAM CAREER RUSHING LEADERS
Rk. Player Rush Yds
1. Derrick Chachere 442
2. Tom Petithomme 400
3. Matt Kinsinger 335
4. Mike Jones 328
5. Steve Papin 326

ON THE MARK – QB Mark Grieb rebounded from a sub-par outing in the opener at Tampa Bay to complete 74.2 percent of his passes (23-of-31) and register a pass efficiency rating of 127.0 in San Jose’s 66-31 win over Las Vegas on Feb. 5. Grieb completed just 51 percent of his attempts (25-of-49) and tallied a 76.5 passer rating in the team’s 63-33 season opening loss at Tampa Bay on Jan. 30.
SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE – Calvin Schexnayder made his 1st career start as a SaberCat at OS hauling down 11 receptions for 131 yards and 3 TDs in the team’s win over Las Vegas on Feb. 5. It was the 10th time in his career that the 1998 AFL Offensive Player of the Year tallied 10 or more catches in a game and the first time since June 3, 2001. Shakes also registered the 21st 100-plus receiving yard game of his career. With 10 more receptions, Schexnayder will become the 10th player in league history with 600 career catches.

PICKIN IT – Omarr Smith, who tied for the league lead with nine interceptions last season, snared his first of 2005 when he grabbed a Clint Dolezel offering against the Gladiators on Feb. 5. It was the 24th INT of his career and his 16th as a member of the SaberCats, moving him within one of tying Tommy Jones for 4th place on the team’s career chart. In his career as a member of the SaberCats, the team is 12-3 in games where Smith intercepts a pass.

TEAM CAREER INT LEADERS
Rank Player INTs
1. Pat McGuirk 24
2. Clevan Thomas 19
3. Barry Wagner 18
4. Tommy Jones 17
5. Omarr Smith 16

THE DIFFERENCE – With James Hundon out of the lineup, WR/LB James Roe, aka The Difference, will be a key offensive weapon for the SaberCats. Roe had four receptions for 62 yards and 2 TDs, his second straight 2-TD reception game, against Las Vegas on Feb. 5. Roe upped his career leading TD reception total to 104 and is closing in on the all-time lead for receptions and receiving yards. With 12 more receptions, Roe will overtake Steve Papin as the team’s all-time leader and he trails Papin by just 71 yards for 2nd on the SaberCats career receiving yardage chart.

CAREER RECEPTIONS
Rank Player Receptions
1. Steve Papin 326
2. James Roe 315
3. James Hundon 307
4. Barry Wagner 291
5. Jerry Reese 243

CAREER RECEIVING YARDS
Rank Player Recv. Yards
1. James Hundon 4,648
2. Steve Papin 4,282
3. James Roe 4,211
4. Jerry Reese 3,485
5. Barry Wagner 3,373

NO KICKS FOR YOU – By not attempting a field goal against Las Vegas on Feb. 5, the SaberCats equaled a team record by going consecutive games without an attempt. Only one other time has the team gone without a field goal attempt in two straight games, that was done May 25 and June 1 of 2002. The team has never gone three straight games without a field goal attempt.

NEW ORLEANS PLAYERS TO WATCH:
QB ANDY KELLY – Kelly enters his 12th AFL season with his fifth different team and holds career passing records for completions (2,925), attempts (4,755) and passing yards (32,666). He is also second all-time with 632 career touchdown passes. Kelly has played 12 games against San Jose with four different teams dating back to 1995. In those 12 games, Kelly has completed 261-of-453 passes (57.6%) for 2,767 yards with 57 TD’s and 16 INT’s. Kelly is second only to Arizona’s Sherdrick Bonner in career pass attempts, yards and TDs for San Jose opponents. Kelly was Nashville’s starting QB when the Kats defeated San Jose in consecutive semifinal playoff games (2000 and 2001) and his 51 pass attempts against the SaberCats when he was a member of the Dallas Desperados on May 25, 2002 equals a San Jose opponent record.

OS AARON BAILEY – Bailey, the former SaberCats OS, is New Orleans’ top receiving threat this season with 185 receiving yards on 13 catches. In two games against San Jose, Bailey has 12 catches for 166 yards and three TD’s. With New Orleans last year, Bailey led the team in receptions (7) and had game-highs of 118 receiving yards and 174 all-purpose yards against his former club. While with the SaberCats in 2003, Bailey set the team record for most rushing TD’s in a game with four at Chicago on Mar. 9.

CONNECTIONS: VooDoo OS Aaron Bailey was with the SaberCats in 2003 where he caught 16 passes for 233 yards and 2 TDs. He also scored 5 TDs on 7 rush attempts. Bailey signed with New Orleans prior to the 2004 campaign…OL/DL Abdul-Salam Noah signed with San Jose in November 2001, but never suited with the SaberCats. He was selected by the in the 2003 expansion draft…DS Denario Smalls competed for a roster spot in training camp with the SaberCats in 2002 but didn’t make the cut. He was signed by the VooDoo a year later as a free-agent in 2003.

WEEKLY PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) QB Shane Stafford, Tampa Bay
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) OS Calvin Schexnayder, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13)
@Los Angeles (Feb 20)
@Orlando (Mar 6)
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11)
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18)
@Las Vegas (Mar 28)
ARIZONA (Apr 3)
@Chicago (Apr 10)
DALLAS (Apr 15)
@Colorado (Apr 22)
NASHVILLE (Apr 29)
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) DS Tramain Jones, Tampa Bay
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) DS Omarr Smith, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13)
@Los Angeles (Feb 20)
@Orlando (Mar 6)
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11)
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18)
@Las Vegas (Mar 28)
ARIZONA (Apr 3)
@Chicago (Apr 10)
DALLAS (Apr 15)
@Colorado (Apr 22)
NASHVILLE (Apr 29)
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)

ARMY IRONMAN OF THE GAME:
Opponent (Date) Player
@Tampa Bay (Jan 30) WR/LB Lawrence Samuels, TBY
LAS VEGAS (Feb 5) FB/LB Matt Kinsinger, San Jose
@New Orleans (Feb 13)
@Los Angeles (Feb 20)
@Orlando (Mar 6)
PHILADELPHIA (Mar 11)
GRAND RAPIDS (Mar 18)
@Las Vegas (Mar 28)
ARIZONA (Apr 3)
@Chicago (Apr 10)
DALLAS (Apr 15)
@Colorado (Apr 22)
NASHVILLE (Apr 29)
LOS ANGELES (May 7)
@Arizona (May 14)
GEORGIA (May 21)

THE SABERCATS RECORD WHEN…:

Scoring Allowing
0 - 9 points 0-0 0-0
10-19 points 0-0 0-0
20-29 points 0-0 0-0
30-39 points 0-1 1-0
40-49 points 0-0 0-0
50-59 points 0-0 0-0
60-69 points 1-0 0-1
70-79 points 0-0 0-0
80+ points 0-0 0-0

Games decided
by 7 or fewer points 0-0
by 3 or fewer points 0-0

Leading after the 1st 1-0
Trailing after the 1st 0-0
Tied after the 1st 0-1

Leading at Half 1-0
Trailing at Half 0-1
Tied at Half 0-0

Leading after the 3rd 1-0
Trailing after the 3rd 0-1
Tied after the 3rd 0-0

Scoring First 1-0
Opp. Score First 0-1

More Total Offense 0-1
Less Total Offense 1-0

More Pass Yards 0-1
Less Pass Yards 1-0

More Rushing Yards 1-0
Less Rushing Yards 0-1

Thursday games 0-0
Friday games 0-0
Saturday games 1-0
Sunday games 0-1

On NBC 0-1
On WB20 0-0
On NBC11 0-0
On FSN 1-0

vs. West 1-0
vs. Central 0-0
vs. South 0-1
vs. East 0-0

Winning coin toss 0-0
Losing coin toss 1-1

Outscoring Opponent 1-0
Being Outscored 0-1

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from February 8, 2005


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