By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s playoff time in the Arena Football League and the Philadelphia Soul open things up on Saturday night as they host the New Orleans VooDoo in the first round.
Soul went 15-3 during the regular season and that was the best record in the AFL. New Orleans went 8-10 and Philadelphia beat the VooDoo back in Week #1 63-62. Soul head coach Doug Plank says, however, they won’t be taking anything from that match-up.
“It’s almost like we haven’t faced them. That’s ancient history. Football coaches normally go back three weeks when they are preparing for a team that they are coming to play. Because they feel like after four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, the players are changing because of injuries, the concepts are changing.”
As for what to expect this time around against New Orleans, Plank says it all starts under center.
“Their quarterback Kurt Rocco is excellent at getting back in the pocket. They’ve led the league, for the most part, in terms of time of possession. They control the ball, have a good running game. They have a really good red zone defense, I think it’s number #1 in the league. They led the league in interceptions. There’s plenty of things good about their football team that have the capacity to give us problems.”
The Soul won’t have to leave the friendly confines of South Philadelphia until the Arena Bowl, as long as they keep winning, and Plank says that’s huge.
Listen to Matt Leon’s interview with Doug Plank:
“We had a game this year, we went to Spokane, Washington. Thirteen hours (trip time) and we probably played our worst game of the season (65-47 loss). Just to know that we’re home, especially in the playoffs – the crowd’s get larger, they get louder. It’s very difficult to win on the road, especially in the playoffs, because you’re not only competing against your opposition, but against the crowd which are there constantly, they’re heckling you in the bench area. So it’s great to be at home.”
Soul and VooDoo will kickoff at 7:00pm on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.