By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Soul are getting ready to embark on the 2014 Arena Football League season.
Runners-up in the last two Arena Bowls, Philadelphia will once again be led by Clint Dolezel, who returns for his second season as head coach.
“It feels like we never left,” Dolezel tells KYW Newsradio. “Been talking about it with the coaches the last couple days, it’s like Groundhog Day. Here we are, right back in it, getting going. Which we’re all excited about. We like what we’ve got coming into camp as far as player wise and we’re ready to get on the road.”
Players have been reporting for training camp, getting physicals etc., for the last couple of days, the first practice is slated for Saturday.
“I think we counted 16 guys coming from last year’s team back,” Dolezel says. “The guys that we really wanted, we got back. Obviously, we bring 35 into camp, so over the half the roster is new, as far as right now coming in. Hopefully, some of these guys that we brought in, they push some of the veterans that we’ve kept. Then we’ll have to fill some spots that we didn’t bring back. We feel like we’ve done a good job, ownership-wise and coaches-wise in getting good talent here and it’s going to be a competitive camp.”
In the Arena League, it all starts with the quarterback, and the Soul will turn once again to AFL veteran Dan Raudabaugh and Dolezel says that means they are in great shape under center.
“I think we’re the best in the league,” Dolezel says. “Dan, the last couple of years, has been one of the top three quarterbacks in the league. I think this year is his year to be the best. he’s tired of being runner-up two years in a row.”
Raudabaugh threw 96 touchdowns last season, completing 68% of his passes for 4,699 yards.
The Soul will open the regular season on March 15th, on the road, as they rematch with the Arizona Rattlers, the team that beat them in the last two Arena Bowls.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.