2015 Season Preview: Los Angeles KISS
2014 Year In Review
So many teams that are new to the Arena Football League have to deal with the best of the best, and if you are in the Western Conference, wins are a rarity. For the Los Angeles KISS, wins were not only scarce, but staying in games were just as difficult. It was more than just dealing with bad losses, as a lack of chemistry and balanced roster plagued the team on a weekly basis. It was even harder to watch knowing that just one or two more wins could have salvaged some sort of hope of a decent season, missing the playoffs by just two games with a 3-15 record. The paparazzi (AMC’s 4th and Loud series) have put away their cameras, and with another AFL franchise beginning (Las Vegas Outlaws), the KISS are looking to improve in a big way.
The KISS offense was abysmal, and that’s putting it nicely. With inconsistency surrounding the team, their new personnel had to make drastic changes all the way around. Signing elite veterans (QB Adrian McPherson and WR Thyron Lewis) is a great start. Talented youth and experience on the field at reaching ArenaBowls will hopefully give a boost of confidence. Lewis played for the Cleveland Gladiators last year, racking up over 1,000 receiving yards and 38 touchdowns. McPherson's name is commonplace to most fans, holding single season and career records for rushing touchdowns. The KISS will look to slow down their offense and become now a run-heavier team, hoping that late addition Sam Campbell will benefit in the backfield along with AD-Mac. But having Donovan “Captain” Morgan as a solid one-two duo at wide out could make things interesting.
Trust seemed to have left most of the team, and if you followed them during 4th & Loud, you could just tell that a lot of the players were fed up with how they were being treated. Quarterback J.J. Raterink will join the team, and it seemed to be forthcoming, as he wants to learn with one of the greatest. But the biggest of all is parting ways with CEO Brett Bouchy. Welcoming in Joe Windham, former president of the Arizona Rattlers, will hopefully bring in a balanced business model, bringing fans to games and quality players.
The 2015 season will be a success if…
Los Angeles can stay consistent and play football. Distractions were aplenty last year, and wondering how the new business partners will treat this team, along with more experienced AFL athletes, can make this season much better. The KISS defense was below average last year, but with being exhausted since they had to routinely come back on the field after countless four and outs, that figure will be improved upon if their offense can stiffen up.
LA's 2015 MVP will be...
This could be won be either Lewis or McPherson, but expect for Morgan to somehow steal the spotlight. The league is quarterback heavy, and the team needs to have a man under center that can lead. If McPherson can do that, the KISS can perform much better.
In 2015, the Los Angeles KISS will win…
5 games. As strange as this still may sound, that could just be enough to snag that fourth and final playoff spot depending on how the Pacific Division pans out. They can win more if they can find a way to win tight games. They can lose more if they give up on the season too early. Head coach Bob McMillen needs to keep his composure and understand that this team can succeed if it can learn from its mistakes, including him. This is not a playoff caliber team, yet there are chances in which they can surprise a few teams and earn a few more wins than they should. The entertainment value at the Honda Center could fall in Year 2 (as it should), but the level of play should rise, which means they could me much more fun to watch this year.