The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
It was not meant to be. After jumping out to a 14-0 start, Arizona never lost the lead as they defeated the Gladiators 49-42 at the Thomas & Mack. The Gladiators would not have made the playoffs with a win because Chicago won their game.
The Gladiators were in the game the entire way. The lead was never larger than fourteen and they had several opportunities to tie the game. It was not turnovers or costly penalties, but the inability of the offense to convert on key third and fourth down situations. The Rattlers did score on one interception in the first quarter, but on their other drive following an interception, they fumbled the ball back. In fact, fumbles were nearly Arizonaís undoing.
Gladiator Head Coach Ron James felt the team failed to execute today, particularly on offense. He thought they called the right plays and had the looks they wanted. When asked about the performance of the team, he said he was surprised that the team did not come out of the locker room with more emotion. "Often times in professional football a business-like attitude is a good thing, it shows quiet confidence, but it wasnít today." He described their play in the first half as flat.
This is the third season in a row that Las Vegas has ended with an 8-8 record. When asked about analyzing this season, coach James responded, "We have to do a full evaluation....We have got a lot of free agents on this club and we have to evaluate whether or not we are getting the most out of those people and what situations we need to improve in. There is definitely room for improvement in every area. If there wasnít we would be a playoff team." He also intimated he was aware that team management might be analyzing his future with the Gladiators, "My future is determined by other people, so I canít worry about it."