Soul take on a 1-9 Orlando team

Posted: June 02, 2012

As glorious as 2008 was for Bret Munsey, 2012 has been a disaster. It started with a player walkout hours before the season opener and hasn't gotten much better.

Munsey was the head coach when the Soul won the 2008 Arena Football League title. He is currently in his first season as the head coach of the Orlando Predators.

"It's been an uphill battle since Day 1," he said. "We just haven't gotten the quarterback play you have to get to win games in this league. We haven't gotten consistency at that position and the offense has struggled because of it."

The Predators, who visit the Soul at the Wells Fargo Center at 7:05 Saturday night, have been prey for the rest of the AFL. They are 1-9 and their only win was a 27-24 victory over the Georgia Force. A 27-24 score in the AFL is like winning a game 5-3 in traditional football.

"I feel bad for him because I know he's a good coach and I know if he had a better team it would show on the field," said wide receiver Larry Brackins, one of just two current Soul players who were on that 2008 team. "The team is going through a lot of changes, a lot of injuries. I feel bad for him, but I still want to beat him."

Orlando threw a first-half scare into the Soul before Philadelphia overcame a 20-point deficit and won, 69-53, on April 28.

Former University of Florida star Chris Leak is the third quarterback Munsey has tried this year. One fortunate bit of timing for Munsey was essentially suspending wide receiver Bobby Sippio in early May. Three weeks later, on May 25, Sippio and another man were charged with the attempted murder and kidnapping of Sergio Moore, a brother of Sippio's girlfriend.

When Orlando lost to the Soul in April, Sippio had five touchdown catches and was named the league's offensive player of the week.

"It's funny," Munsey said. "The last time I was in Philadelphia, I [started the season] 9-1. Now, I'm 1-9. But we'll find a way to overcome all of this and get better."


Arena Football: Predators at Soul

Who: Orlando (1-9) at Soul (8-3)

When: Saturday, 7:05 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Center

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Radio: None

Internet:www.UStream.com and www.PhiladelphiaSoul.com.

About the Soul: They lead the conference by 11/2 games and have a chance to pull away from the pack. They play three of the AFL's worst teams over the next four games. . . . Offensive lineman Zipp Duncan tore the meniscus in his right knee and will be out 4 to 6 weeks. Offseason acquisition Devin Clark, second-team all-Arena with Arizona last year, will take Duncan's spot in the lineup.

About the Predators: They have the worst record in the league but should have more than one win. They squandered some big leads, including a 20-point cushion against the Soul on April 28. . . . Quarterback Chris Leak, the former University of Florida star, is a work in progress in the indoor game.

Up next: The Soul is at the Milwaukee Mustangs on Friday (8 p.m., TCN).

- Ed Barkowitz

 


Contact Ed Barkowitz at barkowe@phillynews.com.

 

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