Thursday, October 21, 2010

Official Divisional Alignment, Goodbye OKC

Today the AFL announced Divisional Alignments for next year. Absent from the teams is Oklahoma City. Rumors had been spreading that after the deal to move OKC to Seattle fell through the team planned to drop from the AFL and either go dormant or join one of the IFL leagues.

Travel for the Talons seems to be greater next year as they will have to visit Dallas, Kansas City, Iowa, and Chicago once, and maybe visit Spokane, Arizona, Utah, or San Jose. At least now I can start to write my series of "Road Tripping" blog posts.

Here is the full text of the Release:

The Arena Football League has announced new division alignments for the 2011 season. New franchises will highlight natural rivalries in all four divisions. The eighteen teams are split into the National and American Conference. The National Conference houses the West Division and Central Division. The American Conference divides into the South Division and East Division.

“This divisional alignment allows teams to revive some of their old rivalries while creating some natural new ones,” Commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. “We are very excited about the 2011 Arena Football season.”

During the 18 game schedule, each team will play every opponent in their respective division twice. Teams will also play the opponents in their conference once.

National Conference

West Division
San Jose

Central Division
Kansas City

American Conference

South Division
New Orleans
Tampa Bay

East Division

Friday, October 15, 2010

Coach Allner's Letter to Fans

Yesterday Coach Mitch Allner posted a letter to the Talons faithful on

Here is the text of the letter in its entirety:

"I just wanted to write a quick hello to all of you out there. I hope everyone is doing well and looking forward to the season starting up here in just a few short months. As always, I along with everyone else in our office appreciate the support you have all given us in the past and continuing on in the future.

We're obviously still a few months out from training camp starting, but it will be here before you know it. I look forward to seeing all of you great fans filling up the BOK Center once again. We're going to have some familiar faces from previous teams and obviously some new new young talent as well. The coaching staff has been working our tails off, as always, to put together another championship quality team that you will all be proud to cheer for. I promise, you're going to love some of the new Talons players that we're bringing in for this 2011 season.

Last year was a great season both on and off the field for our team, but we obviously fell short of our goal of winning the championship and that is what is expected every single year. Our organization expects it, the coaching staff expects it and you as fans should expect that too. So Talons fans, it's time to retool, put on our hard hats and get back to work, which is exactly what we as a coaching staff are going to do. 2011 is going to be our best season yet, just wait and see. See you all very soon and as always, Go Talons!

Coach Allner"

The portion that concerns me is "We're going to have some familiar faces from previous teams" which sounds like he does not expect any familiar faces from last season. The player I am most concerned with at this point is Jamar Ransom. Ransom has been a favorite in Tulsa for a few years. His loss would be a deep cut for many fans. We will have to wait and see though.

Also, yesterday the Talons picked up another player:

OL Joe Blanks 6’4 330 10/24/86 Winston Salem State

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Allgood to Soul looking likely

Today the Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that the Philadelphia Soul are close to signing former Talons QB Justin Allgood. This follows a week of speculation and rumors after a facebook post by former Talons WR Donovan Morgan implying that Allgood could be following him to the Soul. Several former Talons have also commented that the Allgood to Philly rumor is true.

Last season Allgood lead the AFL with 109 TD passes. A large portion of those were to Donovan Morgan. The Soul offense is sure to look a lot like Tulsa's from last year.

In other news, the Talons inked two more players yesterday:

WR Reynaldi Audate 6’2 210 5/3/86 Merrimack
DB Abdal Morris 6’0 180 1/7/88 Western Kentucky

EDIT 4:34 P.M. CST: It's official, Allgood to Philly. The Philadelphia Soul just released a press release announcing the signing of Justin Allgood.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Additions to the Talons Roster

Yesterday 3 more additions came across the Transactions wire for the Talons:

OL/DL Carl Prince 6’5 295 4/17/88 Kansas State
OL Vince Rhodes 6’2 305 11/12/85 Baylor
WR/DB Christian Varner 6’0 205 11/20/85 Maryland

Varner was a standout at the University of Maryland. He was very physical, playing like a Linebacker at times. I found a highlight tape for him here:

In addition, there have been rumors that Justin Allgood could be heading to Philadelphia with Donovan Morgan. At this time these are unlikely rumors since Allgood is expecting his first child in a few months, just bought a house in Tulsa, and works for one of the Talons owners.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Superman to leave T-Town

Today via Facebook, Talons FB Odie Armstrong (known as Superman) announced he will be signing with the Arizona Rattlers. Armstrong lead the league in rushing last year and was a key part of the Talons pass protection.

Also, it was released that former Talon, James Sadler will be going to the Chicago Rush.

In addition, the Talons picked up another player:

OL/DL Isaiah Thomas 6’3 330 2/3/85 Shaw

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Talons sign Fred Shaw! And get first Marketing Player.

Just got to check out transactions from the past three days and found some Talons signings:

DB Travis Williams 5’10 190 4/19/86 East Carolina (MARKETING PLAYER)
OL Jaquez McKissic 6’7 320 7/14/86 Clemson
DB Fred Shaw 6’2 215 11/30/83 Northeastern Oklahoma
OL/DL Jasper Price 6’2 260 2/19/88 Oklahoma State

The biggest surprise, at least for me, is the signing of Fred Shaw (even if the school is wrong). Shaw was a standout at UCO and has since gone on to be a dominating force on the OKC Yard Dawgz secondary. He will bring a lot of physicality to a Talons defense that was lacking it in the second level. This is probably the first time this offseason I am excited and glad I am getting season tickets!

In other news, former Talons DB Andre Burns has signed with the Arizona Rattlers.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Talons roster after September

Current Roster:

DB Dwain Crawford 6’0 200 1/6/86 Baylor
WR Curtis Walls 5’10 180 10/13/85 North Carolina A&T
FB/LB Sam Maxwell 6’2 235 5/13/87 Kentucky
FB/LB Vince Chase 6’4 260 6/6/85 Southern Methodist
OL/DL Reggie Scott 6’4 280 10/28/85 Tulane
WR Will Scott 6’2 185 2/23/84 North Carolina Central

"Official" Departures from last year's team:

WR Donovan Morgan to Philadelphia Soul
WR/DB Jeff Hughley to Jacksonville Sharks
WR Carlese Franklin to New Orleans Voodoo
DB LeRico Steveson to New Orleans Voodoo
DL Gabe Nyenhuis to San Jose Sabercats
DL Adam Huebner to San Jose Sabercats