Progamming note: Tune to Comcast SportsNet Plus at 5:30 p.m. for the 2013 season debut of the San Jose SaberCats as they travel to San Antonio to face the Talons. Channel Locations for CSN Plus: Comcast 780/105, AT&T 1771/771, DIRECTV 697-1/697, Dish Network 461.
CSN Bay Area Staff
2012 Season Recap
SaberCats: (2012) 12-6, 2nd Western Division, Wild Card Playoff Berth (Lost to eventual Arena Bowl Champion Arizona in 1st Round)
Talons: (2012) 13-5, 1st Central Division, Won Regular Season National Conference Title (Lost to Utah in Conference Semis)
Stat Matchup (2012 Season)
Points per Game: 63.5 (2nd)
Points Allowed Per Game: 57.1 (11th)
First Downs: 425 (1st)
Total Offense: 338.1 Yards/Game (1st)
Total Defense: 293.2 Yards/Game (9th)
Points per Game: 63.5 (2nd)
Points Allowed Per Game: 52.1 (8th)
First Downs: 371 (9th)
Total Offense: 283.5 Yards/Game (11th)
Total Defense: 307.2 Yards/Game (15th)
Key addition and subtraction
In QB - Aaron Garcia & Mitch Mustain
Out QB – Mark Grieb & Danny Southwick
In WR – Jason Wilis & Jamarko Simmons
Out WR – Hank Edwards, Ben Nelson & James Roe
In DB – Clevan Thomas & JC Neal
Out DB – Andre Jones & Tanner Varner
In DL – Cedrick McKinley & Matt Spanos
Out DL – Joe Sykes & Tim McGill
In QB – John Dutton & Rohan Davey
Out QB – Aaron Garcia
In WR – Jomo Wilson (Re-signed)
Out WR – Jason Willis, Brent Holmes
In DB – Andre Jones
Out DB – Ken Fontenette
In DL – Joe Sykes & Tim McGill
Keep an eye on…
SaberCats: 42 year old Aaron Garcia takes over for the retired Mark Grieb at Quarterback. Aaron will have familiar faces Jason Willis and Jamarko Simmons to throw to as both played alongside Garcia in their career. Willis has played with Garcia in five of his six seasons in the AFL. Newly inducted AFL Hall of Famer and SaberCats legend Clevan Thomas returns to the green and gold to help mold a young defensive back corps that was torched many times in 2012. With the loss of Joe Sykes and Tim McGill on defense, look to 2012 second-team All AFL Linebacker Francis Maka to be the key sack attacker this season.
Talons: Former SaberCat and two-time Arena Bowl Champion John Dutton coming off a forgettable season in Cleveland takes over for Aaron Garcia at Quarterback. Dutton will have the Talons leading receiver Jomo Wilson and former SaberCat and Cal Bear Burl Toler as his main targets. On defense former SaberCats Tim McGill, Joe Sykes (2012 AFL Defensive POY), and Adam Jones look to turn around the third worst defense in the AFL a season ago.
This will be the second all-time meeting in San Antonio for these two teams. Each team won on the others home turf last season with San Jose defeating San Antonio in Cats’ Lair 76-53 on April 6th while San Antonio returned the favor at the Alamodome 72-47 on May 19th. San Jose is 10-6 All-Time in season openers having won each of their last two since returning from hiatus.
“This is not just another team; there is a new rivalry that is being created with San Antonio. It’s important, I got a lot of friends there and we want to have bragging rights.” – Aaron Garcia on playing his former teammates in San Antonio.
“I like all 24 guys, it is a unique group, they come out here, they compete everyday they do anything we ask them to do and I am excited to see them play. ” – Darren Arbet on the 2013 SaberCats team.
Nick Laino works in Operations for Comcast Sportnet Bay Area and is the Public Address Announcer for the San Jose SaberCats