- Gary Horton, Scouts Inc.
- 0 Shares
The Western Division promises to be very competitive but looks like a two-team race with the defending AFL champion San Jose SaberCats leading the way followed closely by improved Los Angeles. Utah is improved on defense, but without WR Siaha Burley, it will take a step back on offense. Arizona has 30 new faces as it remakes its roster without long time QB Sherdrick Bonner and that is just too much change to be a legitimate playoff contender, which could mean that Rattlers season-ticket holders will get total refunds at the end of the season since Arizona made a preseason promise that it was playoffs or it was free.
San Jose is deep and confident with loads of experience and they don't play very many bad games. Los Angeles, on the other hand, can look like a world-beater one week and then play down to the level of their competition the following week. But if the Avengers play with more consistency and QB Sonny Cumbie gets hot, they could make things interesting. It will be tough though because San Jose looks like a team capable of becoming the first repeat champs since the 1995-96 Tampa Bay Storm.
1. San Jose SaberCats -- 13-3
2. Los Angeles Avengers -- 10-6
3. Utah Blaze -- 7-9
4. Arizona Rattlers -- 6-10
Projected 2008 Western Division award winners
Organization of Year -- Los Angeles Avengers
Coach of Year -- Darren Arbet, San Jose
Western Division MVP -- QB Mark Grieb, San Jose
Rookie of Year -- WR Joshua Richey, San Jose
Newcomer of Year -- K David Davis, Los Angeles
Offensive Lineman of Year -- Devin Wyman, Utah
Quarterback of Year -- Mark Grieb, San Jose
Receiver of Year -- Siaha Burley, Arizona
Ironman of the Year -- FB/LB Lonnie Ford, Los Angeles
Defensive Back of Year -- Clevan Thomas, San Jose
Defensive Lineman of Year -- Ron Jones, San Jose
Linebacker of Year -- Josh Jeffries, Los Angeles
Assistant Coach of the Year -- Skip Foster, offensive coordinator, Arizona
Kicker of the Year -- A.J. Haglund, San Jose
Return Specialist of the Year -- Timon Marshall, Los Angeles
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton says the San Jose Sabercats look like the class of the AFL's Western Division in 2008.