March 22, 2001
Brian Kuklick gets his first starting assignment since college,
as he replaces the injured Jeff Brohm as starting quarterback
of the Orlando Rage. Ironically, Kuklick’s last start also
came in the Florida Citrus Bowl, where he guided Team USA
against Team Florida in the All-Star Gridiron Classic after
the 1998 college season. “We have a lot of confidence in
Brian, he had an excellent pre-season camp and we believe
he will emerge as solid starter in the XFL,” Head Coach
Galen Hall says.
After running for 100 or more yards in the first five games
of the season, the Rage offense failed to hit the century
mark in their last two outings. The team was held to a season-low
20 yards on 11 carries in the 30-6 loss to Los Angeles last
week. “We need to be able to run the ball to win,” Head
Coach Galen Hall says. “Our offense is based around ball
control and moving the ball on the ground.”
With a playoff berth assured, the Orlando Rage can clinch
a first round home game and the Eastern Division Championship
with a win on Sunday. Should the Rage prevail, it would
host a first round game against the number two team from
the West on either Saturday, April 14 (8 p.m.) or Sunday,
April 15 (7 p.m.). With a loss, Orlando would need a victory
in one of its final two games to clinch the division title.
In addition, win would make the Rage the only team to post
a perfect 5-0 slate at home in this inaugural XFL season.
Although he is the starter on a first place professional
football team, Rage offensive guard Jeremy Akers says he’s
not even the best athlete in his own household. “My wife
Angie is probably a better athlete,” Akers proudly says.
“She was an All-American volleyball player at Notre Dame
and she’s pretty darn competitive.” No word from Akers on
whom wins the backyard basketball games.
The XFL’s “Paid to Play, Paid More To Win” bonus feature
hit hard on Rage players this week. After winning their
first six games, Rage players found their paychecks an average
of $2,500 lighter this week after Orlando failed to collect
the $100,000 win bonus for the first time this season. “We
all felt it,” wide receiver Skinny Culver says. “When you
are used to collecting it, you certainly miss it when it’s
With NFL-Europe opening camps next week in nearby Tampa,
Fla., the Rage Public Relations Office has issued no fewer
than a dozen media credentials to television and newspaper
reporters from Germany for the New York game on Sunday.
Many of which have requested interviews with former Rhein
Head Coach Galen Hall and former Rhein players Derrick Clark
and Mario Bailey. “Coach Hall is highly respected throughout
Germany and Mario Bailey enjoyed status generally reserved
for a rock star,” Klaus Rehm of Frankfurt television says.
“Interest in their XFL careers is high in Germany.”
Sunday, March 25 vs. New York/New Jersey Hitmen. Game time
4 p.m. (TNN). Ticket Information (407) 398-RAGE.