PHILADELPHIA, PA – Questions loomed this past off season on if QB Dan Raudabaugh would return to Philadelphia and if so, will he be able to overcome his struggles and silence his critics.
During the free agency period in the second week of November 2014, the Soul announced that they have signed the veteran QB from Miami to a new two year contract. Philadelphia were exploring all options at QB through open tryouts and the quarterback market in the AFL but knew that no other player not only had the skill level close to him but understood head coach Clint Dolezel’s system better than Raudabaugh. In fact, Dolezel was also signed to a two year contract in September of 2014 and he definitely wanted Dan to be under center moving on.
With 11 weeks already in the season, 7 weeks left of the regular season and the Soul sitting at a franchise best 10-1, the offense and Raudabaugh’s effort put in whether it’s practice and in the games are paying off and benefiting the team.
Through 11 games last season, Raudabaugh had 2,676 yards, 56 touchdowns 9 interceptions.
>> So far this season, Dan has 2,827 yards, 65 TDs and only 6 interceptions with a 122.30 quarterback rating.
So what’s been the improvement of the veteran QB? One would think it was just the extra work and time in practice and the new schemes. While that partially may be the case, Coach Dolezel says that it was due to Raudabaugh’s health and focus on the dream.
“In the offseason he put the work in, he slimmed down, and he stopped doing things that don’t pertain to football,” Head coach Clint Dolezel told reporters after the Soul’s 62-41 defeat against the New Orleans Voodoo in Week 11. “He came in prepared and stepped up when we didn’t have quite the run game that we had before.”
Helping Raudabaugh get his league leading 65 touchdowns is the support from his wide receiver corps.
WR Ryan McDaniel has known Raudabaugh longer than any wide receiver currently on the Philadelphia Soul roster and has been with Dan during the Soul’s Arena Bowl run in 2013. This season, McDaniel has 764 yards and 17 touchdowns off of 71 receptions.
The third year receiver from Samford noted that Raudabaugh seems like a new person and has opened the season with tons of focus.
“Dan’s a great player, great person and reinvented himself in the offseason,” McDaniel told Arena Insider. “He’s came out on fire and can’t ask much from him.”
Will he wear the MVP crown? McDaniel hopes Raudabaugh does and doesn’t see why he wouldn’t win it.
“I hope so,” Ryan said. “If he keeps playing the way he is which I got 100% in him he will. I don’t see why not.”
The Soul are away for Week 12 and will face the currently 6-5 Orlando Predators. The game can be seen on ESPN 3