ARENAFOOTBALL
2013 Preview: Jacksonville Sharks

ARENAFOOTBALLDOTCOM Jeff Hughley was a key contributor during Jacksonville's 2011 ArenaBowl run.
 
Jeff Hughley was a key contributor during Jacksonville's 2011 ArenaBowl run.
ARENAFOOTBALLDOTCOM

Feb. 8, 2013

By RYAN MILLINOWISCH, AFNATION

2012 RECORD: 10-8 (1st, American Conference South)

LAST PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: 2012, lost to Philadelphia Soul in Conference Championship

COACH (RECORD): Les Moss (36-16 overall, 36-16 with Jacksonville)

OFFENSIVE STAR: QB Bernard Morris (291 rushing yards, 11 rushing TD, 59 passing TD)

DEFENSIVE STAR: DB LaRoche Jackson (97 tackles, 4 INT, 14 pass breakups)

2012 OFFENSIVE TEAM RANKS: 15th overall (16th passing, 2nd rushing), 12th scoring (51.7 ppg)

2012 DEFENSIVE TEAM RANKS: 3rd overall (3rd passing, 7th rushing), 3rd scoring (49.1 ppg)

KEY ADDITIONS: QB R.J. Archer (Georgia), WR Jeff Hughley (Philadelphia), OL Sir Vincent Rogers (Arizona), OL Cornelius Lewis (Iowa), DL Justin Parrish (Pittsburgh), DL Dusty Bear (Philadelphia), DL Jerry Turner (Georgia), DB Tanner Varner (San Jose), DB Tracy Belton (Georgia)

KEY DEPARTURES: WR Jamarko Simmons (San Jose), WR Shamar Graves (Pittsburgh), DL Scooter Berry (CFL), DB Bryan Evans (Tampa Bay)

KEY FREE AGENTS: QB Omar Jacobs, DB Micheaux Robinson, K Marco Capozzoli

MARQUEE MATCHUPS: at Philadelphia (Week 6), San Jose (Week 9)

PROGNOSIS: Jacksonville has been one of the most consistent teams in the Arena Football League since joining the League in 2010. The team has won three consecutive South Division titles and one ArenaBowl championship during Les Moss’ tenure as head coach. It should not be surprising that the squad is shaping up to be another winner in 2013. Quarterback Bernard Morris may be known more for his legs than his arm at this point in his career, but the team brought back a key piece of its ArenaBowl XXIV team in reigning Ironman of the Year Jeff Hughley. Always a big play threat, Hughley will provide yet another weapon for an already talented offensive set that includes Jeron Harvey, Terrance Smith and Rendrick Taylor. On the defensive side of the ball, the team will need to replace the production of line standouts Derrick Summers and Scooter Berry. To do that, the Sharks brought back defensive lineman Justin Parrish – who spent last season in Pittsburgh after two years in Jacksonville – and brought in trusty veterans Dusty Bear and Jerry Turner from Philadelphia and Georgia, respectively. All-Arena Mac linebacker Aaron Robbins will return for another season with the Sharks, as do defensive backs Bill Alford and LaRoche Jackson. Though veteran defensive back Micheaux Robinson remains unassigned at this point, the team has brought in a pair of All-Arena talents to solidify the defensive secondary for the start of camp. The additions of Tanner Varner and Tracy Belton should make an already daunting defense even more formidable in 2013.