"ReGuards:" Week 5 notebook
For the past two weeks, both wins, Guardians Head Coach Kevin Gilbride has been very pleased with the way the offense and defense have complemented each other. The offense has turned the ball over only once in those two games. (An interception that was deflected off MeKale McKay’s hands) Because the Guardians were able to rush the ball 32 times for 144 yards, they were able to keep the clock moving and keep the defense off the field. This led to the Guardians keeping the ball for six minutes more than the Renegades and keeping Dallas' offense off the field.
“The good thing is the offense held on to the ball and keeps the defense to a minimum number of plays they have to go out there. It’s great complementary football and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
The Calm of Luis Perez
The Guardians are 2-0 with Luis Perez under center. Against Dallas he was 16/30 for 229 yards. Add in the fact that receivers dropped four balls and he could have completed nearly seventy percent of his passes instead of just fifty-three percent. He’s thrown one interception in his two starts. That came this past week against Dallas and was a tipped ball of the hands of McKay. Perez is PFF’s highest rated quarterback through week 5. He has a positive influence on the offense and drew high praise from both his coach and running back Darius Victor.
“I think Luis is a guy that the offense and the defense looks to as a calming force. He’s dependable and if things are not going exactly as we hoped, that’s alright, he’s not going to get rattled. He’s not going to get flustered. He’ll continue to play, and he’ll continue to give our team a chance to win.”
“Luis is great but whoever is out there we have confidence in because we see them prepare. Throwing the football is hard. They make it look easy. Luis is a great man, a great leader and I’m confident and I’ll do whatever I can to help him out.”
The Guardians run game has improved each week allowing the offense to use more play action and keep opposing defenses off balance. Against Dallas, they may have found another weapon on the ground in Justin Stockton. He had 41 yards on only 5 carries averaging over 8 yards per carry. This week they gained more yards both in the air (229) and on the ground (144) than they had in the four previous games. The success has led to more confidence each week and Perez said they’ve still left plays out there they can improve upon something Victor agreed with.
“We leave a lot of plays out there on the field. It’s not so much what the defense does it’s what we don’t do so it’s an easy fix every time we watch tape. Just knowing that we can make a minor adjustment and it can go from bad to good just like that, gives us the confidence but putting it all together really makes a difference.”