The Arizona Rattlers had a record setting season in 2011 achieving the most total wins in Arena League history with 18 and had many individual franchise records as well. They made it all the way to the Arena Bowl only to lose on the last play of the game to the Jacksonville Sharks 73-70 back in August.
This season, the Rattlers will have a new look as the unveiled new uniforms at media day Wednesday. The jerseys are maintaining the same colors of black, copper and teal as well as the “R” logo. The team has two helmets now, one of which is a copper helmet which is the color helmet the team had originally back in 1992. That copper consists of a new secondary logo on it. The jerseys also include a snake-skin pattern on the sleeves and pants.
“I want to bring back the excitement about the Arizona Rattlers that fans had back in the 90s but focus on a fresh new look at the same time,” explained Rattlers CEO Majority Owner Ron Shurts on Wednesday. “The most important thing is to be excited about this season and I think it is just the beginning of what’s in store this season.”
As for the team itself, the Rattlers are returning just about the entire team as they had last year, including quarterback Nick Davila who was the 2011 National Guard MVP and set franchise records for passing yards and passing touchdowns as well as defensive lineman Marcus Pittman who had 8.5 sacks last season.
The Rattlers added key acquisitions in the off-season as well. Adding last years Kicker of the Year Chris Gould, formally of the Chicago Rush, and Cliff Dukes in a trade with the Tampa Bay Storm who was named last season’s Game Tape Exchange Defensive Player of the year after recording 16 tackles for loss.
“I think we can be as good as we want to be as long as we stay healthy,” explained Rattlers GM and Head Coach Kevin Guy. “The one thing I was worried about going into this season was complacency with maybe a couple guys but we got them into the office an got them tuned in real quick.”
“We’re coming back even stronger than we did last year. We’re coming to win the championship,” added Nick Davila.
After notching more wins than any other team in Arena League history, the Rattlers believe they are even better now and will kick off their 2012 season on the road versus the San Jose Sabercats on Saturday.