Rattlers notebook: Rattlers waive kicker, sign replacement - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Rattlers notebook: Rattlers waive kicker, sign replacement

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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 1:15 am | Updated: 7:02 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Another week, another roster move for the Arizona Rattlers. Kicker Peter Christofilakos, signed only 12 days ago to replace an inconsistent Gary Kral, was waived Monday.

Nine-year Arena Football League veteran Clay Rush, who was released by Kansas City last week, will take Christofilakos’ place on the roster.

The Rattlers are the fifth Arena League team for Rush, who has twice been named the league’s Kicker of the Year (2000, 2003). Rush is among the top five in league history in both extra points and field goals made in a career.

Coach Gene Nudo said the decision was less about Christofilakos, who was 13 of 14 on extra points, and more about Rush’s experience.

“He did an adequate job, but we had a chance to get a veteran guy in there,” Nudo said.

Nudo said Rush wanted to come to the Rattlers at the beginning of the year, but the team already had a deal in place with Kral.

Arizona has made 15 roster moves since May 1.

SECONDARY MAKING STRIDES

Just a week removed from allowing San Jose to score on its first eight possessions, Arizona’s much-maligned defense had five stops and forced three turnovers against Austin on Saturday.

Four of the five stops came in the second half, when the Rattlers held the Wranglers to 17 points, a modest total by Arena League standards.

Nudo said defensive backs Art Smith and William Fields, who were signed May 3, have added much-needed toughness to the secondary. He also said the duo have made nice adjustments after experiencing growing pains against San Jose.

“The secondary wound up being what we thought they would be,” Nudo said. “They’re better tacklers and a little bit more physical.”

Smith and Fields were added to the roster after the Rattlers cut Terrance Joseph and Tony Lukins following a Week 9 loss to New York in which the defense surrendered 67 points.

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