Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004 | 10:34 a.m.
Clint Dolezel looks an awful lot like a Maytag repairman as he readies to take over offensive coordinator duties with the Las Vegas Gladiators.
Dolezel, the Gladiators' quarterback, will add offensive coordinator duties to his title this year. While Dolezel has enjoyed significant input into offensive schemes both here and in Grand Rapids during the past four years, this is the first time he is officially in charge.
And after the offense he directed led the Arena Football League in numerous offensive categories in 2004, Dolezel sees no reason to fix what's not broken.
"There won't be hardly any difference, honestly," Dolezel said. "There will be maybe one or two plays different from last year."
He shared play calling and offensive design responsibilities with former head coach Frank Haege last year in his first season with Las Vegas, but Dolezel will now be accountable for all but a handful of game management decisions that will fall to new head coach Ron James. Those include film breakdown, game planning, play calling and play design, but will not extend to deciding who is on the team.
Dolezel understands the chaotic pressures of playing and calling the offense at once, which is why he plans to lean on James as a conscience in sticking to the game plan. The quarterback is also quick to point out that James is the ultimate decision maker.
"Coach James is the head coach," Dolezel said. "If there's something he wants, he'll get it."
James, who served as assistant head coach for the Gladiators in the past two seasons, felt he when he took over the top job that Dolezel could fill the offensive coordinator slot.
"Clint Dolezel is, without question, the leader of our football team on the field," James said. "He knows how to run an arena football offense as well as anyone in the league, and there was no point in trying to bring in someone who could better run his system when we already had the guy to do it right here."
Both the organization and Dolezel wanted continuity for an offense that returns most of the players who helped to finish third in the league in scoring (54.8 points per game) and led the league in total offense (300.4 ypg).
"We didn't want to mess up the nucleus we had with last year's team," Dolezel said.
Dolezel, a nine-year AFL veteran with an ArenaBowl title on his resume, hopes that those same players do not look at him any differently now that he is the guy in charge.
"I'm going to tell the guys that I'm the same guy you saw last year," Dolezel said. "There will be the same respect we had last year."
The move is also cost effective for Las Vegas. The team avoids adding another coaching position and Dolezel will not receive additional compensation above his reported playing salary of between $100,000 and $150,000.
Dolezel, who lives in Texas during the offseason, is in town this week to take part in some community activities and to help evaluate players at the team's Friday open tryout.