DAN RAUDABAUGH JOINS 30,000-YARD CLUB
Dan Raudabaugh and Clint Dolezel have plenty in common. They’re both Texas boys. They both honed their craft playing for small schools in college. They played the majority of their football careers in the Arena Football League. And now, they both have reached the 30,000-yard mark in their respective careers.
Raudabaugh and Dolezel have virtually always been tied at the hip. Raudabaugh joined the Dallas Vigilantes in 2010 as another option at quarterback for a team that went through four pivots on the season. Even though Raudabaugh was just 23-years old at the time, he was immediately the best quarterback on the Dallas roster. In 2011 when Dolezel took over as the head coach for the Vigilantes,
Raudabaugh assumed the position as the full-time starter, throwing for 4,741 yards and 90 touchdowns.
When the Vigilantes ceased operations, Dolezel and Raudabaugh were both essentially free agents. They both landed in Philadelphia, Raudabaugh as a starting quarterback and Dolezel as the team’s offensive coordinator. One year later, Dolezel became the head coach of the Soul.
Thus, it shouldn’t be all that surprising that Dolezel has brought the best out of Raudabaugh, guiding him to the 30,000-yard mark in what will surely be a Hall of Fame career. Raudabaugh now has 663 touchdowns against 97 INTs *, an 84-31 career record and is one of the eight quarterbacks in AFL history to post a quarterback rating of at least 120 (minimum 500 attempts).
Raudabaugh is one of the 10 men in AFL history to reach this mark, and Dolezel and Raudabaugh have now become the first tandem of coach and quarterback to each account for over 30,000 passing yards in their respective careers.
Raudabaugh still has a bit to go to run down his coach, as Dolezel retired with 44,564 yards, but there’s no telling what the future could hold. Remember that Raudabaugh is only 30-years old, and if he plays into his late-30s as Dolezel did, he could easily blow past 50,000 yards in his career, a mark that only the great Aaron Garcia has ever scaled.
In fact, Raudabaugh is the youngest in AFL history to throw for 30,000 yards, edging out Nick Davila by a matter of 285 days, proving that the future could be incredibly bright for the “Red Rocket.” In terms of games played, Raudabaugh needed just 116 to reach 30,000, the fourth fastest in AFL history.
At a recent practice at the Soul’s practice facility, Total Turf in Pittman, NJ, Raudabaugh talked about his accomplishment.
“It’s cool,” Raudabaugh understated. “We don’t really worry about stats until after the game, after the season. It was nice to get it out of the way. It would have been nice to do it a couple of weeks ago but we got on-sides kicked a lot so we haven’t put up too many yards.”
Raudabaugh deflected praise towards his teammates and coaches.
“It’s a tribute to the coaches and players around me,” the 30-year-old out of Miami (OH) said. “Without them we wouldn’t be successful at all. I just come to work everyday and prepare as if every game might be my last. So I just go out there and get it done. I’m glad but also very thankful for the position I’ve been in with this team and the players I’ve had around me. It’s been a blast.”
Raudabaugh also talked about joining his coach in the 30,000-yard fraternity.
“It’s really cool,” Raudabaugh said. “Like I said, I’ve been blessed to have this opportunity to play for the team and play for coach Dolezel. He’s arguably the greatest to do it and arguably the greatest to ever coach it. So I’ve just tried to be a sponge every day and learn and learn and learn and translate what we learn from the chalkboard to the field. It is a great accomplishment. (Dolezel) has done so much for this team, this league and me personally. I look up to that guy a lot and it’s cool to say we’ve got some things in common.”
Al Thompson contributed to this story.
Youngest Quarterbacks To Throw for 30,000 Yards in AFL History
Dan Raudabaugh: 30 years, 72 days
Nick Davila: 30 years, 357 days
Tommy Grady: 31 years, 78 days
Aaron Garcia: 33 years, 209 days
Mark Grieb: 33 years, 339 days
John Dutton: 34 years, 237 days
Clint Dolezel: 35 years, 3 days
Fewest Games To Throw for 30,000 Yards in AFL History
Tommy Grady: 108 Games
Nick Davila: 109 Games
Mark Grieb: 113 Games
Dan Raudabaugh: 116 Games
Aaron Garcia: 118 Games
Clint Dolezel: 128 Games
John Dutton: 129 Games
Andy Kelly: 129 Games
Sherdrick Bonner: 134 Games
John Kaleo: 138 Games
Most Passing Yards in AFL History
Aaron Garcia: 62,159
Mark Grieb: 47,896
Clint Dolezel: 44,564
Andy Kelly: 42,519
Sherdrick Bonner: 42,246
John Dutton: 37,981
John Kaleo: 35,335
Nick Davila: 32,616
Tommy Grady: 32,008
Dan Raudabaugh: 30,033*
(*as of the 3rd Quarter against Cleveland June 10, 2017)