Five games into a new position and Siaha Burley is stepping down from his duties as offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Gladiators. Burley will become Head Coach of the 8-0 Jacksonville Sharks, who are playing in their first season as members of the National Arena League.
This Cleveland team was expected to be one of the best this season and yet, this season they are 1-5 and currently out of the playoffs.
Cleveland is averaging 8.6 penalties per game. The Glads are scoring 51.8 points per game, but that’s only in front of the two expansion teams. Burley was in the middle of his first season in Cleveland and his sixth overall in the AFL.
In 2005, Burley as a player set a franchise record with 45 receiving touchdowns with the Arizona Rattlers. Burley, played for a total of four teams in the AFL totalling up 10,810 yards receiving , good for 12th most all time and catching 247 touchdowns, good enough for 11th best in AFL history.
As a coach Burley was a member of five franchises with his top award being named 2015 Assistant Coach of the Year, while a coach with the Orlando Predators. A team that also had Brandon Thompkins as one of their star players (1,266 yards receiving and 23 receiving touchdowns) logic would seem that Burley’s hiring had a lot to do with Thompkins coming to Cleveland.
Thompkins along with quarterback Shane Boyd were traded to the Baltimore Brigade yesterday for future considerations. With all the excitement around this team this season and the activity of the last couple of days, some may see it as a perceived white flag. However, Cleveland can take the last playoff spot away (for the moment) from the team they just traded with when they travel to Baltimore this Saturday.
The game is the national game of the week and can be seen on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be only Baltimore’s second home game of the season, but with the football rivalry with Cleveland in the outdoor game, this game should matter to a lot already.