TAMPA BAY – With the conclusion of day seven, the team has reached the halfway mark of training camp. While the players may now be acclimated, the focus shifts to one of improvement and versatility.
“We have taught the guys how we want to get things done,” said head coach Dave Ewart. “Now we need to focus on getting better, not just day-to-day, but in every facet of what it is that we attempt to do.”
It is now time for the players to concentrate on the execution of the plays and the details of technique they must employ to be successful. The quarterbacks and wide receivers could be overheard today talking, not about the playbook, but the importance of timing. That is, where will the receiver be at a particular moment in any given route, what passing lanes are available given the alignment of the defense and what spot must the quarterback get the ball to in order for the play to be successful.
“The biggest thing we, as quarterbacks, need to focus on is the timing with our receivers,” said quarterback Stephen Wasil. “It is a big key to know where they will be so that we can throw to a spot and give them an opportunity to make a play.
Coming and Goings: Offensive lineman George Bussey is back with the Storm. Bussey (6-foot-4, 320 lbs., Louisville) joined the Storm late in the 2011 season and appeared in three games. He then joined the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad during the 2012 NFL season. The team reassigned quarterback Trevor Vittatoe, leaving three quarterbacks in camp.
Change in Schedule: Looking ahead the team is going to cancel the afternoon practice sessions over the weekend and utilize the time with the players to focus on body maintenance. Saturday and Sunday’s practice schedule will be 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
Coaches Perspective: With training camp half way over Ewart spoke about the direction of things and what lies ahead for the remainder of camp. “What we do is a process, a continual process,” said Ewart. “Part of that process is teaching, part of the process is evaluating and another is improving. It is a long season; we have a plan in place to be successful, if we work hard and stick to our plan we will have success.”
Quote of the Day: “It has been a long time since most of us have seen two-a-days”, said defensive back Colin Nelson. “The last time I have had two-a-days was my senior season at Maryland.”
Player Spotlight: With the limited roster space teams have, it is important for a team to have some players that are versatile enough to play at several positions and to be ready when a need arises. Rookie Wondell Rutledge has seen action throughout training camp not only on both sides of the ball, but at several positions on each side of the ball. He played defensive line at Toledo University, but he has seen work at several positions on the offensive side of the ball as well.