TAMPA BAY – In a prelude to the Monday, February 27 scrimmage against the Orlando Predators, at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the Storm headed to the Florida Citrus Bowl, (Orlando, FL) to face off with the Predators in an inter-squad practice.
The team got off to an early start with a 6:00 AM departure. The Predators opened up their practice facility to the Storm and prior to the start of practice the players and coaches came together for a hand shake, “both teams have a lot respect for each other,” said Storm head coach Dave Ewart.
During the day’s session the teams participated together in a variety of drills, including, individual, one-on-one, and three-on-three drills before the start of a prolonged team live team session. “It was great to see our guys out there competing against another team,” said Ewart. For the Storm defense the live session was highlighted with three interceptions. Meanwhile, the Storm offense provide numerous highlight reel catches.
The overall sentiment of each coaching staff was that today’s inter-squad practice was beneficial for each team, as they had the opportunity to evaluate the players in a live setting. It also allowed each coaching staff to observe how their teams play against an opponent other than themselves.
Comings and Goings: Defensive back Marcus Udell returns for his second season with the team. Udell (5-foot-10, 184 lbs., Middle Tennessee State) joined the Storm in the middle of the season and appeared in six games prior to a season-ending injury. He recorded 15 tackles, five pass break ups and one interception. Defensive back Jamar Love was reassigned.
Guest Appearance: Quarterback Nick Hill stopped by today. The Storm signed Hill in the offseason as a free agent; he is currently on the reserve list, other league exempt. Hill was signed by the Green Bay Packers and heads to camp on March 11. Liking what he saw at the wide receiver position, Hill stated, “it’s a real competitive group out there. It seems like the QBs will have a lot of tools to work with.”
Coaches Perspective: “It was good to see the guys in game time atmosphere,” said head coach Dave Ewart. “All the guys gave good effort, and never quit.”
Quote of the Day: “This inter-squad practice was the perfect opportunity to put guys in an adverse situation,” said Vice President of Football Operations Jeff Gooch. “This will go a long way in helping us evaluate the team.”
Player Spotlight: Defensive back Colin Nelson was acquired by the Storm towards the end of last season, and only played in two games. Last season, he recorded 8.5 tackles and one pass break up for the Storm. During the team session of today’s inter-squad practice, Nelson made several open field tackles, and returned an interception for a touchdown.