One thing that sometimes goes unnoticed in training camp is that many players are transitioning from the outdoor game to the indoor game. With only two weeks to develop some of the players, it is important for all players to learn how to play football in a confined space.
One thing the defense needs to get acclimated to is the speed of the game.
“Playing outdoors is different than the indoor game,” said defensive back Nick Addison. “The game is a lot faster. There’s a high-motion man, and that means we have to read things that much quicker. The level of difficulty is higher when playing indoors because everyone is stationary when you’re outside.”
While the speed can raise the level of difficulty it actually can be a helpful learning tool. For the defense, the line has to react quicker which helps the linemen improve on their craft.
“There is a learning curve when transitioning from the outdoor game to the indoor game,” said defensive lineman Everett Dawkins. “But for the defensive linemen it’s a good thing. You have to move quicker and make your decisions quicker, which helps develop our pass rush better.”
The players also believe that transitioning better prepares you to play all through the line. It’s all about developing a proper three-or four-technique stance.
“In order to properly transition it’s all about developing your technique,” said defensive lineman Frank Mays. “The best players will learn to transition and play all through the line, but in order to do that you need to develop the technique.”
With limited time left in training camp, the players have adjusted well and are ready to play arena football.
Coach’s Perspective: “You all have been doing a good job,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “But there are only three days left. Now is the time to separate yourselves from the rest. Make the job hard for us when we cut down at the end of the week.”
Quote of the Day: “Way to play hard on both sides of the ball,” said defensive lineman Julius Forte. “We really got after it today and we’re only going to get better.”
Time Change: The Storm will continue practice tomorrow at Skyway Park (3901 George Road, Tampa). Practice will be conducted from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with media availability immediately after.
Player Spotlight: Day ten’s player spotlight goes to defensive lineman Frank Mays. The Bemidji, MN native joins the Storm for his rookie season in the Arena Football League. Mays began his professional career with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League in 2014 as an undrafted rookie free agent. He played collegiately at Central Lakes College (MN) before settling in at Florida A&M. He appeared in 21 games for the Rattlers, and during his senior season (2013) tallied 47.0 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Mays is a player that brings length to the defensive line. At 6-foot-9 he shows tremendous upside as a player that can block out entire sections of the field from the opposing quarterbacks point of view. During practice today, Mays used his length to bat passes down at the line. He also showed his ability to get to the quarterback during team drills.