Hunger and talent. Two qualities the Storm wanted its players to have heading into the upcoming season. Players that are talented, hungry and wanting to make the team. In this year’s training camp, the coaching staff has led a group of guys that want to win, and want to win “now.”
“We have put together a group of guys that want it,” said quality control coach Ernie Leal. “We have a competitive camp and you can just tell that everyone is hungry for the opportunity.”
Day 11 was once again full of competition. With all of the players going full speed, you could tell that they all wanted to make the final 24-man roster.
“This is an extremely competitive camp,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “Everyone has exhibited the drive necessary to play for the Storm. They’re making it tough for the coaching staff.”
The race for jobs on the defensive side of the ball has intensified since the beginning of camp. With the defensive line developing and the defensive backfield coming together, the staff will have a lot to think about as it heads into the final two days of camp.
“We’ve really developed since the opening of camp,” said Leal. “You can sense the defensive players are hungry and they’re giving it their all to make this squad. That goes for the offense as well.”
The players finished the light-work day with some team drills and conditioning exercises. Look for things to heat up in the coming days as players try to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.
Time Change: The Storm will continue practice tomorrow at Skyway Park (3901 George Road, Tampa). Practice will be held from 8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. with media availability immediately after.
Looking Ahead: The Storm will have its final roster cut down on Friday, March 20. It will be the second cut down of training camp, with the team transitioning from a 28-man to a 24-man roster.
Player Spotlight: Richard Clebert joined the Storm in 2014 for his second stint in a Storm uniform. The four-year AFL veteran is a two-time ArenaBowl champion having won with the Spokane Shock in 2010 and the Jacksonville Sharks in 2011. He led the Storm in sacks in 2014 with 5.0 and tallied 16.5 tackles, five tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. The Miami, FL native spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League in 2013.
The former University of South Florida standout played four seasons for the Bulls, starting in 28-of-38 games. He was a three-year starter at nose tackle, recording 66 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
This training camp, Clebert has shown his ability on the defensive line. He’s gotten to the quarterback and has the ability to make a difference on the defensive side of the ball. Look for him to continue this trend as we head toward the final roster cut down later this week.