In addition to training camp practice, the Tampa Bay Storm hosted its media day for the upcoming 2015 season. All players and staff were available, and spoke about the upcoming season and what fans can expect heading in 2015.
These first few days have been very good us,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “The offense and defense are coming along and I think we are in a good spot right now.”
One of the other things players spoke about was keeping the push alive. Push to the playoffs and push all the way through the season. The team looked back at last season knowing that they were one win shy of the playoffs. With a “keep on pushing” motto, the team looks to improve and push all the way to the playoffs.
“We want to keep pushing and get over any adversity we face. Get in the tournament and win. That’s what our goal is,” said Samuels.
One of the major differences on the field is the roster turnover. With a lot of young guys on the field, it’ll be up to the veterans to lead them along. One of those veteran leaders is 12-year veteran T.T. Toliver.
“We have to tell the young guys to start off fast and maintain focus,” said Toliver. “We have to live for what’s happening right now. Had we maintained focus we would have won some of the last few games last season.”
Some of the newer players will rely on the veterans to help guide them, including watching film of their head coach.
“I watch a lot of old film of coach Samuels,” said wide receiver Kendrick Ings. “There are so many veteran guys to learn from. We have Coach Samuels and T.T. to rely on and that helps when you have those veterans.”
Finally, one could tell the only thing on the mind of the players is winning it all. The entire roster came into camp in shape, which will bode well for the team as it enters the upcoming season.
“You can really tell everyone was working in the offseason,” said defensive back James Harrell. “We came close to making the playoffs last year. This year we want to win it all and everyone came into camp with that mindset.”
The team will focus on special teams tomorrow as it continues to push on through training camp into the regular season.
Quote of The Day: “We’re trying to get guys to buy into our tradition. We have a winning tradition and it’s something we cannot forget about. The expectations here are high and our fans expect the best,” said Samuels.
Practice at Amalie Arena: The Storm will continue practice on AMALIE Motor Oil Field at Amalie Arena tomorrow, Tuesday, March 10 – Wednesday, March 11. Practice will run from 8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Team Camp Motto: “Keep Moving Forward.”
Player Spotlight: The player spotlight for day four of training camp goes to wide receiver T.T. Toliver. The Daytona native is no stranger to arena football having played in the AFL for the past 12 years. Toliver spent several years playing for the Orlando Predators, only to return to Tampa in mid-2014. He began his career as a defensive specialist before making his mark as a receiver and kick returner in his early career.
Throughout his career, the former Bethune-Cookman Wildcat has seen many highs. He, along with head coach Lawrence Samuels, helped bring Tampa its fifth ArenaBowl Championship back in 2003. Now Toliver can add something else to his many accolades. With 977 career receptions, Toliver is 23 catches away from reaching the 1,000 catch mark. He will join Samuels as one of only two Storm players to reach that mark. He’ll also be the fourth player in League history to reach that mark.