In order to succeed in the Arena Football League, it is important that all players improve in all phases of the game. It’s important to do well on offense and defense, but the players must excel on special teams. This is one reason why the coaching staff had all players work on their special teams play on day five of training camp.
“It’s extremely important for us to be successful in all phases of the game including special teams,” said wide receiver Julius Gregory. “Special teams set the tone of the game right from the start. Whether it’s getting a good return or preventing a good return.”
Practicing special teams also helps players hone their craft. With the ball coming off the net on kickoffs, it’s imperative to have a returner that can play the ball as it drops down from the net.
“Working on special teams is so important,” said wide receiver Terrence Mitchell. “As a returner, I’m working on perfecting the catch off the net. I’m looking to go right from the catch and score every time without hesitation.”
In addition to practicing special teams, the team was getting ready for a live action practice set for tomorrow.
“Tomorrow’s practice is going to be a good one,” said offensive lineman Alfred McCullough. “We’ll be getting some full speed contact which will be good for evaluating all of the players.”
These sentiments were echoed by head coach Lawrence Samuels.
“We’re already five practices in and we’ve been evaluating all of the players so far,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “This is their opportunity to show the coaching staff what they can do in a live situation.”
Practice at Amalie Arena: The Storm will continue practice on AMALIE Motor Oil Field at Amalie Arena tomorrow, Wednesday, March 11. Practice will run from 8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
Storm Dawg Sighting: Rumor has it that Storm Dawg has been in the gym and on the field working out. Nobody knows why, but some think he’s trying to make the final Storm roster. Keep checking tampabaystorm.com, Facebook and Twitter for more updates.
Player Spotlight: Julius Gregory is in your player spotlight today. Gregory joins the Storm for his rookie season in the AFL. While he maybe a rookie, he is a veteran of the indoor game. Gregory played in the American Indoor Football League (AIF) since 2012 and was most recently with the Lehigh Valley Steel Hawks and was named the AIF Co-MVP for 2014.
This season, Gregory is bringing his talents to Tampa to play for the Tampa Bay Storm. At 6-foot-4, the Portsmouth, VA native provides a big body for his quarterback. During practice today, the sure-handed receiver caught several passes, failing to drop any of them. Should they make the final roster, he and his teammate Jarvis Williams could create quite the duo for either Storm signal caller.