The Storm took the field for a live action football practice during day six of training camp. The players put on the pads and practiced in game-like situations which helped them get accustomed to the game of arena football.
“It felt great to have the arena the last four days and today have the live practice,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “It really helped get these guys acclimated to playing arena football.”
Many of the players enjoyed the practice because it allowed them to have a live practice. This helped them get used to the walls and see things at full speed. It also showed the players where they need to improve and what they need to fix prior to the start of the regular season.
“Most teams can’t get into their arena so this was very beneficial for us,” said quarterback Jason Boltus. “There are things we need to clean up, but to be in the arena, working on the spacing and knowing where everyone needs to be is key.”
Many players enjoyed the feeling of playing on their home turf and in their home venue. Just being there gave them a sense of how great it is to play in front of the Tampa crowd.
“Playing in front of this crowd would be great,” said defensive back Nick Addison. “Being a local guy, this is my home and everybody will be able to come and see us play professionally. I can’t wait to play in front of the home crowd.”
The team will have a body maintenance day before getting back at it on Friday. With the first round of cuts coming at the end of this week, the coaching staff will have a lot to think about especially with the level of talent brought into camp.
“The coaches have a lot of tough decisions to make and that’s a testament to the guys they brought in,” said Boltus. “There is a lot of talent on this field and we have to leave it up to the coaching staff.”
With that being said, there is one thing the Storm fans can sure of: The coaches and players will do everything possible to bring winning arena football back to Tampa Bay.
Quote of Day: On the impact of the veteran leadership in camp, head coach Lawrence Samuels said, “[f]or the most part we are ahead of schedule, especially with the veteran leadership that we have on our team.”
Body Maintenance Day: The Storm will have a body maintenance day tomorrow, Thursday, March 12 before returning to Skyway Park on Friday, March 13 for the remainder of training camp.
Player Spotlight: Wide receiver Kendrick Ings is in the player spotlight after day six of training camp. The Miami, FL native joins Tampa Bay for his rookie season in the Arena Football League. A graduate of Miller Grove H.S. (GA), Ings played professionally for the Dodge City Law (CIF) during the 2014 season.
Ings joins the Storm after coming to an open tryout back in November. The coaching staff was impressed with his speed and route running ability. During today’s live practice, Ings put his speed on display along with his ability to catch the ball off the net. With the ability to be a kick returner and wide receiver, Ings has shown the versatility the coaching staff looks for in players.