The Storm hit the ground running on day eight of training camp. With only a week left the players are doing all they can to make the final 24-man roster. The players will take the next week to improve their games and listening to the coaching staff in order to make the final squad.
“We have to just take it day-by-day,” said defensive lineman Ryne Giddins. “You have to improve your craft, keep taking notes in the meeting rooms and listen to coach.”
The biggest asset to a rookie trying to make the team is relying on the veterans. The vets set the tone and relay their own experience to teach the younger players. With several veterans on the team, it’s only natural for the younger guys to listen.
“We really look up to these guys,” said rookie offensive lineman Bruce Doyle. “They’ve been in this league for a while and there’s no better place to look for guidance than those vets.”
Once again, the team worked on keeping its composure and cutting down on the penalties. The staff stressed to the players the importance of keeping calm and reducing the number of flags thrown on the field. If a flag is thrown, the resulting penalty could cause a stalled drive resulting in a turnover or loss.
“We have to be mentally strong in this game too,” said Doyle. “Penalties are an advantage to the other team, so anything we can do to eliminate the advantage is key to winning the game.”
The Storm will cut the current 28-man roster down to 24 players on Friday, March 20.
Coach’s Perspective: “We’ve had a very competitive camp so far,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “There is a lot of talent out there and the guys are competing hard every day.”
Storm Dawg Sighting: Another report has come in and it looks like Storm Dawg was last seen in the weight room. Some people actually thought they saw him working on his route running too. We’ll try to track down some pictures to verify these rumors. Check tampabaystorm.com and all Tampa Bay Storm social media platforms for more information.
Training Camp Venue: The Storm will continue practicing at Skyway Park for the remainder of training camp. All practices run from 8:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Media availability begins at 11:30 a.m.
Player Spotlight: The player spotlight goes to mac linebacker Dexter Jackson. Jackson enters his second season with the Storm after spending 2013 with the Orlando Predators. The Jacksonville, FL native also spent time with the Milwaukee Mustangs and San Jose SaberCats.
Jackson is a true ironman for the Storm having the ability to play the fullback position in addition to mac linebacker. Last season saw the four-year veteran start at fullback. He finished 2014 with 29 carries for 55 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, he also recorded 15.0 tackles and 3.0 sacks. Jackson has been seeing time at both positions this training camp, showing his versatility for the coaching staff.