The Tampa Bay Storm opened up training camp this morning at Skyway Park, with the team reporting for duty at 8:15 a.m. Today marked the first of two non-padded practices, with the players wearing helmets only. The team worked on conditioning and began installing the offense and defense.
“It was a light day today,” said defensive back James Harrell. “We worked hard, but we also took the time to get to know the system and each other.”
While the team uses the first days of training camp to condition and begin drills, it also uses the time to get to know each other. The team has several players returning from last year, but there were also some new faces out on the field looking to not only make the team, but also leave a lasting impression.
“We’re just looking to get after it,” said fullback Undra Hendrix. “We’re all here and we’re eager and excited for the season to start.”
Although the team may just be a day into training camp, the team has already formed a brotherhood, bonding over not only football but also life. It is this type of bonding that will forge a strong team, ready to bring a winning culture back to Tampa.
“This is a great group of guys,” said wide receiver Julius Gregory. “We’re all on the same page and ready for our race to six. We want to get this team its sixth world championship.”
With just two weeks of training camp, look for all of the players come out with a fire in order to make this team. All 35 players will leave it all on the field with the final goal making the 24-man roster that will open up the 2016 Tampa Bay Storm season, its 25th in Tampa Bay.
Coaches’ Perspective: “The guys came in and were ready today,” said head coach Lawrence Samuels. “We did some light installation and conditioning, and we’ll get into more details in the coming days.”
Quote of the Day: “I love the group that is out here today” said Gregory. “We’re all talking to each other and getting to know each other. We’re a family out there looking out for each other.”
Player Spotlight: Last season, the Storm finished toward the bottom of the red zone statistical category. Knowing it needed to make a change to its approach, the team signed several receivers with the ability to catch a “jump ball.” One of those receivers is Terrence Ebagua, a 6-foot-6 receiver that who brings a championship mentality to the Storm. Ebagua spent the 2015 season in the PIFL, helping lead his team to a PIFL Championship. He caught 71 passes for 1,070 yards and 26 touchdowns, earning his MVP for the 2015 PIFL season. Look for Ebagua to use his length to reel in several passes this upcoming season.