Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New faces dot the Storm roster for opener

TAMPA — Storm fans would be wise to locate a program before Tampa Bay kicks off the Arena Football League season tonight at Cleveland. The team will again be in the familiar blue and gold but a roster will come in handy.

"There's a lot of new faces," Storm linebacker Dexter Jackson said. "But everyone is competing hard and coming together. I like what we have going on."

The Storm's current 24-man roster features just four players from last year — John Brown, Kendrick Ings, Cortez Stubbs and Dallas Jackson. But considering the team limped to a franchise-worst 2-14 in 2016, a major overhaul seemed inevitable.

Even though the vast majority are new to the Storm, they share some previous connections.

"We wanted to put together guys who have played together and co-mingled together," new Storm coach Ron James said. "And I've coached some of these guys too. I think that has helped create a synergy here."

Receiver Joe Hills, last season's Offensive Player of the Year with Jacksonville, rejoins the Storm, as does quarterback Randy Hippeard who was with Orlando. They were together on the Storm in 2013-14. In a league where scoreboards light up like pinball machines, no two players will stand out more than this duo.

"To have that 1-2 punch in Randy and Joe is just phenomenal," James said. "They are going to be one of the best combos in the league."

James has also been pleased with the defensive front's play during training camp with linemen Caesar Rayford, Antron Dillon and former NFL player Jordan Miller.

Leading the team will be James, who has 30 years of coaching experience, including eight as an indoor head coach. He led Portland last season and earned coach of the year honors in 2012 with Utah.

Tonight

at Cleveland, 7, Quicken Loans Arena Radio: 1250-AM

New faces dot the Storm roster for opener 04/07/17 [Last modified: Friday, April 7, 2017 9:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.