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. Rick and Tom podcast: How good is this Lightning team?

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning is 5-1-1 to start the season but giving up a lot of goals each game, so just how good is this team? Rick Stroud and Tom Jones break it down in their latest podcast.

    New Jersey Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri, center right, collides with Lightning goalie Peter Budaj (31) as defenseman Victor Hedman (77) and defenseman Jake Dotchin (59) help defend. [AP photo]
  2. Florida Gators, Kevin Knox get preseason SEC basketball honors

    Blogs

    After last year's run to the Elite Eight, the Florida Gators are one of the favorites in the SEC.

  3. Dirk Koetter, not Jameis Winston, has to make the call

    Blogs

    “Touchdown” Tom Jones, the best Bucs columnist in town, htook it to the house Tuesday when he wrote that Jameis Winston should do the right thing and take a seat if he’s not perfectly healthy to play at Buffalo.

    Whether Jameis Winston plays Sunday or not is Dirk Koetter's call.
  4. This is no time for Jameis Winston to play hero

    Bucs

    Don't be a hero, Jameis.

    Do the right thing. Do what's best.

     Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sits on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 700070683
  5. NBA off and running to its usual ending

    Blogs

    The NBA season began Tuesday night.

    It ends in June.

    Call me when the Warriors win.

    True, there was news Tuesday night, bad news, grisly news, as Celtics small forward and newcomer Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia in a look-away injury early in Boston’s opener at LeBron.

    Call me when the Warriors win, Martin Fennelly writes.