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Rout on road against Utah leaves Tampa Bay Storm out of sorts

TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Storm couldn't get out of Utah fast enough.

The Storm lost to the Blaze 73-36 last Thursday, the second-worst road loss and third-worst overall loss in team history.

"It wasn't pretty," first-year coach Dave Ewart said.

After winning its season opener 46-40 against New Orleans, the Storm trailed 31-23 at halftime and was routed in the second half.

Seven players experienced flu-like symptoms during the trip to Utah, and the Storm was operating on a short week with the odd Thursday game.

"We don't have regular 9-to-5 jobs where you can take a sick day," Ewart said. "But the bottom line is we're paid to do a job and didn't do it."

With the Thursday matchup — the Storm's only one of the season — Tampa Bay has a nine-day break until Sunday's home opener against Cleveland at the St. Pete Times Forum.

"We gave them a couple of days off (after returning from Utah) and everybody was moving around pretty well out at practice Tuesday," Ewart said. "Sometimes the best thing you can do is sweat it out."

QB remains question mark: Grant Gregory (16-of-29 for 186 yards, four touchdowns, two interceptions) started against the Blaze and struggled before being lifted for Mike Potts, who quarterbacked Tampa Bay to its win against the VooDoo. B.J. Hall, who signed March 14 but was inactive against the Blaze, took extra reps in practice this week; Ewart was noncommittal about naming a starter for Sunday.

Royal to Return? Terrence Royal, last year's starting fullback, was brought in on two one-day waivers and took a physical, potentially paving the way for his return this week.

Lindsey Shines: One of the biggest surprises for the Storm has been the play of wideout/kick returner Michael Lindsey. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound rookie from Northwest Mississippi Community College and Boca Ciega graduate didn't start against the VooDoo but came on to catch four passes, rush for a pair of scores and return a kickoff for a touchdown. Lindsey started against Utah and again caught four passes. He leads the AFL with 28.2 yards per kickoff return.

"Michael worked very hard and played his way onto this team," Ewart said. "He wants to be here, and being a part of the Storm means a lot to him."

.up next

Storm vs. Cleveland

7:30 p.m. Sunday, St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa

TV: BHSN

Rout on road against Utah leaves Tampa Bay Storm out of sorts 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:31pm]
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