TAMPA — With the regular season one day away, first-year Tampa Bay coach Dave Ewart was noncommittal regarding which quarterback would be under center when the Storm travels to face New Orleans on Friday night.
"I just don't know as of right now," Ewart said.
Brett Dietz, who finished third in the AFL in passing last season, did not return this year, and Mike Potts, Grant Gregory and Jevan Snead struggled against Orlando in the Storm's 63-30 preseason loss to the Predators last Thursday.
Snead was cut Sunday, leaving Gregory and Potts as the two quarterbacks on the roster.
"Dietz isn't here anymore and everyone understands that," Ewart said. "But we have to find someone to step up in a hurry."
The Storm traded for former Dixie Hollins High star B.J. Hall this week, but he won't arrive in town until Sunday. Ewart said he will work out Hall on Monday and Tuesday before making a decision on whether to add him to the active roster. The Storm cut Hall during the preseason last year.
Hawthorne returns: On Tuesday the team signed Michael Hawthorne, who played a major role defensively last season. He split time between defensive back and jack linebacker last year, leading the defense with four forced fumbles and three touchdowns. Hawthorne also finished second on the team in total tackles (801/2) and interceptions (three).
"He's been here before and is one of those guys who we'll be counting on for leadership," Ewart said.
TV Schedule: The Storm will appear four times nationally on the NFL Network's Arena Football Friday. Tampa Bay will host games against Jacksonville (April 1) and Orlando (June 17) and will be on the road at Philadelphia (April 15) and at the Predators (May 6).
About the Voodoo: Friday marks the first time the AFL returns to New Orleans since 2008. The VooDoo played in the Big Easy from 2004-08 before the league suspended the 2009 season. The new VooDoo organization played as Bossier-Shreveport in 2010 before the Battle Wings moved to New Orleans for 2011.