TAMPA — The Storm got some good news this week when WR Joe Hills and OL Alfred McCullough returned after appearances at NFL minicamps. Both practiced Thursday and are expected to start tonight at Pittsburgh.
Hills, who worked out for the Carolina Panthers, missed two games but is tied for third in the Arena League in touchdown catches (19), fifth in receiving yards (769) and tied for eighth in catches (48). He enters tonight with 10 consecutive multitouchdown games dating to last season.
McCullough worked out for the Philadelphia Eagles and missed last week's 64-34 loss at San Jose. The offensive line struggled without him, surrendering six sacks.
To make room for the pair, Tampa Bay put DL R.J. Roberts (undisclosed) on injured reserve and released K Craig Camay. Camay took over for Juan Bongarra, who returned against the SaberCats a month after leaving a game with chest pains.
McPherson record: Adrian McPherson set a league record last week for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season with his 23rd. He also tied the franchise record for overall rushing touchdowns set in 2008 by RB Torrance Marshall. The ex-FSU star has run for at least two scores in all eight games this season and leads the league with 268 rushing yards.
Picks continue: Despite the 30-point loss to San Jose, the Storm's defensive backfield continued to be ball hawks. CB Chris Smith intercepted two more passes and is tied with Spokane's Paul Stephens for the league lead with six entering Spokane's game late Friday.) Tampa Bay now has recorded multiple interceptions in four straight games. Its 14 this season are third in the 14-team league.
Scouting the Power: Pittsburgh (2-5) lost its first three games before splitting the next four, including last week's 53-48 win at East Division-leading Philadelphia. Its other win came by three at New Orleans, a team the Storm beat by 31 at home May 4. … The Power's offense ranks 13th in the league in points per game (36.6). … It went 1-5 with former LSU standout (and brief Buc) Jordan Jefferson under center. Steven Sheffield took over last week, going 19-of-35 for 272 yards and six touchdowns. … Mike Washington has been the top threat, hauling in 66 passes for 675 yards and 11 TDs. … Pittsburgh's defense leads the league in yards per game allowed (240.7) and passing yards allowed per game (214.1).