Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Storm receiver gets shot at NFL

Storm receiver Joe Hills, trying to evade  Cleveland’s Kris Cooke, far left, and Jamar Love, will try out for the NFL’s Panthers during a minicamp May 10-12. Hills leads the Arena League in receiving yards and is second in TD catches.


Storm receiver Joe Hills, trying to evade Cleveland’s Kris Cooke, far left, and Jamar Love, will try out for the NFL’s Panthers during a minicamp May 10-12. Hills leads the Arena League in receiving yards and is second in TD catches.

TAMPA — Good news for Joe Hills. Bad news for the Storm and its fans.

Hills, one of the Arena Football League's top receivers, was invited Thursday to the Carolina Panthers' rookie minicamp, meaning his days with the Storm could be over.

"I'm happy for Joe," Storm coach Dave Ewart said. "You never want to lose a player like him, but it's part of the gig."

Hills, in his second season with the Storm, has been outstanding. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder from Tennessee State leads the league in receiving yards (769), is second in touchdown catches (17) and third in catches (48).

The Storm placed Hills, who was cut by the NFL's Titans at the end of training camp in 2011, on the Other League Exempt list Thursday. That allows Tampa Bay to retain Hills' rights should he not stick with the Panthers, whose minicamp is May 10-12.

"He could be back after that," Ewart said. "We'll just have to wait and see."

Taking Hills' place on the roster is Jason Chery, who was cut during training camp. Chris Davis, a standout at Florida State and St. Petersburg Catholic, is expected to take Hills' spot in the starting lineup tonight against New Orleans.

"We preach next man up," Ewart said, "so it's someone's turn to step up."

Awards: For the second time this season, QB Adrian McPherson was named AFL offensive player of the week. He accounted for 10 touchdowns (seven passing, three rushing) in a 70-62 win at previously unbeaten Spokane on April 27. He also was 21-of-26 for 310 yards and rushed for 50 yards.

The former FSU standout also was named the league's pulse player of the week, an award recognizing work in the community.

McPherson volunteers at the Boys & Girls Clubs in his hometown of Bradenton, recently began working with quarterbacks at Sarasota's Out-of-Door Academy and is in the process of starting a foundation to raise funding and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

"Every time I come home, I'm always at the Boys & Girls Clubs. That's where I grew up," said McPherson, whose 1,548 passing yards are fourth in the league and 233 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns first.

"Fortunately for me, my father has always been there and my parents are still married, so I had that guidance and that father figure. But a lot of my friends and cousins made some decisions that they wouldn't have made had there been a positive male influence in their life."

Camay in again: For the second week in a row, Craig Camay will handle kicking duties. He was signed prior to the Spokane game and made all 10 of his extra points (the Storm didn't attempt a field goal.) Juan Bongarra went to the hospital with chest pains during the third quarter against Orlando on April 20. His return remains unknown.

Late game: The Storm plays its lone 9 p.m. home game of the season tonight. Beginning at 7 on the Thunder Alley Stage, there will be margarita specials while local band Point 6 plays. On the East Plaza, there will be craft beer tasting from 7 to 9.

Schedule change: The game at San Jose has been moved from May 11 to May 10 (still 10:30) to accommodate a possible Game 6 of the Sharks-Canucks NHL playoff series.


Storm vs. New Orleans

When/where: 9; Tampa Bay Times Forum

TV/radio: CBS Sports Network; 1250-AM

Records: Storm 4-2, New Orleans 1-4

Storm receiver gets shot at NFL 05/03/13 [Last modified: Friday, May 3, 2013 9:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality


    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]
  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'


    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'


    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings


    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations


    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.