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)

Storm's Jimmy Gordon enjoys craziness of being MAC linebacker

TAMPA — Jimmy Gordon's primary job in college football wasn't to tackle. But that doesn't mean the former Buffalo tight end didn't like to hit.

"I always looked to deliver the punishment," he said. "Not absorb it."

The way Gordon looks at it, it's better to be the hammer than the nail, regardless of which side of the ball he is on.

"I don't mind running into a brick wall," Gordon said.

Goodbye, offense. Hello, defense.

Gordon has left his tight end days behind, and the Storm is reaping the benefits. Gordon, 6 feet 2 and 275 pounds, now hands out the punishment at MAC linebacker. He has started all six Storm games this season heading into tonight's game against Cleveland at Amalie Arena.

"They say to play the position, you have to enjoy the craziness," Gordon, 24, said. "And I do."

The move has fallen in line with Gordon's personality. Arena League MAC linebackers rush the quarterback on each play, blasting through a hole in the line only to be met by an awaiting fullback.

"Any MAC is a little crazy," Gordon said. "To stand 5 yards back and run into a fullback full speed, that's a little nuts."

Gordon, who played part of last season as a rookie with Jacksonville, joined the Storm this year, replacing Dexter Jackson. Jackson is now the Sharks' MAC linebacker.

"It was great to meet him and pick his brain a little," Gordon said. "I know he was a fan favorite here, and right now I'm just trying to make my own name. I want to be the face of the Tampa Bay Storm."

The former tight end made his biggest splash in the Storm's last game, against Orlando on May 13, collecting a pair of sacks. The sacks were just the Storm's second and third of the season.

"We held what they say is the best team in the league (Orlando) … to their lowest point total of the year," Gordon said of the Storm's 42-40 loss. "No one expected that."

The Storm's defense has been more impressive than Tampa Bay's 0-6 record. The Storm is third in the league in average yards allowed per game at 260.3.

"Our defense has been playing exceptionally well the last three weeks," coach Lawrence Samuels said. "They've held some of the best offenses recently in check. That's all you can ask."

And though he plies his trade on the defensive side, Gordon hasn't forgotten his offensive roots. He scored his first career Arena League touchdown against Orlando on a fullback sweep off right end. Combined with his two sacks, Gordon, who also long snaps for the Storm, earned AFL Playmaker of the Week recognition.

"It was a great honor," he said. "My whole game is about being able to do whatever my team needs me to do. When coach calls my number, I'm ready."

Tonight

vs. Cleveland, 8, Amalie Arena Radio: 1250-AM

Records: Storm 0-6, Cleveland 3-4

Tickets: (813) 301-6600, ticketmaster.com

Storm's Jimmy Gordon enjoys craziness of being MAC linebacker 05/22/16 [Last modified: Sunday, May 22, 2016 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect

    Bucs

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …