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)

Tampa Bay Storm adjusts defensive plan of attack

TAMPA — In the pass-happy AFL, the defensive line's job can be pretty straightforward and tedious.

Related News/Archive

See ball snapped. Make move upfield. Hit or sack the quarterback.

Repeat.

This week presents a different and unusual set of problems for the Tampa Bay defense. The Storm (5-3) travels to Alabama (5-4) at 8 tonight and will likely run up against a side of the AFL rarely seen — the running game.

"They certainly like to run it some," coach Tim Marcum said. "Especially around the middle of the field."

While it's not uncommon for teams to run the ball near the goal line, it is unusual anywhere between the 5-yard lines. Alabama leads the league in rushes (95), yards (306) and touchdowns (28). To put it in perspective, Iowa is second in the league with 74 rushing attempts.

"We've worked more this week on reading and reacting to (the run)," Marcum said. "They like to do tosses to the middle out of certain situations and we're going to have to be ready for that, especially to the strong side because there won't be much going to the weak side."

Dan Alexander has carried the bulk of the load for the Vipers, pacing the team with 53 rushes for 160 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"Not too many teams will run it in the middle of the field like they do," Marcum said. "They like to go with a heavy package and give Alexander the ball."

Though the defense will need to be cognizant of the run, lineman Kelvin Kinney said that won't stop the line from "pinning their ears back and getting after the quarterback."

"We still want to get upfield," Kinney said. "We just have to react more and have to be ready to get some more pursuit down the line."

Kinney said he welcomes the challenge. Too often linemen wind up empty-handed due to short three-step drops.

"We want to try to hit somebody on every play," he said. "That's what we love to do so if they're running at us, we're going to be able to get some hats on people."

Though Alabama's attack is unusual, it's not the first time Marcum — a 21-year coaching veteran — has seen this act.

"Back in the old days, you'd have ex-NFL guys who would come in here and try to establish the run," Marcum said. "But usually those teams would get (crushed)."

tonight

Storm at Alabama

When/where: 8, VBC Arena, Huntsville, Ala.

Radio: 1250-AM

Tampa Bay Storm adjusts defensive plan of attack 06/10/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:56pm]
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 …