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Tampa Bay Storm QB Dietz ready to rebound from season-opening loss

Quarterback Brett Dietz tied the Storm season record for touchdown passes with 86 in 2008.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times (2008)

Quarterback Brett Dietz tied the Storm season record for touchdown passes with 86 in 2008.

TAMPA — It was a side of Brett Dietz that Storm coach Tim Marcum had never seen.

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After an interception with 1:38 left in Tampa Bay's season-opening loss at Tulsa, Dietz scowled, cussed and let out all his frustration.

"That was probably the first time I ever saw him really let loose and show emotion," Marcum said.

The interception didn't cost Tampa Bay the game, but it effectively ended hope of a comeback.

"I mean, he was hot," Marcum said.

Usually, Dietz, the 2007 co-rookie of the year while with the Storm, takes the game as it comes.

"That's what you want out of your quarterback," Marcum said. "You want a guy who keeps his cool and doesn't let his emotions get the best of him. It's like a golfer who misses a putt. … He's going to keep his cool."

Part of Dietz's attitude comes from his nomadic path to Tampa. Since a record-breaking career at Division III Hanover (Ind.), Dietz has gone from Louisville to Finland and nearly a half-dozen places between to play football.

"I loved playing football over in Europe, and I had some great experiences," said Dietz, 28. "I think I tried to take a little something from all the places I played."

In 2006, Dietz landed on the Storm's practice squad, but not for long. The Louisville Fire of the AF2, the arena league's developmental league, signed him, and he went on to win its rookie of the year honor. Stops in Spokane and Chicago followed before Dietz landed on AFL Kansas City's practice squad in 2007. An injury to the Storm's Stoney Case in 2007 opened a door, and Dietz was quickly signed again, this time to back up starter John Kaleo.

"We always knew (Dietz) could make the throws," Marcum said. "When he came back, he'd taken a lot more reps and was more seasoned."

It didn't take long for Dietz to showcase his skills. In his first game back, Kaleo was injured.

"I didn't really know what I was doing right out of the gate, but the game eventually started to slow down, and that's when things took off," Dietz said.

Dietz led Tampa Bay to an 8-1 record the rest of the way. In his first full season with the Storm, 2008, Dietz tied the team season record with 86 touchdown passes. The Storm finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs by one game. "That left a bad taste in our mouths," Dietz said.

Dietz can't wait to get things going in the right direction tonight at the St. Pete Times Forum against Dallas (0-1) in the home opener.

"The bottom line is we were embarrassed when we went back and watched film of the Tulsa game," he said. "This is a proud championship organization, and there's no fans like Tampa fans. (Tonight) is going to be awesome getting back out in front of them and into the win column."

. tonight

Storm vs. Dallas Vigilantes

When/where: 7:30; St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa

Tickets: (813) 301-6600 or tampabaystorm.com.

Tampa Bay Storm QB Dietz ready to rebound from season-opening loss 04/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 15, 2010 9:49pm]
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