Tampa Bay Storm to face Jacksonville Sharks' talented secondary

Storm quarterback Brett Dietz will face a Sharks team that ranks first in the Arena league in passing defense, allowing 229.8 yards per game.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Storm quarterback Brett Dietz will face a Sharks team that ranks first in the Arena league in passing defense, allowing 229.8 yards per game.

TAMPA — When Storm QB Brett Dietz scans Jacksonville's secondary Friday night, he will see a lot of familiar faces.

Dietz has played against Micheaux Robinson, Jason Perry and former Gator Dee Webb before, and the unit is part of a defense that tops the league in pass defense at 229.8 yards per game.

"They're all a bunch of young guys who play fast and aggressive," Dietz said. "They're not afraid to give up some big plays because they're going to jump in front and get their fair share of interceptions."

Dietz believes knowing the tendencies of the Sharks secondary will be an advantage rather than the other way around.

"I think it works more in my favor that I know them than they know me," he said. "They have to play the receiver while I can read them."

Dietz and the rest of the offense will have their hands full against Jacksonville. The Sharks defense also leads the league in points allowed (48 per game), sacks (2.5 per game) and fourth-down conversion (22 percent).

"They're experienced," Dietz said. "And they're good."

Injuries: WR Hank Edwards is listed as questionable with a right knee injury. Edwards tweaked it against Arizona, against which he recorded season lows in catches (five) and yards (61).

Home Sweet Home: WR DeAndrew Rubin benefitted most from Edwards being hobbled. The former star at USF and St. Petersburg's Dixie Hollins High caught nine passes for 184 yards and five touchdowns, including the winner. As a result, Rubin was named the league's playmaker of the week.

Signings: The Storm signed WR/LB Jason Gaethers and LB Eric Ortiz on Wednesday. Geathers, a member of the 2001 Miami national championship team, played the past three season with San Jose, where he was twice named to the league's All- Ironman team.

"We are a little banged up right now and had some room on the roster to bring some people in," coach Tim Marcum said. "Jason and Eric are two guys we feel can help this team right now."

Standings: Jacksonville is 3-1, tied for first in the South Division with Alabama and one game ahead of the Storm (2-2).

The Sharks are on a two-game win streak, including Saturday's 62-60 victory against Tulsa in which Aaron Garcia found former Gator Dallas Baker on an untimed down at the end of the game for a touchdown.

This marks the Storm's first of six division games this season.

Friday Night Raw: If you don't get enough hitting on the field Friday, check out Florida Championship Wrestling matches on the West Plaza following the game. Wrestlers will sign autographs before the game, and tickets to the May 21 card in Plant City will be given away during it.

up next

Storm vs. Jacksonville

When: 8 Friday

TV: NFL Network

Tickets: (813) 301-6600 or

tampabaystorm.com

Tampa Bay Storm to face Jacksonville Sharks' talented secondary 05/05/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 11:24pm]

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