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Wanted: a player who can catch kickoffs, hold on

Coach Tim Marcum doesn't know who will return kicks for the Storm against league-leading Austin on Saturday, but he knows who won't.

Marcum made it clear after an overtime loss to Orlando on Sunday that defensive specialist Jonathan Ordway no longer will handle the role after a turnover led to an opponent's score for the third consecutive week.

"If we can have a guy catch the (darn) thing off the net and hand it to him, Ordway's a great return guy," Marcum said. "But that's asking a little too much time there."

Ordway, an Armwood graduate and one of the Storm's fastest players, agreed to return kicks at the start of the season to fill a need.

He has shown flashes of brilliance, averaging 17.4 yards, including a long of 40, on 25 returns. But he lost balls off the net that Grand Rapids and Orlando returned for touchdowns and he fumbled during a return against Georgia.

"I have a hard time judging if it's going to come off hard or if it's coming off short and just lining up in the position so you don't have to run around," Ordway said. "I guess there's all kinds of tricks; if it's close to the iron, it shoots this way and if it's up on top of the net, all that stuff. I'm still learning."

Just not quickly enough for Marcum.

With the Lightning off, the Storm had the nets up inside the St. Pete Times Forum the entire week before the Orlando game and practiced receiving balls off of them. But Ordway juggled several balls against Orlando and lost one that Clif Dell returned 4 yards for a Predators touchdown.

With Freddie Solomon (foot) out for at least another week, Marcum isn't sure where to turn next. Only Lynaris Elpheage and Demetris Bendross have returned kicks, and Jeff Sanchez did it in college.

"It's called drawing straws," Marcum said. "Does anybody in here want to return kicks? I don't (care) who you are. We can't do it."

RARE AIR: Quarterback Shane Stafford was ArenaFan Online's offensive player of the week after he completed 36 of 52 passes for 458 yards and eight touchdowns against Orlando. Stafford tied Andy Kelly for second-most completions in a game in league history behind Tommy Maddox. Stafford's passing yards were most in the league this season and third-most all-time, trailing Clint Dolezel (479) and Todd Marinovich (469).

GIVING IT AWAY: Marcum made it plain to his players after the game that four turnovers were the reason they lost for only the third time in 50 games when scoring 60 or more points.

"Blocking and tackling, pitching and catching is very important," Marcum said. "But the most important thing of all is taking care of the football. It's a game of possessions."

The numbers bear him out. Through four games, the Storm (2-2) ranks 17th in the 18-team league with a minus-5 turnover differential.

ROOKIE MISTAKE: Marcum, back on the sideline Sunday after a three-game suspension, was kicking himself for calling a timeout with 1 minute, 20 seconds remaining in the first half.

"I outcoached myself right there," Marcum said. "That was stupid on my part. I never do that. I always wait until the end, because you really don't need 1:20. A minute's plenty, and sometimes you've got to run time off of a minute, so I don't know why I did that. Rookie coach."

It didn't matter, because Orlando's Jay Taylor missed a 26-yard field goal at the end of the half.

STORM FLURRIES: Defensive specialist Tramain Jones remains out with a neck injury. Lineman Nyle Wiren has a sore shoulder and groin. Lineman Buck Gurley injured an ankle.

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