For the first three games, the Spokane Shock’s “All In” motto means the Arena Football League team is all in airports, vans and hotels.
Spokane, which opened the season with a 67-41 road win last week over Cleveland, has packed its gear for an extended trip, beginning with today’s contest versus Chicago at Allstate Arena. The Shock will remain in the Midwest to prepare for a Friday date with Iowa in Des Moines.
The Shock lost a day of preparation returning from Cleveland, thanks to airplane mechanical issues.
“Hopefully, we can have some better flights,” second-year coach Andy Olson said. “I don’t mind away games. Sunday to Friday is tougher, it’s a quick turnaround, but there are no excuses. We’re going to be fine and focused for this one.”
Spokane is in its fourth AFL season and it would like to avoid the slow starts of its first three. The Shock went 1-3 in 2010 before recovering to win the ArenaBowl. They were 1-4 in 2011 and eventually lost in the first round of the playoffs. They opened 1-3 last year and missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
“Last year we didn’t start with a win and it kind of put the team down,” linebacker Terence Moore said. “It’s high spirits now that we started with a win but we know we have to take care of business this week.”
Chicago lost its opener to visiting Iowa 63-41. Rookie quarterback Carson Coffman had six touchdown passes but he was intercepted twice. Reggie Gray, second-team All-AFL last season, had just one reception. The Rush committed three turnovers.
“They have some very talented defensive backs,” said Olson, mentioning Vic Hall, who had 15 interceptions as an AFL rookie in 2011. “We have to keep the ball in our hands. Stopping Reggie Gray isn’t going to be easy. (Defensive back) Paul Stephens is going to have his hands full.”
Coffman, a Kansas State product, served as Tommy Grady’s backup in Utah.