The Spokane Shock have watched the 24 other arenafootball2 teams play games. Now it's their turn. Spokane opens its 2009 season against Stockton on Friday at 7 in the Arena. Read on for my unedited preview.
One name to keep an eye on: Defensive linemen Jonal Saint-Dic, a Michigan State product who is essentially a roster freebie as an international player. Head coach Adam Shackleford said Saint-Dic won't play tomorrow, but he has a chance to make an impact down the road.
First shall be last.
Twenty arenafootball2 teams have a game under their belt. Four have already played twice. The only team yet to tee it up is the top-ranked Spokane Shock, who will finally take the field against 11th-ranked
“They’re extremely talented – the hardest team we’ve had to face at the beginning of a season,” Shock third-year head coach Adam Shackleford said. “It would be huge for them to walk out of here with a two-game lead. We know that, that’s why we’re preparing the way we are.”
“They’ve got a great quarterback, a sound defense, good pass rush and athletic receivers,” Shackleford said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Several of those players were headed to Arena Football League rosters, but that league is hoping to re-launch in 2010 after a one-year hiatus.
“We’re going to be great, as long as everyone can stay healthy and we play with same intensity as last year,” Olson said. “We’re going to be as good or better. That’s a bold statement but there’s no reason why we can’t be.”
Key departures from last year’s team are Parks and defensive backs Nygel Rogers (now in the CFL) and Roshawn Marshall (with af2
Shackleford said Franks “is the best rookie cover corner I’ve seen since I’ve been in the league. We’re lucky to have him.”
Franks was set to join
“It takes some getting used to, but once you’re out there it’s pretty fun,” Franks said of arena football. “I’ve been watching a lot of film and we have a great DB coach (Keefe). He not only played the game, but he was good at what he did.”
The additions of Franks, Williams and fourth DB Damon Jenkins prompted the Shock to release Tremaine Tyler, a part-time starter in 2008 “who was a better player (in camp) than he was a year ago,” Shackleford said. “Our depth is outstanding, but so will
With so many returning players, Shackleford has fast-forwarded the implementation of the playbook.
“We just have a whole lot more in,” Shackleford said. “Having so many guys back is such a new experience for us. It kind of feels like midseason and we haven’t even played a game yet.”