Back with a notebook that will run in Wednesday's S-R. The unedited version is below.
(Programming note: I'll post a feature article on Stanley Franks, probably Thursday afternoon.)
The arenafootball2 playoffs officially begin Saturday.
Thanks to a back-loaded schedule, the Shock tangled with four playoff teams in their last five regular-season games. Those questions about playing a soft schedule have finally gone away.
“We’ve tried to put our best foot forward,” offensive lineman Ryan Belcher said. “We’ve heard the rumors and talk going around that we don’t play anyone, but come see us. I’d love to see
“Our last few games have really been championship level playoff games, so it’s been good experience for us, especially the younger guys.”
“I think there was a little bit of a stale time where we were just beating teams and guys were kind of going through the motions,” head coach Adam Shackleford said. “The guys watched the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton film and realized that we can’t go through the motions and beat good teams like that. They saw that in the
The Shock outlasted
“That win was big,” Shackleford said. “It would have been tough going into the second season with a loss. We really feel like if we can continue to play well, we can make a run at this thing.”
History suggests that late-season moves often play an important role in playoff success. For that reason,
In the second half of the season,
“We’re always looking,” Shackleford said. “For some positions, like defensive end, there’s not much difference in the indoor and outdoor game. We had an injury to (Jeff) Van Orsow and Caesar came in and filled that role. Kirton has filled a role as a guy that can play multiple positions. Green is a veteran who can play several positions as well. Gray has been a great pick-up.
“We feel like we’ve added veteran depth, quality depth.”
A year ago, Etu Molden played in three games after joining the Shock in mid July. Two years ago, Devon Parks signed on at midseason. In its inaugural season in 2006,
Van Orsow, thought to be out for the season after having surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right ring finger, practiced Tuesday and has a chance of playing Saturday. He’s wearing a padded splint to protect his finger. … Shackleford said defensive back Aaron Williams (knee) is probable for Saturday’s game. …