Cleveland Gladiators Embarrass Tampa Bay Storm in Home Opener 66-26

By on March 30, 2011

Tampa, Fl. (RSEN) The Tampa Bay Storm (1-2) opened up there home schedule with an emabarrassing 66-26 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Gladiators (2-1) at the St Pete Times Forum on Sunday night.   

The first play was an indicator of what kind of game it was going to be for the Storm, as Quarterback Mike Potts was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone resulting in a safety for Cleveland.

Gladiator QB Kurt Rocco had a solid game as he went 20 for 23  270 yards 6 Tds.  Robert Redd lead a balanced attack from the receivers from Cleveland with 7 passes for 112 yards 2 TDs and Troy Bergeron had 3 TD catches in the game.

The Tampa Bay offense was pathetic at times as Mike Potts threw 3 interceptions in the first half and, with the way the offense played in the first half you figured that Coach Ewert would pull Potts from the game for his backup Grant Gregory.  Ewert tried to show confidence in his QB as he stuck with Potts for three quarters, before he brought in Gregory. Potts finished the game going 16 for 30 139 yds. 1 TD 3 interceptions in three quarters of action. 

Gregory didn’t fare much better as he only went 7 for 11,  68 yards, with one touchdown and threw no interceptions in his action in the fourth quarter.

It has been a long time since Storm fans did not have a quality QB to cheer for at the St Pete Times Forum, and it was painful at times to watch Mike Potts while he cuts his teeth in the AFL as a starting quarterback. 

If Potts or Gregory has any chance to succeed they need to listen to offensive coordinator John Kaleo, who won an Arena League Championship in 2003 for the Storm, otherwise it’s going to be a long year for the Storm.

Storm Kick Returner Michael Lindsey was the lone bright spot tonight for the Storm, as he returned two kickoffs for TDs and set up another one.  Lindsey, the AFL leader in kick returns amassed a total of 174 return yards in the game.   

 There were two things that you could count on with the Storm, quality play at the QB position and guys’ up front on defense that got after the other team’s QB.  So far through three games in the season the Strom has done neither and the two blowouts prove that point. 

On the bright side, there appears to be a lot of talent on this team, but I think it going to take time for Coach Ewert to teach them how to play Strom Football and get them to play a lot more disciplined.

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