With a bye this week the Everett Hawks did not practice, but will hold a Sunday night team meeting and go back to work bright and early Monday morning at the Snohomish Indoor Soccer Dome.
“It’s going to be hard work,” Everett coach Cedric Walker said. “It’s going to be like training camp.”
In the wake of a troubling 0-2 start to the 2007 season, the af2 team is looking to regroup and revamp before playing its third straight road game next Saturday at Boise (1-1).
The losses are one thing, but the staggering 37-point average margin of defeat is even more disconcerting to the Hawks’ first-year head coach.
“We have just literally given games away,” Walker fumed about the 61-30 loss at Tulsa, followed by the 74-31 defeat at Central Valley. “Eleven turnovers … you can’t win like that.”
Although Walker has not yet brought in anyone to challenge Ben Bowling and Jason Campbell for the starting quarterback position, the Hawks will have several prospective players at practices next week, vying for other roster spots.
Walker said as many as six players – including linemen, wide receivers and defensive backs – currently on the roster could be replaced before the Boise game.
“Some of the guys will be on their way out based on what I’ve seen from two weeks of film,” Walker said. “We’ll get guys who are hungry and want to make a difference.”
Meantime, disappointed with the play of Bowling and Campbell, Walker is continuing to search for a proven quarterback with arena football experience.
His pursuit includes an unidentified former af2 signal-caller – not former Tulsa QB Mark Radlinski who has re-joined Grand Rapids of the Arena Football League – who retains hopes of catching on with an AFL team.
Although the focus has fallen on the quarterback position, Walker is unhappy with the team’s performance across the board.
“We need guys who can finish blocks, cover guys and make plays,” Walker said. “We’re looking for blue collar guys who will stand up and say ‘What’s best for the team is best for me.’”
Sam not silent: Walker said he and team owner Sam Adams have had frank discussions about the team’s performance.
“Sam and I have talked for a week and everything he has said is the truth,” Walker said. “We’ve been terrible top to bottom.”
Walker said that despite the rough start he retains strong support from Adams.
“Sam is my inspiration,” Walker said. “He’s backing me 110 percent.”
Firecats solidify No. 1 spot: The Florida Firecats (2-0) received 463 points and 28 of 30 first-place votes to remain atop the af2 coaches’ poll this week. Quad City (3-0), fresh off a victory Friday over Boise, moved up one spot to No. 2. Tulsa (1-0), South Georgia (2-0) and Central Valley (1-0) round out the top-five. Spokane, the defending ArenaCup champion which saw its streak of 10 consecutive home victories stopped by the Steamwheelers, fell to No. 8.
Around the league: Central Valley’s Wes Borba was named af2 “Ironman of the Week” after leading the Coyotes past Everett. Borba had a rare triple feat: He caught a touchdown pass, ran for another TD and even threw a TD pass, in addition to shining on defense. … Former Everett Wide receiver/defensive back Kendrick Walker, traded by Everett to Oklahoma City after the third game in 2006, now plays for Bossier-Shreveport and was named af2 “Defensive Player of the Week” after his three interceptions and five tackles led the Battle Wings to a 67-52 victory over expansion Fort Wayne last Saturday. … Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Quincy Carter made his af2 debut for the Battle Wings and completed 20 of 29 passes for six TDs and one interception.