St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

New-look Titans plan to pass first

New coach Mike Bradley brings a frantic offensive and defensive philosophy to Tech.

By JOEL POILEY
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 6, 2002


TAMPA -- You might not recognize the swarming high-energy style of play employed by Tampa Bay Tech this year.

The Titans will still feature fast, quick athletes such as Romae Rucker, Nigel James and Maurice Crum who can make big plays all over the field.

But instead of running out of the wing-T and basic defensive sets, new coach Mike Bradley believes in an up-tempo basketball mentality of pressing the opposition into mistakes on both sides of the ball.

Bradley, 38, inherits an 8-3 team that qualified for the playoffs the past two seasons with former coach John Colbert, who left in the spring because of health problems.

"I'm fortunate because the program is in good shape," said Bradley, getting his first crack at a head coaching position after a 14-year career as an assistant in Louisville and the past two years at Durant and Armwood. "The kids were a little taken aback by the changes at first. But once they bought into what we're trying to do, they see it's a fun brand of ball to play."

THROUGH THE AIR: Bradley is waiting for unproven juniors Tim Shaughnessy or Micah Brown to take command of his new offense, but it won't affect his throw-first philosophy.

"I think it's easier to throw than run, especially when you don't have big linemen," said Bradley, who worked with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Chris Redman in high school in Louisville. "Unlike some coaches, I like to run off the pass.

"I'd rather throw a quick slant and have a kid run 80 yards than try and hand it off all the time. We like to spread the ball around and make people chase us."

Shaughnessy watched Tyrone Timmons take the snaps last year, and Brown played on the junior varsity. Bradley likes their athleticism, however, and thinks either can run his offense.

Whoever wins the QB battle will have speedy targets to aim for in seniors Rucker, who runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, Yuri Higgins and junior Fabian Bolen.

ON THE GROUND: A host of backs will touch the ball in this offense. But Crum and senior Albert Daniels will be the starters. They will also catch the ball on short tosses out of the backfield. DEFENSE: Envision the Chicago Bears of 1985, when defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan unleashed a pack of wild dogs each week and terrorized the NFL on the way to a title.

The Titans will start in a 4-6 front, but no player will be deeper than 7 yards from the line of scrimmage. In other words, quarterbacks beware.

"We like to pressure the line of scrimmage and blitz a lot," Bradley said. "No doubt it's high risk. You can get burned. But we try to make the quarterback make a great throw to beat us. That doesn't happen that often in high school, that's why I believe this defense works."

Bradley will utilize cornerbacks Rucker and James, who have the speed to cover man-to-man and blitz.

Speed is the key, with defensive ends Andy Jamison and Stephen Tripp joining linebackers Crum and Chris Plumley as part of the blitzing frenzy.

THE BIG GAME: Jefferson, Oct. 11.

"King's always a big game because of the neighborhood rivalry," Bradley said. "But Jefferson is one you circle because of how good they've been in recent years and the district implications."

TAMPA BAY TECH TITANS

Back to Sports

Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

U.S. Open Tennis
  • Sampras whips the kid
  • First Hewitt-Agassi match was a stunner
  • Davenport and Mauresmo up against Williams wall

  • On the Net
  • Tennis sites top NFL in searches

  • Colleges
  • 'Canes' DBs face big test
  • State practice reports
  • Silence isn't golden for DTs
  • Loss leads to better days
  • Beavers cruise to victory
  • Around the Nation

  • Baseball
  • AL: A-Rod reaches 50 HRs in rout
  • NL: Four-run first helps Schilling get 22nd win
  • Baseball notebook
  • Streak is nice, but A's want division

  • Motorsports
  • Stewart nips Harvick for rare Truck victory

  • NFL
  • 49ers win season opener
  • Around the NFC
  • Around the AFC

  • Sports on TV, Radio
  • Fox trio of announcers paving way to top spot

  • Preps
  • Mitchell promotes JV coach
  • Bears open with victory
  • New Chiefs, same dreams
  • Why run when they can fly?

  • Etc.
  • In brief
  • UT ready to honor its best

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • NFL Football preview 2002
  • Light up the cannons and hold your ears
  • Gimme Five
  • Gruden's path littered with historic hurdles
  • League site gives fans what they want
  • Bucs by the numbers
  • Kiffin's in charge of the defense, as always
  • Bucs Q&A
  • What to bring and what to leave home
  • Dilger site knocked off-line by Sept. 11
  • NFL Q&A
  • New rules
  • NFC South capsules
  • Confidence still strong despite loss of talent
  • Saints notebook
  • Bucs coaches
  • Falcons Notebook
  • So fast, they're scary
  • Buccaneers defensive capsules
  • Buccaneers offensive capsules
  • The Florida Keys
  • 'I am making a guarantee'
  • Staff predictions
  • Buccaneers at a glance
  • Bucs: High Hopes
  • Coaching changes
  • On the road with the Bucs
  • Team by team breakdown
  • Dolphins: For the fans
  • No more excuses for Miami
  • New NFL stadiums
  • Jacksonville looking dim without its stars
  • Jaguars: For the fans
  • NFL: By the numbers
  • What they're saying about the Bucs
  • What they're saying about the Dolphins
  • What they're saying about the Dolphins
  • What's past is past for Panthers, unless you hang on for motivation
  • Panthers: Special teams must keep scoring points

  • Prep football preview 2002
  • 4A-6 DISTRICT PREVIEW: Defending champ faces tough road
  • Losing season doesn't sit well with Hawks
  • Team's continued rise depends on cohesion
  • Graduation forces Spongers to ''reload''
  • Barons look forward to tough schedule
  • New-look Warhawks boast lofty goals
  • New Pats coach plans plenty of changes
  • Devils welcome fresh cast of characters
  • 'Canes in playoffs? Not that far-fetched
  • Explosive Felton to carry Warriors' load
  • Small Mustangs must rely on experience
  • Harris looks to measure up in win column
  • Packers boast new weapon at quarterback
  • Loaded Spartans have talent to dominate
  • Crusaders hope to make success a habit
  • Numbers to give Eagles breathing room
  • Gladiators trying to stay more grounded
  • Eagles likely to finally get off the ground
  • Seniors have Falcons thinking playoffs
  • Rebels pinning hopes on healthy veterans
  • Cougars must surmount rugged district
  • Healthy Marauders pose playoff threat
  • Nucleus has Tornadoes primed to rebound
  • Pirates hope confidence is the difference
  • New coach looking to stretch the field
  • Big dreams without big heads
  • You've come a long way baby!
  • The small things come first for county's newest teams
  • Hillsborough distric outlook
  • From the editor:
  • Team's character, offense are focus
  • West Preview: Could this be the season the west finally fights back?
  • Veteran leadership strength of Cougars
  • This Cowboys coach promises to stay put
  • Don't be surprised by Indians this time
  • It's now or never for the Dragons
  • Potential for title run has Lions' attention
  • One loss motivates Tigers to improve
  • Leto's new offense, season hold promise
  • Reaves ready to put Panthers in spotlight
  • Rebuilding Raiders must grow up fast
  • It's Hicks' turn to carry load for Knights
  • New-look Titans plan to pass first
  • Too many veterans not to be optimistic
  • Crusaders continue rebuilding project
  • Wildcats begin to whisper about playoffs
  • Last season's woes strengthen Eagles
  • Ravens' growth will determine success
  • Last season's stars are tough to replace
  • Bucs want early wins then trip to playoffs
  • Nine-game skid shakes team's foundation
  • Bulls out to end trend of one-win seasons
  • Depth in trenches crucial for Eagles
  • Pasco County: For the fans
  • Playoff losses big motivation for Gators
  • The word little's a big deal for Mustangs
  • If Pirates can remain healthy, watch out
  • This season's schedule bound to have more surprises
  • New coach, offense give Rams new hope
  • Juniors out to resurrect Knights' success
  • Wildcats prepare for tougher challenges
  • Bulldogs are lacking in numbers, as usual
  • 10 Games to Watch: A week-by-week county primer
  • 10 Questions: Setting the record straight for 2002 ... sort of
  • Gators begin making big waves
  • National Signing Day will be a big deal this time around
  • Bucs sport a new look called the Spread-I
  • Conference race has new meaning
  • Offense has promise, defense a concern
  • Weightman to test reloading Hudson
  • New Bears coach is all about approach
  • Hernando: For the Fans
  • On the Net
  • Castillo, Leopards ready to break into open
  • Eagles to take field with winning feeling
  • Hernando County's college players to watch
  • Eagles in for rocky start, strong finish
  • Springstead ready to push Central
  • Scheme stays same but faces change
  • Panthers standout isn't very hard to find on field
  • Pirates bent on dismissing doubters, foes
  • Panthers have tasted success, want more
  • Buoyed by experience, athleticism
  • Tigers have playoff potential if they unite
  • A whole new offensive ballgame
  • Citrus County football from A to Z

  • Rays
  • Rays, Kennedy get swept away
  • Naimoli says deal should help sport
  • Nash to get out of jail
  • Up next: Rangers

  • Bucs
  • Productive Saints QB still looking for respect
  • Lightning forces players into garage


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts