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Bendross meets with Marcum, is still on team
By FRANK PASTOR
Published March 15, 2006
TAMPA - One day after Demetris Bendross told reporters he had been "fired," coach Tim Marcum said the second-year offensive specialist remains on the Storm's active roster.
"Nothing's changed," Marcum said Tuesday. "He's still a member of the team."
It didn't appear that way Monday afternoon, when Bendross stormed out of Marcum's office, announced he had been "fired," and emptied the contents of his locker into a garbage bag before leaving the St. Pete Times Forum.
"He told me that I don't respect him, that he was going to let me go so I could play for a coach that I respect," Bendross said at the time.
Bendross was called into Marcum's office because the coach was upset that Bendross criticized his playcalling in the locker room at halftime of a 64-35 loss to Dallas on Sunday, Bendross said. Clock mismanagement cost the Storm a scoring chance at the end of the half.
"I said, "I don't understand why the hell we would run the ball when you've got 20 seconds left on the clock and we've been winning games by putting the ball in the air,' " Bendross said. "(Quarterback) Shane ( Stafford) set a record throwing for 400 yards back-to-back games because we were throwing the ball, not running the damn ball."
Asked about his meeting with Bendross, Marcum said through a team spokesman he would not comment until a roster move was made. Less than an hour later, the Storm issued a news release stating that Bendross had been released.
"Bennie has been a tremendous asset for the Storm over the last two seasons," Marcum said in the release. "He has filled in for Freddie ( Solomon) and has done a super job. With the salary cap the way it is, we cannot have the luxury of keeping two players at the OS position."
A second release was issued two hours later, asking that the first be disregarded.
The coach and receiver apparently have patched up their differences. Bendross was asked to return to the Times Forum, where he met with Marcum for about 15 or 20 minutes on Tuesday, team spokesman Brian Dancel said.
Bendross, the Storm's most productive receiver and kick returner the past few weeks, had eight receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns, including a league-record 49-yarder, and returned seven kicks for 122 yards against Dallas.
Solomon is expected to return for Saturday's game against New York. Bendross gives the team insurance in case Solomon has trouble with a foot injury that sidelined him the past four games.
NOW YOU TELL ME? Marcum said he thought the Storm was out of timeouts when a rushed incompletion prevented a scoring chance with the Storm at the Dallas 13 at the end of the first half. The mixup occurred when the Storm and Desperados called time after Jarrod Penright gained 4 yards on a draw play. Officials charged Dallas with the timeout, but Marcum thought his team had been charged.
"I didn't think we had a timeout left, because I knew I'd called three timeouts," Marcum said. "But in the heat of battle, I failed to remember that the guy always comes over to you and says, "That's your third timeout.' "
BUSH LEAGUE: Marcum said officials' reluctance to call intentional pass interference on Dallas defenders who grabbed Storm receivers who had beaten them makes the league look "bush." A spot foul was called once, when Lawrence Samuels was pulled down running a hitch-and-go early in the game.
"All I'm saying is, if it happens, make it a spot foul," Marcum said. "Don't give them 10 yards. If it happens down the field, make it a 30-yard penalty, whatever it is." BANGED UP: Lineman Nyle Wiren is doubtful for Saturday's game with a high ankle sprain, pulled groin and sore shoulder, Marcum said. Lineman Buck Gurley (shoulder) is questionable.