tampabay.com

Still time for a late run at the playoffs

Throughout the Storm's disastrous 1-6 start, the mood inside the locker room was more "hakuna matata" than hysteria.

By DAVID MURPHY
Published May 17, 2007


Throughout the Storm's disastrous 1-6 start, the mood inside the locker room was more "hakuna matata" than hysteria.

Just three years ago, the team lost seven of its first 10 before winning six straight to make the playoffs. A couple of seasons earlier it qualified for the postseason after starting 2-5.

"Coach (Tim) Marcum's teams are known for putting on late-season runs, " said defensive end Tom Briggs, who signed with the Storm in the offseason. "You hear stories about how toward the end of the season they rattle off seven or eight wins in a row and end up in the ArenaBowl. Everyone's been waiting for that to happen here."

In a league where the defending champion preceded its ArenaBowl title with a 7-9 record in the regular season, anything can happen. The Storm has won three straight, and heading into Friday's game against Arizona at the St. Pete Times Forum, its 4-6 record is good enough for the fifth playoff spot in the National Conference.

UNDER PRESSURE: The Storm needs to continue to get solid play out of defensive tackle Tim McGill. He started slowly after being traded from Nashville in Week 3, but generated an unheard of nine pressures last week against Los Angeles.

NO SOLOMON: Marcum said it was the team's decision not to re-sign offensive specialist Freddie Solomon. The 34-year-old veteran, who joined Columbus' practice squad Monday, had three 1, 000-yard seasons in his four years with the Storm, but was the odd man out with the additions of Terrill Shaw and T.T. Toliver.