Kennewick, WA: Steven Whitehead took a few looks around the practice field this weekend, and it was quickly apparent the talent-level that was surrounding him.
“I’m just glad I am not trying to break into this league this year,” said the Tri-Cities Fever veteran receiver. “This is the most talent top to bottom that has been in camp since I’ve been here.”
Fever coach Adam Shackleford agrees. “Usually you have five guys that you know you can cut right away,” he said. “That’s not the case this year. There are a lot of really good players here.”
The Fever opened training camp this weekend and has just over three weeks to prepare for its season opening game March 1 at Colorado.
“This time of the year is always exciting,” Shackleford said. “To watch the game film on these guys is one thing, to see them practice is another.”
Whitehead, along with a handful of other veterans, returns to the Fever this season hoping to capture that elusive IFL title. The Fever are the two-time defending Intense Conference champions and are looking for a third straight.
While the expectations remain high, Whitehead said the feel at camp is a little different with so many rookies. “There are a lot of new guys out here, but these guys are hungry,” he said. “These first two days have been great.”
The Fever have 38 players in camp and will add two more this week when cornerback Dennis Rogan arrives along with receiver George Bell. Bell, a wide receiver from Arizona State University, was signed by the Fever last week.
Shackleford expects to start making cuts early this week before whittling his roster down to 25 in the next couple of weeks. “There are going to be a lot of tough decisions to make,” he said. “That’s the worst part about this job.”
The Fever is a member of the Indoor Football League. For ticket information call, 222-2215 or visit us online atwww.tricitiesfever.com.