By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Dave Ewart, the new Tampa Bay Storm head football coach, recently took time to do a Q&A session with The Capital Sports Report. His views are expressed in this interview.
TCSR: Coach Tim Marcum was the Storm head coach right before training camp. Then, all of a sudden, he resigned and you were named head coach. What did you think when you first heard about it?
DE: “It’s something that I didn’t think could happen. It’s something that you are never prepared for, as you said, it happened a day before training camp. It kind of put us behind the 8-ball, as far as hiring a staff. I mean it’s hard to win a game in this league, and as you can see from Coach Ho (Mike Hohensee, Philadelphia Soul head coach), who was hired six months ago, they (had) the same record as we do. It has definitely been a challenge. It is something that we thought would never happen, but it did.”
TCSR: What did you learn from Coach Marcum before he retired?
DE: “I learned a lot. I learned a lot of clock management. I learned a lot about the game. I learned how to add a running game – we have a running package now. The main thing was to keep it simple and not have any silly plays. He’s a very good man and football coach.”
TCSR: How is your coaching style different than Coach Marcum’s style?
DE: “My style is pretty much like his. I’m more animated than he was, as far as being more involved. The guys also have confidence in you, because you have been there and done that. A lot of these guys I recruited, when I had the job of Director of Player Personnel. I have had a good relationship with the guys. As far as my experience in my younger days, I’ve matured a lot. Being a head coach – I think I was 24-years-old and it was definitely a feat in itself – it takes a few years to train your eye to know what you are doing in this league.”
TCSR: What are the differences in going from Brett Dietz to Grant Gregory now as the starting quarterback?
DE: “The main difference is that we had a guy that we paid a $100,000 to a guy that we’re paying $400 per game to. So, it’s about younger guys now. I don’t know if you are going to get the older, well-established guys back every year due to the pay scale for the players.”
TCSR: Did Dietz officially retire?
DE: “Not officially, no.”
TCSR: What do you have to do as a whole collective team to improve over the rest of the season?
DE: “We have to get better at Arena Football: the fundamentals of blocking, catching, and taking care of the football. If you are going to win any kind of championships or Division titles, you have to be on the plus side of the turnover ratio. We have an 11 new players, with some others that have Arena Football experience. We’ll get better through practice.”
TCSR: How does that in-experience with those 11 guys hurt you?
DE: “As far as not knowing the system, you can’t put everything in right off the bat. There’s a lot of reads and our receivers have to learn whether to play man or zone. You have DB’s (defensive backs) coming in, who never went against a high motion before. They are not used to the short compact field, either. I think that and the kickers and quarterbacks differences – that’s the way we play.”