Decision time for coaches after NFLEL teams stage final scrimmages
March 20, 2004 - National Football League Europa (NFLE) News Release
PLAYERS of the six NFL Europe League teams grabbed their last opportunity to impress their coaches as the final game condition scrimmages of training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, were staged at St. Petersburg's 31st Street Complex.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was among the interested spectators who watched some hard-hitting, competitive games - the final action before the NFLEL coaching staffs went away to decide which 47 players would make their regular season rosters.
The Cologne Centurions and Berlin Thunder were the first teams on the field, with the Frankfurt Galaxy taking on the Scottish Claymores in the next match-up. The last scrimmage of training camp saw the Amsterdam Admirals do battle with the Rhein Fire.
Here is a roundup of the day's action:
Berlin Thunder vs Cologne Centurions
Big-play defense was the order of the day as the Thunder faced the Centurions, with both teams forcing 4 turnovers. Four Thunder players posted interceptions, Keith Davis (Dallas Cowboys), Lawrence Flugence (New England Patriots), Jermaine Mays (Minnesota Vikings) and Darrell Rideaux (Indianapolis Colts). The Centurions responded with a pair of picks by Byron Hardman, another by Bobby Brooks (Oakland Raiders) and a fumble recovery by Masaki Tokimoto.
Thunder quarterback Rohan Davey (New England Patriots) opened up with a 55-yard pass completion to Aaron Boone (Chicago Bears) but had only one more pass attempt, an incompletion. Marc Dunn (Kansas City Chiefs) completed 4 of 9 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown, while David Rivers hit on 2 of 5 passes for 34 yards.
Cologne quarterback Ryan Van Dyke (New York Giants) completed 7 of 11 passes for 45 yards, while Rob Adamson (Carolina Panthers) hit on 5 of 6 passes for 22 yards and Japanese quarterback Kentaro Namiki was 2 of 8 for 15 yards. Albert Johnson (Houston Texans) led the team's receivers with 3 catches for 11 yards.
On the ground, Chad Brinker (New York Jets) rushed 6 times for 18 yards and Avon Cobourne (Detroit Lions) gained 35 yards on five carries, including a touchdown.
From the Quotebook
"We fought hard today. We have got better every time we got on the field and we really gelled as a defense today. Our offense made a couple of mistakes, so as a defense we knew we had to stop them. We have put ourselves in a good situation for the season." - Berlin safety Keith Davis.
"I was just in the right position for the interceptions and I knew what was coming. We made some mental errors as a team but where you make mistakes you know there is room for improvement." - Cologne linebacker Byron Hardman.
Frankfurt Galaxy vs Scottish Claymores
J.T. O'Sullivan (New Orleans Saints) produced the biggest play of the scrimmage with a 63-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Lewis (New Orleans Saints), finishing with 2 completions from 5 attempts for 65 yards. Bret Engemann (Oakland Raiders) completed 1 of 5 passes, a 10-yard touchdown toss to Mexican Hugo Lira, while Kirk Farmer (Kansas City Chiefs) was 2 of 6 for 29 yards.
Leonard Henry (Miami Dolphins) gained 35 yards on 7 rushing attempts, while three Galaxy players posted interceptions, Ahmad Brooks (New Orleans Saints), Jamal Wallace (Philadelphia Eagles) and Chris Kern (Detroit Lions).
For the Claymores, Curt Anes (Detroit Lions) hit on 8 of 10 passes for 46 yards, while Nate Hybl (Cleveland Browns) completed 2 of 5 for 12 yards. De Ronnie Pitts caught a pair of passes for 10 yards, with safety Nate Jackson (Tennessee Titans) grabbing an interception.
From the Quotebook
"We came out today and played well in all areas. It is great to finish camp on a positive note and now we are looking forward to getting to Frankfurt." - Frankfurt quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan.
"We came out a bit flat today. When you play like that in a real game teams are going to make you pay. We had two or three turnovers and we can't afford to keep making those mistakes. We need to work hard in the next two weeks." - Scotland cornerback Alphonso Roundtree.
Amsterdam Admirals vs Rhein Fire
Admirals quarterback Clint Stoerner (Miami Dolphins) posted 5 completions from 8 attempts for 84 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown toss to Antoine Burns (Seattle Seahawks). David Priestley (Seattle Seahawks) hit on 3 of 6 passes for 29 yards.
For the Fire, Chad Hutchinson (Dallas Cowboys) completed 3 of 8 passes for 27 yards, before Greg Zolman (Buffalo Bills) completed 2 of 2 attempts for 80 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown hook-up with Nate Jackson (Denver Broncos).
Ryan Brewer led the Rhein rushers with 75 yards on 8 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown surge, with Walter Williams (Green Bay Packers) adding 20 yards on 6 carries and Jeremy Allen (Atlanta Falcons) 27 yards on 2 attempts.
From the Quotebook
"I was pleased with our performance. We have got better each time in these scrimmages, especially on the offensive line. Now we have got to go and prove we can do this when the regular season begins." - Amsterdam quarterback Clint Stoerner.
"We have improved throughout training camp. We came out with a lot of intensity today and the performance of my players has given me some difficult decisions when we make the final roster cuts." - Rhein head coach Pete Kuharchek.
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