NEWS AND NOTES FROM THUNDERBOLTS TRAINING CAMP
News Courtesy of the Birmingham Thunderbolts

Day VIII - Tuesday, January 9, 2001

Communicators
ORLANDO - Birmingham Bolts quarterbacks, offensive coordinator Dave Arslanian and head coach Gerry DiNardo had the opportunity Tuesday to work with the XFL coach-to-quarterback communication system that will be employed by the Bolts when the season begins Feb. 4 against Memphis. The system passed with flying colors.

"I really like this, but you have to be careful you don't talk too much while the ball is in play," Arslanian said following Tuesday night's practice. "One time I was able to tell Casey (Weldon) to throw to the tight end late and we got a big play out of it."

The system allows coaches to communicate with the quarterbacks, but will not be turned off after a set amount of time like the National Football League. The television viewers and the fans in the stadium will also hear communications between coach and quarterback.

Orlando Visits Wednesday
For the second time in five days the Orlando Rage and the Thunderbolts will work together in practice. Unlike Saturday's pass skeleton and team scrimmage against the Rage, Wednesday's session will focus solely on the kicking game. DiNardo said the session would consist of 23 plays of live special teams work, beginning at the halfway point of practice.

Then It's Off to New York (Or Across Town)
Friday night will be an early preview of week two of the XFL season when Birmingham and New York/New Jersey scrimmage at the Hitmen training complex at 7 p.m. EST.

The scrimmage is scheduled to allow both the Bolts and Hitmen offenses to run 60 plays. There is also some kicking game work scheduled for the session.

The Line of Scrimmage
Bolts offensive line coach Rick Rhoades has Ryan Thomassie working as the starter at center after noting that the LSU product has had a productive camp. Early frontrunners for starting jobs on the offensive line include Mike Edwards, Ed King or Ozell Powell at tackles, along with Matt Hogg and Antonio Fleming at guards.

Back In the Saddle
Former Alabama running back Curtis Alexander returned to practice Tuesday after missing a couple of days battling a case of dizziness. Tight end Nicky Savoie also practiced in a limited role during the night session after being out several days with a calf strain.