Dinardo Speaks at Bolts Press Conference
Comments about Upcoming
Game and Win over Hitmen
Bamaslammer - Bolts Team Reporter
- (14 February 2001)
-- The big question in week three of XFL action is,
Can Casey Weldon withstand the pounding much longer?
who has watched the bolts is aware that starting Quarterback
Casey Weldon is a one-man highlight reel for XFL smash
mouth football. In fact for Weldon it has been smash
Face, Smash ribs, Smash everything. Despite the beating
Weldon has put up good numbers and led the Bolts to
their first every victory on a bitterly cold frozen
field that would make Bart Starr proud.
answer to these questions Dinardo only said that they
were looking at several avenues to improve the blocking,
The plays, the schemes, the personnel. Birmingham for
the second week has been slow coming out of the gates.
script our plays, We may have to look at how that is
being done". Dinardo explained.
asked if he and the players had discussed the possibility
of a championship Dinardo said they hadn't discussed
that specifically. "We are concentrating on staying
in playoff contention. That's all we're thinking about
right now. Just stay in position to make the playoffs".
"Anything can happen once you get there, a few
players get healthy and a mediocre team can play much
better. I don't see anything on this team that I don't
think we can fix.
at Legion Field This Week!
Positive Changes for Bolts Fans:
When Birmingham hosts the Chicago Enforcers Sunday,
Bolts Fans Can Expect
the Ticket Window
15 additional ticket booths, eight (8) more on
the East Side, five (5) more on the West and two
more at Gate 7
Ticket Will Call moved to Gate 8, away
from the stadium's main entrance ticket windows.
Will Call increased from two (2) to six (6) positions
Credit card windows increased from five
(5) to eight (8)
Hard ticket "cash only" lines
increased from nine (9) to 21
the Concession Stand
Legion Field concessionaires equipped to
handle more than 40,000 fans by increasing the
number of windows and stands which are open
the Novelty Stand
The merchandiser who handled the season
opener has been replaced and a new merchandiser
will be set up three (3) hours before kickoff
with increased presentation and locations.
All entering and departing restroom doors
will be unlocked
Gates will open at 1 p.m., two (2) hours
Xtreme Training Camp
The same great time, but with more concessions
A more extensive camp with the US Army
having a heavy presence
More and better music
Cheerleaders visiting every part of the
More and better replays
fans have spoken and the Bolts are listening!
on the upcoming game against Chicago Dinardo has major
concerns about stopping Chicago's John Avery. "Our
tackling needs to improve to contain a running back
like Avery. You can be in position and still be grasping
two weeks Dinardo spoke about what he is pleased and
disappointed with. "I am pleased with the big plays
from players like Casey and Stepfet. Practice last week
was really good. I am disappointed with the consistency.
The running game hasn't been as good as I would like.
The tackling and punt protection have been a problem
at times. On something like tackling you can't line
up pro football players and have them beat on each other.
You do that by picking up the tempo of practice. You
have to get your body in front of the ball carrier.
If you can do that in practice you can usually make
the tackle in the game.
XFL continues to tweak the rules a bit. In week two
each team was allowed to dress a player from the practice
squad. This is due to the risk of injury in the opening
scramble for the ball. A team can choose to use the
practice squad player for the opening scramble or not
but that activated player can only play in a game if
someone either he or another player is injured in the
opening scramble. Additional information was provided
on how Injured Reserve works. Each team is allowed to
pay only two players on IR. Birmingham is paying only
one, former UAB receiver Kevin Drake. Other players
have returned home, as they are not getting paid.
most interesting questions revolved around two goal
line plays during the Birmingham/New York Game. Birmingham
had a 4th and goal call, Dinardo and Casey spoke on
the sideline about a sneak. As per XFL norm the cameras
were prying into the conversation. As a fan watching
on TV I was delighted. I assumed however that this conversation
was not being broadcast on the big screen. According
to local Birmingham media who were at the game they
heard the call at the field level. This would of course
mean that the Hitmen defense did as well. Weldon almost
lost his head on that play when a Hitman linebacker
shot the gap and hit him right in the chops.
At another critical juncture the Hitman had short and
goal near the Birmingham Goal. Quarterback Charles ("I
can Take It") Puleri called time. He came to the
sideline complaining to coach Rusty Tillman that "they
can hear the play". Tillman just told him to run
the play. I got the feeling that Dinardo was not as
unaware as to these facts as he wanted us to believe.
He said that the practice of "breaking signals"
is old business in football and knowing the other guys
play was not unique to the XFL. Asked if he would change
the way he handled play calling he was evasive at best.
One has to guess that this will be on his mind the next
time Birmingham has a critical short yardage play. It
also suggests the possibility of providing "misinformation"
-- a popular government tactic.
the injury front several of you have emailed me about
Tight End Ed Smith. Smith was a popular early pick on
many fantasy league squads. A high ankle sprain just
before the first game has sidelined him since. Dinardo
said that it was a game time decision not to play Ed.
"He just didn't feel strong enough to go".
High ankle sprains can linger. I wouldn't expect him
to have much playing time in the next two weeks.
weather this Sunday looks to be partly sunny and a little
warmer than the last game at around 60 degrees. There
will be numerous additional ticket booths around Legion
Field in case another walk-up jailbreak occurs. You
can bet the beer distributor won't run out of beer as
they did in week one. Inside sources indicate that "A
lot of money" was lost by under estimating the
crowd for the first game. Hopefully Birmingham can step
to the plate and put 30 thousand or more in the stands.
A strong showing could help Birmingham stay above the
league average of 33000 per game thus far.