Dinardo's Combat Tactics for XFL Sideline Reporters

By Bamaslammer - Bolts Team Reporter

Birmingham - (23 February 2001) -- Coach Jerry Dinardo was the poster boy for "He's in over his head" remarks before the season began due to his lack of pro football experience. Dinardo was one of the first ever XFL coaches hired and his assignment to the Birmingham Bolts took many by surprise. After an opening loss to the Maniacs at home in which the team didn't look very good some began to quietly wonder if the critics were right. Since that time the Bolts have become one of the better teams in the XFL and the questions about his abilities as a head coach have diminished.

In this weeks Monday press conference I got a peek at the Dinardo wit. He spoke about his secret tactics used to avoid the pesky XFL sideline reporters. "I think they get tired of following me, I think I can wear them down". Always the tactician Dinardo continued, "I look at where their cords are. I run them one way down the sideline then I double back on them, they eventually get tangled up". Dinardo's sense of humor is becoming a staple of the Bolts press conferences.

When asked about the titanic shot that James Willis unleashed Sunday on Chicago Lineman Chris Perez Dinardo said he didn't see the shot and was quite shocked that Willis reacted that way. "Willis is a leader on defense, He's usually the one keeping everyone else calm". Dinardo said that it was very rare for something like that to work to a team's advantage but in this case it might have had an emotional impact on the fans and the team.

In other news, the league is looking at the 5-yard penalty for leaving too early on punts. It appears some coaches have determined this is a penalty they are willing to take to contain the return man. With the average scores being so low the league could use a few more returns. The league is considering altering the rule to be 5 yards for the first offense then 10 then 15 on the following offenses.

Wide Receiver Damon Gourdine will undergo surgery to repair a broken ankle he received in the Chicago game. Since he will be placed on injured reserve after the season started he will receive his full regular salary.

Former UAB wide receiver Kevin Drake is available for the Orlando game but it is not known if he will have enough time to prepare. The bolts also added DE Kyle Schroeder a Dartmouth product.

The upcoming Orlando game couldn't be more critical. With a win the Rage could have a 2 game lead in the division. Birmingham could tie the Rage with a victory. Both teams appear evenly matched with the Rage having a more productive offense and the Bolts having a tougher defense. The Rage and Bolts spent most of training camp working against each other. The Bolts seemed to man handle them early but in the final scrimmage the Rage not only routed the Bolts but physically beat them up. I'm sure that will be on their minds Sunday night in Orlando.