Bolts Fall Short in Shootout with LA

By Bamaslammer - Bolts Team Reporter

Bolts Week 6 Photos
The Bolts Offense lit up under the dircection of QB Casey Weldon
With entertainment like this you'd think that the stands would be full.

Pre-game tailgating parties are reportedly on an increase outside Legion Field.

Photos by Bamaslammer

Birmingham - (12 March 2001) -- The Bolts found a pulse but the bleeding continues.

Quarterback Casey Weldon shook off two abysmal weeks and scored on his first offensive drive hitting WR Quincy Jackson in the Corner for 6. Casey lit up the LA defense for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns and appeared to have the Bolts rolling. However the shootout with Los Angeles turned sour as Casey Weldon was knocked from the game and continued defensive problems allowed LA to take home a 35 - 26 win and first place in the West.

In the last two weeks the Bolts defense has allowed formerly unknown running backs to run wild. Coach Dinardo did what most everyone has done in the XFL. He brought safety Calvin Jackson up into the box to stuff the run. The results were mixed as the Bolts held the running game in check but QB Tommy Maddox burned the secondary repeatedly for big plays. Since week one in the XFL teams have been bringing up the safeties daring the quarterback to burn them deep. Up until recently only Orlando had been able to do that consistently but Both Maddox and Weldon went deep repeatedly with great success. The game which was being billed by UPN as a shootout between two gunslingers was turning into just that.

Although the Bolts held the lead at the half safety Calvin Jackson was injured and Dinardo was unwilling to bring his backup into the box. The results were disastrous as RB Sal McCullough rang up 124 yards on the bolts defense. Who is McCullough you ask? I wouldn't jot down his name for your fantasy team just yet. The bolts have been making a number of journeyman running backs look like Walter Payton lately. The Bolts defense clearly is unable to stop the run without a commitment from the secondary. Meanwhile Casey Weldon who had FINALLY caught fire left the game late in the 3rd quarter bleeding from multiple locations after a series of brutal hits. His prognosis is unclear as he suffered wrist and shoulder injuries. His backup Jay Barker was totally ineffective and completed only 2 passes and 2 interceptions the rest of the night.

In the final analysis the effort was far better than the last two weeks. The Bombs away approach is clearly the way to get the offense moving with Stepfret Williams and Quincy Jackson riddling virtually every secondary they face. But plugging one hole seems to produce two more for the Bolts and the results remain another notch in the "L" column. The Bolts hit the road for another two-week stretch that will likely determine if they are going to compete for a playoff spot. With Chicago and New York coming on strong it is imperative that the Bolts win one of the next two road games. The defense must find a way to put pressure on the Quarterback. Tommy Maddox was virtually untouched all night. The linebackers aren't challenging the runners until they are 5 yards into the secondary. A trade with Chicago brought fresh blood to the offensive line with good results, It may be time for the bolts to make some calls to find some DL help as well.