Henson's best receiver is just now arriving in Europe.
In the zone
March 24, 2006
By Mark Stringfellow
Drew Henson's offense is being challenged to produce touchdowns in the redzone. (waynepaulo.com)
Last week the Rhein Fire struggled to find their way in the end zone consistently - posting only one touchdown and going 1-4 in the red zone. This week the Fire offense devoted tons of time on their effectiveness and point production in that area of the field. Fire offensive coordinator, Steve Logan set his unit up in red zone situations all this week so that they’d be prepared when faced with it against Berlin.
“Because of the problem that we had against Frankfurt, Coach Logan had us practice in the red zone a lot as opposed to doing our reps in the middle of the field,” said Steitz. “In this league points don’t come easy, so when we have a chance to score we have to do it.”
Steitz says that establishing the run game early and producing more passing yards will be a huge factor in how far they’ll get with Berlin.
Last week the Thunder led the league in almost every offensive category and with this being their first home game, Fire receiver Chris Samp doesn’t expect this to be a cake walk.
“I’ve heard that they’re a pretty high tempo team that’s not afraid to hit, so this should be a good game,” said Samp. “Our defense played a very big part in the reason we won last week and that’s a good thing, but it’s also a reality check for the offense to step it up.”
With the addition of wide receiver Kendrick Starling, the Fire hope to get a boost in their offensive production. Starling made it to Germany on Sunday after taking care of personal issues in the States. Now that Starling is here, he is ready to give his team a boost.
“I’m just happy to be back playing football. I’m ready to get on the field and show that I can play in this league if giving the opportunity,” said Starling. “I just want to be available when my number is called and give Berlin all that they can handle.”
Steitz says if the offensive line applies the blocking and red zone techniques that they have learned this week then yardage production shouldn’t be difficult.
“We were really close to converting against Frankfurt, so hopefully the way we practiced this week will translate to the way we play on the field.”
As for Fire head coach Jim Tomsula, he won’t be thinking about the win against Frankfurt or the fact that this is his first time facing his former team.
“I don’t expect the feeling to be any different. It’s hard for me to judge how I’ll feel now and I want truly know until it happens,” said Tomsula. “Right now I’m all the way Rhein Fire, so as long as I am with the Fire that is my focus. We’re going to play football know matter who we’re facing.”