Tri-Cities Fever are looking for answers

April 2, 2013 

A 1-3 record, a struggling offense, an inconsistent defense, and too many injuries has Tri-Cities Fever coach Adam Shackleford looking for some answers this week.

Shackleford said he and his assistants didn’t have much time to review game film from last Friday’s 54-43 Indoor Football League home loss to the Texas Revolution, as they are preparing for a road game at Wyoming (0-4) this Friday.

But he knows a few things.

“We didn’t play well in the second half,” he said. “There’s a huge list of things we’re working on. We’re searching for the positives and trying to fix the negatives.”

Too many injuries have given Shackleford some extra problems to deal with this season.

“You deal with it best you can,” he said. “You control what you can control. You find a way to win.”

But the injuries don’t help.

On Tuesday, the Fever had just 18 players suit up for practice. Normal IFL rosters carry 25 players.

“There’s nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Well, that’s not totally true.

Shackleford was in Spokane on Tuesday night, picking up a new defensive lineman in Malcolm Riley — he played collegiately at the University of Toledo and was with the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League earlier this season.

Shackleford is also hoping to activate some of his players from the injured reserve list this week too.

Meanwhile, he cut defensive end Mohammed Usman and wide receiver Rashad Mason to clear roster space.

Mason was just signed last week but didn’t play Friday against Texas. The team leaves for Wyoming on a bus trip tonight, and Shackleford’s not sure who will be making the trip.

Everything is up in the air, including the quarterback position.

Fever starter Kasey Peters was a dismal 9-for-23 last Friday for just 60 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

This week, Peters and backup Dante Warren have been splitting reps in practice.

“We’ll announce a starter just before Friday’s game,” Shackleford said. “Our quarterback play is going to improve or we’re going to get some new quarterbacks.”

Shackleford has been through this situation before. Just not in the past few seasons, when his Fever teams made it all the way to the league championship game.

“We’re not giving up any hope,” he said. “No one has told us we’re eliminated. We’ll just keep fighting, keep playing.”

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