KENNEWICK -- Adam Shackleford and his assistant coaches spent a long time together Saturday night, trying to figure out who to cut from the Tri-Cities Fever training camp.
It wasn't easy for the Fever's head coach, either.
"It was a pretty lengthy meeting," he said Sunday night. "We were trying to crunch all of the numbers and do it. It's not easy. It's the worst part of my job. Because the reality is when I was first here in 2010, it was pretty easy to make cuts.
"But anybody we cut (this weekend) I believe can play in this league."
Just not for the Fever this season.
So Shackleford pared the roster down to 28 by letting the following players go: WR Garrett Andrews, DB Jamail Berry, QB Herbert Bynes, DL Willie Harvey, DB Winston Jeune, and RB Keith Payne.
The Fever must be down to 25 players before its season opener in the Indoor Football League, set for 7 p.m. Saturday against the Everett Raptors in the Toyota Center.
With Bynes out, that means rookie Kasey Peters will be the backup quarterback to Houston Lillard.
The running backs are Dennis Kennedy and Leon Wright-Jackson.
The wide receiver corps is deep and talented, with Edward Berry -- "he is a lot like Steven Whitehead. He runs explosive, great routes" -- Larrone Moore, Giovanni Stanley, Markeith Summers and Whitehead.
Among other positions, Joshua Abrams is at defensive back, as is Rudell Crim -- whom Shackleford calls the best player he's had here in the last three years -- Marquise Liverpool, and Lionell Singleton.
The defensive lineman consists of Darian Barnes, Malcom Bennett, Darius Collins, Jake Killeen and Shane McCord.
"This is the best defensive line we have ever had by far," said Shackleford.
The linebackers are Boris Lee, Joe Thornton, Allen Walker and Brandon Wilson
The offensive line consists of Adrian Brown, Lance Evbuomwan, William Falakasani, Anthony McNac, Rodrell Stewart and Davion Wright.
Of course, the Fever have a new kicker in Michael Taylor.
DL Bailey Johnson should be in town Tuesday after trying out for the CFL.
"I feel like there is potential there to win," said Shackleford. "I feel like we have the ability to win games."
* The IFL regular season actually opened Sunday with the league's Kickoff Classic.
The host Chicago Slaughter beat the Bloomington Edge 50-34, as Ernest Jackson caught nine passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago.
Slaughter quarterback Perry Patterson was 16-for-24 for 154 yards and two touchdowns.
Chicago broke the game open in the second quarter by scoring 24 points.
* The season really gets going this week with six games.
On Thursday, Omaha visits Cedar Rapids. On Friday, Lehigh Valley visits Chicago.
Saturday's games consist of Wichita at Allen, and Everett visiting Tri-Cities; and on Sunday, Reading is at Bloomington, and Green Bay visits Sioux Falls.