Opening night for the Tri-Cities Fever is still nine days away, but Adam Shackleford believes now is the time to get down to business.
To do that, the Fever coach cleared some room on the playing field by releasing seven players officially on Tuesday.
They are WR/DB Demario Barber, WR Shawn Bayes, DL Kevin Cyrille, DB Keivon Jones, WR Sam Roberson, WR Jermaine Saffold and DB Richard Volcin.
But he also added a veteran in wide receiver Ed Berry.
“That allowed us to shave down more on our wide receivers,” said Shackleford. “He’s going to help our offense. He’s always where he’s supposed to be. His teammates call him Steady Eddie for a reason.”
A speedy little possession receiver, Berry caught 51 passes last season for 623 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Berry has recovered from off-season foot surgery.
Now that gives Shackleford 30 players in camp.
“And (DB) Dennis Rogan isn’t here yet,” said Shackleford. “We’re doing good. We’re installing a lot of our offense and the guys are picking it up fast. This has been one of the most positive camps since I’ve been here.”
He has until Feb. 27 to get that roster down to 25 players.
Training camp continues this Thursday, Friday and Saturday with 11 a.m. workouts at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.
Notes: Shackleford said the Canadian Football League’s B.C. Lions are sending scouts down this week to watch the Fever’s practice. ... Last week, the Fever signed DL Chris Donaldson, put Pablo Garcia on short-term injured reserve, and released DB Chris Jammer and RB Vernon Frazier II. ... Colorado released LB Prince Hall last week. Hall had played well against the Fever over the past two seasons. ... Sioux Falls lost its star kick returner and running back from a year ago, Korey Williams, signed with the Canadian Football League’s BC LIons. The Storm also released another familiar name, DB Stewart Franks. ... The Chicago Slaughter signed LB Lenny Radtke just before its season opener last week against Cedar Rapids. Radtke has been an All-IFL linebacker. Radtke had 12 tackles in Chicago’s season-opening 41-31 loss at Cedar Rapids last Saturday. His fellow linebacking mate, Ameer Ismail, also had 12 tackles on opening night. Ismail played for the Fever three seasons ago. ... Former Fever defensive coordinator Ryan Lingenfelder, now the head coach for the Wyoming Cavalry, released WR/DB Eddie Thompson this week. Thompson had some outstanding games last season against the Fever.
Wonder why football players like to work for Shackleford?
He helps get them moved up the football ladder.
The latest look at the Arena Football League rosters reveals 10 former Fever players in the league.
The Cleveland Gladiators have wide receivers Jamar Howard and Thyron Lewis; the Iowa Barnstormers list quarterback Antwon Young; the New Orleans VooDoo has DB Dustin Bell and kicker Gary Cismesia; the Philadelphia Soul has wide receiver Jackie Chambers; the Pittsburgh Power lists offensive lineman Roddrell Stewart; and the Spokane Shock has three ex-Tri-Cities guys on its roster in DB Ruschard Dodd-Masters, center Will Falakaseni and wide receiver Tre Young.