January 3, 2001
The Birmingham Thunderbolts finally got down to the business
of practicing football with a pair of workouts at the Citrus
Bowl complex Wednesday, and head coach Gerry DiNardo said
his team could use all the work time it can get.
"We can definitely use the rest of our practices,"
DiNardo said after the morning session. "Our effort was
fine, but we are having some growing pains because this is
brand new to a lot of people."
DiNardo felt better about the night practice, noting "that
was the kind of work we need to get better. We need to follow
that up with a good one tomorrow (Thursday)."
The Bolts worked in full pads for just over two hours Wednesday
morning and then for just under two hours Wednesday night
in shoulder pads and sweats. Only one practice is scheduled
The Thunderbolts practiced with 67 players Thursday, three
short of the league-allowed maximum. Tight end Scott Thompson,
defensive safety Calvin Jackson and quarterback Jon Nielsen
did not work out Wednesday.
Thompson encountered travel problems coming from Fresno, Calif.,
but was expected to arrive in Orlando Wednesday evening. Jackson
was taking care of family business and is expected to arrive
Quarterback Jon Nielsen was the first casualty of Birminghams
training camp. Nielsen was waived Wednesday after the signal
caller failed to report to camp. The Thunderbolts did not
claim a quarterback and will go into Thursday drills with
just three at the position: Casey Weldon, Graham Leigh and
DiNardo has named secondary coach Curley Hallman and defensive
line coach Don Wnek co-defensive coordinators in the wake
of Don Lindseys dismissal. DiNardo hired Paul Arslanian to
coach Bolts linebackers. Arslanian, who coached at San Jose
State last season, is the brother of Birmingham offensive
coordinator Dave Arslanian.