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XFL Birmingham Bolts Press Release 21
Press Release 21
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Drake, Burton placed on Injured Reserve
Game 2 at New York/New Jersey
February 6, 2001

The Game
Birmingham travels to The Meadowlands to face the New York/New Jersey Hitmen at Giants Stadium Sunday. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CST.

The Records
Both the Bolts and Hitmen are 0-1. Birmingham lost its home opener, 22-20, to Memphis. New York/New Jersey lost 19-0 at Las Vegas.

The Thunderbolts-Hitmen game will be televised by TNN. Craig Minervini will handle play-by-play and Bob Golic the color. Lee Reherman and Kip Lewis handle the sideline reports.

The game will be carried on the 11-station Birmingham Thunderbolts Radio Network. WZRR-FM 99.5 is the flagship station of the Bolts. Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey handle the play-by-play and color for the broadcast. Jim Dunaway handles the sideline reporting, while Ryan Greenwood produces the show. Greg "Working Man" Burgess handles halftime duties while naming the "Pud of the Day".

Next Week
Birmingham returns to Legion Field to host the Chicago Enforcers. Kickoff is 3 p.m. CST. The game will also be televised by TNN.

The Coaches
Gerry DiNardo is 0-1 as coach of the Thunderbolts. Rusty Tillman is 0-1 as coach of the New York/New Jersey Hitmen. This is the first meeting between DiNardo and Tillman if you don't count a scrimmage early in training camp down in Orlando.

The Series
The series between Birmingham and New York is tied at 0-0.

On the Web
Get all the information about the Bolts at

Bolts Media Opportunities
Bolts coach Gerry DiNardo has his weekly press briefing on Tuesday's at noon, central time at Legion Field. All Birmingham practices are open to the media and public. Practice is normally at 2:30 p.m. each day. Off days for players are tentatively set for Mondays following a Saturday game and Tuesday following a Sunday game.

We encourage player interviews following practice each day. Please contact Kent Partridge at 205-488-2665 or to make certain of practice times and locations.

Walking Up
Much to everyone's surprise but the Thunderbolts staff and players, over 35,000 new Bolts fans showed up for the season opener against Memphis last week. A Legion Field record 15,000 of those were walk-up customers.

Leading the League
After week on Birmingham leads the league in total offense, averaging 358 yards per game. The Bolts passed for 306 yards and ran for 52 against Memphis last week.

Leading the League, II
Bolts quarterback Casey Weldon leads the league in passing after week one, throwing for 306 yards in the opener. Mike Pawlawski of San Francisco is second, averaging 288 yards per contest.

More League Rankings
Birmingham is fourth in the league in total defense after allowing 312 yards to Memphis. Las Vegas leads the league in total defense, allowing just 205 yards to New York/New Jersey last week.

Stepping Out
Birmingham receiver Stepfret Williams is tied for fourth in the XFL after making six receptions last week. Williams had 72 yards to go along with his six grabs.

Willis For 12
Coach Gerry DiNardo has said from almost day one that James Willis is the heart of the Birmingham defense from his middle linebacker spot. Willis lived up to the billing last week, making 12 tackles against Memphis.

Tackles For Loss
Defensive end Charles Preston rang up a game-high four tackles for loss against Memphis. Preston accounted for 17 yards in Maniax losses. He also recorded a sack, making five of his seven tackles happen behind the line of scrimmage.

Birmingham Firsts
First Touchdown - Damon Gourdine on 15 yards pass from Casey Weldon

First TD Pass - Casey Weldon to Damon Gourdine, 15 yards 1:13 left in second quarter, Feb. 4 vs. Memphis

First TD Run - James Bostic 3-yard run 13:18 in third quarter, Feb. 4 vs. Memphis

First Play - Casey Weldon completed pass to Steve Smith, 4 yards

First Tackle - Toya Jones in opening kickoff vs. Memphis Feb. 4

First Tackle From LOS - Patrick Scott and James Willis tackled Rashaan Salaam after 7-yard game, Feb. 4 vs. Memphis

Dash for the Ball
Birmingham defensive back Toya Jones won Birmingham's first-ever dash for the ball prior to the game against Memphis last week. Counting preseason, the Bolts are three-for-three in the dash, with defensive back Tony McCall winning two during training camp. McCall is currently on the practice squad.

Heading Home
Birmingham head coach Gerry DiNardo is heading for a homecoming of sorts when the Bolts head for the Meadowlands. DiNardo grew up in South Brooklyn and was educated at St. Francis Prep, graduating in 1970. He played both quarterback and offensive line at St. Francis.

Trenton's Ed
Birmingham tight end Ed Smith is also heading back to his neck of the woods. Ed hails form Trenton, N.J. where he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox as a third baseman out of Pemberton High School. Smith climbed as high as Triple-A before giving up baseball and switching to football at age 26. Smith even spent some time in Birmingham as a member of the Chicago Double-A affiliate Barons.

Playing it Quickly
Birmingham and Memphis played the season opener last week at Legion Field in two hours and 54 minutes.

How the Top Draft Choices Fared
Five of Birmingham's first 10 draft picks are still with the club. First round pick Casey Weldon starts at quarterback for the Bolts and second-round choice Mike Lies starts on the offensive line. Sixth and seventh-round choices Stepfret Williams and Duane Butler are starters at receiver and cornerback, respectively. Number 10 pick Sedrick Curry is a backup in the secondary.

The Rest
Seven of Birmingham's second 20 picks are still on the roster and three of the next 10 are on the active roster. Ten of Birmingham's last 20 picks are on the active roster. The lowest draft pick to remain on the active roster is defensive tackle Johnny Mitchell, who was picked in the 57th round with the 450th pick. Mitchell is currently listed as a starter at defensive tackle.

Around The Territory
Eight of Birmingham's territorial picks are still on the active roster. Running back James Bostic, nose tackle Jimmy Brumbaugh, offensive tackle Ed King and linebacker James Willis are all starting for the Bolts in week one.

Don Wnek and Curley Hallman serve as co-defensive coordinators for the Bolts. Hallman and Wnek were forced into the dual role when Don Lindsey left the Bolts just days before training camp to take the defensive coordinator position at Ole Miss.

Brothers Arslanian
Birmingham is one of the few coaching staffs in professional football to boast brothers on the coaching staff. Dave Arslanian is the Bolts offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Paul Arslanian coaches Birmingham linebackers. Both are the son of legendary college coach Sark Arslanian.

10 From Town
Ten players on the Thunderbolts active rosters have close ties to the state of Alabama, with six having played at Auburn, four at Alabama and one at Troy State University.

Former Auburn players are running back James Bostic, nose tackle Jimmy Brumbaugh, linebacker James Willis, defensive end Quinton Reese, safety Chris Shelling and offensive tackle Ed King.

Former Tide players on the active roster are receiver Quincy Jackson, offensive tackle Ozell Powell and quarterback Jay Barker. Cornerback Eric Sloan played his college football at Troy State.

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