03/09/2013 5:20 PM
JACKSONVILLE – The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks concluded the team’s first week of training camp with a helmets-only practice at The Bolles School on Saturday morning.
Saturday’s workout completed a stretch of eight consecutive days in which the Sharks held an on-field practice. After four full-contact practices in five days during the week, Saturday’s shorter practice allowed players to get a head start on recovery. Despite the lack of contact, head coach Les Moss challenged his squad with a fast-paced team session.
With training camp more than halfway complete, Shark players and coaches have begun to get a good sense of the team’s outlook. After Saturday’s practice, veteran quarterback Bernard Morris expressed confidence in what the Sharks will bring to the table in 2013.
“The only thing we’ve really been battling is the cold weather in the mornings,” Morris said. “Other than that, I think our team has really been gelling together. We’ve got a lot of good new guys that the fans are going to be really excited about... The Sharks are ready to roll.”
After practice concluded with special teams work, Coach Moss again stressed the importance of rest and treatment in the nearly 48 hours before the team’s next workout. Now operating with a 28-man active roster, down from the 35 allowed during the first week of camp, the Sharks will jump right back into full contact on Monday.
On Saturday, the team announced that defensive lineman Delvin Johnson has been placed on Refused to Report. The Jacksonville roster now stands at the league maximum of 28 active players. Teams may carry 28 players until Saturday, March 16, when the roster must be reduced to the regular season maximum of 24 active players.
No player on the Jacksonville Sharks’ roster has more NFL experience than defensive back Jamaal Fudge. A Jacksonville native who starred at Edward H. White High School and Clemson University, Fudge spent four seasons in the league, splitting his time between the Atlanta Falcons and his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars.
With some Canadian Football League experience under his belt as well, Fudge made his Arena Football League debut with the New Orleans VooDoo in 2012. Playing in six games with New Orleans during the latter part of the season, Fudge recorded 14.5 total tackles (13 solo) in his time with the VooDoo.
Speaking after Saturday’s practice, Fudge talked about the challenges of making the transition from the outdoor game to Arena Football.
“It’s been pretty good, it’s a faster pace in the arena,” Fudge said. “The hardest thing is just being boxed in a wall. That’s probably the hardest thing, knowing where you are on the field at all times. The wall is undefeated.”
The Sharks will be off for the remainder of the weekend. The team returns to the field on Monday morning for a full-contact practice at Plantation Park. Monday’s workout will begin at 8:30 a.m. and is open to the public.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.