McCullum leads a number of debuts for Titans

Former Seattle quarterback returns to field after year long ankle injury

CEDAR RAPIDS – Prior to the team’s news conference the Cedar Rapids Titans scrolled through their touch screen phones, alerting each other to the big football news of the day.

The discussion turned to the Green Bay Packers cutting former Michigan Heisman trophy winner, Charles Woodson.

“That’s business man,” Titans running back Laron Council said.

The Titans’ business focuses on another Big Ten standout, former Illinois quarterback Juice Williams and the Chicago Slaughter. The Titans kick off their Indoor Football League season Friday at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena at 7 p.m.

While the defense will have its hands full with Williams, the Titans’ signal caller, Charles McCullum, makes his return to the field after a year on the sidelines. The former Seattle Timberwolve, McCullum, tore a tendon in his ankle in the Timberwolves’ first game last year, forcing him to miss the season.

“It’ll be like a million thoughts (when I take the field), but at the same time you go blank,” McCullum said. “Once you get in and you get on the field and you call ‘hike,’ it’s football now.”

Prior to his injury, in 2011, McCullum threw for 2,048 yards, third most in the IFL, to go with 51 touchdowns.

Those type of numbers should add some stability to a position that looked more like a carousel for the Titans last year. Cedar Rapids had three players with at least 65 attempts last year.

“Offense, we have a lot of weapons, we have a whole lot of weapons,” McCullum said. “We’re still putting pieces together but we have a very solid core right now.”

The absence from the field last season drove McCullum even harder to improve with the Titans and put up even better numbers.

One of the top quarterbacks two years ago, being reserved to the bench hurt, but knowing he could have helped his team, triggered a much deeper pain.

“I feel like, if I’m sitting and watching somebody do my job, and he makes a mistake, I know better than that,” McCullum said. “It ate me up inside, but I’m back and ready to play now.”

He’ll debut in front of a crowd expected to be upwards of 3,500, with only 500 tickets remaining. McCullum will join Titans head coach Mark Stoute, who is also in his first year with the team.

“You never get a second opportunity to make a first impression,” Stoute said. “So this is very, very big for us and big for our team.”

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