CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Titans might be starting their seventh season in the Indoor Football League, but this year definitely has a “start from scratch” feel to it.
First-year Coach Marvin Jones led the Titans into a preseason game against the Nebraska Danger Friday night at the U.S. Cellular Center, which ended in a 44-23 defeat for Cedar Rapids.
“Proud of the way the guys hung in there,” Jones said. “Nobody quit. Nobody seemed out of shape. It was one of those games where you really didn’t want to do too much. You kind of put some things in there that you normally don’t do because you play these guys again next Friday. … I think overall, we just need to work on some of the small things.”
Cedar Rapids opens the regular season Friday at Nebraska.
Jones, 45, is a native of Miami, Fla., and was a first-team All-American in 1991 and 1992 for Florida State, where he won both the Butkus Award and the Lombardi Award in 1992. The fourth overall pick in the 1993 NFL Draft, Jones played 10 seasons for the New York Jets and was a first team All-Pro in 2000.
Last season, Jones served as interim head coach for the now-defunct Colorado Crush for the final seven games of the IFL season, winning one game.
“I just felt like I had something to prove,” Jones said. “I could do more than I did there if I had something I could build from the beginning and make it my own.”
Jones replaced former University of Iowa player Marvin McNutt, who directed the Titans to a 1-15 record last season. This year, McNutt will serve as the club General Manager and Director of Corporate Partnerships.
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“It looks good on a resume,” McNutt said. “It keeps me around the game, and I will still be doing some coaching, working with the wide receivers.”
Returnees from last season include receiver Connor Hollenbeck and kicker Mike Georgetti. This season, Georgetti will partner with the organization Anti Bully Squad to provide two free tickets to a local schoolkid before each home game.
Signup is at www.antibullysquad.org.
“Just to give a kid an experience to really show local sports and what you can really accomplish with your life through positive energy,” Georgetti said. “No matter what goes on, you can always overcome it. It is a long journey in life so it is really making the best of it.”
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