116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
By Mike Condon, Correspondent
CEDAR RAPIDS – A new era of football in Cedar Rapids kicks off Thursday night at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
The Cedar Rapids Titans will make their first appearance as members of the Indoor Football League (IFL) when they take on the Omaha Beef in a 7:05 p.m. exhibition game.
The contest will be the lone opportunity for Coach Kyle Moore-Brown and his staff to evaluate players in actual game conditions before the regular-season opener on March 3 against Lehigh Valley. Moore-Brown said the team went through two-a-day practices over the weekend before getting Monday off.
"We've made it through without any injuries, but they are sore," he said. "They've all worked pretty hard. I think most of them took advantage of the day off to get rested up."
Moore-Brown said cutting the roster to 25 players will be difficult. The preseason workouts have been spirited, according the the Titans' coach.
"Thursday's game will be all about seeing who can perform when the lights go on," he said. "These guys have all been professional and now it is about evaluating talent for the coaching staff."
The exhibition game will be the only opportunity for the players to show the coaches what they are capable of doing under game conditions. And it won't take the Titans' staff long to start making decisions on the final roster for the March 3 opener.
"We'll sit down Friday morning and evaluate the film," he said. "It will be tough to have to let some of these guys go. I wish we could keep all of them but I have been on the other side of the desk as the one being cut. It is never easy."
The team announced the signing of linebacker Brian McIntire on Monday. McIntire, a Clear Lake native and former NCAA Division III All-American at Wartburg, spent the past six seasons with the Sioux Falls Storm, the defending IFL champions. McIntire, 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, had 14 tackles, one sack and returned an interception for a touchdown in the United Bowl win over Tri Cities. He was named the game's most valuable player.
“Picking up a veteran like Brian is huge for us,” said Titans' General Manager Chris Kokalis in a press release.
Moore-Brown said the acquisition of McIntire is part of the fine tuning of the roster before opening night.
"He's a very good linebacker," said the Titans' coach. "Our hope is that he will help us move to the next stage."
Thursday night's game
[naviga:li]What: Omaha Beef vs. Cedar Rapids Titans[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Time and place: 7:05 p.m., Cedar Rapids Ice Arena[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Radio: WMT-FM (96.5)[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Tickets: $10 for bleachers; $15 for all other seats. For more information, call 319-730-6301[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]Promotions: There will be several activities including, live music, live performances, autograph signings and giveaways.[/naviga:li]
[naviga:li]About the Beef: Omaha is starting its 13
season as an IFL member. The Beef have made the IFL playoffs every year since their inception. Omaha is coached by Bruce Cowdrey. He is a 35-year coaching veteran and led the Peoria Pirates to the first IFL championship in 2000 with a perfect 17-0 record.[/naviga:li]