HIAWATHA — So which Cedar Rapids Titans team will show up Friday night when the Chicago Slaughter visit the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena?
Will it be the one that was so impressive in a 32-13 season-opening victory over Lehigh Valley or will it be the one that lost at Green Bay, 64-12?
Coach Keith Moore-Brown believes it will be the former. After the whitewash at Green Bay, Moore-Brown gave his team a week off during the Titans’ idle week.
“We gave them the week off and just let them clear their heads,” Moore-Brown said. “They really responded well and came back this week very hungry and ready to practice hard.”
As one might expect, Cedar Rapids made a few changes during the off week. Gone are receivers Ced Jones and Greg Cross, former Northern Iowa defensive back Brandon Henderson and kicker Cory Bougie. They were released. In their place are receivers Eric McCain (free agent) and Antuan Bloom (acquired in a trade from the Allen Wranglers) and former Wartburg kicker Mike Polaski, who was activated from the short-term injury list.
“It’s my job to re-evaluate the entire team,” Moore-Brown said. “I have to get the right pieces of the puzzle together to help build a winning organization.
“For us to win we need to be efficient in all three phases — offense, defense and special teams. I just have to fine tune what we already have here.”
One thing Moore-Brown won’t have to fine tune is fan support. Another sellout crowd of 4,000 is expected Friday night.
“Heck, I get fired up when I see a crowd like we had for the opener,” Moore-Brown said. “I hope I do all the right things to have this team prepared for a good Chicago team.”
The Slaughter are 1-2 but haven’t played since March 3 when they dropped a 55-44 decision at Bloomington. Steve McMichael, a former Chicago Bears defensive tackle, has coached the team since 2006.
Former Illinois quarterback Juice Williams and former Illini running back Daniel DuFrene are two faces on the Slaughter roster familiar to many fans.
“They are coming off a bye week too,” Moore-Brown said.“Coach McMichael will have them ready to go. We will have to be clicking on all cylinders to get the win.”