WEEK 2 PREVIEW ORLANDO AT CAROLINA
As the Predators look to keep building off of their week one win, they will be back on the road to take on the Carolina Cobras on Saturday night.
The Cobras (1-0) are coming off of a win against the 2021 NAL Champions, the Albany Empire (0-1). The Predators (1-0) look to stay focused as they continue their road trip to Greensboro, N.C.
With the Predators playing their second game on the road, lineman Darius Tolbert said it’s all about paying attention to details and staying focused.
“It’s all about details,” Tolbert said. “We pay attention to all key details, we try to stay healthy, learn our rotations, learn how to keep our wind up in the game. We just have to execute every play.”
Lineman De’Quan Murray said that his team is up for the challenge and he feels confident that the Predators’ physicality and athleticism can break down the Cobras.
“This league is wide open,” Murray said. “We can’t take anybody light. Our guys are pretty heavy upfront, but we are more athletic than them.
“We just got to push them around. We got some fast cats on the outside that run outside these guys that can dip and get low. They’ll be tired by the second quarter.”
Both the offensive and defensive sides of the football found success early in the Predators' win against the San Antonio Gunslingers (0-1) on Saturday, but they had trouble keeping that momentum through all four quarters of the game which allowed the Gunslingers to climb back. Defensive back Brandon Fuentes said keeping the momentum on all aspects of the game will be key going forward.
“We truly believe that if we just do what we do, on offense and defense, nobody can play with us,” Fuentes said. “As long as we take that mentality into every game, we should be hoisting some hardware at the end of the season.”
An area of concern after Saturday’s win was special teams, which the Predators found trouble with. Kicker Daniel Justino said his unit has worked hard to adjust and come out stronger on their trip to Carolina.
“We’ve gone over field goal formation every practice,” Justino said. “We’ve got, with the ‘Ironman rules,’ for this year, we’ve got three or four holders and it’s been different getting used to it, but we’ve got guys figuring out how to correctly hold. It’s a work in progress, but it’s getting done.”
In Carolina’s win over Albany, quarterback Jonathan Bane had 235 passing yards on 16-of-30 completions. Bane also had five passing touchdowns and three interceptions. Predator’s head coach Jeff Higgins said that he feels confident in his team taking on the challenge and recognized the talent of their opponents this coming Saturday.
“They’re a very good, physical football team,” Higgins said. “They got some great players and we are ready for the challenge. I call this league the ‘black and blue league’ and it’s going to be a tough one against Carolina up in the Snake Pit.”
Orlando’s matchup with Carolina will be live-streamed via the NAL YouTube channel at 7 p.m.