‘The Apollo Way’: Apollos defense is on the hunt
By Tom Alexander, Orlando Apollos Team Reporter
SAN ANTONIO — It’s only natural to think a Steve Spurrier-coached team will have an explosive offense. The man is one of the most innovative passing-attack architects the game has ever seen, and the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback is the only Heisman winner to coach another Heisman Trophy winner (University of Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, in 1996). The Orlando Apollos have athletic quarterbacks and speed merchants at all the offensive skill positions, so the Apollos offense will no doubt be explosive.
However, the Apollos defense, like the golden arrows belonging to the mythical Greek god for which the team is named, is likely to cause a deadly plague on opposing offenses throughout the Alliance of American Football. Apollos defensive coordinator Bob Sanders has assembled a fast, hard-nosed, aggressive group to attack opposing quarterbacks.
“We’re going to try and get as best [a] rush as we can with the guys up front,” Sanders said. “It meshes with the coverage. We’re going to try to get the best rush we can to help the coverage and the best coverage to help the rush.”
The Apollos have only had two full-contact practices, but even before the team went live, the defense began to mesh as a unit, with the front seven and the secondary learning to work together. Sanders says that chemistry is the thing he’s liked the most about the first week of training camp.
“[There’s] Really good attitude, effort, guys are buying in. We’ve gotten better in every practice so far,” Sanders said.
Of course, facing a Steve Spurrier-led offense doesn’t hurt in getting a defense up to speed, either, according to Apollos linebacker Terence Garvin.
“Coach Spurrier has a high-intense offense – it’s up-tempo, so it’s getting us in shape. It’s making us think at the same time,” Garvin said.
Sanders says playing against a high-octane offense every day is nothing but good for his defense. “From a defensive standpoint, we’re going to see everything you can possibly see,” he said.
Even though the defense has been impressive so far, Sanders says there’s still room for improvement, specifically when it comes to getting a brand-new group of players on the same page.
“There’s a lot of ways to skin a cat. They’re all right, but we have an Apollo way. We’re trying to get them to do it that way,” Sanders said.
The “Apollo Way”: scoring points in bunches and dominating opposing offenses. That sounds pretty good.