The Nebraska Danger made some big moves in the past couple of days.
The Danger not only picked up two players who could help immediately in quarterback Rocky Hinds and defensive back Cornelius “Pig” Brown, but they also cut Walner Leandre.
Leandre was the team’s leading tackler a year ago and had 19 total tackles in the Danger’s win over Omaha on March 12.
“When he came to camp, he was a bit heavier than he had been a year ago,” Danger general manager Mike McCoy said of Leandre. “I know he had hoped to be able to move up (to the NFL) a lot quicker than it was possible for him to do so, and he needed another year here to refine his skills.
“He’ll get picked up by somebody else rather than wait for a trade. It’s better for him to be released.”
Danger head coach Mike Davis said Taurean Charles had outplayed Leandre at linebacker early in the season. He said the weight Leandre had gained made him too heavy to play in the defensive backfield.
“He was great player,” Davis said. “We thought he’d be better than Charles, but that wasn’t the case. Taurean came in and was playing great. I felt Walner could help another team more than he could help us.”
Davis was very happy to be able to add both Hinds and Brown to the roster.
Hinds played college football at Southern Cal before transferring to UNLV. He’s played for the Bloomington Extreme last year and was a finalist for the IFL MVP award.
He completed 260 of 460 passes for 2,509 yards with 44 touchdowns. He also rushed for 274 yards with six touchdowns.
“He’s a veteran and can help us out with the younger players,” Davis said. “We have some great wide receivers and a great offensive line. We just need somebody to help out and distribute the ball to them.”
Hinds may well be in the lineup on Friday when the Danger (1-1) host the Wyoming Cavalry (0-3) because Terry Mayo, who started the first two games at quarterback, is out with a groin injury and Dwight Dasher is still rehabbing an injury and may not be ready to play.
The Danger traded back-up quarterback Tim Bailey on March 7. That meant Mayo was the only quarterback on the roster when the Danger played Omaha.
“We tried to go in with one quarterback last week and it almost backfired on us,” Davis said. “We won’t do that again. Our offensive line had been playing pretty well. We didn’t figure he’d have a problem, but it was just a freak accident.”
Hinds said he’ll be ready when he’s needed.
“I’m really excited to be here and get back on the field,” Hinds said. “I’m a veteran in this game. I’ve been here two years playing in this league. I think I’ll be OK.
“In the indoor game, everything is pretty similar. You just have to learn the different terminology.”
Danger offensive coordinator Dave Kimura said the team is just trying to eliminate the quarterback carousel that has come about not because of bad play, but because of injuries.
“I just want Rocky to come in and be comfortable,” Kimura said. “I think the one thing we’ve been missing a little is the ability for a quarterback to run when things break down a little bit. Teams that are successful in this league have quarterbacks who can do things with their feet.”
Hinds said he’s happy to be in Grand Island.
“It’s a great opportunity here,” he said. “I have a couple of buddies who play on this team. They told me it was a first-class operation with great coaches and a great facility. It’s a really good situation.”