With the quarterback position suddenly in flux for the Storm, coach Kurtiss Riggs is turning to a familiar face to make things right.
Terrance Bryant, who guided the Storm to four consecutive indoor football championships and ranks first in team history in every career passing statistic, will be under center when the Storm play host to the Green Bay Blizzard Sunday at the Arena.
Sioux Falls has uncharacteristically struggled this year, off to a 2-2 start, and quarterback play has been a factor. MVP Chris Dixon is in the Arena League, and his replacement, Martevious Young, is out for at least another month with an injury. Dwight Dasher was signed to replace Young, but Riggs felt like what the team really lacked was leadership, and Bryant, who has remained in Sioux Falls and close to the team since his retirement following the 2010 season, will bring that. And while the 36-year-old southpaw from Oregon State hasn’t played in over two full seasons, he’s stayed in shape by working with Riggs’ passing academy and helping out at Storm practices. The more time Bryant spent around the team, the more apparent it became that he could help.
"It was the players that brought it up," Riggs said. "He was around the academy or at our practices and guys would ask me what I thought about Terrance coming back to play. I struggled with that, not as a coach — because he’s in great shape and looks ready to play — but as a friend, because you don’t want him to tarnish the image people have of him. But when I talked to Terrance I could tell he wasn’t worried about that. He wants to go back out and play."
Bryant completed 1,337 of 2,042 passes for 13,508 yards and 259 touchdowns for Sioux Falls from 2005-2010. He also rushed for 45 touchdowns. In his final season of 2010, he threw 42 touchdowns and a career-low five interceptions.
The Storm have retired Bryant’s No. 5 jersey, and it will remain retired. He’ll wear No. 15 in his second stint with the team.
Bryant never had the mobility of a Dixon or Young even in his prime, and at 36 will certainly rely on the Storm’s offensive line to keep him upright. But his favorite target, James Terry, is still playing for Sioux Falls, and Bryant clearly isn’t lacking for confidence.
"I’ve been throwing the ball probably twice a week at practice, and some of the guys got that look in their eye like, ‘Yeah, he’s still got it,’" Bryant said. "I know I can still throw the football. I can’t do this for the rest of my life. I have this small window of opportunity to help this team win and I want to take advantage of it."