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The Game
The expansion Carolina Cobras will debut for the first time on Thursday, March 30, 7:30 p.m. with a match-up against the defending ArenaBowl XIII Champion Albany Firebirds at Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y.  Carolina will play in the National Conference, Southern Division.  Other divisional foes include the Tampa Bay Storm, Nashville Kats, Orlando Predators and Florida Bobcats.

The Cobras coaching staff, under the direction of head coach Doug Kay, will use this preseason tilt with the Firebirds mainly as an evaluation tool.  The majority of the players on the Carolina roster have not played in the Arena Football League and will get their first taste of the indoor war on Thursday night.

What's Next
Carolina returns to the Triangle for their preseason finale against the New England Sea Wolves on Thursday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.  The Cobras will open the 2000 regular season on Friday, April 14, 7:30 p.m. against Southern Division rival Florida Bobcats at the ESA.

About the Firebirds
Albany heads into the 2000 season as the defending ArenaBowl XIII Champions, defeating the Orlando Predators 59-48 on August 21, 1999 at Pepsi Arena.
The 'Birds were led last season by the All-Arena pass-catch combination of QB Mike Pawlawski and OS Eddie Brown.  Brown, who led the league in scoring (294), receptions (138), receiving yards (1858) and receiving TDs (45) last season, returns for the 2000 campaign while Pawlawski remains unsigned.  Albany led the AFL in scoring offense a year ago, putting up nearly 60
points per game (58.7).

Training Camp Update
The Cobras have been training at the Cumberland County Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. (about an hour south of Raleigh, N.C.) since March 19. Carolina has held a total of 15 practices over the past 10 days in
preparation for the 2000 season.  Along with practicing indoors at the Crown Coliseum, which is also home to the Fayetteville Force of the Central Hockey League, the Cobras have practiced outdoors at Arnette Park in Fayetteville, N.C.

Carolina selected four Albany Firebirds in the 20-round AFL expansion draft...Lineman Johnny Hicks was the first 'Bird selected by the Cobras (4th round, 8th overall pick), followed by WR/LB Cornelius White (5th round, 10th overall), OL/DL Eric Kerley (11th round,  22nd overall) and WR/DB Montrell Williams (14th round, 31st overall)...The Cobras also signed former Firebird WR/DB Tommy Johnson (2-14-99) in the off season...Kerley and Williams are currently on the Cobras' refused to report list...Head Coach Doug Kay was the defensive coordinator for the Firebirds in 1994...Carolina secondary coach Bruce Plummer played for the 'Birds in his first season in the AFL in 1994...Cobras equipment manager Kevin Galuski served in the same capacity for the Firebirds from 1995-99.

Snake Bites (injury report)
OUT- FB/LB Toran James (broken wrist)
PROBABLE- WR/LB Kevin Lee (arm)

Going to the Chapel
FB/LB Bo Kelly will miss Thursday's preseason game in order to head back to Arizona to get married to his fiancée, Abigail.

Welcome to Arena Football
Only 13 of the 34 Cobras' players have actually played in an Arena Football League game.  Recently acquired DS Rodney Mazion and OL/DL Jerry Sharp have the most tenure on the squad with five years of AFL experience each.  OL/DL Scott Miller has played four seasons in the league.

By the Numbers
320- Heaviest player on the team (Jeff Miller)
31- Oldest player on the squad (Scott Miller)
23- Youngest player on the team (Donald Broomfield)
9- Number of Cobras who have been on active NFL rosters (Mitchell Galloway, Marrio Grier, Jack Jackson, Toran James, Kevin Lee, Marvin Marshall, Emerson
Martin, Dell McGee, Dameian Jeffries)
5- Number of players on the Cobras roster from the University of Alabama (Active- Kevin Lee, Tommy Johnson, Cedric Samuel; Refused to Report- Dameian
Jeffries, Eric Kerley)
2- Number of Cobras coaches that have played in NFL Super Bowls (Lee Johnson- 1991 Washington Redskins and Bruce Plummer- 1987 Denver Broncos)

Position-by-Position Quick Facts:
QB- #16 Jim Arellanes, #15 Michael Thomas
A question mark so far in camp...Neither has Arena Football League experience and it showed in last weeks scrimmage game...Arellanes looked a bit more comfortable in the pocket, completing 12 of 23 passes for 147 yards
and two TDs...Thomas showed his athletic ability by rushing for an eight-yard score...Thomas hasn't played football since his senior year at UNC (1995)...Arellanes played for the Rhein Fire and was the leading passer in NFL Europe last season.

FB/LB- #44 Jeremy Beutler, #34 Alan Campos, #34 Marrio Grier, #40 Toran James, #2 Bo Kelly
Probably the most competitive position on the club...AFL veteran Bo Kelly (four seasons with the Arizona Rattlers) heads the pack...Kelly is considered one of the more explosive runners in the game...Grier is an NFL
veteran who shows explosive power and speed with the football...Kelly and Grier are the natural fullbacks while Beutler, Campos and James make their home on the defensive side of the ball...Beutler impressed coaches with his speed and strength during testing...Campos looked at home on defense in last week's scrimmage with a pair of interceptions and QB sacks...James suffered
a huge blow in practice on Monday, breaking his right arm (he'll be out 4-6 weeks).

OL/DL- #93 Hunter Adams, #94 Donald Broomfield, #35 Johnny Hicks, #92 Brad Keeney, #90 Tyrant Marion, #78 Emerson Martin, #70 Jeff Miller, #57 Scott Miller, #95 Dwaine Robinson, #55 Jerry Sharp
Another position that has a question mark...The majority of the group feels more comfortable on the defensive side of the ball...Sharp is a natural center with five years of AFL experience...Scott Miller is another veteran with four years of service...Keeney and Marion show promise as pass rushers...The majority of these roster spots are up for grabs.

WR/LB- #3 Kevin Lee, #9 Manny Pina, #4 Cornelius White
Pina and White both provide two seasons of AFL  experience...Lee impressed coaches with his speed during testing, running the fastest 40-yard dash on the squad...Should be another very competitive position with roster room for only two...Lee has missed some practice time with a sore arm be should be in the line-up the remainder of the preseason...White was impressive in the
scrimmage, catching 7 passes for 76 yards...Pina grabbed two passes for 14 yards.

WR/DB- #22 Dexter Dawson, #81 Marlon Estes, #11 Mitchell Galloway, #21 Tommy Johnson, #89 Marvin Marshall, #7 Jason Nichols 
Another position with no clear cut favorite...Galloway and Marshall both have NFL experience...Johnson played two seasons in the AFL with Albany and holds the AFL record for longest INT return for a TD...Dawson and Estes are young, but have shown promise in camp...Estes has the speed to beat people deep...Should be another interesting dog fight for a roster spot.

OS- #1 Jack Jackson
Was the Cobras first pick in the 2000 expansion draft...Showed great speed last season, leading  Orlando's playoff run and ArenaBowl appearance...Should
be the Cobras "go to" guy in 2000.

DS- #24 Dell McGee, #23 Cedric Samuel, Rodney Mazion
The addition of AFL veteran Mazion gives the younger cGee and Samuel a mentor in camp...Mazion is also an affective kickoff returner...McGee has played in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals...Samuel has shown promise thus far in camp.

K- #19 Remy Hamilton
Is the only kicker on the roster...Played two seasons with Grand Rapids and brings veteran experience to a position that is difficult for most rookies
to adjust to.