Emery Sammons return home to face the Philadelphia Soul
It seems like each week, the Soul face a former player the team decided to let go of this offseason. Last week it was Rayshaun Kizer, the week prior it was Calvin Fance while Donovan Morgan and Larry Brackins weren’t with the team for all of last season but still played with the team. The Soul have also faced, Derrick Ross, Tiger Jones, Wayne Tribue, Jason Holman with Jacksonville, V’Keon Lacey with Portland, and Ray Little with Las Vegas. Like week nine, the Soul will take on Philadelphia native and former Soul receiver Emery Sammons and the Tampa Bay Storm.
Sammons played with the Spokane Shock in 2010 and 2011 winning an ArenaBowl in 2010. Sammons then joined the Soul in 2012 and played the entire season in Philadelphia. In 2013 and 2014, Emery was signed late in the season, playing five games in 2013 and nine in 2014. “It feels great to be back in my hometown.” Sammons said “I love and miss the fans, the city, and my family, they have always been my biggest supporters and I love and miss them dearly.”
Sammons signed with the Soul late in the offseason, after having ongoing negotiations with the Soul about his return throughout the winter. “I felt my camp with the Soul could have been better, because I didn’t come into camp in the best shape. With me being focused on my new born child and my business, but I’m in great shape now.” Sammons said.
Sammons received first team reps throughout most of the first week of camp with the Soul. Dominique Curry was only in camp for a day or two, but received first team reps when in Moorestown for training camp. Curry is currently on league suspension, and has yet to play a game with the Soul.
The Soul signed Marco Thomas late in camp, and the defending receiver of the year was the biggest push for Emery to be released. The Soul kept a younger receiver, Harvey Binford, and taller receivers Xavier Boyce and Lonnie Outlaw on the roster as well.
“The motivation is already in me, and has always been there. I love Philly, there is no love lost, but I’m a football player at the end of the day, who does not like losing, so I do come in playing with a chip on my shoulder after the game we played against them the first time around.” Sammons said.
In week nine, the Soul dominated the Storm in a 71-27 win. In the game, Joe Goosby had an ironman performance to remember, with three rushing touchdowns, a pick six, and a blocked PAT. The Storm have turned it around since then, winning three of their last four, beating New Orleans, Jacksonville and Cleveland. “We just need to be on the same page and focus on our objective which is to score every drive, and get the stops on defense when needed.” Sammons said.
“The team has stepped up a lot since I first came here. They realized that taking things serious in practice will result in good things on the field, and will put us in great situations like the playoffs. The faith we have in each other will get us there.” Sammons said.
Sammons will face off against three defensive backs he knows very well. Anytime a player faces former teammates there's always an added excitement. When asked who Emery is most excited to face he said: “James Romain. He is young, fast, and aggressive and an exciting defensive back to go against. He’s very challenging, and I’ve always liked challenges. When I played in Philly, I always challenged him in practice because I knew his talents and wanted to see him get better in this game. He is a great athlete in this league.” Sammons said.
Soul defensive back Kent Richardson played with Emery for all three of his years with the Soul, and faced him in 2011 when Sammons was with the Shock and Richardson was with the Soul. “Emery is a good route runner, he’s pretty fast so you have to be discipline in your back peddle and on your break. Any little separation you give him he can make a big play at any given time and he did that for us for a few years.” Richardson said.
Sammons and the Storm will have their work cut out for them versus a very talented Philadelphia Soul team, but Tampa has beat very capable teams this year, including Jacksonville and Cleveland in the past two weeks. The Storm are a scrappy team, headlined by their receiving core. Sammons is joined by future Hall Of Famer TT Toliver, as well as rookie of the year candidates Kendrick Ings and Phillip Barnett.