Dubai Barracudas Going in ‘Blind’ for Tricky Test Against Al Ain Desert Foxes

posted on January 28, 2016

Barracudas coach Kyle Jordan admitted he’ll head into the contest “blind” after only seeing Al Ain play nine-on-nine against the Dubai Stallions last week due to an insufficient number of players.

To combat the lack of bodies, Desert Foxes coach Johnny Sharp has had to employ out-of-the-box tactics to catch his opponents off-guard.

“Coach Sharp is pretty creative,” Jordan said. “You never know what he’s going to throw out there. We’ll definitely be on our toes for the unorthodox.”

One of those unorthodox strategies has been the use of a quick kick by the quarterback in shotgun to punt on third down, leaving the defence without a returner and often in confusion.

Though that means surrendering a down on offence, it’s also bought the Desert Foxes extra possessions and valuable field position.

“You’re not going to get long, eight or nine-play drives in this league. The more field position you get is the best defence,” Sharp said.

“You’re playing against a lot of inexperienced players and everybody doesn’t know how to handle that situation. We just use people’s inexperience against them.”

Jordan expects his players to handle the situation, if it arises, just fine.

“We’re prepared,” he said. “My guys know not to do anything silly and be careful of where the ball is.”

The Dubai side had one of their most complete performances in the 40-0 victory over Abu Dhabi last time out and have looked like the league’s best team so far – something Sharp attributes to consistency.

“They’ve pretty much had the same quarterback for three years and the same coach and system,” Sharp said. “They’re in the best situation as far as consistency.”