Turek goes from friend to foe
The former Barracudas' offensive coordinator faces his old team for the first time as the Dubai rivalry heats up.
Brett Turek will be on the sidelines looking across at a different team than the one he left when the Stallions coach faces his former squad for the first time.
The Dubai rivalry gets another jolt with Turek squaring off against the Barracudas, who he helped lead to a Desert Bowl championship last season before giving up blue for red.
The memories, as well as relationships with Barracudas players and coaches, remain, but Turek is eager to stamp his mark from the other side and his players are excited to do their part tomorrow (Friday) at The Sevens.
“The team is more excited. I think it adds a little bit more to the rivalry factor and the cross-town classic, if you will,” Turek said.
“Sure it’ll be a bit of a surreal moment for me coaching against my old team, but it’s a new team and hopefully we’ll walk off that field with a victory.”
Turek has moved on and guided the Stallions to a 1-1 mark to start the season, but the Barracudas have so far appeared to be stuck in reverse.
The defending champions have come out of the gates winless through two games, with their most recent defeat coming to an Al Ain Desert Foxes side that tasted victory for the first time in four years.
Their offence, which ran through opponents under Turek last year, has regressed and is struggling for consistency.
Both Turek and Barracudas coach Kyle Jordan point to the integration of new players as the chief reason for the slow start, but Jordan admits not having his former offensive coordinator hasn’t helped the cause.
“Right now we’re just not playing very good football. We’re still trying to find our identity as a team,” Jordan said.
“Coach Brett, he’s got a lot of football experience and knowledge and the players respond to him. He and I have different styles and those styles complement one another, so we certainly miss having him and his football mind.
“It’ll be weird to see him on the other sideline for a change.”
The Barracudas will get a boost with the return of quarterback Zavier Cobb, who missed the contest against Al Ain.
Turek, of course, is well aware of what Cobb can do, as he is with running back Luke Norrey. When he made the switch to the Stallions over the summer, Turek stated match-ups with the Barracudas will “be more of a tactical game” considering his familiarity with their players.
“I’m not going to sit here and say I know exactly what they’re going to call play-wise because they’ve changed their system up from what I run, but there’s certain things like I know how Luke [Norrey] runs certain ways, how Rich [Stead] releases on routes, how Zavier will look at how the field is spread out,” he said.
There will be least one more meeting between the Stallions and Barracudas this season, but there’s no doubt striking first would mean something to Turek and his squad.
by Jay Asser