Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flagler Was Ready to Help When Needed Veteran Gave Tomcats Needed Lift Last Week

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flagler Was Ready to Help When Needed Veteran Gave Tomcats Needed Lift Last Week

Article excerpt

Terrence Flagler didn't need to do anything to earn the respect of his Jacksonville Tomcats teammates. His NFL career, which includes two Super Bowl rings, and what he did at Clemson were impressive enough.

But with the Tomcats facing a key early season conference game against Carolina last week, the 35-year-old Flagler cemeted his place as the arenafootball2 team's undisputed leader.

Wearing a cast on his left hand because of broken bones, Flagler caught four passes -- three for touchdowns, including the game-winner with seven seconds to play.

"We needed someone to step up," Flagler said.

"To go out there and make all those great catches like he did with a cast on his arm just shows he's a warrior," said quarterback Jeff McCrone, who threw seven touchdown passes in the 59-56 victory.

The Tomcats, who play at Carolina tonight (7:30 p.m.), desperately need more of that attitude. The team is 3-1 and tied for first place in the American Conference with Augusta, but the three wins are by a combined six points and the team has been unable to hold leads or put teams away.

"[It's] immaturity," coach Perry Moss explained. "You don't see a mature, experienced team that's played a lot make that many crucial mistakes and make them when it's the turning point of the ball game. We're fortunate that we had enough time to go down and get a touchdown [last week]."

That's where Flagler's experience becomes invaluable. He's counseled players, offered tips and generally been another coach. And then after talking about what to do, he's gone out and done it.

He's third on the team with 10 catches for 124 yards -- well behind leader David Thomas' 22 catches for 342 yards -- but he leads the team with five touchdown catches. And he's second with 24 tackles and also has one sack as a linebacker.

"He does it all," said defensive specialist Russell Parker.

Flagler expects to have a tougher time on offense tonight. The Rhinos played mostly man-to-man coverage last week and gave up seven touchdown passes and 178 yards receiving to Thomas. …

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