Fix one problem, and another shows up.
Last Saturday, VooDoo coach Pat O’Hara earned the win he coveted to end the team’s four-game losing streak.
Then O’Hara said he caught a “strange strain of the flu” before the VooDoo’s 62-44 win at the San Antonio Talons. He suffered a high temperature, sore throat and coughing — not the way you’d hope to spend a road trip.
“I got past it and early this week, my throat started really bothering me. Each day, my voice got worse,” O’Hara wrote Friday in a text message. His voice has been muted for most of the week. Last couple of days have been difficult. I’ve been on various antibiotics and today, my voice is nearly back. I’m good to go for tomorrow (Saturday).”
If not, the VooDoo (2-6) will field another round of issues Saturday night against the Iowa Barnstormers (4-5) at the Smoothie King Center.
As tradition in the Arena Football League, the head coach and/or offensive coordinator follows action from the field — near the walls surrounding the indoor field, several feet behind the line of scrimmage. In-between plays, O’Hara relays plays to VooDoo quarterbacks.
Factor in crowd noise at the Smoothie King Center, the emotions of an important game and O’Hara’s vocals might impact Saturday’s game.
VooDoo quarterback Kurt Rocco, who has appeared to fend off former LSU quarterback Ryan Perrilloux for the starting job, is coming off one of his better performances of the season. Against San Antonio, Rocco completed 14 of 30 passes for 263 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for one score.
Receiver L.J. Castille, though, isn’t concerned.
“(Quarterback) Kurt (Rocco) is a good leader, so he’ll be able to step up and be more vocal if he needs to,” said Castille, who has caught 55 passes for 764 yards and 23 TDs.
“If anything, it’ll stop coach from yelling at us.”
Iowa is coming off back-to-back losses, including last Saturday’s 63-46 home loss to the Cleveland Gladiators. San Antonio’s Brian Reader and J.J. Raterink combined to throw for 312 yards, seven touchdowns (six passing) and one interception. They were also sacked four times.