Predators look to bounce back at home against Albany

Saturday marks the Predators return to Amway Arena, and it will come with a matchup against the Albany Empire.

The Predators (1-1) come back home to Orlando for their first home of the season after a 48-26 loss to the Carolina Cobras, who took down the defending champion Empire (1-1) in the first game of the season.

“We have a couple of guys that I don’t think understand how Amway is,” lineman De’Quan Murray said. “When they walk in, the infectious feeling that we get is unreal. We are going to win.”

Head coach Jeff Higgins said the team has practiced hard and the loss this past Saturday has been on the mind of the team.

“There’s been a little bit of a good type of frustration from how they didn’t perform up to their potential,” Higgins said. “But potential doesn’t get you paid, Albany doesn’t care, they’re coming in to win and we have to be ready to go.”

The Empire come into Orlando with wide receiver and defensive back Darius Prince as a powerhouse on both sides of the ball. Lineman De’Quan Murray said the key to keeping Prince and the Empire contained is discipline.

“We got it physically,” Murray said. “We have it physically, it’s just getting the mental stuff down, that’s really it. We just have to be more disciplined.”

Wide receiver and defensive back Daron “Speedy” Clark Jr. said he saw a lot of potential in practice from the skills positions, but it’s just a matter of transitioning their play on the practice field to the arena on Saturday.

“We look real good,” Clark Jr. said. “They young guys are coming out and paying attention and all the veterans are showing them what we have to do by locking in and making 50/50 catches. We’re doing what we have to do, all we have to do is get on the field and make the plays.”

Fullback and linebacker Kewan Alfred said the team has a bad taste in their mouths need to come out stronger than they did on Saturday. 

“We are coming out firing on all cylinders and trying to take care of what we can,” Alfred said.

The Predators are set to kickoff at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Higgins said he is excited for the home crowd and the fanbase in the home opener.

“It’s always good to be at home,” Higgins said. “We are looking forward to being in the jungle with our Pred Nation and that ‘Ninth Man’ that they bring. It’s just a different type of excitement.”

Saturday’s matchup with the Empire will be streamed via the NAL YouTube channel.