By Mick Moninghoff
December 3, 2019
The Massachusetts Pirates have announced that Tim Shelley will return as Defensive Coordinator for the 2020 season. Last season Shelley’s defense was second in the National Arena League against the run and ranked third in turnover margin, sacks, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense allowing 47.1 points per game.
Shelley said the driving force behind his return was in large part due to his feelings towards the players he coached last season.
“I wanted to stay with my guys because we have unfinished business. We have to go back, and we have to win it all,” he said.
Pirates President and General Manager Jawad Yatim knows that Shelley’s return will bring consistency to the Pirates.
“Tim in my opinion did a great job last year. He had a tough task in the sense that we had a young secondary, but he got those guys up to speed and playing the way we had anticipated heading into last season. I’m glad to have Tim back on board and look forward to competing for a championship this upcoming season,” Yatim said.
A former defensive back at Fort Valley State University in Georgia, Shelley was the Defensive Coordinator for the Georgia Doom of the American Arena League for half a season in 2018. Last year was his first full season as a DC and he said he learned that success sometimes does not happen overnight.
“I learned that you have to have patience, especially with the guys that we had. We had a lot of rookies. There was a lot of teaching which I’m not expecting to be doing this season. I’m expecting to come out of the gate flying. We have Cheatham Norrils, Khalid Wooten, Chucky Williams and Al Louis-Jean, so we are veterans now. I think statistically, we may have had the best defense in the league over the second half of last season. Down the stretch I thought we played well. I’m expecting my guys to come in and set the tone and bring the championship back to Massachusetts,” he said.
During his playing career, Shelley played defensive back for the Tampa Bay Storm, the Spokane Shock and the Portland Steel of the Arena Football League and in the Indoor Football League with the Green Bay Blizzard and the Cedar Rapids Titans. He admits he expects near perfection from those defending the pass.
“I hold them to a higher standard and my guys know that, but I have high expectations for the entire defense and every individual. We want to win our individual battles. We want to be the best defense in the league statistically. We want to let people know that the Massachusetts Pirates are here to play ball. We want to come out flying around and play fast,” he said.
It may only be December, but Shelley can’t wait to prepare for the 2020 season.
“I’m excited to get to training camp and to see the guys, get this started and let everybody know that the Massachusetts Pirates will come to play. We want to set the tone every week, take it game by game and approach every game like it’s a championship game and just try to impose our will,” Shelley said.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Forster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. Pirates season tickets for the 2020 season are now available starting at $99.00. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email [email protected] or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Follow the Pirates on Facebook, at Facebook.com/MAPirates, on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as on Twitter @mass_pirates.