Written by Jacob Clear
Interview #1 – Erich Hammer
Jacob Clear – Good evening and welcome to the introductory episode of A Clearer Picture, the interview series uncovering the stories that lie behind the game’s best players. We begin with the 6’2, 250lb linebacker out of the Florida Storm, its Erich Hammer! How are you tonight, Erich?
EH – Doing great! Excited to be here for the interview. Wished we could have gotten that win earlier against Las Vegas but we will move on and improve.
JC – Now we know a lot about your player from your first 7 games with the Florida Storm and your 9 game cameo with the Annapolis Navigators in the inaugural minor league season, but we don’t know much about you as a person. Tell us, how did the SFL find you?
EH – I am friends with a lot of people here at the SFL and in other simulation leagues. They kept mentioning the SFL so I had to come out and try it. Been loving it ever since!
JC – As I mentioned before, you played for the Navigators in the minors and helped them to a 5-3 record and a point differential of +50. You were certainly influential, but what drew you towards playing linebacker?
EH – I really wanted to impact the game from the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker allows you to cover tight ends in coverage as well as be a force in the run game. I really love to hit people and make plays for my team.
JC – You were selected 9th overall by Florida, how did you find out you were getting picked and were there any initial reactions?
EH – I had reached out to Florida prior to the draft while I was at Annapolis. They were pretty interested in my player as well as my ability to make graphics for the team socials. Mighty interviewed me and things went great. He messaged me during the draft and told me they were going to take me with the 9th pick! I was very excited to go to a team with a history of winning and a great locker room culture.
JC – Florida were perhaps a little slow off the mark, but were very unlucky to lose to Vancouver. What changed between Week 2 and 3 on the field that you saw?
EH – Well it was a tough three game stretch for us and I think our coaches were figuring some things out in the early parts of the season. Against Vancouver we played a great game but fell short at the end, but I really liked the way that we attacked their defense with slants and the HB out routes. Our defense played soundly as well.
JC – A win against the Houston Hyenas and wins against two expansion teams, the Lone Star Glory and the Fort Worth Toros has seen Florida rekindle the spark, but a perhaps unlucky loss to Las Vegas has stagnated the run of form. Do you perhaps see a return to form against Tulsa this weekend?
EH – 100%. A couple of costly tipped passes ended up in the hands of Las Vegas and their stellar secondary, but our coaches put in great game plans week in and week out. I think we bounce back in a big way against Tulsa.
JC – Do Florida go all the way this season?
EH – I would think so. I believe in this team and the coaching staff. Florida won 3 straight championships before and Mighty is a HOF coach in my book. Any edge that needs finding, he is there. The guys in the locker room all believe in one another and we believe we can beat any team in the league.
JC – Thanks for your time Erich.
EH – Thank you!
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