Two games into his return to the VooDoo, it’s been hard for L.J. Castile to get off the field.
Castile played receiver and defensive back during a win against the Cleveland Gladiators on June 1 and in a loss last Saturday at the Philadelphia Soul. During his span, he’s caught four touchdown passes and on defense, added one interception and a forced fumble.
Not a bad streak for Castile, who holds the franchise record for consecutive games with a score (16 from 2011-2012).
“I’m trying to put the team in a position to win,” said Castile, who was signed earlier this month. “The extra responsibility, it’s a lot to do, but it’s still fun to play football, you know?”
Castile, now in his third season in the Arena Football League, will have even more fun if he can help the VooDoo (2-9) beat the Tampa Bay Storm (7-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The VooDoo this season have faced myriad in-game injuries — setbacks that have forced coach Pat O’Hara to move player positions around, including asking guys like Castile to play positions foreign to their careers.
Before this month, Castile said he had never played defense.
The challenge, he said, is getting his mind focused on offense after flying around the field on defense.
“It was very exciting,” he said before adding, “It was very challenging. Everything is backwards (going from playing offense to defense). Like covering a receiver and knowing what holes he’s going to try to fit in (on the field). You know what he’s looking for.”
Quarterback Adrian McPherson leads Tampa Bay’s fourth-ranked scoring offense with 3,009 yards and 58 TDs and a league-high 400 rushing yards and 35 TDs.
On May 4, the VooDoo lost 63-32 at Tampa Bay. The defeat was highlighted by the offense’s inability to score points.
Through the first three quarters, the VooDoo were held to 13 points. Still, the VooDoo were playing without Kurt Rocco and receiver Donovan Morgan, who is now 48 yards shy of 1,000 yards.
Tampa Bay’s plus-17 turnover margin ranks third in the league, while the VooDoo (minus-21) ranks last. ... Tampa Bay is also 5-1 on the road this season. The Storm are 2-0 at the Superdome, but have not played in the building since 1992 against the New Orleans Night.