Bolts are back in Brooklyn for second season

For the second year, the Bolts are ready to take Brooklyn by storm.

Last year, the Fall Experimental Football League (FXFL) had its inaugural season, which brought thousands of fans to MCU Park during a time when use of the field had been rather scarce in past years.

Of the teams that made history for the league that helps players who had been released by NFL teams get recognized, the Brooklyn Bolts were one of the more successful franchises as they went a perfect 4-0.

Now with a full season under their belt and a chance to promote themselves for an extended period of time, both the league and the Bolts franchise are ready for an even bigger season.

During media day, held at MCU Park on Wednesday, September 23, players and coaches gathered for a scrimmage where they announced the preliminary roster that will be available on opening night.

Among the changes this season is the hiring of head coach Terry Shea, who coached the league’s then-Boston Brawlers. As well as being a former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator, he was one of the quarterbacks on the University of Oregon’s football team from 1964-1967.

She was asked by FXFL Commissioner Brian Woods  to take over the Brooklyn franchise.

Though he’s coached for decades, Shea sees great potential in his league. “When I look back to my first year, I feel that it was one of the most fulfilling seasons I’ve had as a coach because I saw a group of 39 young guys who were really pioneers,” he explained. “They came out of nowhere to start up a league and they played the game with great passion until the very end. “

For the players, it gives them the opportunity to be seen and, hopefully, fulfill their dreams of playing in the NFL. “I think this is going to blow up,” said defensive lineman and Brooklyn native Elhadi Ndiaye, who was released by the Cleveland Browns last year. “The fact that you have scouts that are able to travel to the states instead of going to Canada to watch guys play is just an easy transition for them.”

Billy Harner, director of communications for both the Bolts and MCU Park, has already noticed an increase in interest. “From game one to game three, you saw a lot of the same faces coming back,” he said. “The excitement has been building. In the beginning, we were marketing a team without a player, just a logo. This year, we knew we were having it so we could market it all season long.”

The addition of former first round draft pick quarterback Josh Freeman has also sparked interest in the team.

“It’s a blessing. This is something I felt should’ve been done in previous years but I’m grateful that it’s happening around my time,” added linebacker Carlif Taylor. “What this does is give us an opportunity to get those looks you weren’t able to get in pre-season and camp.”

The Bolts begin their season on Friday, October 2 against the Blacktips in Brooklyn. For tickets, visit

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Jaime DeJesus

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