BROCK TRANSITIONS TO MORE DEFENSIVE ROLEFeatures | 3/12/2014 10:40:32 AM | Alex Pagliano
By Alex Pagliano - Bandits.com
At 6-foot-4, 223 pounds, Buffalo Bandits transition player David Brock has transformed his style of play this season.
Through six games played, Brock has recorded a goal and an assist. He scored what could be the highlight-reel goal of the season on Feb. 1, fending off Rock defenseman Damon Edwards mid-stride and beat Rock goaltender Nick Rose over the shoulder to regain the Bandits lead. It was a lead that the team would never relinquish for the final 15:43 of action.
“I have got a good picture of that,” he said. “It makes me smile. I always like scoring, particularly in Banditland. There are 14,000 people there supporting you. There’s not a better feeling than that.”
While the talent to score goals is there, it’s his defensive game that the coaching staff has seen improve immensely.
Brock credited Bandits assistant coach Rich Kilgour for helping him transition into someone who focuses primarily on the defensive end.
“I have kind of grown into what I like to call a shut-down defenseman,” Brock said. “I have kind of transformed from an offensive defenseman when I entered the league four seasons ago. I’m a bigger guy. I like to match-up against the team’s best lefty and help keep him off of the scoreboard.”
Brock dressed for the disappointing 16-12 season-opening loss to Philadelphia and Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley opted to scratch him for three games. The team went 3-0 over the stretch and Cordingley found himself sticking with what had worked.
“Things were going well for the team,” Brock said. “[Troy] really has to put the team first, and if things are going well with the team, there’s no sense shaking that up.”
Away from the floor, Brock learned to eradicate any thought of complacency. Consequently, Brock worked hard during the week to prepare for his eventual return to game action.
“If anything, I thought it was a good thing for me,” he said. “It kind of lit a fire underneath (me). I really dedicated myself to getting back into the best shape that I could be to get back onto the floor and help the team.”
Since Feb. 1, however, Brock has made three consecutive starts. The fourth-year veteran feels that the Bandits have the goaltending and veteran talent necessary to win a championship.
“We have a talented group of guys who are hungry to win,” he said. “I think with this team, and with the veterans that we have, anything less than a championship would be a disappointment.”
Lacrosse runs in his the family and when he was 4, his father began teaching him the basics.
“My father was my first coach,” he said. “My father played all of his life and he was a very good lacrosse player when he was growing up. His father played, too. It’s just one of those things that went down through the family. My father coached me up until Junior ‘A’ Lacrosse and I never looked back.”
After starting his NLL career with Philadelphia in 2010, he spent one season with the now defunct Boston Blazers in 2011.
After the Blazers franchise folded, Brock returned to Philadelphia for the 2012 season. At the end of the 2012 season, Brock was traded to Buffalo for forward Kevin Buchanan and a third-round pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
“David’s a team-first defender that has both size and speed,” Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich said of the acquisition. “He can get out in transition and finish on the break. He’s unselfish.”
Brock returned to Buffalo for his fourth NLL season after agreeing to terms on a one-year contract in November. The Burlington, Ont. native felt at home in Buffalo after recording 13 points (6+7) last season.
“I have been around three teams,” he said. “The fans here are the best in the league. You go to Chipotle to get a burrito and even the cashier knows who the Bandits are. You really feel like a celebrity, for the lack of a better word.”