I watched three of the new televised Alliance of American Football games this past weekend on their kickoff. I liked the games and will definitely continue to follow. Here are some notes on the games.
- The game moves quickly. The commercial breaks are short. The play clock is only 35 seconds and from the end of the play. Whereas the NFL is 40 seconds.
- The view and commentary of the replay person gives a nice insight into replay decisions.
- The players are not bad. The stat they threw out was that 81% of players have been on an NFL contract.
- Maybe it was just this week but I noticed a lot less flags than in an NFL game.
- No kickoffs. Play commences at the 25 yard line. They do have punts. I did not miss the kickoffs. I thought of how many kickoffs have penalties on them such as either holding or block in the back. These often negate any appreciable return.
- No extra point. The teams have to go for 2 point conversion. I like that a lot better. The extra points are almost a given. The two point adds a level of uncertainty.
- Lots of people miked up. Sometimes nice insight especially when the coach is involved. They have to work out audio problems as sometimes the mike up will interfere with commentary. Also you could not hear the official on calling the penalties.
- Nice to see women involved in football at the professional level. There are four women officials in the AAF. There are three women coaches in the AAF. Jen Welter is defensive specialist for the Atlanta Legends, Lori “Lo” Locust is Assistant Football Coach on Birmingham Iron and Jennifer King is assistant wide receiver coach on the Arizona Hotshots. The AAF founders are committed to pushing the boundaries when it comes to diversity within the sport. Hines Ward, who’s the head of football development for the league, was impressed with King’s knowledge of the game. “She knows her stuff, especially playing the wide receiver position.”
QB John Wolford, Arizona Hotshots – Offensive Player of the week as he threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns. Wolford had an outstanding high school quarterback career. Unfortunately his college career did not go as well. He went undrafted and was signed by the Jets. The Jets cut him at the start of the season.
QB Logan Woodside, San Antonio Commanders – Had an good college quarterback career. In his last college year of 2017 he was third among active career leaders in passing efficiency (165.52), Completion Percentage (65.5%) and Passing Yards per Attempt (9.17). However his smaller size and average arm kept teams away. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Bengals. He was waived at the start of the season, picked up by the Titans practice squad and released within a month.
QB Luis Perez, Birmingham Iron – Perez was a walk-on at a community college with no quarterback experience. He said he wanted to be their quarterback. He started as the 9th quarterback on the depth chart. In two years he went on to a conference title. He transferred to Texas A&M Commerce where he went 24-3 as a starting quarterback. In two years at Texas A&M he threw for 8,325 yards, 78 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 68% completion percentage.
Also on Offense
WR Rashad Ross, Arizona Hotshots – Ross had five receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
CB Jamar Summers, Birmingham Iron – He was all over the field hustling to make plays. He allowed only one catch for a loss of two yards and had one interception.
In general for the games I watched the offensive lines looked like they needed more practice. Even though the defense is only allowed to rush five players they still were able to pressure these quarterbacks a lot. Rushing more than five results in a 15 yard penalty.
It was entertaining football and it goes thru April. What more can you ask for! It will be interesting to see what players may be offered positions in the NFL. The word is that NFL teams will be scouting this league.