Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Florida A11FL team will have no shortage of talent to choose from


Today is the first in a series of stories about potential A11 Football League players, by state, using a regional approach. The players are taken from a list of free agents from thesidelineview.com on October 7, and doesn’t reflect any changes in status that may have occurred since then.

It's easy to get stuck in the minutia of putting together a new professional football league – where is the money going to come from, where will the television contracts come from, where will the teams be, etc.

All of that is for the leaders of the A11 Football League to continue to work on. The fun part is thinking ahead – who might be the players who will fill the rosters of the eight A11FL teams come the spring of 2015? We don’t know who will be available when players begin to be acquired, but we know who’s available now.

So let’s take a look at some players the Florida-based A11FL team might want to pick up:

Any discussion of a Florida A11FL team’s offense would begin and end with quarterback Tim Tebow. His past performance at the University of Florida and when given a chance with an offense built around him with the National Football League’s Denver Broncos, as well as his skill set, are a perfect match for the league. And Tebow’s mere presence with the Florida A11FL squad would be not only an emotional lift for the team, but a popular choice among fans.

Alongside Tebow in the backfield could be a running back like former Detroit Lion Kevin Smith (Central Florida), who, at age 27 in December, would have plenty of tread left on his tires. Smith has proven to be a productive professional back (2,346 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing over part or all of five seasons), and he also can go out and catch passes (80 grabs in his first two seasons).

Another interesting running back choice would be ex-Pittsburgh Steeler Chris Rainey (Florida), a speedster who played all 16 games as a rookie last year but has run into legal problems. If those are cleared up, he would be valuable as a back and return specialist.

If the Florida team was seeking a veteran wide receiver, it could do much worse than Jabar Gaffney (Florida), who caught 68 passes in a season just two falls ago and has 447 career NFL catches over 11 seasons. Another receiver who also could double as a successful return specialist is Roscoe Parrish (Miami), who caught 33 passes just three years ago and has career NFL averages of 11.6 yards per punt return and 23.4 yards per kickoff return.

Defensively, the Florida A11FL team could come at opposing quarterbacks with ex-NFL end/linebacker Jarvis Moss (Florida), who had six sacks in an underachieving career as a first-round pick over five NFL seasons. The front seven also could feature former Gator linebacker Brandon Siler, still young by football terms at 28 in December. Siler played five NFL seasons, recording 180 total tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

In the secondary, safety Kenny Phillips (Miami) could fit the bill, after playing five seasons with the New York Giants as a first-round pick and intercepting eight passes.

There will be plenty of high-quality talent for every A11FL team to choose from when the time comes. Florida’s football fans will have a lot of homegrown talent to root for one the ball is kicked off in the spring of 2015.

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