Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Crystal Ball – no shortage of quality quarterbacks for the A11FL taking


Eighteen months seems like a long time. That’s because it is-- especially for those of us at the A11 Football League who have to wait that long for the start of our first full season.

And the list of high-quality, National Football League-caliber players available to play for the League in the spring of 2015 will expand and contract countless times between now and then.

But it is fun to look ahead, isn’t it?

The engine that runs any offense is the quarterback. But given the concepts of the A-11 offense, which will be integrated full-time in professional football for the first time thanks to the A11FL, those quarterbacks are going to be pushed to a higher gear than has ever been seen before.

Imagine the Texas-based A11FL team having former Longhorn and NFL quarterback Vince Young running its offense with his skill set. He will be just shy of age 32 when the first A11FL ball is kicked off, and will have a lot of tread left on his tires. And what if a younger quarterback is desired? Why not go with recent Kansas State dual threat Collin Klein, who, at age 25 when the league begins, seems to have been made for its style of play.

Let’s head to Illinois, where there would be quite a few good choices for its A11FL pivot. Former Northwestern and Philadelphia Eagle Mike Kafka would be the most veteran of those choices, but here’s a name to remember – current Northern Illinois senior Jordan Lynch. Lynch is NFL-quality, but if teams simply look at his height (6-foot) and believe he can’t make it, they would be making a mistake – one the A11FL would love to capitalize on.

As for the Michigan-based A11FL team, a couple of Canadian Football League quarterbacks would look really good here – former Cincinnati Bearcat and current Toronto Argonauts dual threat Zach Collaros and ex-Central Michigan star and Hamilton Tiger-Cats short-yardage specialist Dan LeFevour. Reaching back into the not-so-distant University of Michigan past, there’s the run-pass combination of Tate Forcier.

Out west, for the California A11FL squad, there is one quarterback who would make the most sense from a regional and skill set perspective – former Oregon Duck and Pittsburgh Steeler Dennis Dixon. There are actually several quarterbacks available who played at California colleges, such as Matt Leinart, David Carr and Trent Edwards, but none of them have the run-pass mix called for in an A11FL offense that Dixon does.

Which quarterback would make the most sense for the New York/New Jersey-based A11FL team? If a local pivot is desired, former Arizona Cardinal John Skelton (Fordham) would do the trick. Of course, if a splash is wanted, headlines would be made if someone like former No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick JaMarcus Russell were to come aboard. Russell still wouldn’t be quite 30 years old when the A11FL kicks off, but his weight and his knees (probably because of his weight) still could be issues.

How about Pennsylvania? One option people may not know much about is Josh Portis, who currently is in the CFL and played collegiately at California (Pa.). Portis spent a couple seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, but is with the Argos presently. Another intriguing possibility is Virginia Tech senior Logan Thomas, who at 6-foot-6 and 254 pounds, would be the A11FL’s version of Daunte Culpepper.

Finally, there is the Florida A11FL team. And, of course, the best-case scenario at quarterback would be the one player made for this league – former Gator and Denver Broncos first-round pick Tim Tebow. Tebow would create not only excitement for the team off the field, but his skill set and sheer force of will would make the offense zing. Another good choice here would be former United Football League backup Ryan Perrilloux, who still is raw, but has experience in the NFL, UFL and CFL.

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