Written By: Roy Countryman @Blitzalytics @PreacherBoyRoy
David Connors @connors_david
Offensive Player of the Week
Dontez Ford: WR, San Diego Fleet
3 receptions on 4 targets, 182yds, 72 long, 122 YAC.
Dontez Ford is a former Pitt Panther WR that never really settled in as a full-time starter in college, but was always a tantalizing athlete throughout of his duration on campus. Before he broke into the college ranks he helped his high school team win a Big Seven title and the WPIAL Class A championship game in Western PA. He also was a standout athlete on the basketball court and track as field as well. Not only is a standout young man on the field, but he was also awarded the Pitt Selfless Spirit Award for his actions in helping stop an attempted break-in. The lack of consistent production while at Pitt hurt his chances at getting a shot in the NFL but did get a cup of coffee with the Detroit Lions where he drew the attention of one standout WR, Golden Tate. Tate had this to say of Ford: “That guy’s executing,” “He’s got great hands, great vision, he understands the game, he’s been playing fast. I love what he’s doing. He keeps his mouth shut. He just handles business. That’s what I like to see from our young guys.” (Detroit Free Press 2017)
Quick Scouting Report (Focus more on their strengths than weaknesses since they are already in a developmental league)
Ford has good size for the X position in an offense. He plays faster than his listed timed speed of 4.58 and has no problem separating from DBs trying to cover him vertically down the field. He is physical at the top of his stem in running his routes and understands how to use his body positioning to box out the player covering him. He has solid hands and has good body control to be able to adjust to errant throws. He is a bull when running after the catch and will break through arm tackles. He gives good effort in the run blocking department
Ford is third in the AAF in receiving yardage, and is averaging a ridiculous 29 yards per catch, which leads me to say that any NFL team should be running to give this guy a camp invite after the conclusion of the season, and one team that had already had him in their building could use another quality wideout after the trading away Golden Tate last year and that is the Detroit Lions.
Defensive Player of the Week
Bradley Sylve: DB, Birmingham Iron
8 tackles, 8 solos, 2 PDs, 1 INT, 1 FF
The Birmingham Iron secondary was absolutely locking down their assignments all game in this week 6 matchup against the San Diego Fleet. Even when they were not making plays, they were not allowing Mike Bercovici to get rid of the ball in time. Jamar Summers could have easily been defensive player of the week as well with how well he locked down his side of the field. It showed in the way Martz offense avoided that side of the ball. For that reason, Iron slot corner Bradley Sylve feasted on balls thrown his way. Sylve was covering one of the best WR on the Fleet offense, Nelson Spruce most of the game. Spruce only managed 3 catches for 23 yards. Sylve had 2 pass deflections and 1 interception. Sylve gets the bump for DPOW this week over his teammate Summers because Sylve also established himself in the run defense as well. Sylve made 8 tackles all solo. He also established his presence on the field with it hit on Fleet TE Ben Johnson jarring the ball loose. This former Crimson Tide proved all game to be an asset on the Iron defense to help his team get back in the win column.
Bradley Sylve went to the University of Alabama. Although his stats have never turned heads, his tape shows a very capable corner. He is a complete athlete with speed to burn. He never got to show off his incredible athleticism for the draft process because he tore an Achilles before his pro day at Alabama. He spent time on Bills preseason in 2018 but did not make the final roster.
Bradley Sylve is a raw athlete who is getting the opportunity to perfect his technique with HC Tim Lewis. NFL teams will recognize what a great pairing that is for this young man to grow. He may not make an NFL roster out of preseason, but as the season plagues on and teams start getting hit by the injury bug, I am sure his phone will ring. If the Philadelphia Eagles have another situation this year where 3 of the 4 top corners wind up on IR, Sylve would be a great player to plug in and hold down the back end of their defense.
Stay tuned to Blitzalytics for all your AAF content needs, as we will be diving in depth on everything of this awesome league through podcasts, articles, as well as game previews and recaps for each week.