Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy @Blitzalytics
Here is the second installment in our Alliance of American Football teams, a lot has happened since the first one, so let’s quickly touch on them. First of all, is all 8 franchises now have names, and logos. The AAF, recently announced as well that they have rolled over the 500th signed player, and there is still a lot more to come. Also after some more research we will be including QB’s here forward, but only those that have been assigned to specific rosters.
Now onto our second team, the Memphis Express. Tasked with leading this force, is none other than the legendary LB, Mike Singletary. There have been no other staff announced along with Singletary, but there are a number of interesting players already announced to have signed to their roster, and here are a few to get excited about.
Jeremy Cutrer-CB-Middle Tennessee State
Cutrer was one of my favorite sleeper CB’s in the 2017 draft, due to some standout measurables. He originally was a LSU recruit that had to detour to a Community College first, but once on Middle Tennessee’s campus he evolved into a shutdown CB. Blessed with a long, linear build, he is able to disrupt a lot of passes at the catch point, and even carried an impressive streak of only allowing one TD over his last 52 targets at MTS. He possesses loose hips to flip, a decent jam at the LOS, and a knack for closing any gaps with WR’s downfield due to good recovery speed. He is more than willing to come and support in the running game, but due to a slender build he can be buried by bigger offensive players. When watching tape on him he plays with confidence, and moves very smoothly.
Tull is a very decorated college defender, being named a three time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, and was a consistent pass rushing terror to opposing offenses. He even was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in 2015 in the 5th Round, but soon washed out of the league due to some injury, but what a mound of moldable traits that Mike Singletary has to work with. He is blessed with with a highly-revving motor, that allows him to make a ton of plays on second effort. He has heavy hands, and an understanding on what it takes to leverage his build and hand usage to shed OL’s blocks. He is not the fastest Edge rusher, but has good quickness to close in space, as well as a nifty spin move that can be deadly to overset OT’s. Goes into attack mode with a plan, and executes it.
Zac Stacy was a quality contributing RB at the NFL level for a few seasons, until a gruesome broken ankle put the halt to his career, even forcing him to retire so that he could focus on rehabbing that injury. Initially drafted by the Rams in the 5th round in 2013, he even produced over 1,000 scrimmage yards in his rookie season. Stacy is blessed with a burly, thick, and strong build, that allows him to burst through arm tackles, and force defenders to bring their A games in the tackling department. He has good vision, and allows blocks to develop in front of him, which makes him a valuable short yardage back. He also has a soft set of hands to contribute in the passing game, and has enough wiggle to make defenders miss him in space. In addition to being able to contribute running hard behind his pads, and making a difference in the passing game, he shows a prowess in pass protecting on third downs, which will give him a leg up immediately on playing time due to being able to contribute to protecting the franchise.
Chris Givens-WR-Wake Forest
Chris Givens is the type of WR who can really make defensive backs rock back on their heels off the snap due to his speed. Initially drafted by the St. Louis Rams back in 2012 in the 4th Round, he bounced around the league to a couple of other teams until trying his hand in the CFL. Now he comes to Memphis looking to show off his skills with a chance at regaining his footing in the football world. Givens is quick in and out of his breaks in his route running, he uses his intelligence in identifying coverages, and adjusting his route running accordingly, but what really sets him apart is his pure speed. Timed at the Combine in 2012 at 4.41 in the 40 yd. Dash, he plays up to that or faster on the field. If CB’s struggle to transition from their drop Givens will eat up their cushion, and burn them. Givens has a chance to be one of the big deep threats in the AAF this season.
Zach Mettenberger is quite the enigma of QB’s. He was a big time recruit in college that faced adversity, and transferred to LSU, where in his senior season he tore his ACL, and sent his draft stock tumbling. Nevertheless, he was drafted by the Titans in the 6th Round in 2014, and showed promise in his rookie season, until a shoulder injury made him miss the rest of the season. The Titans eventually replaced him with a guy named Marcus Mariota, and then he was released, and had cups of coffee with the Chargers, and Steelers, which leads me to this being an opportunity to once again establish himself as an option for the Football world at QB. Mettenberger is blessed with a howitzer for a right arm, he can make any throw you imagine, and can throw the ball with anticipation and touch when he is within a clean pocket. The knocks throughout his career is a lack of foot quickness, and escapability, needless to say he is a bit of a statue at the top of his drop, and when he is under pressure his delivery can get a little long. Nonetheless, he is a big, sturdy QB, who could put up ridiculous numbers if given a quality OL, and some deep threats, which could be money in Memphis this year.
Memphis already has a number of intriguing talents, and I have just briefly touched on a few of them, if there is someone you believe in that I may have overlooked, comment below…
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