The AAF league debuts…Football Is Back!?

On Saturday night, the newly founded Alliance of American Football League debuted on national television on CBS with two games.

AAF stands for Alliance of American Football, which was announced in March by co-founders Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, the latter of whom spent decades working as an NFL executive. It is an eight-team league that exists to both complement the NFL during the offseason and showcase local, developing talent. Its leadership board features former NFL players Jared Allen, Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu, and its mission is to provide “high-quality professional football fueled by a dynamic Alliance between players, fans and the game.”

Teams

The AAF’s inaugural eight franchises are as follows:

  • Arizona Hotshots
  • Atlanta Legends
  • Birmingham Iron
  • Memphis Express
  • Orlando Apollos
  • Salt Lake Stallions
  • San Antonio Commanders
  • San Diego Fleet

 

Notable coaches and players

The AAF used a QB Draft to allow each of the eight teams an opportunity to either protect allocated quarterbacks or pick one from another region, with those quarterbacks first signing directly to the AAF. Before the draft, dozens of other players had already joined the league, with Hines Ward hinting this fall that “big names” remain on the AAF’s radar.

Before any players signed to the league, the AAF also announced head coaches for all eight of its original teams.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most notable names on each team entering 2019:

Team: Arizona Hotshots
Coach: Rick Neuheisel
Players: QB Trevor Knight

Team: Atlanta Legends
Coach: Kevin Coyle
Players: QB Aaron Murray, QB Matt Simms, WR Stephen Hill

Team: Birmingham Iron
Coach: Tim Lewis
Players: QB Blake Sims, QB Scott Tolzien, RB Trent Richardson, CB JaCorey Shepherd, K Nick Novak

Team: Memphis Express
Coach: Mike Singletary
Players: QB Christian Hackenberg, QB Zach Mettenberger, RB Zac Stacy, WR Chris Givens

Team: Orlando Apollos
Coach: Steve Spurrier
Players: QB Garrett Gilbert, QB Stephen Morris, WR Frankie Hammond, DB Will Hill

Team: Salt Lake Stallions
Coach: Dennis Erickson
Players: QB B.J. Daniels, QB Garrett Grayson, RB Matt Asiata

Team: San Antonio Commanders
Coach: Mike Riley
Players: RB David Cobb, RB Daryl Richardson

Team: San Diego Fleet
Coach: Mike Martz
Players: QB Josh Johnson, RB Bishop Sankey

CBS is scheduled to broadcast the AAF’s Feb. 9 Opening Day, with regional coverage (and you can stream the games on CBS All Access), while CBS Sports Network will then carry one AAF game each week throughout the season

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