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Kicking Tires: Arena Edition

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Please don't take this as "Flat Tires" edition or think I've gone off the deep end. But last Friday I was sitting, drinking a beer waiting for my fiance to get ready so we could go meet some friends for dinner when I stumbled upon an AFL game on the NFL Network. Plenty of "lower tier" players have used the AFL as a spring board, including our own Anthony Armstrong. But the thought that popped in my mind that night is when one the AFL QBs is going to get a shot in the NFL. The immediate example of a arena QB rising in the NFL is Kurt Warner. Warner was said to have gained the quick pass release/read skills from the AFL which made him thrive in the Ram's offense of the early 2000s.

Arena offenses have always, kind of, enthralled me. I worked for the AF2 team that was here in Richmond (Speed) when I was in high school and got to sit on the bench and learn a lot of things about the game. But I can't figure out for the life of me if the offenses are purely timing based or if its just a glorified pick up game. For example, when the Speed were here they had a QB named Bob Bees who seemed to have his timing down and could make very good reads. To the contrary Richmond now has two arena teams (don't ask me how, and one of which plays outdoors WTF?) and I've gone to a couple of their games where Brian Randle, Rodney Landers (JMU), and Aaron Alexander (Michigan State) have played QB and it looks like a back yard pick up game.

With all that being said, I started thinking is there a guy in the AFL now who could make the jump and succeed in the NFL. The answer isn't definitely yes but I did find an interesting prospect in Utah Blaze quarterback, Tommy Grady. Grady started his college career at Oklahoma where he was Jason White's back up, but then transferred to Utah where he was the back up QB for Alex Smith (smart transfer?). Grady is 26 years old now and is 6'7, 245. Please take these stats with a grain of salt, but he has completed 66% of his passes and has a TD-INT ratio of 60:6. It also seems as if Grady is one of the few AFL QBs in the NFL, he was brought in for workouts with the Dolphins twice this past year and most recently in November.

This is extremely far fetched but Grady's size and history is really something that intrigues me. I would be interested to see what he could do if he was given a chance to come into training camp somewhere. On another note, if anyone watches arena football, how old is Mark Grieb!?!? I feel like he's been San Jose's QB since the mid-90s.