Friday, October 9, 2009
The next Tommy Maddox?
If you were one of those people back in 2001 who, like me, were excited about the start of the XFL, you probably remember the crippling disappointment that came from the truly awful quality of play by everyone not named Tommy Maddox. The low scoring and ineptitude, in my opinion, contributed more to the downfall of that league than anything else. So, when I tuned into the UFL opener, with the Las Vegas Locomotives and the California Redwoods squaring off in Vegas, I was fully expecting more incompletions and god awful play than a Tuesday night game between Louisiana Lafayette and North Texas.
Instead, I was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the game, which Las Vegas won 30-17, actually was. Former 1st round pick and Bills quarterback JP Losman had a stellar game, going 21 of 31 for 226 yds, 2tds, and a 110.4 rating, and his counterpart, former University of Kentucky quarterback Shane Boyd, made some nice plays with his arm and his leg. It was also interesting to see some aging ex-NFLers like former Cardinals runningback Marcell Shipp and former Bears safety Tony Parrish get some playing time. Hell,the Las Vegas kicker even made a 53 yard field goal.
Honestly, I really think the UFL could achieve its stated goal of becoming a developmental league for the NFL. With former NFL coaches and a decent level of competition, the veterans and rookies that participate in the UFL have to be in better game shape by the end of their season in November than they would be coming in off the street. If an NFL team worn down by injuries needs a few players to fill out the roster for the stretch run, who's to say the UFL isn't the best place to find them? A guy like Losman, with NFL talent and a live arm, who has been in competitive shape, will probably make a better option for a team suffering from injuries or ineffectiveness at the quarterback position than a simple street free agent. I fully support the UFL, and I hope it lasts.