What we learned: Three big things from the Fleet's loss

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SDRay

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https://aaf.com/what-we-learned-three-takeaways-from-the-fleets-loss

The first game in The Alliance of American Football is in the books for the San Diego Fleet.
It was a difficult night as the Fleet struggled to generate offense in the 15-6 loss to the Commanders in San Antonio, resulting in a change at quarterback.
Here are three things we learned about the opener, as the Fleet begin to prepare for their home opener next Sunday against the Atlanta Legends at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on NFL Network. BUY TICKETS HERE.
1. Kurt Warner’s 1999 season looks even more amazing now
It was a vintage Rams-Fest at the Alamodome on Saturday, with Mike Martz and Az-Zahir Hakim coaching on the Fleet sideline and their former QBs Kurt Warner and Trent Green handling TV duties for CBS.
Undoubtedly, Warner and Green could feel Mike Bercovici’s pain -- and not just because of that hit by Shaan Washington early in the game. Bercovici learned the hard way just how difficult it is to master Martz’s intricate offensive schemes, which has its roots in the San Diego teachings of coaching savants Sid Gillman and Don Coryell.
After his second interception late in the third quarter, Martz replaced Bercovici with Philip Nelson, then named Nelson the starter for next Sunday’s home-opener.
One of the reasons Martz has the former East Carolina quarterback on the Fleet roster is their participation in the 2017 NFLPA Collegiate All-Star Bowl. Martz coached Nelson in that game and Nelson operated the controls smartly, completing 11 of 18 passes for over 100 yards and scoring on a 1-yard run, earning effusive praise from Martz after that game.
“I think Philip can be a starter in [the NFL], I’m convinced of it,” Martz said. “He has no flaws. After being with him all week long, I’m singing his praises. Someone is going to get a gem with this young man, he makes all the throws. He has leadership and presence that’s highly unusual. He’s athletic, smart [and] he picked everything up.”
After Saturday’s game, Martz again cited Nelson’s proficiency in running the offense in the NFLPA game as a major factor in making the in-game quarterback switch a permanent one. He also loved the poise Nelson showed in the scrimmage against Orlando on January 27.
"Nelson in the practice game, I thought he played exceptional,” Martz said. “I loved his composure.
“Some of the throws he made under duress were exceptional."
Martz stressed that this the demotion is not a knock on Bercovici, just an acknowledgement that the former Chargers prospect is still trying to learn the ropes of the offense. Martz even conceded prior to Saturday’s game that although he was the named starter, Bercovici was probably still about two weeks away from truly mastering the offense. That education will continue.
It all just puts Warner’s 1999 NFL MVP season in even more perspective, after being thrown into the starting job just before the start of the season after Green’s knee injury. Talk about a fast learner.
2. Bet on it: It’s all about the line
It was true in the January 27 scrimmage against Orlando and it remained true on Saturday night: The Fleet will only go as far as the offensive line will take them.
The first series of Saturday’s game told the whole story. When Bercovici had time on his first two pass attempts, he connected for gains of 18 and 32 yards.
But the first time San Antonio burst through, in the person of Washington, Bercovici was in deep trouble. The Fleet allowed six sacks, and two in particular took the Fleet out of potential field goal range.
The loss of starting center Jeremiah Kolone, who directs protections and handles all the line’s pre-snap calls, to an ankle injury late in the week in practice did not help matters, especially given the precious little time the line has had to come together as a cohesive unit.
Martz is confident that time will come sooner rather than later.
“We just couldn’t get any rhythm going, and something bad would happen,” Martz said. “I like where we are. The things that hurt us tonight, we can fix.”
3. Dontez Ford may never drop another pass
OK, that’s probably a jinx right there (sorry, Dontez), but after hauling in all three of his targets for 56 yards, Ford is now 15-for-15, including the scrimmage on January 27. Martz has said the versatility of his offense is going to be key, and it showed in the distribution of pass targets.
Ten different players had at least one target and nine had at least three.
 

Gill Man

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yeah the O line was pretty much the weak link and the loss of the C Kolone pretty much did them in. Hopefully he doesn't have a high ankle sprain that keeps him out 4-6 weeks, or in other words half the season lolz.

Given that article and the effusive praises for Dontez Ford and for Philip Nelson, you can probably expect both will not be on the Fleet very long. We'll see, but they could be training camp participants in the NFL this year and gone with contract signings just like that. It's why I'm skeptical of becoming a big fan of the AAF, I gotta see if it's just a vagabond farm system league. It's good SD has a team and all but it's 'seconds'. No offense, I get that it's better than not having a team and the excitement that there's pro football again in our town, and there's actually a team representing us,,,,,,,it's just that I can't get over the top about it because it's a compliment to the league that fckd us over.....once they replace the bolts then yeah, we'll be like the ATL and AZ teams. That will be considerably more palatable.
 
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Faded Blues

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And start in April with the championship game in October.

As a build up to pro football.

And right now, I would sign the best freshman that just finished their first season NCAAF games.

Offer them 3 years of guaranteed cash and tell them you will get them nfl ready better than their college program plus get paid.

Don’t get the leftovers. Go for the gold.
 

Gill Man

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It would be best if they joined forces with the xfl.
And start in April with the championship game in October.

As a build up to pro football.

And right now, I would sign the best freshman that just finished their first season NCAAF games.

Offer them 3 years of guaranteed cash and tell them you will get them nfl ready better than their college program plus get paid.

Don’t get the leftovers. Go for the gold.
Yeah might make the league better in terms of talent. There was a discussion on 1090 with an ex NFLer and can't remember him but his take was the AAF is not a 'feeder league' like the NCAA is feeding the NFL but is just what it says , a development league more to try out rules and give guys at least a shot at the big leagues. But he doesn't see the talent level ever really getting to the point where many players end up in the NFL.....says the 90 man rosters in the NFL are already filled up with better talent. Compared this stuff to the 2nd half of a preseason NFL game and that's exactly what I already assessed it as. It's seconds, will always be seconds, and I'm not over the top about it....just see it for what it is. It's better than nothing in SD for now...but I don't think we should ever settle for that. I'm for now gonna hope to hell Sam Farmer is correct and somewher an ownership is taking a strong look at SD and wanting to make something work here. He felt that is not at all the situation in either OAK or STL, he singled us out. He thinks it's just too attractive a city and football market for someone to not want in here.
 

Harryo the K

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The NFL might get the best 1-2% top college players (although busts are aplenty), that means the AAF can get the top 3-4% . Excellent players and all motivated to get to the NFL fields of gold.
I thought the games were very interesting and exciting. Better than watching the Bengals and Bucs drag it out. The League is young and looking good, no need to compete with the sluggish NFL. The AAF
Is the android phone of football. Remember when everyone said, you can't compete against Apple?
I like the format and the AAF game. I think more NFL players will be attracted to it.
 
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Gill Man

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The NFL might get the best 1-2% top college players (although busts are aplenty), thst means the AAF can get the top 3-4% . Excellent players and all motivated to get to the NFL fields of gold.
I thought the games were very interesting and exciting. Better than watching the Bengals and Bucs drag it out. The League is young and looking good, no need to compete with the sluggish NFL. The AAF
Is the android phone of football. Remember when everyone said, you can't compete against Apple?
I like the format and the AAF game. I think more NFL players will be attracted to it.
Don't think the AAF can get the top 3-4%. They ran a highlight on the broadcast sat nite that showed what % of current NFL players are taken in what rounds and a big chunk are UFA's. Great and all, sounds like the AAF will get those right? Wrong. The NFL takes all the UFA's and the 90 man rosters are all filled up with those guys or the most promising. So they get all of training camp and OTA's to work those guys and handpick the ones that are NFL calibre. AAF will always be a league of leftovers. Always. And any player who shows he got overlooked, and deserves a second shot, will be snatched up by the NFL quickly, and that's that. No point in calling this league anything other than what it is, unless they at some point decide to go head to head and bring in big money owners and be like the AFL was. When that happens wake me up. I mean this is great that we at least have a team representing our city and it's pro football, don't get me wrong. I'm happy we have that at least. But it's in no way replacing what the mfer took away from us.
 
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Harryo the K

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The new professional football league, the Alliance of American Football, is giving players another shot at playing professional football. While a majority of the players currently signed with the AAF (about 65%) played their college ball at the highest level in the FBS, there are a handful that played on the Division 3 level.


NFL is top heavy with expensive contracts and controlled player chances by the CBA. If the NFL teams are all so good, why does Belichick keep kicking their butts? Because with decent talent, he coached them to a high level. The AAF will do alright.
 

Gill Man

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So is Kolone coming back?
Dunno, supposedly 'rolled an ankle' in practice leading up to the San Antone game. Not sure where one finds out this stuff. Ray seems to have a bead on the tweets from the Fleet. Come on down Ray........
 

Gill Man

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Gerrad Kough, now there's a household name on the O line...... he needs to spell his name correctly Jared Cough. Geez.