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ScottyRo 06-16-2003 12:15 AM

NFLE vs Arena Football
 
I had an idea a while back which I have been planning on discussing but put it off until now. Many of you know that the NFLE was designed as a type of farm system to develop players on NFL teams so the NFL expansion of the last decade would not seriously deplete the talent level of the NFL. In my opinion the league has been a complete waste of time.

Consider if the Arena league were to become a place that NFL teams sent their undrafted FA's and the like to gain the skills necessary in the NFL. If you've never watched an Arena game, you shoud - especially live. It is almost entirely passing based. While there are some running plays, they are few and far between. Just think of the skills that QB's, WR's and CB's could learn to develop. It doesn't end there. O-linemen will primarily work on their pass blocking skills, D linemen work on pass rush and LB's work on coverage.

If the NFL were to utilize the Arena League in this manner it would raise the talent level and make the growth potential for the players that much higher.

I know. That's it. That's my big idea. At least it's fresh (as far as I know.)

What do you think?

JOESAM2002 06-16-2003 12:54 AM

NFLE vs Arena Football
 
Scotty, it seems that that must be a good idea. Tom Benson must think so since he\'s coming out with the New Orleans VooDoo for the 2004 season. You can find out more at NeworleansVooDoo.com. It seems that they are sponsered by the Saints.

nocloning 06-18-2003 05:20 PM

NFLE vs Arena Football
 
Let\'s start off with a quote from La\'Roi Glover (Barcelona Dragons 1997). If I remember correctly he went on to play for an NFL team or two:
\"I accepted the challenge of playing in Europe with open arms,\" says Glover, who led the Dragons in sacks and was named to the all-league team. \"I worked hard to improve my game while I was in Barcelona, and the experience I got in game situations really helped my development.\"
Brad Johnson, Jay Fiedler, Kurt Warner - I\'m not sure they think the league was a waste of time.
The NFLE was founded for two reasons: As you mentioned a farm system and to promote American Football in Europe. Truth be told the second part wasn\'t very succesful. Two teams have decent attendance numbers - Frankfurt and Rhein Fire - the other four have problems to attract more than 15.000 per game. Frankfurt has had the best numbers in the league from year one (maybe because of American Air Bases in the area) and didn\'t attract a lot of new spectators. Rhein Fire is playing in Gelsenkirchen and simply has a very populated area to draw from making it relatively easy to achieve the 35,000 - 40,000 mark. While there is a group of core football fans the sport has not grown international.
Has it been successful in bringing players to the \"real\" NFL? OK, there\'s Warner, Fiedler, Glover and a bunch of others, but have you heard anything about the 2001 World Bowl quarterbacks Jonathan Quinn and Jarious Jackson lately? Can the arena league educate players to be ready for the NFL? I\'m not so sure. It might for some aspects of the game, but not for all of them. It\'s probably a league that will breed WRs and (less) CBs. Other positions (including QB) - the original format may be better to sharpen their all-around skills.
The NFLE is up for renewal this year. Tagliabue wants it to stay (so do I ;) ), but the owners are tired of paying about 25m $ per year for a league that doesn\'t promise to make a profit anytime soon. Maybe it\'s time to admit that the international strategy has failed and go back to an American Bowl game once a year in Berlin. The decision will be made in September.

ScottyRo 06-18-2003 10:52 PM

NFLE vs Arena Football
 
You understand this is all just speculation on my part, right? I\'m not gonna have any data to back up my position because the NFL doesn\'t send players to the arena league as they do the NFLE. Certainly, you are going to be able to name some players that are starting in the NFL that can attribute some learning to the NFLE.

However, most of what I\'ve ever heard about Warner was that he was from the arena league and that was where he developed his accuracy. True or not, it is possible in my mind that the arena league would be a better place for CB\'s, WR\'s, and others to hone their skills in the passing game. The typical NFL/NFLE game will have about 25 -30 passing plays. In the arena games I\'ve watched, though I don\'t know the exact number, I\'d be surprised if it wasn\'t double that. That\'s a lot of live-fire learning.

The only drawback to this situation I see is that these players wouldn\'t be getting any work on the NFL schemes which they would in the NFLE. But that\'s what training camp and practice squads are for.

tweeky 06-18-2003 11:38 PM

NFLE vs Arena Football
 
Scotty, I see room for both. Unlike the XFL, they aren\'t dumping tons of money into it. The arena leagues are ideal for developing QB, WR, DB, OL and DL skills. I\'m curious if the extra small field skews the development potential. The quick-outs to the wide side are impossible to simulate, yet its one of the main plays that separate the men from the boys. That throw is the reason Danny Weurffel can\'t cut it in the NFL. But I think (no back-up) that there are pro scouts at many of the arena games looking for the next Warner.


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