World Bowl rematch kicks off 14th seasonMarch 13, 2006 - National Football League Europa (NFLE)
And for the second year in a row, the new campaign will kick off with a re-match of the previous World Bowl match-up as the Berlin Thunder aim to seek revenge for last June's title game loss to the Amsterdam Admirals.
Also in Week 1, the long and storied Deutschland Derby rivalry resumes as the Rhein Fire plays host to the Frankfurt Galaxy.
The 2006 season gets underway with the Cologne Centurions paying a visit to the Hamburg Sea Devils, who will look to build on a promising 2005 campaign.
With a grueling training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, completed, it is time for the talking to stop and the battle for a championship to begin. The road to Yello Strom World Bowl XIV in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Saturday May 27 begins in earnest this weekend. Who will emerge as championship material? Only time will tell.
WEEK ONE SCHEDULE
SATURDAY MARCH 18
Cologne Centurions at Hamburg Sea Devils
AOL Arena, Hamburg, 6:00 p.m.
Berlin Thunder at Amsterdam Admirals
Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam, 7:00 p.m.
Frankfurt Galaxy at Rhein Fire
LTU arena, Düsseldorf, 7:00 p.m.
2005 AWARD WINNERS
(Players of the Week to appear in this section during 2006 season)
OFFENSIVE MVP - DAVE RAGONE - QB, Berlin
Completed 62.9 % of passes for 1,746 yards, 13 TDs and 2 interceptions for 97.5 QB rating (led league)
DEFENSIVE MVP - RICH SCANLON - LB, Berlin
94 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 5 passes defended
COACH OF THE YEAR - BART ANDRUS - Amsterdam
Led Admirals to 6-4 regular season record.
Guided the club to its first World Bowl championship with a 27-21 defeat of the Berlin Thunder.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 2
Coaches focused on opening weekend following training camp warm-up in Florida
AFTER spending three weeks turning a group of total strangers into a team during preseason training camp in Tampa Bay, Florida, the six NFL Europe League head coaches are busy putting the finishing touches to their preparations ahead of this weekend's opening night action.
And after enjoying some of the finest weather Florida had to offer - which meant no important preseason practice time was lost - the players and coaches jetted into sub-zero temperatures and snow flurries across Germany and the Netherlands last week.
Amsterdam Admirals head coach BART ANDRUS said: "One of our main issues was transferring from sunny Tampa to the snowstorms in the Netherlands."
Frankfurt Galaxy head coach MIKE JONES added: "This is the first time since I have been coaching over here that I have flown in and it's snowing. It was sitting there on the ground waiting for us but it's not that bad."
Despite a chilly reception, all six teams know there is a great deal to play for in the coming weeks and months and are remaining focused on their ultimate goal - to lift the famous World Bowl trophy in Düsseldorf's LTU arena on Saturday May 27.
Admirals head coach Andrus leads his team into the defense of its title with a World Bowl re-match against the Berlin Thunder on opening night.
He says: "I think we've had a real good camp but we're only just starting. Some players tend to think they don't have to be on top of their game any more because they have made the team but nothing could be further from the truth.
"Although it is a new season with new players, I'm pretty sure Berlin will be eager to come out and play. They're facing the reigning World Bowl champions. It's going to be an interesting fight."
Thunder head coach RICK LANTZ is aiming to guide the club to a third successive World Bowl appearance under his tutelage and says: "We haven't had any complaints about the fact that it's cold and snowy. This is more of an evolving football team than the two I have had previously, so we'll see how it's going to be.
"We got the guys we wanted so they have to play up to their level of capability. We have to coach up to our level of capability. That's going to be the test to see if both of those things happen."
After assuming the role of head coach during the preseason, Cologne's DAVID DUGGAN has quickly adapted to life at the top, saying: "It was difficult to let some quality players go at the end of training camp but that's the nature of the business.
"It was a very successful preseason and I am confident going forward with the players that we have. I was happy with the intensity and aggressiveness that this team showed throughout training camp and I'm excited about the season. We have enough talent to do some very good things in NFL Europe."
Entering his third season in Frankfurt, Galaxy head coach Mike Jones will be keen to lead the Men in Purple to a record seventh appearance in World Bowl.
On the eve of the new campaign, the former NFL wide receiver says: "We had a decent training camp and we came out injury free. Our offensive line did a great job in camp and we ran the football pretty well. Defensively, without question, we are much faster than in previous years and the players are anxious to get out there and show what they can do."
Veteran NFLEL head coach JACK BICKNELL will kick off a 14th season in the league - and a second in charge of the Hamburg Sea Devils - by playing host to the Cologne Centurions in Week 1.
Looking to reach World Bowl for the first time since he took the Barcelona Dragons to the championship game in 2001, Bicknell says: "I am looking forward to the start of the season. Every year, we get excited about playing these games.
"The biggest challenge is getting settled and into a routine. Once we are in a routine, we will be ready to play. I think we are going to have a good team."
First-year head coach JIM TOMSULA is charged with leading the Rhein Fire to a title game being played in their own stadium at the end of May and is excited about the challenge that lies ahead.
Ahead of Rhein's season-opening showdown with the Frankfurt Galaxy, he says: "I like the way my players carry themselves. They are really professional and are coming together as a team.
"We expect to work and get better every single day. We want to stay focused and maximize our potential because we're all on one mission here."
NFLEL FACTS: Home sweet home
Home teams certainly enjoyed the comfort of their own stadiums in 2005. During the regular season, home teams went 20-10. The only weekend when all three road teams came out on top was in Week 4 when Cologne, Frankfurt and Rhein were victorious.
NFLEL FACTS: Record threat
The earlier start to the 2006 season - coupled with frigid weather conditions across Europe - could see one of the NFL Europe League's oldest records come under threat. The coldest game in league history was played at Wembley Stadium in London, England, on April 20, 1991. The temperature failed to get above 3º centigrade as the London Monarchs hosted the Montreal Machine.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 3
Big-name quarterbacks among record 272 NFL players out to make a splash in NFL Europe
TALENTED quarterbacks who have made a name for themselves in the United States are headlining a group of 272 NFL allocated players battling for glory in NFL Europe this spring.
In another outstanding show of support for the NFL Europe League, the number of players allocated by the 32 NFL clubs broke the record set last term.
Among the 17 NFL quarterbacks assigned to NFL Europe are promising players with experience at the NFL and collegiate level.
The Rhein Fire's DREW HENSON (Dallas Cowboys) was a sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2003. After graduating from Michigan and spending three years in the New York Yankees' farm system, Henson opted for a full-time football career, prompting the Dallas Cowboys to trade for the talented signal-caller.
Henson played in seven regular season games with the Cowboys in 2004, starting once. He completed 10 of 18 attempts for 78 yards and 1 touchdown.
"NFL Europe is a chance for me to improve my game, work on specific things and do it all in a game setting," Henson says. "The guys have been great in training camp and we have come together very quickly as a team. We all want to win a championship together."
Competing for playing time at the Rhein Fire in 2006 will be record-setting college football sensation TIMMY CHANG (Philadelphia Eagles).
Chang earned All-WAC honors in each of his four seasons at the University of Hawaii, where he threw for an NCAA-record 17,072 yards and added 117 scoring strikes.
Cologne Centurions quarterback KLIFF KINGSBURY (New York Jets) played in one regular season game for the New York Jets in 2005, completing 1 of 2 passes for 17 yards.
Prior to being chosen by the New England Patriots in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, Kingsbury became just the third player in college football history to throw for more than 10,000 yards, gain more than 10,000 yards of total offense and complete more than 1,000 passes as he set 39 school records at Texas Tech.
Kingsbury is full of confidence heading into the new season as he says: "Training camp was really good. We have a lot of talent at wide receiver, running back and tight end and I'm looking forward to throwing to those guys."
Leading Hamburg into battle this weekend will be another passer who shone in the college football ranks
in BROCK BERLIN (Miami Dolphins), who starred at the University of Miami and led the Hurricanes to Orange and Peach Bowl wins in his two years as a starter. During that period he threw for 5,099 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Berlin, who shone during the 2005 NFL preseason with the Dolphins, says: "I spoke to coach Nick Saban and he told me they had a hard time cutting me because I had done everything they asked. But I feel very confident I can play in the NFL and NFL Europe will allow me to showcase what I can do.
"I am honored to be playing for Jack Bicknell and I want to win. I am a huge team guy and World Bowl is top of my list of things I want to accomplish this season."
Big-game experience is not just limited to the offensive side of the football in NFL Europe this season. There are several defenders who have played at the sport's highest level and shown playmaking ability.
Amsterdam Admirals defensive tackle TONY BROWN (Carolina Panthers) played in 16 games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2004, starting four times. He recorded 27 tackles and 1 sack.
The Rhein Fire have a pair of defensive backs with solid NFL experience in cornerback REGGIE AUSTIN (Seattle Seahawks) and safety SIDDEEQ SHABAZZ (Miami Dolphins).
Austin played in 18 games for the Chicago Bears from 2000 to 2002, recording 32 tackles, 6 passes defended, 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble.
Shabazz appeared in 28 games for Oakland, Atlanta and New Orleans from 2003 to 2005 and registered 17 tackles and 1 fumble recovery.
NFLEL FACTS: Better starts
After failing to win on opening day in the first five years of their existence (1999-2003) the Berlin Thunder have found the correct recipe for Week 1 success, defeating the Scottish Claymores in 2004 and the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2005. The only other current team to win back-to-back season openers in the last three years was the Galaxy in 2003 and 2004.
NFLEL FACTS:Comeback kids
Should the Amsterdam Admirals fall behind in their Week 1 meeting with the Berlin Thunder, fans at the Amsterdam ArenA should not get too concerned - the Dutch club are the all-time leaders in NFL Europe League history in successful fourth quarter comebacks, coming from behind to win in the final period on 20 occasions. The Frankfurt Galaxy ranks second with 19 fourth quarter comebacks. The next-closest existing NFLEL team in the rankings is the Berlin Thunder, who have mounted a successful fourth quarter comeback 8 times.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 4
Looking Back: Opening Day
records through the years
Most points: 62, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Most points in one game (combined): 93, Berlin 31 at Scotland 62, 2003.
Fewest points: 0, Barcelona at Frankfurt, 1992.
Fewest points in one game (combined): 12, Raleigh-Durham 3 at Sacramento 9, 1991.
Biggest margin of victory: 31, Scotland 62 vs Berlin 31, 2003.
Smallest margin of victory: 1, seven times (last time: Cologne 24, Hamburg 23, 2005.
Most yards rushing: 159, Lawrence Phillips, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1999.
Most rushing attempts: 28, Tony Vinson, London at Frankfurt, 1997.
Most TDs rushing: 4, Ken Simonton, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Longest TD run: 93 yards, Maurice Hicks, Scotland vs Berlin, 2003.
Most yards passing: 420, Kelly Holcomb, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1996.
Most pass attempts: 50, Brad Johnson, London at Frankfurt, 1995.
Most pass completions: 29, Brad Johnson, London at Frankfurt, 1995.
Most TDs passing: 5, Kerwin Bell, Orlando vs San Antonio, 1991.
Longest TD pass: 97 yards, Stan Gelbaugh to Jon Horton, London at Frankfurt, 1991.
Most times intercepted: 4, Reggie Slack, NY/NJ at London, 1992; Steve Matthews, Scotland at London, 1996.
Most pass receptions: 10, Kenny Bell, Birmingham vs Montreal, 1991.
Most receiving yards: 196, Dialleo Burks, Rhein at Scotland, 1999.
Most TDs receiving: 3, Byron Williams, Orlando vs San Antonio, 1991; Kevin Drake, Rhein vs Barcelona, 2000.
Most Interceptions: 3, Ron Carpenter, Amsterdam vs Barcelona, 1995; Jack Kellogg, Frankfurt vs London, 1995; Mike Maslowski, Barcelona vs Amsterdam, 1999.
All-time Opening Day records of NFLEL teams
Home Away Total
Amsterdam 3-1 1-6 4-7
Berlin 2-2 0-3 2-5
Cologne 1-0 0-1 1-1
Frankfurt 5-1 4-3 9-4
Hamburg 0-0 0-1 0-1
Rhein 4-3 1-3 5-6
Hippler eyes all-time record
VETERAN German tight end WERNER HIPPLER will make NFL Europe League history when he steps onto the field in Week 1 to help the Cologne Centurions take on the Hamburg Sea Devils.
Hippler has played in a record 87 regular season games and needs to appear in one more contest to break a tie with Scottish wide receiver SCOTT COUPER, who played for the Scottish Claymores from 1995-2001 and in 2003 and 2004.
During his nine seasons in NFL Europe with the Frankfurt Galaxy and Cologne Centurions - during which time he has won three World Bowl rings - Hippler has caught 88 passes for 908 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Hippler says: "This record is very important to me and it will be a great honor. NFL Europe is a great institution and I thank everybody from the NFL for making this happen and having international players participate. It's great for German kids growing up to see somebody like me do this for a long time and I am thankful for the opportunity."
Journalists in line for prize
JOURNALISTS covering the NFL Europe League in 2006 could finish the season celebrating their own victory at Yello Strom World Bowl XIV following the introduction of the NFLEL Journalism Awards.
The awards are open to all European journalists and consist of three categories:
NFLEL REPORTER OF THE YEAR: Will honor the reporter, print or electronic, whose season-long coverage of the NFLEL has shown outstanding professionalism, commitment and creativity.
NFLEL FEATURE OF THE YEAR: Will honor the journalist, print or electronic, responsible for the single feature story that shows outstanding creativity and insight.
NFLEL PHOTOGRAPH OF THE YEAR: Will honor the photographer who takes the single shot that best captures the spirit and excitement of the NFLEL.
The winners will be chosen by the NFLEL's judging panel and will be presented around Yello Strom World Bowl XIV in Düsseldorf on May 27.
NFL Europe Managing Director JIM CONNELLY says: "We continue to enjoy fantastic support from the media in Europe. The introduction of these awards is to acknowledge and recognize those journalists who have shown great commitment to the NFL Europe League."
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 5
March Madness in NFL Europe? Early start for 2006 campaign
MARCH Madness might normally be associated with the annual NCAA basketball tournament in the United States but this year the sporting excitement is not limited to the hard-wood floors.
NFL Europe League fans will get an earlier glimpse of their heroes in 2006 as the action begins on March 18 as opposed to the normal April start date due to the soccer World Cup being played in Germany later this summer.
Only one of the six NFL Europe League teams has ever played in the month of March as the Frankfurt Galaxy compiled a 2-1 record in 1991 and 1992.
Here are games played by the Frankfurt Galaxy in the month of March:
Mar 23, 1991 L 11-24 vs London Monarchs
Mar 21, 1992 W 17-0 at Barcelona Dragons
Mar 28, 1992 W 31-28 at London Monarchs
While the new campaign may be getting off to an earlier start, winning your opening game in a 10-week season remains as important as ever.
Of the previous 13 World Bowl winners, only the Berlin Thunder teams of 2001 and 2002 have opened the year with losses and gone on to win the championship game.
Here is a look at how World Bowl winners fared in Week 1
Year- Team Week 1 Mid-Season Record
2005 - Amsterdam W 3-2
2004 - Berlin W 5-0
2003 - Frankfurt W 3-2
2002 - Berlin L 2-3
2001 - Berlin L 3-2
2000 - Rhein W 4-1
1999 - Frankfurt W 3-2
1998 - Rhein W 5-0
1997 - Barcelona W 4-1
1996 - Scotland W 4-1
1995 - Frankfurt W 2-3
1992 - Sacramento W 3-2
1991 - London W 5-0
Amsterdam Admirals head coach BART ANDRUS says: "It is real important for us to start quickly. We want to build on the momentum from training camp and carry it over to the season.
"We're blessed to open our season in the Amsterdam ArenA. Our Orange Army of fans can really get behind the team and, for an opponent to play here in their first game, the noise they produce can really be overwhelming."
NFLEL Tiebreaker Procedures
If two or more clubs finish with identical won-lost-tied percentage, the following steps will be taken until a winner is determined:
1. Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs)
2. Best points differential in games between tied teams
3. Best points differential in all games
4. Best net touchdowns in games between tied teams
5. Best net touchdowns in all games
6. Coin toss
Three or more clubs
1. Head to head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the tied teams)
2. Best points differential in games between tied teams
3. Best points differential in all games
4. Best net touchdowns in games between tied teams
5. Best net touchdowns in all games
6. Coin toss
If clubs remain tied after third or other clubs have been eliminated from or have won a multi-team tiebreaker, the tiebreaker reverts to Step 1.
In a three-way tie for first place, Team A has a 3-1 record against other tied teams, Team B has a 2-2 record, Team C has a 1-3 record. Team A advances, Team C is eliminated, therefore World Bowl is Team A vs Team B.
In a four-way tie for first place, Team A has a 4-2 record against other tied teams, Team B has a 3-3 record, Team C has a 3-3 record, Team D has a 2-4 record. Team A advances to World Bowl, Team D is eliminated and Teams B and C revert to Step 1 of the two-team tiebreaker.
NFLEL FACTS:Coaching debuts
When David Duggan (Cologne) and Jim Tomsula (Rhein) make their head coaching debuts this weekend, they will look to maintain an impressive success rate for new head coaches. Of the past six head coaches new to NFLEL, four (Rick Lantz, 2004; Mike Jones, 2004; Pete Kuharchek, 2001 and Gene Dahlquist, 2001) have been successful in Week 1.
NFLEL FACTS:League of nations
A total of 11 countries outside of North America will be represented by players on the six NFLEL rosters in 2006: Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Sweden.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 6
Deutschland Derby rivals seek early boost on opening night
THE most storied rivalry in NFL Europe League history resumes this weekend as the Rhein Fire plays host to the Frankfurt Galaxy at Düsseldorf's LTU arena on Saturday night.
The fierce rivals have been doing battle in NFL Europe since 1995 and have butted heads in two World Bowls and in front of league record crowds, and are two of the most successful teams in league history, winning five championships between them (Frankfurt 3, Rhein 2).
While no World Bowl trophy will be up for grabs on Saturday evening, both clubs know a win over their biggest rival would be a perfect way to start a new season.
Galaxy head coach MIKE JONES, who has a perfect 4-0 record against the Fire, says: "This is a big game for us and we know it is going to be a tough one. They will bring the character of Jim Tomsula into that game and it may well be a knockdown, dragged-out fight."
Rhein Fire head coach JIM TOMSULA will get his first taste of a Deutschland Derby this weekend and says: "Both of these teams have built good reputations along with winning traditions and I'm excited to be a part of this game. I hope the stands are filled with fans from both sides. This is one of the biggest rivalries in NFL Europe and I'm sure it will be a very exciting game."
Fire punter TRAVIS DORSCH suffered two losses by less than one score at the hands of the Galaxy in 2005 and is keen to exact revenge on the visitors from Frankfurt.
He says: "This is the oldest rivalry in NFL Europe and there is a lot of passion between the teams and fans. Frankfurt is going to bring a lot of people up here and invade our stadium, but hopefully we can pack a lot of fans in too.
"If the roof is shut, it's going to be a loud day. But we have done a great job preparing for this and we're ready to go."
Frankfurt have won the last six meetings between the teams, including World Bowl XI in 2003. Rhein last tasted victory in a Deutschland Derby on May 3, 2003 when they ran out 14-7 winners.
Galaxy defensive tackle DANIEL BENETKA says: "This is an intense rivalry. Every game counts so I play hard in all of them but I am just a little more fired up when facing the Fire because I know the fans and players don't like us."
Fire linebacker TERRENCE ROBINSON concludes: "This is a big game for both teams. With this being the opening game of the year, we're already pumped, but as we're playing Frankfurt the adrenalin automatically doubles. This is like playing in a rivalry game in college because you always get that extra urge to give it your all."
How NFLEL teams are built
Here is how NFL Europe League rosters are built:
36 Active roster players
2 Active NFLEL players (eligible to play in games)
2 Inactive NFLEL Practice Squad players (ineligible to play in games)
8 Active roster players.
TOTAL ROSTER SIZE
48 (46 Active, 2 Inactive / 40 American, 8 National)
1. After selecting the team's 36 active American players at the end of training camp, teams, in consultation with the league office, selected two additional players to be part of the active roster. These players are designated as Active NFLEL players.
2. Teams, in consultation with the league office, have also designated two players to become part of the NFLEL Practice Squad.
3. Regardless of which team roster the players are on, all Active NFLEL players and all NFLEL Practice Squad players are the 'property' of the league office.
4. In the case of injuries etc., teams can request that an NFLEL Practice Squad player or an Active NFLEL player is reassigned from the roster of another team. A decision will be made by the NFLEL personnel department in consultation with the relevant teams. Competitive balance remains the most important factor in such decisions. Wherever possible, NFLEL Practice Squad players will be reassigned before Active NFLEL players.
NFLEL regular season rosters will indicate those players who are Active NFLEL players and members of the NFLEL Practice Squad.
Herrion to be honored
THE Hamburg Sea Devils will honor former offensive lineman THOMAS HERRION ahead of their season-opening meeting with the Cologne Centurions.
Herrion, who played for Hamburg in 2005, died of heart disease shortly after appearing in a preseason game with the San Francisco 49ers in Denver in August.
The Sea Devils will have a moment of silence before the game and general manager KATHRIN PLATZ will pay tribute to the former fan favorite. The club shop will sell number 68 jerseys, with donations being made to the Hamburg against Heart Attack' foundation. Hamburg's players will wear number 68 stickers on their helmets throughout the 2006 campaign.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 7
McCready closing in on second place in all-time receiving charts
ENGLISH wide receiver SCOTT McCREADY is closing in on second place in NFL Europe's all-time receptions chart as he prepares for a second season with the Hamburg Sea Devils.
McCready - the only Brit to win a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 2001 New England Patriots - has caught 141 passes for 1,593 yards and 7 touchdowns in his four previous years in NFL Europe.
Here is where McCready ranks in the all-time receptions and receiving yards charts:
All-time receptions leaders in NFLEL history
Mario Bailey (Frank 95-00) 252
Demetrius Davis (Bar 91-92, 95-96) 156
Scott McCready (Sco 02-04, Ham 05) 141
Judd Garrett (Lon 91-92) 126
Michael Titley (Orl 92, Lon 95-97) 124
All-time receiving yards leaders in NFLEL history
Mario Bailey (Frank 95-00) 3,805
Demetrius Davis (Bar 91-92, 95-96) 1,804
Yo Murphy (Sco 96-97, 99) 1,614
Scott McCready (Sco 02-04, Ham 05) 1,593
Tyree Davis (Bar 95, 97) 1,593
Through the past 20 weeks of NFL Europe action dating back to the opening day of the 2004 campaign, McCready has found himself sitting on top of the league standings in receptions on 16 occasions, even though he missed the final four games of the 2005 campaign with torn knee ligaments.
McCready says: "I'm excited to be back in Hamburg. My family and I had a great time here last year and we couldn't wait to come back.
"I feel great. I'm healthy, my knee feels good and I want to go out and play. I want to do my part to help the team win. Obviously, my 2005 season was cut short but the ultimate goal remains the World Bowl. I've never been to the World Bowl so I will do everything I can to help this team get there."
NFLEL FACTS: Scoring success
It may sound overly-simple, but scoring remains one of the biggest indicators of success in NFL Europe League history. All but two World Bowl winners (Rhein 1998 and Scotland 1996) led the league in either touchdowns rushing or passing. The 2005 Amsterdam Admirals, last year's champions, led NFL Europe in points scored (251), total touchdowns (31) and passing touchdowns (16).
NFL Network and NASN Europe to provide fans on both sides of Atlantic with NFL Europe action
NFL Europe League fans on both sides of the Atlantic will be able to follow every step on the road to Yello Strom World Bowl XIV thanks to comprehensive coverage on the NFL NETWORK and NASN EUROPE.
The 2006 season marks the third year in a row that the NFL Network has aired NFLEL games. But for the first time ever, all 30 regular season games and the title showdown from Düsseldorf, will be aired on the NFL's flagship station.
The NFL Network's coverage begins with a double-header featuring the Frankfurt Galaxy at the Rhein Fire live at 1:00 p.m. ET, followed by the Berlin Thunder traveling to Amsterdam to take on the Admirals in a re-match of World Bowl XIII.
Former NFL players calling the Week 1 action in NFL Europe are record-setting Danish kicker MORTEN ANDERSEN, Minnesota Vikings star wideout CRIS CARTER and Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders fullback JON RITCHIE.
In addition to airing the entire slate of games, NFL Network will also air an NFL Europe Game of the Week every Sunday night in primetime, highlighting the best contest from that weekend's action.
For fans in Germany and Holland, NASN Europe will air a Game of the Week in full each week, beginning with the Galaxy-Fire match-up on Thursday March 23.
NFLEurope.com offers in-depth coverage of 2006 campaign
NFLEurope.com will provide fans around the world with comprehensive coverage of the 2006 campaign.
Among the regular features on NFLEurope.com will be player diaries penned by quarterbacks BROCK BERLIN, DREW HENSON and GIBRAN HAMDAN; in-depth interviews with the league's biggest names and Ask the Pros - a weekly feature allowing fans to send questions to star players.
On gameday, fans can follow play-by-play action of every contest in NFL Europe and read comprehensive game reports within seconds of the final gun. In addition, NFLEurope.com will feature the latest statistics, news and features, as well as rosters, depth charts and injury reports.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 8
AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS (0-0)Head Coach: Bart Andrus (23-27 in NFLEL,Plus 1-0 in World Bowl)Colours: Orange and blue
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: John Allen (3rd season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Richard Kent/Rex Norris (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 57-53 (6-4 in 2005)
MEDIA CONTACT: Perry Hendriks
LAST GAME: Won 27-21 vs. Berlin, WB XIII (6/11/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 25.1 pts/game; 357.4 yds/game (rank 1); 154.9 yds rush/game (rank 1); 202.5 yds pass/game (rank 2)
Passing: 2005 - Kurt Kittner, 1,472 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Jonathan Smith, 711 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Ruvell Martin, 37 rec, 679 yds
DEFENSE: 2004 - 18 pts/game; 307.8 yds/game (rank 3); 127.1 rush yds/game (rank 5); 180.7 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Sacks: 2005 - Clint Mitchell, 4.0
Interceptions: 2005 - B.J. Tucker, 5
- THIS WEEK: vs BERLIN THUNDER -
Sixth-year head coach BART ANDRUS leads the defending champion Admirals into the 2006 season on the back of a strong training camp showing in Tampa Bay, Florida. But he warns: "You never know the results of training camp until you play in a game - the games are different. You never really know where you're at until you play the games."... QB GIBRAN HAMDAN (Seattle Seahawks) returns for a third season with the Admirals after throwing for 556 yards and 5 touchdowns in four starts in 2005 before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Has played in three career games against Berlin, throwing for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hamdan says: "This training camp has been extremely successful and we should be confident in where we are headed this season."... QB JARED ALLEN (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was a four-year starter at Florida Atlantic University, where he threw for 8,100 yards and 50 touchdowns... QB REGGIE ROBERTSON (Oakland Raiders) backed up two first round draft picks at California in Kyle Boller and Aaron Rodgers... RB LARRY CROOM (San Diego Chargers) played for the Hamburg Sea Devils in 2005, rushing for 303 yards and a touchdown. Gained 39 yards on 14 carries in two games vs. Berlin... RB DIAMOND FERRI (Atlanta Falcons) played safety in his final two seasons at Syracuse, recording 226 tackles and 6 interceptions... French RB SANDINO OCTOBRE returns for a fourth season with the Admirals after rushing for 120 yards on 15 attempts in 2005... WR CRAIG BRAGG (Chicago Bears) was a sixth round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers in 2005. Caught a school record 193 passes at UCLA... WR SKYLER FULTON (Seattle Seahawks) caught the eye with several big plays during training camp scrimmages. Was a 2002 draft choice of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees... WR CHAD LUCAS (Green Bay Packers) has two cousins playing in the NFL - Frank Walker (NY Giants) and Cornelius Griffin (Washington).. TE TORY
HUMPHREY (Green Bay Packers) was a four-year starter at Central Michigan... TE BEN HALL (Arizona Cardinals) started 19 games at Clemson... C MIKE JOHNSON (Indianapolis Colts) finished the 2005 campaign on the Colts' practice squad. Started 31 games in a row at Kansas State... G TYLER LENDA returns for a third season in NFL Europe after starting every game for the Admirals in 2005... G BEN HERRELL returns for a second season in NFL Europe after starting every game for Amsterdam in 2005... T MARKO CAVKA (New York Jets) was a sixth round draft choice of the Jets in 2004... T CLINT STICKDORN (Detroit Lions) was on the practice squad of the Indianapolis Colts in 2005... DE DARRELL LEE (Philadelphia Eagles) played for the Berlin Thunder in 2005, recording 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks... DE CLAUDE HARRIOTT was a fifth round draft choice of the Chicago Bears in 2004... DE EARL COCHRAN returns for a second season with the Admirals after notching 20 tackles and 3 sacks in 2005... DT TONY BROWN (Carolina Panthers) played in 16 games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2004, starting four times and recording 27 tackles and 1 sack... DT JEREMY CAUDILL returns for a second season in Amsterdam after recording 22 tackles and 1 sack in 2005... LB JEREMY CAIN (Chicago Bears) has played in eight regular season games for the Bears in 2004 and 2005, recording 8 tackles... LB PHIL ARCHER (San Diego Chargers) returns for a second season in Amsterdam after recording 34 tackles as a starter in 2005... LB DERRICK BALLARD (Atlanta Falcons) is back for a second year in the Netherlands after registering 26 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles for the Admirals in 2005... LB SHAWN MORGAN (Oakland Raiders) played for Hamburg in 2005, recording 35 tackles and 1 sack... Swedish LB CARL-JOHAN BJÖRK returns for a second season with the Admirals after recording 27 tackles and 1 forced fumble in his rookie campaign... Japanese LB RIKIYA ISHIDA returns for a fourth season in NFL Europe after missing the entire 2005 campaign with a knee injury. Led all national players in 2004 with 32 tackles and 1 sack... CB JUSTIN PERKINS (Kansas City Chiefs) started all 36 games of his college career at Connecticut and grabbed 12 interceptions... CB ABRAHAM ELIMIMIAN (Chicago Bears) earned first-team All-WAC honors at Hawaii and ended college career ranked second on the school's interceptions list with 12... CB ART THOMAS (Miami Dolphins) played three seasons of cornerback at Virginia before switching to wide receiver in his senior year. Spent time on the practice squad of the New York Giants in 2004... S ATARI BIGBY (Green Bay Packers) played in one regular season game with the Packers in 2005 and recorded 1 special teams tackle... S COREY PEOPLES (Philadelphia Eagles) earned a reputation as an outstanding special teams player during two years at South Carolina... K RYAN KILLEEN (Seattle Seahawks) is the all-time points leader in USC history, totalling 329 during his college career... P GLENN PAKULAK (Oakland Raiders) earned All-SEC honors during his college career at Kentucky.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 9
BERLIN THUNDER (0-0)Head Coach: Rick Lantz (16-4 in NFLEL, plus 1-1 in World Bowl)Colours: Black, green and gold
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Don Eck (3rd season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Charles Yogi' Jones (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 38-32 (7-3 in 2005)
MEDIA CONTACT: Maik Matischak
LAST GAME: Lost 21-17 vs Amsterdam, World Bowl XIII (6/11/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 22.8 pts/game; 318.8 yds/game (rank 2); 118.5 rush yds/game (rank 4); 200.3 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Passing: 2005 - Dave Ragone, 1,746 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Cal Murray, 487 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Aaron Boone, 43 rec, 582 yds
DEFENSE: 2005 - 17.4 pts/game; 292.1 yds/game (rank 2); 111.7 rush yds/game (rank 4); 180.4 pass yds/game (rank 2)
Sacks: 2005 - Isaac Hilton, 5.0
Interceptions: 2005 - Jermaine Mays, Willie Ford, 4
- THIS WEEK: at AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS -
In his third season, head coach RICK LANTZ will attempt to lead the Berlin Thunder to a third straight appearance in World Bowl... QB LANG CAMPBELL (Cleveland Browns) was a two-year starter at William & Mary. Threw for 3,988 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior... QB B.J. SYMONS (Chicago Bears) is a former seventh round draft choice of the Houston Texans who threw for 117 yards in a Frankfurt Galaxy uniform last term... QB BRIAN WROBEL (Green Bay Packers) earned all-conference honors at Winona State... RB LITTLE JOHN FLOWERS returns for a second season with the Thunder after rushing for 433 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2005. Added 18 receptions for 117 yards. Flowers says: "I think training camp went real good. We're ready to handle our business and we have positive feelings."... RB MARTY JOHNSON rushed for a school record 15 touchdowns as a senior at Utah in 2004... WR C.J. JONES (Seattle Seahawks) played for Cologne in 2005 and recorded 10 receptions for 118 yards and 1 touchdown. Added 535 return yards... WR LANCE MOORE (New Orleans Saints) played four games for the Saints in the 2005 regular season. Caught a school record 222 passes during college career at Toledo... WR KERON HENRY (San Diego Chargers) ranks among the all-time top 10 in receiving yards at Connecticut having racked up 1,615 yards and 9 touchdowns on 111 catches... WR RICH MUSINSKI (New England Patriots) set school records in every major receiving category at William & Mary, reeling in 224 passes for 4,168 yards and 31 touchdowns... TE JASON RANDALL (Atlanta Falcons) earned All-Big 10 honors at Michigan State... TE BEN MOA played five games for Berlin in 2005 before injury cut short his season. Caught 10 passes for 104 yards... C TOBY CECIL (Atlanta Falcons) started a Big 12 record 50 consecutive games at Texas Tech. Has NFL practice squad experience with St. Louis... G JULIUS FRANKLIN (New York Giants) was a four-year starter at Bethune-Cookman... G CHAD BEASLEY (Carolina Panthers) has practice squad experience with the Minnesota Vikings. Played defensive line in college at
Virginia Tech, where he earned second-team All-Big East honors... G MIKE ERICKSON (Tennessee Titans) started the final 38 games of his college career at Nebraska... T PATRICK ESTES (San Francisco 49ers) was a seventh round draft choice of the Niners in 2005. Played in 47 games as a tight end at Virginia... T TOM KALEITA (Detroit Lions) started 35 games in a row during his final three seasons of college football at Eastern Michigan... DE ELTON PATTERSON (Jacksonville Jaguars) played in eight regular season games for the Jaguars in 2004, recording 4 tackles and 1 sack... German DE CHRISTIAN MOHR returns for a third season in Berlin after recording 19 tackles, 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in 2005... DE JEFF GREEN (Oakland Raiders) earned all-conference honors at Florida A&M... DT JASON DAVIS (Houston Texans) has spent time on Houston's regular 53-man roster and the practice squad. Played in 41 games with 27 starts at West Virginia... DT KEVIN CARBERRY (Detroit Lions) earned second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors as a senior at Ohio, where he ended college career with 121 tackles and 8 sacks... LB MALCOM POSTELL (Pittsburgh Steelers) led the University of Pittsburgh in interceptions and interception returns for touchdowns in 2004 when he grabbed 4 passes for 119 yards and 3 scores... LB ANDRE TORREY (Houston Texans) played defensive end in his final college season at Arizona, recording 43 tackles and 5 sacks in 2004... LB KEVIN HARRISON recorded 320 career tackles as a three-year starter at Eastern Michigan... LB JERMAINE TAYLOR (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) recorded 447 tackles during college career at Division III school Bridgewater... CB ROBERT REDD (Atlanta Falcons) played wide receiver in four regular season games for the Thunder in 2005. Caught 7 passes for 102 yards and 1 touchdown during World Bowl loss to Amsterdam... CB JAMES THORNTON (Cleveland Browns) returns for a third season in NFL Europe after starting eight regular season games for the Thunder in 2005. Recorded 29 tackles and 1 forced fumble... CB DUVOL THOMPSON (Baltimore Ravens) has practice squad experience with the St. Louis Rams and Baltimore Ravens. Earned All-Ivy League honors during college career at Pennsylvania... CB ANTWAUN ROGERS (Denver Broncos) served as a team captain during his college career at Purdue... S JAMAAL BRIMMER (New York Giants) twice earned All-American honors while starting 34 of 45 games at UNLV... S ANTHONY FLOYD (Houston Texans) spent part of the 2003 season on the 53-man roster of the Indianapolis Colts. Ended college career as Louisville's all-time interceptions leader with 18. Was a three-time All-Conference USA selection... K XAVIER BEITIA (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) led Florida State in scoring four years in a row and once kicked a 60-yard field goal during his college career... P BRIAN SIMNJANOVSKI (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) returns for a second season in NFL Europe after punting for the Berlin Thunder in 2005. Averaged 40 yards per kick and placed 9 punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 10
COLOGNE CENTURIONS (0-0)Head Coach: David Duggan (1st season asNFLEL head coach)Colours: Black, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Scott Milanovich (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: John Lyons (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 10-10
MEDIA CONTACT: Karsten Meier
LAST GAME: Won 17-13 at Berlin (6/5/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 17.1 pts/game; 310.5 yds/game (rank 4); 122.4 rush yds/game (rank 3); 188.1 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Passing: - 2005 - Kevin Thompson, 1,561 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Kory Chapman, 718 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Carl Morris, 34 rec, Romby Bryant, 431 yds
DEFENSE: 2005 - 19.9 pts/game; 271.1 yds/game (rank 1); 91.5 rush yds/game (rank 2); 179.6 pass yds/game (rank 1)
Sacks: 2005 - Greg White, 7.0
Interceptions: 2005 - Lin-j Shell, 2
- THIS WEEK: at HAMBURG SEA DEVILS -
The Centurions will look to improve on the third place they achieved in 2005 and will attempt to reach a first World Bowl in 2006 under rookie head coach DAVID DUGGAN. The club's former defensive coordinator replaced Darryl Sims in training camp and says: "This is the realization of a life-long dream. Now I want to take this team to the next level and win a World Bowl for the city of Cologne."... QB KLIFF KINGSBURY (New York Jets) played in one game for the Jets in 2005, completing 1 of 2 passes for 17 yards. Entered the NFL in 2003 as a sixth round draft choice of the New England Patriots... QB TORY WOODBURY (Buffalo Bills) played in 10 games for the New York Jets in 2001 and recorded 8 special teams tackles. Saw action in two games in 2002 and caught 1 pass for 13 yards... QB SHANE BOYD (Pittsburgh Steelers) played quarterback, running back and wide receiver during his college career at Kentucky... RB FRED RUSSELL (St. Louis Rams) has spent time on the practice squads of the Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears. Was a two-time All-Big 10 selection at Iowa after rushing for 2,760 yards and 17 touchdowns... RB ALEX HAYNES (Carolina Panthers) was a four-year starter at Central Florida, rushing for a school record 3,356 yards. Has practice squad experience with Baltimore and Carolina... WR JAMALL BROUSSARD (Cincinnati Bengals) played in eight games for the Carolina Panthers in 2004 and averaged 23.1 yards on 24 kickoff returns. Added 10 punt returns for 43 yards. Spent the 2005 season on Cincinnati's practice squad... WR REGGIE NEWHOUSE played for the Centurions in 2004 and caught 39 passes for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns... WR BRIAN BRATTON (Baltimore Ravens) was a three-year starter at Furman University, reeling in 131 passes for 1,826 yards and 18 touchdowns... Japanese WR MICHIHIRO OGAWA returns for a second season with the Centurions after catching 6 passes for 67 yards in 2005... German TE WERNER HIPPLER will set a new league mark when he plays in his 88th
career game on opening weekend, breaking a tie with former Scottish Claymores wide receiver Scott Couper (Scotland 1995-2001, 2003-2004). Has caught 88 passes for 908 yards and 3 touchdowns during his career... TE TRENT SMITH (San Francisco 49ers) played in five games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2005, starting twice. Caught 3 passes for 7 yards... C DAVE PEARSON (Detroit Lions) was a two-year starter at Michigan after switching from defensive tackle... German C DAVID ODENTHAL won Mid-Athletic Conference championships at Toledo in 2001 and 2004... G PHIL HAWKINS (Carolina Panthers) earned All-Conference USA honors at Houston... T JARED PECK (Carolina Panthers) played tight end and offensive line as a three-year starter at North Dakota State, catching 52 passes. Has practice squad experience with the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders... T ERIK PEARS (Denver Broncos) was a three-year starter at Colorado State and a two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection... T JON DOTY (New York Giants) started the final 26 games of his college career at Kansas State... DE OTIS GRIGSBY (Carolina Panthers) was on the 53-man roster of the Miami Dolphins in 2003. Played 45 games at Kentucky and recorded 103 tackles and 10 sacks... DE ALAIN KASHAMA (Seattle Seahawks) played in one regular season game for the Seahawks in 2005, recording 1 tackle. Added 1 tackle in 2004 while appearing in three contests for the Chicago Bears... DE THOMAS HOUCHIN played in 37 games at Kansas State... DT ARRION DIXON (Kansas City Chiefs) started 31 games during his college career at Arkansas and recorded 127 tackles and 4.5 sacks... DT BRYAN SAVE played for the Centurions in 2005 and recorded 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 1 forced fumble... LB DAVID BERGERON (Carolina Panthers) was a seventh round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2005 following a college career as a three-year starter at Stanford... LB JONATHAN POLLARD (San Diego Chargers) earned All-Pac 10 honors while serving as a team captain at Oregon State... LB JOSH DEAN (Chicago Bears) was a three-year starter at San Diego State, recording 143 tackles and 3 forced fumbles... French LB PHILIPPE GARDENT returns for a second season with the Centurions after recording 14 tackles, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble in 2005... CB LANCE FRAZIER (Seattle Seahawks) played in 12 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, recording 40 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery and 6 passes defended. Averaged 9.5 yards on 24 punt returns... CB ARIC WILLIAMS (Washington Redskins) earned All-Pac 10 honors in each of his final two seasons at Oregon State... CB MARK ESTELLE (Houston Texans) played in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes in 2004 and blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown... CB MATT CLARK was a two-year starter for the UCLA Bruins and won All-Pac 10 honors... S RAYMOND VENTRONE (New England Patriots) recorded 251 tackles, 5 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries at Villanova... S KEVIN CURTIS (Houston Texans) was a fourth round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 2002. Earned All-Big 12 honors at Texas Tech... K TIM DUNCAN (Oakland Raiders) played in six games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2003, converting 6 of 10 field goals with a long of 53 yards. Set a school record at Oklahoma by converting 46 career field goals... P GABE LINDSTROM (Seattle Seahawks) played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2002, averaging 42.7 yards per punt on 47 kicks with a long of 66.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 11
FRANKFURT GALAXY (0-0)Head Coach: Mike Jones (10-10) in NFLEL, plus 0-1 in World Bowl.Colours: Purple, orange, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Whitey Jordan (2nd season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Ed O'Neil (3rd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 68-62 (3-7 in 2005)
MEDIA CONTACT: Joachim Haas
LAST GAME: Lost 15-17 at Hamburg (6/4/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 14.8 pts/game; 269.5 yds/game (rank 6); 83.7 rush yds/game (rank 5); 185.8 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Passing: 2005 - Kevin Eakin, 1,299 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Ahmaad Galloway, 516 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Mark Anelli, 36 rec, 395 yds
DEFENSE: 2005 - 22.9 pts/game; 368.9 yds/game (rank 6); 160 rush yds/game (rank 6); 208.9 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Sacks: 2005 - Seante Williams, 5.0
Interceptions: 2005 - Lamont Brightful, 4
- THIS WEEK: at RHEIN FIRE -
The Galaxy will kick off the 2006 campaign with a visit to face their fierce rivals, the Rhein Fire. Under third-year head coach MIKE JONES, Frankfurt will look to rebound from a 3-7 record in 2005 by qualifying for a third World Bowl in the past four years. After running the rule over his team in Florida, Jones says: "This year's team did some good things in training camp but our biggest challenge right now is the Rhein Fire. What we do in that game and from that point on will tell us how good we will be."... QB JEFF OTIS (Arizona Cardinals) ranks second all-time on Columbia University's passing list having thrown for 4,666 yards from 429 completions... QB CRAIG OCHS (Buffalo Bills) was an All-Big Sky conference award-winner at Montana. In his two years as a starter, he threw for 5,419 yards and 42 touchdowns... QB BRYSON SPINNER (San Francisco 49ers) started eight games as a senior at Richmond, throwing for 1,712 yards and 10 touchdowns and adding 332 rushing yards and 2 scores... RB ROGER ROBINSON (Arizona Cardinals) was a two-time All-Big Sky selection at Northern Arizona, where he rushed for 2,015 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final two seasons... RB J.R. NIKLOS played for the Galaxy in 2005, rushing for 204 yards and 3 touchdowns, and adding 6 receptions for 94 yards and 1 score... WR AARON HOSACK (Minnesota Vikings) played in four games for Frankfurt at the end of the 2005 campaign and reeled in 22 passes for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns... English WR MARVIN ALLEN returns for a second season in Frankfurt after catching 12 passes for 136 yards in his rookie year... WR ADAM HERZING (Pittsburgh Steelers) earned All-NFL Europe League honors with the Rhein Fire in 2004 after catching a league-leading 49 passes for 656 yards and 1 touchdown... WR TOM CROWDER (Dallas Cowboys) spent time on the practice squad and active roster of the Cowboys in 2004 as a receiver and a safety... WR WALTER YOUNG (Pittsburgh Steelers) spent the 2004 and 2005 campaigns on Pittsburgh's practice squad. Served as backup quarterback
at Illinois while also playing as a receiver... TE SEAN McHUGH (Detroit Lions) started 19games at Penn State and spent the 2005 NFL season on Detroit's practice squad... C CHARLES MISSANT (New York Jets) served as his school's starting center and long-snapper at Western Michigan... G ISAAC SNELL (New York Jets) is a former defensive tackle who recorded 109 tackles and 7 sacks in 37 games at North Dakota State... G MATT McGHGHY (Detroit Lions) started 26 of 31 games in his final three years at Northern Illinois. Led the school with 86 knockdown blocks in 12 games as a senior in 2004... G JASON NERYS (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) served as team captain at Delaware and earned All-American honors... T ROB DROEGE (Baltimore Ravens) spent the majority of the 2005 season on the Chicago Bears' practice squad before joining the Ravens in December... T QASIM MITCHELL (Chicago Bears) started two of three games for the Bears in 2003 before suffering a broken leg... T WILL SVITEK (Kansas City Chiefs) was a sixth round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2000. Started college career at Stanford as a tight end before switching to the defensive line. Moves over to offense in NFL Europe... DE JUSTIN BROWN (Indianapolis Colts) was named to six All-American teams while playing at East Central University... DE JEROME NICHOLS (Green Bay Packers) intercepted NFL quarterbacks Philip Rivers (San Diego) and Matt Schaub (Atlanta) during his college career at Wake Forest... DE ELLIOT HARRIS (Houston Texans) spent the 2005 season on Green Bay's practice squad... DE JOSH COOPER was a member of the San Francisco 49ers' practice squad in 2004... DT DAVID HARLEY is a run-stuffing defender who recorded 54 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his final two years in college at Rutgers... German DT DANIEL BENETKA returns for a sixth NFLEL season having last played for Frankfurt in 2004. During that season he recorded 17 tackles, half a sack and 1 forced fumble... LB JARED NEWBERRY (Tennessee Titans) was a sixth round draft choice of the Washington Redskins in 2005. Spent the early part of the 2005 campaign on New England's practice squad... LB MATT SINCLAIR (Miami Dolphins) played 45 games at Illinois and recorded 278 tackles and 10 sacks. Had nine games in which he recorded 10 or more tackles... LB TRAVIS HARRIS played four years as a linebacker/defensive end at Florida and served as team captain as a senior... LB MATT FARRIOR (Pittsburgh Steelers) had his 2005 season with the Galaxy ended following a training camp injury. Played all three linebacker positions at Florida, where he recorded 117 tackles and 2 interceptions... CB LENNY WILLIAMS (Dallas Cowboys) was a seventh round draft choice of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004. Spent parts of that season on the practice squad and active roster of the Dallas Cowboys... CB JOSELIO HANSON earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors at Texas Tech... CB JAMES TAYLOR (New York Jets) started his career as a receiver at Ohio University before transferring to Georgetown and moving over to defense... CB BILL ALFORD recorded 77 tackles and 4 interceptions during two-year career at Vanderbilt... CB BRANDON HAW (Seattle Seahawks) was a four-year starter at Rutgers who spent the 2004 and 2005 seasons on the practice squads of the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks... S ROB LEE (Buffalo Bills) spent the 2005 season on Buffalo's practice squad. Led Northern Illinois with 17 passes knocked down in 2003-2004. Started 21 games in college career... S DeMARIO WILLIAMS was a two-time All-conference selection and two-time All-American at Gardner-Webb University... K DAVID KIMBALL (Oakland Raiders) was a kickoff specialist at Penn State who produced 132 touchbacks during college career. Was a seventh round draft choice of the Indianapolis Colts in 2004... P MIKE BARR (Pittsburgh Steelers) returns for a third season with the Frankfurt Galaxy. Averaged 39.4 yards on 46 punts in 2005.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 12
HAMBURG SEA DEVILS (0-0)Head Coach: Jack Bicknell (66-64 in NFLEL, 2-5 in post-season)Colours: Dark blue, teal, red
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Vince Martino (2nd season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dan Daniel (2nd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 5-5
MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas Bothstede
LAST GAME: Won 17-15 vs Frankfurt (6/4/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 19.6 pts/game; 315.8 yds/game (rank 3); 79.7 rush yds/game (rank 6); 236.1 pass yds/game (rank 1)
Passing: 2005 - Casey Bramlet, 1,463 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Zack Abron, 393 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Chris Collins, 42 rec, Scott McCready,
DEFENSE: 2005 - 18.1 pts/game; 316.5 yds/game (rank 4); 85 rush yds/game (rank 1); 231.5 pass yds/game (rank 6)
Sacks: 2005 - Antonio Smith, 6.0
Interceptions: 2005 - Shawn Mayer, 5
- THIS WEEK: vs COLOGNE CENTURIONS -
The Sea Devils will look to build on the most successful debut season of any single expansion team in NFLEL history when they take the field in 2006. Veteran head coach JACK BICKNELL leads Hamburg's World Bowl challenge and says: "If we can stay healthy and our quarterbacks develop confidence as we expect them to, I think we have a chance to be good. I like our team and don't have any reason to think that we're not going to be good this season."... QB BROCK BERLIN (Miami Dolphins) spent the 2005 preseason with the Dolphins and hit on 15 of 21 passes for 191 yards and 1 touchdown. Played two seasons at the University of Miami, throwing for 5,099 yards and 34 touchdowns in 24 starts... QB JAMES KILIAN (Kansas City Chiefs) was a seventh round draft choice of the Chiefs in 2005. Threw for 4,865 yards and 36 touchdowns during college career at Tulsa... QB TODD MORTENSEN (New England Patriots) played three years at BYU... RB MIKE JEMISON (Pittsburgh Steelers) has spent time on the New York Giants' practice squad. Played halfback, fullback and linebacker at the University of Pittsburgh... RB JIMMY DIXON (Seattle Seahawks) was a two-year starter at fullback at Georgia Tech. Ended the 2005 season on Green Bay's practice squad... English RB JERMAINE ALLEN will make his NFLEL debut this weekend after earning MVP honors for the British champion London Olympians... English WR SCOTT McCREADY enters his fifth NFLEL season. His 141 career receptions rank first among national players and third all-time. His 1,593 receiving yards rank first among nationals and third overall. Caught 37 passes for 474 yards and 1 touchdown in 2005 before a torn knee ligament ended his campaign... WR RICKY BRYANT caught a touchdown pass in each of the first four games in 2005 before suffering a season-ending injury. Caught 12 passes for 177 yards and 4 scores... WR RICHARD SMITH (Washington Redskins) played four regular season games for Kansas City in 2004 and spent the 2005 campaign on
the practice squads of Seattle and Washington. Started 35 games during college career at Arkansas and caught 135 passes... WR JOVAN WITHERSPOON (New York Jets) comes from a football family as his father, Roosevelt Barnes, played linebacker for Detroit in the 1980s... WR NATE CURRY (Kansas City Chiefs) started 27 of 44 games played at Georgia Tech and caught 92 passes for 1,185 yards and 8 scores... TE KORI DICKERSON (Detroit Lions) played for the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2003, catching 6 passes for 97 yards. Played two regular season games for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2003... C AUGIE HOFFMAN (New Orleans Saints) was an All-Big East selection while starting 33 games at Boston College... G STEVEN VIEIRA (Cincinnati Bengals) spent the final 13 weeks of the 2005 season on Cincinnati's practice squad. Made 41 consecutive starts at UCLA, moving between guard and tackle positions... G KYLE TAKAVITZ (Cincinnati Bengals) spent the 2005 season on Cincinnati's practice squad. Earned All-Conference USA honors in each of his final two seasons at the University of Cincinnati. Started 38 games in a row... T SEAN BUBIN (Minnesota Vikings) was a fifth round draft choice of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2004. Conceded just 1 sack in 36 starts at Illinois... T DYLAN McFARLAND (Buffalo Bills) was a seventh round draft selection of the Bills in 2004... T BEN JOHNSON (San Diego Chargers) was chosen in round seven of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions... DE IVORY McCOY played for Hamburg in 2005 and recorded 21 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Returned a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown in Week 7 to give Hamburg an overtime victory over Amsterdam... Norwegian DE ANDERS AKERSTROM began his career as a walk-on kicker at Arkansas... DE SCOTT SCHARFF (San Francisco 49ers) blocked 2 field goals during college career at Stanford... DT KEITH WRIGHT (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was a sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2004. Has practice squad experience with Houston and Indianapolis... German DT BASTIAN LANO returns for a fifth NFLEL season after recording 11 tackles and 1 sack in Hamburg in 2005... LB JUSTIN SMITH (Chicago Bears) was on Tampa Bay's roster when the Bucs won Super Bowl XXXVII. Has also spent time on Carolina's roster. Was a four-year starter at Indiana and twice earned All-Big 10 honors while recording 336 tackles in 42 starts... LB BYRON HARDMON played for the Cologne Centurions in 2004, recording 20 tackles... LB KRIS GRIFFIN (Kansas City Chiefs) played in eight regular season games for the Chiefs in 2005 and notched 6 tackles... LB SCOTT GENORD played for the Sea Devils in 2005, recording 23 tackles, 5 passes defended and a team-leading 9 special teams stops... English LB ADEN DURDE returns for a second season in Hamburg after winning a practice squad spot with the Carolina Panthers at the conclusion of the 2005 campaign... CB ERIC HILL (Indianapolis Colts) spent the 2005 NFL season on the Colts' practice squad. Played receiver in college at Colorado State... CB VONTEZ DUFF (New York Giants) was a sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2004. Spent rookie year on Pittsburgh's practice squad. Started 33 games at Notre Dame and is the only player in school history to score on interception, kickoff and punt returns in the same season... CB RAYSHUN REED played seven games for the San Francisco 49ers in 2004 and registered 6 tackles... S SHAWN MAYER (Cleveland Browns) earned All-NFLEL honors with Hamburg in 2005 as he picked off a league-leading 5 passes and added 56 tackles and 2 forced fumbles... German S CLAUDIUS OSEI spent 2005 on the practice squad of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is back for a second season in Hamburg... S JASON SHIVERS (New York Giants) earned Defensive MVP honors while starting 36 games at Arizona State, where he recorded 314 tackles... K TYLER JONES (Washington Redskins) was on Chicago's practice squad in 2005. Earned All-WAC honors at Boise State... P ADAM ANDERSON (Detroit Lions) won All-MAC recognition at Western Michigan.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europe 2006, Week 1 - Page 13
RHEIN FIRE (0-0)Head Coach: Jim Tomsula (1st season asNFLEL head coach)Colours: Burgundy, black and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Steve Logan (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Adrian White (3rd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 58-52 (3-7 in 2005)
MEDIA CONTACT: Markus Müller
LAST GAME: Won 27-14 vs Amsterdam, (6/4/05)
OFFENSE: 2005 - 17.6 pts/game; 307 yds/game (rank 5); 125.1 rush yds/game (rank 2); 181.9 pass yds/game (rank 6)
Passing: 2005 - Scott McBrien, 1,722 yds
Rushing: 2005 - Joe Smith, 1,026 yds
Receiving: 2005 - Cedric James, 29 rec, 515 yds
DEFENSE: 2005 - 21 pts/game; 322.6 yds/game (rank 5); 109 rush yds/game (rank 3); 213.6 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Sacks: 2005 - Sean Guthrie, 4.0
Interceptions: 2005 - Blue Adams, 3
- THIS WEEK: vs FRANKFURT GALAXY -
The Rhein Fire will look to get back to winning ways after posting back-to-back 3-7 campaigns and kick off their quest for glory at the LTU arena - site of Yello Strom World Bowl XIV in May... First-year head coach JIM TOMSULA is emphasizing the need for team spirit in Düsseldorf as he says: "It's not about the team with the best players, it's the team with the best team. My philosophy, and the way the Rhein Fire can be winners this season, is to play as a team. If we work hard and dedicate ourselves to our goal of winning the World Bowl and gel as a team, we will get there."... QB DREW HENSON (Dallas Cowboys) has played in seven regular season games with one start, completing 10 of 18 attempts for 78 yards and 1 touchdown in 2004. Was a sixth round draft choice of the Houston Texans in 2003. Spent three years with baseball's New York Yankees... QB TIMMY CHANG (Philadelphia Eagles) set the NCAA all-time record when he threw for 17,072 yards during his career at Hawaii. Also threw 117 touchdown passes while earning All-Western Athletic Conference honors four years in a row... QB JOHN BOWENKAMP set a school record at North Dakota by
National Football League Europa Stories from March 13, 2006
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