March 12, 2010 - Continental Indoor Football League (CIFL) - Dayton Silverbacks
Miami Valley Silverbacks signed 6'02" 315 pound NT from Georgia Tech, Derrick Shepard. Shepard has played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots; in the Arena Football League with Arizona Rattlers and Detroit Fury; in af2 with Tennessee Valley Vipers, Cincinnati Swarm and Louisville Fire. When Wells was hired as Head Coach of the Dayton Warbirds (NIFL) in 2006, Shepards was the first player he signed. Shepard played for Silverbacks Head Coach, Brian Wells, while with the Swarm, Fire and Warbirds. He also served as the Head Coach for the Silverbacks in 2009. Wells said, "Shep provides experience that is hard to find at this level. We have a great relationship dating back to 2003. He still has that explosion off the ball at nose tackle and will definately cause problems for centers and quarterbacks throughout the CIFL. He is also a tremendous asset to the special teams. During the 2003-2004 af2 seasons Shep blocked more kicks than any player in league history within a 2 year span. When he put the pads back on and worked out, he proved he was still a dominant player!"
The Silverbacks also inked 6'03" 260 pound St. Louis, MO product of Southern University, James Jackson. Jackson recently spurned offers from Montreal and Hamilton of the CFL to stay in the states with his children. Wells commented, "when I spoke with Mr. Jackson back in January about playing for us, he was leaning on signing with Montreal. When I spoke with him earlier this week, I made the call just to see where he was at in his decision making process. He said being away from his children for six months is not something he wanted to do and asked if the offer was still on the table. We met Wednesday after work at McDonalds went over the playbook and signed the paperwork. Adding a player of this calibur to go along side Shepard and Crawford is a coaches dream." Crawford will be the third defensive lineman to go along with Shepard and Jackson as they go up against the Cincinnati Commandos Saturday. Derrick Crawford is 6'03" 290 pound out of Texas A&M Commerce. He played two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and in the Arena Football League with the Las Vegas Gladiators and Orlando Predators.