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B.J. Symons to play in NFL Europe

by Tommy Brown
February 25, 2005 - National Football League Europa (NFLE) - Frankfurt Galaxy

Quarterback B.J. Symons was added to the list of players allocated by the Texans to NFL Europe earlier this month.

The Texans have already allocated backup quarterback Dave Ragone to NFL Europe and will be joined in the league by Symons. Symons is allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy where he will play a backup role to former first round Cincinnati Bengal draft pick Akili Smith. Smith was allocated to NFL Europe as a free agent, but last week signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Symons was a record-setting quarterback for Texas Tech, throwing over 50 touchdowns his senior year. He did not play at all this season for the Texans due to injury.

Most notable with an NFL Europe resume is former Ram star and current Giant Kurt Warner. Other players that have benefited greatly from NFL Europe playing time are Brad Johnson , Jay Fielder and Dante Hall. New England Patriots backup quarterback Rohan Davey was last season’s NFL Europe MVP. Players allocated to Europe can gain real game experience that they cannot achieve behind established starters on NFL depth charts. They also use the time in Europe to work on football skills that could allow them to move up from third or fourth on a depth chart or even a starter. Both kickers in the Super Bowl, Adam Vinatieri and David Akers are NFL Europe veterans. Many players assigned to NFL Europe by NFL teams were not on NFL rosters and were signed only recently. If they play well in Europe they can increase their chances of making a roster this fall during an NFL training camp.

One player hoping to revive his NFL career is former Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch, who was recently signed by the Kansas City Chiefs and immediately allocated to NFL Europe. He will play the safety position in Europe for the Hamburg Sea Devils. He has to hope the summer overseas will lead him back to an NFL roster.

Former Miami Hurricane Jarrett Payton will also be headed to Europe this summer. Payton is allocated to the Amsterdam Admirals by the Tennessee Titans after spending the entire 2004 season on their practice squad. Jarrett will gain experience and will probably make the Titans active roster as a backup with a good season in NFL Europe and a good training camp for the Titans.

Ragone and Symons should backup starter David Carr next season for the Texans. If an injury to Carr were to occur in the 2005 season, like it did in 2004, both quarterbacks will benefit from their game experiences over the summer in NFL Europe. Most NFL Europe veterans enjoy their time playing overseas, interacting with European fans and living in a different country.

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