Former AFL quarterback Brian Jones joins Wolves
MANCHESTER, NH-Brian Jones, a starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League in 2007, joins the Manchester Wolves today and will be barking signals on Friday night when they play their first home game of the season.
Jones (6'2", 212) was assigned to the team by the af2 league office. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not released.
While his new team will be strangers when Jones attends his first Wolves practice on Wednesday night, there will be two very familiar faces on the sidelines. Head Coach Danton Barto was the Gladiators head coach last season and Jones will also be reunited with current Wolves defensive back Dahnel Singfield. Both Jones and Singfield played for Barto in Memphis in 2005 when the Xplorers won the ArenaCup.
"I'm really excited to have Brian here," Barto said. "He's going to bring a leadership quality which has been lacking with this young team. Brian's been in my system for three years and he knows it inside and out. He will make our offense 100 percent better and he will make our whole team better. He is the leader you want on the field and in the locker room."
In his rookie season with the Gladiators last year, Jones played in 15 games and started six of them, including the season finale. He completed a team-high 152-of-238 passes for 1,824 yards and 25 touchdowns. This season, he was in training camp with the AFL's Columbus Destroyers and had a brief stint with the New Orleans Voodoo of the AFL.
"He's an AFL-caliber starting quarterback," Barto said. "He's a pro from top to bottom. He doesn't turn the ball over and he makes completions."
The addition of Jones, whom Barto likened to bringing in another coach, will allow Barto more time to work with a young and inexperienced team which has struggled on both sides of the ball while splitting its first two games.
"Brain Jones gives us the chance to win games and win every game," said Barto. "I think this city is going to love Brian. He's very smart, he's articulate, and he carries himself with that swagger that all good quarterbacks have. He believes in himself and he believes that he can win games. I'm really excited to have him here in Manchester."
Jones, who played for the University of Toledo from 2001-02 after transferring from Shasta Junior College, graduated as the Rockets' all-time leader in pass completion percentage (68.9). He led Toledo to a 9-5 record and a spot in the Motor City Bowl against Marshall University in 2002.
Jones makes his off-season home in Hernando, Mississippi and he and his wife, Kellie, have a one-year-old son named Dylan.
He will wear jersey #10 when the Wolves (1-1) host the Albany Conquest (1-1) in an East Division rivalry in their home opener on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena this Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
In other roster moves, former starting quarterback Justin Rummell, who was benched late in the first half in last week's 72-31 loss at Green Bay, has been placed on the suspended list.... Defensive back Gabriel Helms (6'1, 220), who gained experience in the NFL Europe and went to training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs last year, was also assigned to the team by the af2 league office. Although he has never before played an arena football game, Barto said he will see playing time this week.....Popular wide receiver/defensive back David Bailey, a University of New Hampshire graduate and a four-year Wolves veteran, is back on the active roster this week and is expected to see his first action of the season after missing the first two games with a high ankle sprain.....Wide receiver/defensive back Micah Johnson, who gave up his #10 jersey for Jones, will be assigned another number.
Tickets for Friday night's home opener with the debut of Jones as the starting quarterback are still available. Call 603-627-9653 (WOLF) or visit [email protected]
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