World Bowl Rematch Kicks Off 15th Season
April 10, 2007 - National Football League Europa (NFLE) News Release
THE long wait is over and NFL Europa is ready to roar back into action with its 15th season kicking off on April 14.
And for the third year in a row, the new campaign will kick off with a rematch of the previous World Bowl as the Amsterdam Admirals aim to seek revenge for last May's title game loss to the Frankfurt Galaxy.
Also in Week 1, the Hamburg Sea Devils will look to pick up where they left off at the end of last season as they play host to the Cologne Centurions. Hamburg won its final three games of the 2006 campaign.
Opening night concludes with a battle of head coaches in new surroundings as the Berlin Thunder visit the Rhein Fire. The Thunder will be led by first-year head coach John Allen, who replaced Rick Lantz when he joined the Fire in the off-season.
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 XV in Frankfurt, Germany, on Saturday June 23 begins in earnest this weekend. Who will emerge as championship material?
Only time will tell.
WEEK ONE SCHEDULE
SATURDAY APRIL 14
Cologne Centurions at Hamburg Sea Devils
AOL Arena, Hamburg, 6:00 p.m.
Amsterdam Admirals at Frankfurt Galaxy
Commerzbank Arena, Frankfurt, 7:00 p.m.
Berlin Thunder at Rhein Fire
LTU arena, Düsseldorf, 7:00 p.m.
2006 AWARD WINNERS
(Players of the Week to appear in this section during 2007 season)
OFFENSIVE MVP - GIBRAN HAMDAN - QB, Amsterdam
Completed 63.0 % of passes for 1,629 yards, 12 TDs and 3 interceptions for 113.4 QB rating (NFLE Record)
DEFENSIVE MVP - TONY BROWN - DT, Amsterdam
40 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 passes defended
DEFENSIVE MVP - PHILIPPE GARDENT - LB, Cologne
70 tackles (led NFLE), 1 sack
COACH OF THE YEAR - MIKE JONES - Frankfurt
Led Frankfurt to 7-3 regular season record.
Guided the club to a record fourth World Bowl championship.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, 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, Florida, the six NFL Europa League head coaches are busy putting the finishing touches to their preparations ahead of this weekend's opening night action.
And following an offseason of change, half of the league's six teams are getting to know their new head coach as the regular season kickoff approaches.
One man who is no stranger to NFL Europa is Amsterdam Admirals head coach BART ANDRUS, who returns for a seventh season in charge of the Dutch club and is aiming for a third straight appearance in World Bowl.
Upon arriving in Europe, Andrus said: "Our training camp in Florida was successful and we're looking forward to seeing what these guys can do in a game on the field. Every year at this point we try to find out who we are. We'll get a really good measure of our team when we go to Frankfurt in Week 1."
Andrus' former offensive coordinator in Amsterdam, JOHN ALLEN, is the man charged with bringing a record-equaling fourth World Bowl crown to the Berlin Thunder.
He says: "I'm really looking forward to the 2007 Berlin Thunder football team. We had a very productive training camp and our team really started to show signs of togetherness.
"I'm really excited to be in Berlin and getting ready for the games."
The Cologne Centurions will be led by second-year head coach DAVID DUGGAN, who liked what he saw from his defensive players during the preseason action in Florida.
"We have the chance to be a good defense," the former defensive coordinator says. "We have fast linebackers and a strong defensive line. Our secondary has been making plays and I like the makeup of our team.
"Training camp is all about developing chemistry. The guys are together all the time, doing things together all the time - that's where the bond is formed. Hopefully, our team has come together."
Frankfurt Galaxy head coach MIKE JONES is in a buoyant mood ahead of the 2007 campaign after an impressive training camp in the United States.
"I think our training camp was something we can build on," the 2006 Coach of the Year says. "I do think that we have a pretty good team but we'll have to see how we play in our first, second and third games.
"This has been the best training camp I have had since I have been in NFL Europa. That is great but training camp doesn't measure up to games. That said, we're excited to see what our guys can do."
Long-time assistant coach VINCE MARTINO stepped up to serve as head coach of the Hamburg Sea Devils during the latter stages of training camp, following Jack Bicknell's resignation due to health reasons.
"I was very pleased with camp," says the rookie head coach. "We've stayed relatively healthy and I'm happy with the way the kids have been working and how the team is coming together.
"Now we just want to take the games one at a time and get ready for Cologne. We want to make sure we're totally prepared for them. We've got everything in place regarding our game plan, now it's just a case of fine-tuning it."
The man charged with leading the Rhein Fire to a first World Bowl crown since 2000 is former NFLE Coach of the Year RICK LANTZ, himself a World Bowl winner with the Berlin Thunder in 2004.
Lantz likes the attitude of his 2007 squad as he reveals: "I always have the feeling we're coming together as a team when the players are not afraid to give me their honest opinion when I ask them questions. Sometimes they don't do that because they give me the answer they think I want. We have to overcome that. We are a united team and we're going to support each other.
"Training camp really went very well for us and we're looking forward to facing Berlin in Week 1. I have a great feeling for Berlin and there will be a couple of players that I've coached on the other sideline. I'm glad we're playing them at home and not in Berlin because that would have been tougher for me."
NFLE 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, the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2005 and the Amsterdam Admirals in 2006. The last team to win four season openers in a row was the Scottish Claymores (2000-2003).
NFLE FACTS: Comeback Kids
If the Amsterdam Admirals or Frankfurt Galaxy fall behind in their Week 1 meeting at Commerzbank Arena, fans of either club should not be too concerned. History has shown that both teams are more than capable of turning a final period deficit into victory. The Admirals and Galaxy lead NFL Europa with a total of 22 fourth quarter comebacks each. The next-highest existing franchises are the Berlin Thunder and Rhein Fire, who have managed 8 fourth quarter comebacks each. Hamburg has a league-low 2 fourth quarter comebacks.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 3
Experienced NFL veterans among hungry players out to make a splash in NFL Europa
FANS of the NFL will see some familiar names on display in NFL Europa this spring as the rosters of all six teams are littered with players who have experience at the game's highest level.
Among the 150 NFL-allocated players and free agents in action in Europe in 2007 are quarterbacks CODY PICKETT, a former starter with the San Francisco 49ers, former UCLA star DREW OLSON (Baltimore Ravens) and QUINTON PORTER, of the Houston Texans.
Pickett will lead the Rhein Fire in 2007 after starting two games for the 49ers in 2005. He was originally a seventh round draft choice of San Francisco in 2004.
"I'm excited to go to a brand new country and to play with the Rhein Fire and do well," Pickett says. "Training camp went very well for us. All we have to do is stay healthy and get better every day and I think we can be successful over there."
Olson ended his college career at UCLA as the second-ranked passer in school history. He will lead the Amsterdam Admirals in 2007 having pined for a hookup with head coach BART ANDRUS.
Olson explains: "One of the people who told me a lot of positive things about Amsterdam was (Baltimore Ravens QB) Steve McNair. He was coached by Bart Andrus during his time at the Tennessee Titans and he really liked his offensive style. I am really looking forward to playing for the Admirals in 2007."
Porter spent the 2006 NFL regular season on Houston's practice squad and will now lead the Cologne Centurions into battle.
"This is a great opportunity," he says. "I get the chance to play a lot and show what I can do. I cannot wait to get started."
Two famous sons will occupy running back positions in NFL Europa this spring. JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, of the St. Louis Rams, is the son of Hollywood giant Denzel Washington, while Chicago Bears-allocated rusher GERALD RIGGS JR is the son of former Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl running back Gerald Riggs.
Washington will be joined in the Hamburg Sea Devils' backfield by former NFL starter QUENTIN GRIFFIN, who rushed for 656 yards and two touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 129 yards and one score during his spell with the Denver Broncos from 2003-04.
Riggs, who will lead the Rhein Fire ground attack, says: "I'm looking forward to this experience. This is a fun level to play at because there are talented guys across the league."
Hamburg boasts a number of NFL veterans on its roster, including former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver RASHAUN WOODS, who becomes just the seventh player in NFL Europa history to play in the league having been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Here are the players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft who went on to play in NFL Europa:
Name Pos NFL Team NFLE Team
Rashaun Woods WR SF 49ers 2004 Hamburg 2007
Akili Smith QB Cincinnati 1999 Frankfurt 2005
Lawrence Phillips RB St. Louis 1996 Barcelona 1999
Andre Ware QB Detroit 1990 Berlin 1999
Gaston Green RB LA Rams 1988 London 1996
William Perry DT Chicago 1985 London 1996
Percy Snow LB Kansas City 1990 Rhein 1996
Woods caught seven passes for 160 yards and one touchdown as a rookie with the 49ers in 2004. He will be joined in leading the Sea Devils' aerial attack by tight end TEYO JOHNSON (Denver Broncos), who was a second round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders in 2003. While starting nine of 30 regular season games, Johnson caught 26 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
The defensive side of the football will also feature NFL veterans such as Amsterdam Admirals cornerback KEVIN GARRETT (Carolina Panthers) and Frankfurt Galaxy defensive tackle KENNY KING (Baltimore Ravens).
Garrett was a fifth round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2003. He played in 24 regular season games for the Rams and Houston Texans, recording 21 tackles and four pass defenses.
King was a fifth round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2003. He played 11 games as a rookie before suffering an injury and recorded 18 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
NFLEL Director of Football Operations MIKE CHAN said: "The NFL teams have once again provided us with a pool of players loaded with talent, each of whom is eager for the opportunity to play and compete for a championship in Europe. This is another clear example of the support and interest from the NFL teams.
"The pool of players include some that have seen extensive time in the NFL mixed with some exciting young players. The 2007 season is already shaping up to be another success."
NFLE FACTS: Close Calls
All three 2006 openers were decided by a margin of four points as Cologne beat Hamburg 14-10, Berlin defeated Amsterdam 33-29 and Rhein edged past Frankfurt 10-6. It set the tone for the season as 19 of the 30 regular season games were decided by one score or less (8 points).
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, 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 NF L Europa teams
Home Away Total
Amsterdam 3-2 1-6 4-8
Berlin 2-2 1-3 3-5
Cologne 1-0 1-1 2-1
Frankfurt 5-1 4-4 9-5
Hamburg 0-1 0-1 0-2
Rhein 5-3 1-3 6-6
Berlin's Eugene already a hero
EVEN if he fails to take a single snap for the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europa this spring, there are already many who think Tampa Bay Buccaneers-allocated quarterback BRUCE EUGENE is a hero.
During his outstanding college career at Grambling State, Eugene - a native of New Orleans - offered a helping hand to relatives affected by Hurricane Katrina.
He housed a total of 22 family members who were left homeless following the devastating hurricane which struck in August, 2005.
"We lost everything in Katrina," Eugene admitted. "My family moved up to Grambling with me and we all stayed in Ruston, Louisiana.
"I had 22 people living in the house together, but 18 of them have since gone back to New Orleans. My mother, my two sisters and my brother have stayed up with me."
Eugene was originally allocated to the Frankfurt Galaxy but was reassigned to Berlin at the conclusion of preseason training camp in Tampa, Florida.
Galaxy aims for title defense
BUOYED by a confidence-boosting training camp in Tampa, Florida, the Frankfurt Galaxy will head into the 2007 season determined to become just the second team in league history to win back-to-back World Bowls.
The Galaxy has qualified for consecutive World Bowls a league-high three times (1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04) but has yet to repeat as champions, losing title games in 1996, 1998 and 2004.
The only club to have achieved successive World Bowl crowns is the Berlin Thunder, who lifted the famous glass trophy in 2001 and again in 2002.
"We have a target on our backs as defending champions, no question," insists Frankfurt head coach MIKE JONES. "Teams are going to have it in their minds that we are the champions and they're going to play us a little harder.
"It's a new season and a hopeful season and we have to go into each game and try to play to the best of our ability."
Galaxy wide receiver AARON HOSACK, a member of the championship-winning 2006 squad, adds: "It's great to have that title win out of the way because there is less pressure. We have such a good team and I think we'll be capable of winning some games this season. It's definitely not putting added pressure on us. It should be fun."
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 5
Rookie coaches eye winning starts to NFL Europa careers
WHEN JOHN ALLEN, of the Berlin Thunder and VINCE MARTINO of the Hamburg Sea Devils make their head coaching debuts this weekend, they will look to maintain an impressive success rate for new coaches.
Of the past eight head coaches new to NFL Europa, six have been successful in Week 1.
Here is a look at those rookie head coaches who enjoyed success in their first 60 minutes patrolling the sidelines of NFL Europa:
Coach Team/Year Wk 1 Result
Jim Tomsula Rhein 2006 Won 10-6 vs Fra
David Duggan Cologne 2006 Won 14-10 at Col
Rick Lantz Berlin 2004 Won 20-14 vs Sco
Mike Jones Frankfurt 2004 Won 34-11 vs Ams
Pete Kuharchek Rhein 2001 Won 24-20 vs Ams
Gene Dahlquist Scotland 2001 Won 24-21 vs Fra
The two head coaches from that group of eight not to enjoy winning starts were Peter Vaas, who saw his Berlin Thunder lose 32-7 to the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2000; and Doug Graber, whose Frankfurt team lost the 2001 season opener 24-21 at the Scottish Claymores.
Martino, who stepped into the head coaching role during training camp following the resignation of Jack Bicknell, is a league veteran dating back to the inaugural 1991 season.
He says: "I'm very excited but I know the pressure is on because we think we have a pretty good team and we want to do very well. We would like to go to the World Bowl and win it.
"I love this league and absolutely feel ready to be a head coach."
NFLE FACTS:Frankfurt on Top
The Frankfurt Galaxy have won more regular season games (75) than any other NFL Europa franchise. The Amsterdam Admirals and Rhein Fire are tied for second with 64 wins apiece. Berlin has 40 regular season victories, Cologne 14 and Hamburg 8.
NFLE FACTS:Pressure Players
The Frankfurt Galaxy have the best winning percentage among existing teams in games decided by one score or less (8 points). Frankfurt has a .573 winning percentage (47-35). Cologne ranks second with a percentage of .555 having won 10 of 18 close games. Amsterdam ranks third (.524) with a record of 33-30. Hamburg is the lowest-ranked club in close games with a percentage of .333 (4-7-1).
NFLEL Tiebreaker Procedures
IF two or more clubs finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, 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.
NFLE FACTS:League of Nations
A total of 11 countries outside of North America will be represented by national players on the six NFLE rosters in 2007: Belgium, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia and Sweden.
NFLE FACTS:Explosive Admirals
The Amsterdam Admirals produced a league-best 19 plays covering 40+ yards in 2006. The next-highest team was the Rhein Fire with 10 plays covering 40 yards or more. The 2006 campaign saw 59 plays of 40+ yards - the most since NFL Europa became a six-team league in 1995.
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 6
Fast start equates to success at season's end in NFL Europa
WITH the NFL Europa season reverting to its normal April kickoff following last year's earlier start due to the soccer World Cup Finals, all six teams will be looking for success in the opening month of the campaign.
History has shown that winning your opening game in a 10-week season remains vitally important, although the reigning World Bowl champions might disagree.
Of the previous 14 World Bowl winners, only the 2006 Frankfurt Galaxy and 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
2006 - Frankfurt L 3-2
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."
If a strong start to the campaign is necessary, the Admirals and Galaxy will feel confident. Of the six NFLE teams, they are the only ones with winning records in the month of April.
Records of NFL Europa teams in April
Galaxy quarterback J.T. O'SULLIVAN adds: "It's only a 10-game season so you have to be focused from the very start. You have to come out of the gates flying if you want to win the World Bowl."
How NFLE teams are built
Here is how NFL Europa rosters are built:
36 Active roster players
2 Active NFLE players (eligible to play in games)
2 Inactive NFLE Practice Squad players (ineligible to play
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 NFL Europa players.
2. Teams, in consultation with the league office, have also designated two players to become part of the NFL Europa Practice Squad.
3. Regardless of which team roster the players are on, all Active NFLE players and all NFLE Practice Squad players are the 'property' of the league office.
4. In the case of injuries etc., teams can request that an NFLE Practice Squad player or an Active NFLE player is reassigned from the roster of another team. A decision will be made by the NFLE personnel department in consultation with the relevant teams. Competitive balance remains the most important factor in such decisions. Wherever possible, NFLE Practice Squad players will be reassigned before Active NFLE players.
NFLEL regular season rosters will indicate those players who are Active NFLEL players and members of the NFLEL Practice Squad.
Hippler to be a true Centurion
THE 2007 NFL Europa campaign should prove to be a memorable one for Cologne Centurions veteran German tight end WERNER HIPPLER.
Having already played in a league record 97 regular season games, smashing the old mark of 87 set by Scottish Claymores wide receiver Scott Couper (1995-2001 and 2003-04), Hippler will reach the magical 100-game mark in Cologne's Week 3 visit to the Rhein Fire.
Hippler says: "This milestone is very important to me and it will be a great honor. NFL Europa 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."
NEWS AND NOTES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 7
Familiar faces return to NFL Europa clubs for 2007 campaign
WHEN the 2007 NFL Europa season kicks off on Saturday, April 14 there will be several key performers on each team who have experienced the battle for World Bowl glory in Europe.
Amsterdam Admirals welcome back All-NFLE wide receiver SKYLER FULTON, who registered a league record six 100-yard receiving days in 2006 as he led NFL Europa with 53 receptions for 992 yards and seven touchdowns.
"I'm really excited to be back in Amsterdam," Fulton says. "Winning the World Bowl is our goal. Last year, we made it to the final but we didn't close the deal. One of my main reasons for coming back was to win the World Bowl. I think with this team, we'll be in a position to do that."
The Admirals will also feature running back JONATHAN SMITH, who rushed for 711 yards and two touchdowns when the club won its lone World Bowl in 2005.
The Berlin Thunder's offense will feature returning wide receiver RICH MUSINSKI, who caught 23 passes for 277 yards and four touchdowns in 2006.
Cologne's secondary will be boosted by the return of cornerback KEVIN HOUSE and safety KEVIN CURTIS. House played for the Centurions in 2005 and recorded 18 tackles while knocking down seven passes. Curtis set a club record with four interceptions in 2006. He also recorded 42 tackles and 10 pass defenses.
Frankfurt's attack will be led by returning quarterbacks J.T. O'SULLIVAN (Chicago Bears) and KEVIN EAKIN (Buffalo Bills). O'Sullivan threw for 1,527 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to a 91.9 passer rating while leading the Galaxy to a World Bowl berth in 2004. Eakin threw for 1,299 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2005.
"There's no doubt about why I'm here," O'Sullivan admits. "I am in NFL Europa to win a World Bowl. I had a good time with a great group of guys last time around but we didn't finish what we started."
Wide receiver AARON HOSACK is back for a third season in a Galaxy uniform after earning All-NFLE honors in 2006. He has caught 58 passes for 790 yards and eight touchdowns during his time in NFL Europa.
Linebacker MATT SINCLAIR returns for a second season at the heart of the Frankfurt defense having registered 49 tackles and three sacks in 2006.
CASEY BRAMLET returns at quarterback for the Hamburg Sea Devils having thrown for 1,463 yards and seven touchdowns in the club's inaugural 2005 campaign. He will look to team with English wide receiver SCOTT McCREADY, who ranks second all-time among NFL Europa receivers with 182 catches for 2,079 yards.
Safety SHAWN MAYER will once again marshal the Sea Devils secondary after earning All-NFLE honors in 2005 and leading the club with 57 tackles in 2006.
Bramlet says: "I'm excited to be returning to the Sea Devils. I love the city and the fans and I'm looking forward to enjoying some success in 2007."
"I'm really excited about this team," adds McCready. "We have a lot of talented players with recognizable names and we haven't always had that in the past. We're all in Hamburg with one goal in mind and that's to win a World Bowl."
The Rhein Fire's 2007 squad will feature returning German guard PETER HEYER, who boasts NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. All-NFLE defensive end DERRICK STRONG also returns having notched 25 tackles and five sacks in 2006.
NFL Network and NASN to provide extensive coverage
NFL Europa fans on both sides of the Atlantic will be able to follow every step on the road to Yello Strom World Bowl XV thanks to comprehensive coverage on NFL NETWORK and NASN EUROPE.
The 2007 season marks the fourth year in a row that NFL Network has aired NFLEL games. And for the second successive year, all 30 regular season games and the title showdown from Frankfurt will be aired on NFL Network.
NFL Network's coverage begins with live coverage of the Amsterdam Admirals World Bowl rematch clash with the Frankfurt Galaxy. The game kicks off at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Among the NFL players past and present calling games in NFL Europa this spring are Atlanta Falcons cornerback DeANGELO HALL, perennial Pro Bowl running back MARSHALL FAULK, Minnesota Vikings safety DARREN SHARPER, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver ANTONIO FREEMAN and Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman JON RUNYAN.
In addition to showing one live game each week, NFL Network will air all other contests in full on tape delay.
For fans in Germany and Holland, NASN Europe will air a Game of the Week in full each week, beginning with the Amsterdam-Frankfurt match-up.
NFLE FACTS: Next stop Hawaii
A total of 19 players with NFL Europa experience have been voted to the annual NFL Pro Bowl on 38 occasions. The NFLE veterans on display in Hawaii this February included Chicago Bears special teamer BRENDON AYANBADEJO (Amsterdam 2002), Buffalo Bills punter BRIAN MOORMAN (Berlin 2000-01) and Kansas City Chiefs guard BRIAN WATERS (Berlin 2000).
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 8
AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS (0-0)Head Coach: Bart Andrus (30-30 in NFLE,Plus 1-1 in World Bowl)Colors: Orange and blue
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Ron Heller (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Richard Kent (2nd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 64-56 (7-3 in 2006)
MEDIA CONTACT: Joost Kling
LAST GAME: Lost 7-22 vs. Frankfurt, WB XIV (5/27/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 25.9 pts/game; 332.3 yds/game (rank 2); 86.4 yds rush/game (rank 6); 245.9 yds pass/game (rank 1)
Passing: 2006 - Gibran Hamdan, 1,629 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Larry Croom, 427 yds
Receiving: 2006 - Skyler Fulton, 53 rec, 992 yds
DEFENSE: 2006 - 23.4 pts/game; 312.1 yds/game (rank 4); 133.9 rush yds/game (rank 5); 178.2 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Sacks: 2006 - Earl Cochran, 5.0
Interceptions: 2006 - Justin Perkins, Cory Peoples, 2
- THIS WEEK: at FRANKFURT GALAXY -
Seventh-year head coach BART ANDRUS is keen to take on the Frankfurt Galaxy in a World Bowl rematch on opening weekend, insisting: "We're looking forward to playing the Galaxy. That World Bowl loss was one that left a hollow feeling inside."... QB DREW OLSON (Baltimore Ravens) was one of college football's most prolific passers during his four years at UCLA, where he ranks second on the school's all-time charts with 8,532 passing yards and 67 touchdowns... QB COREY BRAMLET is the younger brother of Hamburg Sea Devils passer Casey Bramlet. He started two years at Wyoming, throwing for 2,610 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior... RB JONATHAN SMITH helped the Admirals win a World Bowl in 2005, leading the team with 711 yards and 2 touchdowns. He scored on an 18-yard run in the title game win over Berlin... RB LARRY CROOM returns for a second season in Amsterdam and a third in NFL Europa. Played for Hamburg in 2005 and gained 427 rushing yards and scored 6 TDs last season. Started at RB for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2004 NFL regular season... WR SKYLER FULTON returns for a second season with the Admirals after leading the league with 53 receptions for 992 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2006. He set a new league record with six 100-yard receiving days in a single season... WR JUSTIN McCULLUM (Carolina Panthers) spent part of the 2006 season on Carolina's practice squad... WR HARRY WILLIAMS (Houston Texans) is a former college sprint star at Tuskegee who has practice squad experience with New York Jets, Chicago Bears and Houston... WR JUSTIN SURRENCY (Minnesota Vikings) earned All-Conference honors as a receiver and return man at Northern Iowa... TE ROB ABIAMIRI (Baltimore Ravens) boasts experience on Baltimore's practice squad... TE BEN HALL played for Amsterdam last season, catching 9 passes for 70 yards and 1 touchdown... C BRIAN
BARTHELMES (New England Patriots) has spent time on the practice squad of the AFC East champions... G TRE STALLINGS (Kansas City Chiefs) was a sixth round draft choice of the Chiefs in 2006. Played at left and right tackle positions during college career at Mississippi... G ADAM STENAVICH (Green Bay Packers) earned All-Big 10 honors at Michigan... T TONY PAPE (San Diego Chargers) earned All-Big 10 and All-America honors as a three-year starter at Michigan. Played for Berlin in NFL Europa in 2005... T MARKO CAVKA started every game at left tackle for the Admirals in 2006... DE WILLIE EVANS (New Orleans Saints) recorded 15 sacks as a senior at Mississippi State after beginning his college career as a fullback... DE TIM JONES is a former tight end who recorded 10.5 sacks during his college career at South Florida... DT LYNN McGRUDER (Seattle Seahawks) was a hero on and off the field during his college career at Oklahoma. In 2003, he pulled four passengers from a burning car following an automobile accident and then put out the fire... DT NORMAN HEUER won a World Bowl with the Admirals in 2005, recording 20 tackles and 1 sack... LB KURT KAHUI (San Diego Chargers) was a walk-on at San Diego State who became a starter in college and a member of the Chargers practice squad in 2006... LB DERRICK BALLARD returns for a third season with the Admirals. Recorded 30 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception last term and also scored on a league record 95-yard fumble return... LB GREG CAROTHERS won a World Bowl in Amsterdam two years ago, ranking second on the club with 58 tackles and 2 forced fumbles... LB CARL-JOHAN BJÖRK ranked second on Amsterdam's defense with 52 tackles in 2006... CB KEVIN GARRETT (Carolina Panthers) was a fifth round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2003. He played in 24 regular season games for the Rams and Houston Texans, recording 21 tackles and 4 passes defended... CB ABRAHAM ELIMIMIAN played for the Admirals in 2006, recording 35 tackles and 1 interception... S JAMIE THOMPSON (New York Jets) played three years at Oklahoma State, recording 181 tackles and 7.5 sacks... S GRANT MASON (Pittsburgh Steelers) started 13 games at Michigan and registered 105 tackles... K JARET JOHNSON played two seaons at Scottsdale Community College before transferring to Idaho State... P GLENN PAKULAK (Tennessee Titans) returns for a second season in NFL Europa after leading the league with an average of 42.1 yards on 34 punts in 2006.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 9
BERLIN THUNDER (0-0)Head Coach: John Allen (0-0 in NFLE) Colors: Black, green and gold
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Don Lawrence (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Adrian White (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 40-39-1 (2-7-1 in 2006)
MEDIA CONTACT: Cem Herder
LAST GAME: Lost 13-14 vs Frankfurt (5/20/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 18 pts/game; 275.4 yds/game (rank 5); 87.9 rush yds/game (rank 5); 187.5 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Passing: 2006 - Lang Campbell, 1,264 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Marty Johnson, 423 yds
Receiving: 2006 - Rich Musinski, 23 rec, 277 yds
DEFENSE: 2006 - 24.1 pts/game; 373.2 yds/game (rank 6); 147.8 rush yds/game (rank 6); 225.4 pass yds/game (rank 6)
Sacks: 2006 - Christian Mohr, 4.5
Interceptions: 2006 - Anthony Floyd, 4
- THIS WEEK: at RHEIN FIRE -
JOHN ALLEN begins his first season as head coach of the Berlin Thunder and says: "I'm really looking forward to the 2007 Berlin Thunder football team. I know our players are excited about the opportunity at hand and we're looking forward to the journey."... QB TRAVIS LULAY (Seattle Seahawks) threw for 10,746 yards and 58 touchdowns in four years at Montana State... QB OMAR JACOBS (Kansas City Chiefs) was a fifth round draft choice of Pittsburgh in 2006. Has practice squad experience with the Steelers and Philadelphia. Was a Heisman Trophy candidate during career at Bowling Green, where he threw for 6,938 yards, 71 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He begins the year on Injured Reserve after suffering an ankle injury in training camp... QB BRUCE EUGENE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) was in training camp with Frankfurt before being reassigned to Berlin... RB CHRIS BARCLAY (Cleveland Browns) spent the final two weeks of 2006 on Cleveland's active roster, playing against Tampa Bay. Is the career leader at Wake Forest after rushing for 4,032 yards and 40 touchdowns while posting 15 100-yard games... RB DAMIEN RHODES is one of the most productive backs in Syracuse history, ranking fifth on the all-time charts with 3,972 all-purpose yards and 24 rushing touchdowns... WR CARLTON BREWSTER (Green Bay Packers) was traded to Green Bay from Cleveland last August and spent the 2006 campaign on the Packers' practice squad. Caught 234 passes for 3,184 yards and 25 touchdowns to rank second on Ferris State receiving charts... WR RYAN HOAG (Washington Redskins) was a seventh round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2003 and was that draft's Mr. Irrelevant - the title given to the last overall selection. Has spent time on Minnesota's active roster and has practice squad experience with New York Giants and Washington... WR RICH MUSINSKI returns for a second season in Berlin after leading the Thunder with 23 receptions for 277 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2006... TE CHARLES DAVIS (New York Giants) was a fifth round draft choice of the Steelers in 2006. Started 33 games at Purdue and, at 6-foot-5 and 263 pounds, was also an imposing member of the school basketball team... C JASPER HARVEY (Philadelphia Eagles) was on the Eagles' practice squad during the 2006
campaign. Excelled as a run blocker at San Diego State... C/G ROB HUNT (Kansas City Chiefs) was a fifth round draft choice of Indianapolis in 2005. Has practice squad experience with Denver and played for the Rhein Fire in 2006... G MATT ULRICH (Indianapolis Colts) has played in 10 regular season games for the Colts (5 in 2005 and 5 in 2006)... G STEVEN VIEIRA was on Cincinnati's active roster in 2005 and played for the Hamburg Sea Devils in 2006... DE DAVE TOLLEFSON (Oakland Raiders) set a school record with 12.5 sacks as a senior at Northwest Missouri in 2005. Spent part of 2006 season on Green Bay's practice squad... DT BRYANT SHAW (Washington Redskins) played for the Scottish Claymores in 2001 and Berlin Thunder in 2002. Has NFL Europa figures of 21 tackles and 5 sacks... DT LAUVALE SAPE has played 10 regular season games for the Buffalo Bills (1 in 2003 and 9 in 2005), recording 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery... LB TIM GOODWELL (Green Bay Packers) was a two-year starter at Memphis, where he recorded 249 tackles and 7 sacks... LB JAMEEL DUMAS played for the Rhein Fire in 2006, recording 11 tackles on defense and 6 special teams stops... LB TIM CLARKE earned Division II All-American honors while becoming one of his school's best-ever defenders at Lenoir-Rhyne... CB DENNIS DAVIS (Seattle Seahawks) spent the 2006 NFL season on the practice squad of the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts. The former college sprinter recorded 72 tackles and 4 interceptions at Georgia Tech... CB JOSH LAY (St. Louis Rams) was a sixth round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints in 2006. Grabbed 5 interceptions and knocked down 37 passes in 19 starts at the University of Pittsburgh... CB CHRIS THOMPSON played in 12 games for the Chicago Bears in 2005, registering 10 tackles... CB CHRIS HARRELL earned a reputation as a hard hitter during his college career at Penn State... S ETRIC PRUITT (Detroit Lions) played three games for the Atlanta Falcons in 2004 and six for Seattle in 2005. Registered 8 tackles and 1 pass defense... S STEVE PARIS led his defensive unit as a senior at Iowa State in 2005, recording 65 tackles and 3 interceptions... German S OLIVER FLEMMING returns to the Thunder as one of the club's two continuity players. Recorded 31 tackles and 2 forced fumbles in 2006... K ANDREW JACAS played his college football at Fort Valley State, where he earned All-Conference honors as a kicker and punter... P D.J. FITZPATRICK handled kicking and punting duties at Notre Dame.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 10
COLOGNE CENTURIONS (0-0)Head Coach: David Duggan (4-6 in NFLE)Colors: Black, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Jeff Filkovski (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: John Lyons (2nd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 14-16
MEDIA CONTACT: Karsten Meier
LAST GAME: Lost 10-21 at Rhein (5/20/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 15.1 pts/game; 316.2 yds/game (rank 3); 145.8 rush yds/game (rank 2); 170.4 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Passing: - 2006 - Shane Boyd, 1,139 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Fred Russell, 522 yds
Receiving: 2006 - J. Broussard, 24 rec, R. Newhouse, 363 yds
DEFENSE: 2006 - 17 pts/game; 288.2 yds/game (rank 3); 127.3 rush yds/game (rank 4); 160.9 pass yds/game (rank 1)
Sacks: 2006 - Bryan Save, 4.5
Interceptions: 2006 - Kevin Curtis, 4
- THIS WEEK: at HAMBURG SEA DEVILS -
The Centurions will go in search of their first World Bowl berth in 2007 under the guidance of second-year head coach DAVID DUGGAN. Following preseason training camp in Florida, he says: "I like the makeup of our team. We have two quality running backs and a pretty big offensive line. And we have the chance to be a really good defense."... QB QUINTON PORTER (Houston Texans) was on Houston's active roster for the final four games of the 2006 season... QB ERIK MEYER was the 2005 Walter Payton Award winner while at Eastern Washington. The prize given to the best college football player in Division I-AA came after a season in which he threw for 3,616 yards, 26 touchdowns and 5 interceptions... RB DERRICK ROSS (Kansas City Chiefs) played in seven regular season games for KC in 2006, rushing for 8 yards on 3 carries and adding 6 special teams tackles and 1 forced fumble. Duggan says: "In Derrick Ross, we got the best running back in the entire NFL allocation to NFL Europa."... WR JOVON BOUKNIGHT became the Mountain West Conference's all-time leader with 250 catches for 3,626 yards while at Wyoming... WR GREG LEE (Arizona Cardinals) was on Arizona's practice squad in 2006. The native of Tampa, Florida, earned All-Big East honors at Pittsburgh in 2005... WR DAN SHELDON (Atlanta Falcons) has practice squad experience with Arizona (2005) and Chicago (2006). Led the NCAA while at Northern Illinois in 2004, averaging 22.7 yards on 21 punt returns. Added 94 catches for 1,986 yards and 18 touchdowns... WR BRIAN HARE (Indianapolis Colts) played two years at Purdue, catching 25 passes for 436 yards and 3 scores... WR BURL TOLER is the grandson of former NFL official Burl Toler, who served in the league from 1965-1989. He was the first African-American official in the NFL and served on the crew that worked Super Bowl XIV... TE TONY CURTIS (Dallas Cowboys) played in four regular season games for the Cowboys in 2006... TE BOBBY BLIZZARD played for Hamburg in 2005, catching 34 passes for 335 yards and 2 TDs... German TE WERNER
HIPPLER has played in a league record 97 regular season games... C GREG ESLINGER (Denver Broncos) was the 2005 Outland Trophy winner (given to college football's best interior lineman) at Minnesota. Earned All-American and All-Big 10 honors and was a sixth round draft pick of the Broncos in 2006... G KILI LEFOTU (Washington Redskins) was a seventh round draft choice of the NFC East club in 2006. Played 43 games at Arizona, starting in his final two seasons... T ALAN REUBER (Cincinnati Bengals) played in three regular season games for Arizona in 2004 and spent 2005 on the Cardinals' practice squad. Was on Cincinnati's practice squad in 2006... DE JASON HALL (Carolina Panthers) recorded 10 sacks in his final two seasons at Tennessee, earning All-SEC honors as a senior in 2005... DE TYLER KING returns for a second season in Cologne after recording 6 tackles and 2 sacks in 2006... DE DEVAN LONG was a three-time Pac-10 honorable mention at Oregon who recorded 22.5 sacks in three seasons as a starter... DT McKINLEY BOYKIN (New Orleans Saints) was a two-year starter at Mississippi who recorded 18 tackles for losses and 5 sacks... DT TOM JOHNSON (Indianapolis Colts) is a former defensive end who moved inside at Southern Mississippi... LB CRAIG KOBEL (Philadelphia Eagles) was a two-year starter at defensive end at South Florida... LB CLIFTON SMITH (Cleveland Browns) has played in two regular season games for Cleveland and Washington, recording 1 special teams tackle for the Browns in 2006. Started 44 of 47 games at Syracuse and notched 137 tackles... LB JOHN SALDI (Dallas Cowboys) was a three-time Big-12 honorable mention at Texas Tech... LB MARTIN PATTERSON was on Atlanta's practice squad in 2005. He registered 289 tackles and 5.5 sacks at Texas Christian University... French LB PHILIPPE GARDENT was NFL Europa's Co-Defensive MVP in 2006, leading the league with 70 tackles... CB GABE FRANKLIN (San Diego Chargers) has practice squad experience with the New York Giants. Set a school record with 18 career interceptions at Boise State... CB JERRON WISHOM (Minnesota Vikings) played in five regular season games with Green Bay in 2005, recording 6 tackles and defending 1 pass... CB KEVIN HOUSE played for Cologne in 2005, recording 18 tackles and 7 pass defenses... S ALVIN NNABUIFE (Green Bay Packers) recorded 4 interceptions as a senior at SMU and spent 2006 on Green Bay's practice squad... S KEVIN CURTIS grabbed a club record 4 interceptions for Cologne last season and added 42 tackles and 10 pass defenses... K NICK NOVAK (Chicago Bears) played in eight games for the Washington Redskins and Arizona Cardinals in 2005, converting 13 of 20 field goals (47 long) and all 25 PATs for a total of 64 points... P JOEL STELLY (Chicago Bears) was a Ray Guy Award candidate during his college career at Louisiana-Monroe.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 11
FRANKFURT GALAXY (0-0)Head Coach: Mike Jones (17-13) in NFLEL, plus 1-1 in World Bowl.Colors: Purple, orange, red and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Whitey Jordan (3rd season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Steve Carson (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 75-65 (7-3 in 2006)
MEDIA CONTACT: Joachim Haas
LAST GAME: Won 22-7 vs Amsterdam, WB XIV (5/27/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 17.2 pts/game; 340.4 yds/game (rank 1); 174.5 rush yds/game (rank 1); 165.9 pass yds/game (rank 6)
Passing: 2006 - Craig Ochs, 1,019 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Roger Robinson, 1,087 yds
Receiving: 2006 - Aaron Hosack, 36 rec, 473 yds
DEFENSE: 2005 - 16 pts/game; 270.6 yds/game (rank 1); 97.4 rush yds/game (rank 1); 173.2 pass yds/game (rank 2)
Sacks: 2006 - Jerome Nichols, 6.0
Interceptions: 2006 - Brandon Haw, 5
- THIS WEEK: vs AMSTERDAM ADMIRALS -
The Galaxy will begin the defense of their World Bowl crown against the team they defeated in Düsseldorf last spring, Amsterdam. Reigning Coach of the Year MIKE JONES says: "We cannot look at this game as a World Bowl re-match. We have to coach it as one of our home games that we would like to win this season. But we cannot go in thinking it is a must-win, pressure game for us."... QB J.T. O'SULLIVAN (Chicago Bears) returns for a second season in NFL Europa after leading the Galaxy to a World Bowl berth in 2004. Boasts NFL experience with New Orleans, Green Bay and Minnesota. During his last spell in Europe he threw for 1,527 yards and 10 touchdowns en route to a 91.9 passer rating... QB KEVIN EAKIN threw for 1,299 yards and 11 touchdowns with Frankfurt in 2005... RB DECORI BIRMINGHAM (New York Giants) was in camp with the Rhein Fire last season. He played 49 games for the Arkansas Razorbacks and rushed for 1,151 yards and 7 touchdowns. Set a school record with 1,321 yards on 61 kickoff returns... RB ANTHONY SHERRELL (Detroit Lions) spent part of the 2006 season on Detroit's active roster. Started 25 games during four-year career at Eastern Michigan and scored 28 touchdowns... WR JERMAINE JAMISON (Philadelphia Eagles) caught 124 passes for 1,608 yards during college career at Fresno State, ranking among the school's top 10 receivers... WR AARON HOSACK returns for a third season with the Galaxy. Has 58 receptions for 790 yards and 8 touchdowns in Frankfurt uniform... TE JAMIE PETROWSKI (Tennessee Titans) ended the 2006 campaign on Tennessee's practice squad. Caught 90 passes during college career at Indiana State... TE DAVID JONES earned All-SEC honors at Louisiana State... C CHARLES MISSANT returns for a second season with the Galaxy after starting nine regular season games in 2006... C JASON MURPHY (Seattle Seahawks) is a former defensive tackle who switched to offense late in his college career at Virginia Tech... G MATT McCHESNEY (New York Jets) played in three regular season games for the Jets in 2005... Veteran German DE DANIEL BENETKA will make the
most of 2007 after announcing he will retire at the end of the campaign... DE JUSTIN BROWN played for the Galaxy in 2006, recording 20 tackles and 2 sacks... DT REMI AYODELE recorded 4 sacks in 7 starts at Oklahoma. Brother, Akin, is a starting LB for the Dallas Cowboys... DT KENNY KING (Baltimore Ravens) was a fifth round draft pick of Arizona in 2003. Played in 11 games as a rookie, recording 18 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 forced fumble... LB JIMMY COTTRELL (Baltimore Ravens) started 45 games at New Mexico State. Earned All-WAC honors while leading the nation with 179 tackles as a senior in 2005... LB NICK REID (Kansas City Chiefs) started 40 games at Kansas, registering 416 tackles and 14 sacks. Was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2005... LB MATT SINCLAIR won a World Bowl ring in Frankfurt last season while recording 49 tackles and 3 sacks... CB SHIRDONYA MITCHELL (Miami Dolphins) spent his first two years at Missouri as a receiver. Played final two seasons at cornerback, recording a team-high 4 interceptions as a senior... CB BILL ALFORD was a key member of Frankfurt's secondary in 2006, recording 34 tackles and knocking down 4 passes... S JAMAR LANDROM (Jacksonville Jaguars) earned All-American honors at Tennessee State... S VICKIEL VAUGHN (San Francisco 49ers) was a seventh round draft choice of the 49ers in 2006. The hard-hitting safety returned two interceptions for touchdowns during his college career at Arkansas... K RHYS LLOYD was a youth team soccer player for Premiership champions Chelsea before his parents emigrated to the United States from England. He starred at the University of Minnesota and has training camp experience with Baltimore and Green Bay... P JEFF WILLIAMS averaged a Division II record 44.9 yards on 240 career punts at Adams State.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 12
HAMBURG SEA DEVILS (0-0)Head Coach: Vince Martino (0-0 in NFLE)Colors: Dark blue, teal, red
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: N/A
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Dan Daniel (3rd season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 8-11-1
MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas Bothstede
LAST GAME: Won 34-21 at Amsterdam (5/20/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 19.4 pts/game; 275 yds/game (rank 6); 99.7 rush yds/game (rank 4); 175.3 pass yds/game (rank 4)
Passing: 2006 - Brock Berlin, 1,041 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Mike Jemison, 368 yds
Receiving: 2006 - Scott McCready, 41 rec, 486 yds
DEFENSE: 2006 - 19.3 pts/game; 329.8 yds/game (rank 5); 109.4 rush yds/game (rank 4); 220.4 pass yds/game (rank 5)
Sacks: 2006 - Scott Scharff, 6.0
Interceptions: 2006 - Rayshun Reed, 3
- THIS WEEK: vs COLOGNE CENTURIONS -
The Sea Devils will be guided through their third season in NFL Europa by former offensive coordinator VINCE MARTINO, who became head coach of the club during training camp when Jack Bicknell resigned due to health issues. Ahead of his debut game in charge, Martino says: "We're not worried about the second or third game of the season. We take them one at a time and that way we're totally prepared for Cologne."... QB CASEY BRAMLET (Washington Redskins) returns for a second season in NFL Europa after leading the Sea Devils in 2005. He threw for 1,463 yards and 7 touchdowns in Hamburg's inaugural season... QB ROD RUTHERFORD is a strong-armed, exciting free agent who spent two seasons with the Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Set single season passing records at the University of Pittsburgh in 2003 by throwing for 3,679 yards... RB QUENTIN GRIFFIN was a fourth round draft choice of Denver in 2003. He started five games for the Broncos in 2003-04, rushing for 656 yards and 2 touchdowns. Added 18 receptions for 129 yards and 1 score. Rushed for 3,756 yards and 44 touchdowns at Oklahoma...RB JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON (St. Louis Rams) is the son of Hollywood actor Denzel Washington. He spent 2006 on the Rams' practice squad after rushing for 3,699 yards and 34 touchdowns in 36 starts at Morehouse... WR MARCUS MAXWELL (San Francisco 49ers) was a seventh round draft choice of the NFC West club in 2005 and played in four regular season games as a rookie... WR KYLE SMITH (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) is the son of San Diego Chargers' general manager A.J. Smith. Caught 101 passes in 37 games at Youngstown State... WR SCOTT McCREADY returns for a third season in Hamburg and a sixth campaign in NFLEL. Ranks second on the all-time charts with 182 receptions for 2,079 yards... WR RASHAUN WOODS was chosen in the first round of the 2004 draft by San Francisco. Will become just the seventh NFL first round draft pick to play in NFLE. Caught 7 passes for 160 yards and 1 touchdown during rookie
2004 season with the 49ers... Was a Big 12 record setter at Oklahoma State, where he caught 293 passes for 4,414 yards and 42 touchdowns... English WR DWAIN CHAMBERS will make his American football debut - at any level - when he faces the Centurions having made the switch from the world of track and field... TE TEYO JOHNSON (Denver Broncos) was a second round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders in 2003. Started in nine of his 30 NFL appearances, catching 26 passes for 288 yards and 3 touchdowns... TE MIKE PINKARD won a World Bowl with Berlin in 2004 when he caught 22 passes for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns... C RYAN GIBBONS (Jacksonville Jaguars) missed just one game during his career as a four-year starter at Northeastern... G STEVE SCIULLO (Carolina Panthers) was a fourth round draft choice of Indianapolis in 2003 and was named to Pro Football Weekly's All-Rookie team. Started 13 games as a rookie before moving on to Philadelphia in 2004. Has played in a total of 28 regular season games with 18 starts... G MIKE BRISIEL (Houston Texans) was on Houston's practice squad in 2006. Earned All-Conference honors at Colorado State... T JEREMY PARQUET (St. Louis Rams) is an imposing figure at 6-foot-6 and 321 pounds. Was a seventh round draft choice of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2005 and was on the 53-man roster for his rookie campaign... DE JIMMY VERDON (Cincinnati Bengals) was a seventh round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints in 2005. He played in four regular season games as a rookie and batted down 1 pass... DE NATHANIEL ADIBI (Tennessee Titans) has practice squad experience with Miami and Jacksonville after being selected in the fifth round of the 2004 draft by Pittsburgh... DT TIM SANDIDGE (St. Louis Rams) was on Kansas City's active roster during the 2006 NFL season. Started 14 games at Virginia Tech and recorded career totals of 120 tackles and 7.5 sacks... LB JAMES HARGRAVE (Detroit Lions) is an explosive defender who earned All-Big East honors as a senior at Connecticut... LB BYRON HARDMON played for the Sea Devils in 2006 and made 36 tackles... English LB ADEN DURDE recorded 28 tackles for the Sea Devils last season... CB LAMONT REID (Denver Broncos) played in 10 regular season games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2005, notching 16 tackles and 6 special teams stops... CB JUSTIN WYATT (Arizona Cardinals) is a former wide receiver who registered 94 tackles and 2 interceptions at USC... CB MICHAEL HARDEN played for Berlin in 2005 and made 21 tackles and 2 interceptions... S DAVID RICHARDSON (Jacksonville Jaguars) played in 13 games for the AFC South Club from 2004-06, recording 7 tackles... S SHAWN MAYER returns for a third season in Hamburg after earning All-NFLEL honors in 2005 and recording a team-high 57 tackles in 2006... K SHANE ANDRUS (Indianapolis Colts) made 26 of 36 field goals during a two-year college career at Murray State University... P ADAM ANDERSON (Atlanta Falcons) returns for a second season with the Sea Devils after averaging 40.9 yards on 50 punts in 2006.
TEAM BY TEAM CAPSULES NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 13
RHEIN FIRE (0-0)Head Coach: Rick Lantz (18-11-1 in NFLE,Plus 1-1 in World Bowls)Colors: Burgundy, black and white
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Don Eck (1st season)
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR: Larry New (1st season)
ALL-TIME FRANCHISE RECORD: 64-56 (6-4 in 2006)
MEDIA CONTACT: Markus Müller
LAST GAME: Won 21-10 vs Cologne (5/20/06)
OFFENSE: 2006 - 20.7 pts/game; 310 yds/game (rank 4); 120.3 rush yds/game (rank 3); 189.7 pass yds/game (rank 2)
Passing: 2006 - Drew Henson, 1,321 yds
Rushing: 2006 - Fred Jackson, 731 yds
Receiving: 2006 - Chris Samp, 32 rec, 400 yds
DEFENSE: 2006 - 16.5 pts/game; 275.4 yds/game (rank 2); 98.8 rush yds/game (rank 2); 176.6 pass yds/game (rank 3)
Sacks: 2006 - Derrick Strong, 5.0
Interceptions: 2006 - Ronyell Whitaker, 4
- THIS WEEK: vs BERLIN THUNDER -
Former World Bowl winner and Coach of the Year RICK LANTZ takes charge of the Rhein Fire for the 2007 season having spent the previous three seasons in charge of the club he faces this weekend, the Berlin Thunder. Lantz says: "I think our training camp went very, very well and we stayed healthy, which is important. We are a united team and we look forward to representing Düsseldorf."... QB BRETT ELLIOTT (San Diego Chargers) won 23 of 24 games he started at Division III Linfield College and was an All-American. Spent the 2006 season on San Diego's practice squad... QB CODY PICKETT was a seventh round draft choice of the San Francisco 49ers in 2004 who went on to start two games in the 2005 campaign... RB GERALD RIGGS (Chicago Bears) is the son of the former Pro Bowl rusher of the same name who played for the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins... RB TAUREAN HENDERSON (Atlanta Falcons) set an NCAA record for most catches by a running back (303, including 98 as a freshman), while earning All-Big 12 honors at Texas Tech. He became just the third player in NCAA history to register 3,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards. Spent the last two months of 2006 on Atlanta's practice squad... RB JIMMY DIXON played for Hamburg in 2006 and rushed for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns... WR P.K. SAM (Miami Dolphins) was a fifth round draft pick of the New England Patriots in 2004. Played in two regular season games as a rookie... WR CEDRIC BONNER (Washington Redskins) played in NFL Europa with Rhein and Hamburg in 2005. Saw regular season action with Buffalo in 2003, recording 1 special teams tackle... WR C.J. BREWER (San Francisco 49ers) spent the 2006 season on San Francisco's practice squad after playing one season at Wyoming... WR J.J. OUTLAW (Philadelphia Eagles) is the son of John Outlaw, who played for the New England Patriots & Philadelphia Eagles from 1968-1978... TE SEAN MULCAHY (Cincinnati Bengals) played for Amsterdam last season. He played defensive tackle at Connecticut before switching to offense... C JONATHAN CLINKSCALE (Tampa Bay
Buccaneers) has practice squad experience with Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. Registered 24 pancake blocks as a senior at Wisconsin... G JIMMY MARTIN (Minnesota Vikings) spent the 2006 season on the Vikings practice squad. Was an All-ACC selection at Virginia Tech... German G PETER HEYER has NFL experience with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs... T TAVARES WASHINGTON (San Francisco 49ers) was a San Francisco practice squad member in 2006. Played two seasons at Florida, starting 12 of 18 games. Began his career at Mississippi Delta Junior College as a defensive lineman... T TROY REDDICK was a three-year starter and two-time All-Conference selection at Auburn... DE MATTHEW RICE (Detroit Lions) started 31 of 44 games at Penn State, recording 147 tackles and 17 sacks. Was on Detroit's practice squad in 2006... DE DERRICK STRONG earned All-NFLE honors with the Fire last season as he registered 25 tackles and a team-leading 5 sacks. Also played for the Fire in 2005, recording 20 tackles and 3.5 sacks... DE ZACH VILLE returns for a second season with the Fire after notching 16 tackles and 2 sacks last year... DT MICHAEL BOZEMAN (Atlanta Falcons) spent the 2006 season on Atlanta's practice squad after recording 51 tackles and 1 sack in 11 starts as a senior at Mississippi... DT ALEX GUERRERO (Minnesota Vikings) is a native of the Dominican Republic who started 25 of 52 games at Boise State, recording 105 tackles and 8 sacks... LB RICHARD KOONCE (Pittsburgh Steelers) earned a reputation as a pass-rushing threat at East Carolina... LB DEREK REHAGE (Pittsburgh Steelers) was a sure-tackling starting middle linebacker at Miami of Ohio... CB CARLOS HENDRICKS (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) played cornerback and safety at UAB, grabbing 172 tackles and 5 interceptions... S ANDRE MADDOX (Minnesota Vikings) is a tough, hard-hitting strong safety who was a mainstay of his school's defense while at North Carolina State... S JERMAINE HARDY (San Francisco 49ers) has practice squad experience with the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Boasts 4.4 speed and is especially effective in run support... German S RICHARD YANCY returns for an eighth season in NFL Europa and a sixth campaign with the Fire. Has NFL practice squad experience with San Francisco and San Diego... K CONNOR HUGHES (Pittsburgh Steelers) broke several school records and earned All-Conference honors during college career at Virginia... P DANNY BAUGHER (New England Patriots) earned All-American honors during a stellar college career at Arizona.
THIS WEEK'S MATCHUPS NFL Europa 2007, Week 1 - Page 14
COLOGNE CENTURIONS (0-0)
at HAMBURG SEA DEVILS (0-0)
AOL Arena, Hamburg, Saturday April 14, 6:00 p.m.
Overall: Cologne leads 3-1
At Hamburg: Series tied 1-1
At Cologne: Cologne leads 2-0
Streak: Cologne 2
Last season: Cologne 14 at Hamburg 10; Hamburg 17 at Cologne 20
US: DELAY/ NFL Network (4:00 p.m. ET, Saturday April 14)
Play-by-play announcer CHRIS CARLIN is joined in the booth by former Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders fullback JON RITCHIE.
DAVID DUGGAN recorded two victories over the Sea Devils in his first season as a head coach. He spent the previous two years serving as Cologne's defensive coordinator. His unit led the league in total defense in 2004 and 2005. Served as defensive coordinator of the Berlin Thunder from 2001 to 2003, during which time he won two World Bowl rings... VINCE MARTINO makes his head coaching debut after taking control of the Sea Devils during training camp. Has worked alongside former head coach Jack Bicknell since the inaugural 1991 campaign. Won a World Bowl ring with the Barcelona Dragons in 1997. Has also coached with the Scottish Claymores.
A repeat of the 2006 season opener which Cologne won by a 14-10 score at AOL Arena... The Centurions won both encounters last season and lead the all-time series by 3-1... Battle between NFL Europa's two newest franchises. Cologne began play in the league in 2004 and the Sea Devils were born in 2005... Neither club has reached a World Bowl...
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National Football League Europa Stories from April 10, 2007
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