What AAF Team Should You Root For? Pt.7 – The San Antonio Commanders

After Tom Brady took a knee to bring the clock to triple zeros in Super Bowl LIII, the NFL season had officially concluded on Sunday night. Lucky for all of us, that horrible excuse of a game will not be our final taste of football until August, as the Alliance of American Football League kicks off their inaugural season this Saturday on CBS.

With the league being brand new, unless you live in one of the eight cities that has a team or know someone who is playing in the AAF, you are probably wondering who to root for.

Luckily for all of you, I have a bit of a gambling problem and not much else to do, so I have spent the entire day looking over each team’s roster. After looking everything over, I can honestly say that I am excited to check things out this weekend.

Below are my notes on every team. Hopefully this serves as some insight for the first games this weekend, which I am 100% going to put a ton of money on because, well, it’s football, folks.

Team #1 – The Arizona Hotshots

Team #2 – The Atlanta Legends

Team #3 – The Birmingham Ironbirds

Team #4 – The Memphis Express

Team #5 – The Orlando Apollos

Team #6 – The Salt Lake Stallions

Team #7 – The San Antonio Commanders

Full disclosure, the Commanders are my favorite team. I might have gave a high review earlier to the Atlanta Legends but there is just something about this team that makes me want to cheer for them.

The Commanders are led by Mike Riley. I honestly don’t understand how Riley earned this job but he’s my teams head coach so I wont ask any questions about it. He has a little NFL experience but is best known for his time with Oregon State, which has never been an incredible program, especially during his time there.

However, what this team lacks in the coaching department is made up for by the front office, which is headlined by gratified badass, Daryl Johnson.

I am a firm believer that Johnson should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. His stats might not be amazing but I think he has had a great impact on the game of football. Johnson was a three time Super Bowl champion, a two time pro bowler and was the lead blocker for the man who rushed for the most yards in NFL history.

Johnson serves as the GM for the Commanders, so you know this team’s pad level will be low and grit level will be high.

Their most notable player is probably Greg Ward Jr. who was a quarterback for the University of Houston a few seasons ago. While Ward was a stud for the Cougars, leading them to a Peach Bowl victory over Florida State in 2016, he never really grabbed the attention of NFL scouts and went undrafted.

After getting a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Eagles last season, Ward decided to give the NFL a break and try his hand in the AAF, where he will play receiver for the Commanders. Standing at only 5’10, he will probably be used in the slot. However, being that this league forces teams to go for two points every time, I’d imagine we will see him in a wildcat package.

Oddly enough, Ward isn’t even the most interesting receiver on his team. That title belongs to Darius Prince, who owns probably the best story in the entire league.

A former D3 basketball player at Penn State Beaver University, Prince decided to peruse a career in football after his attempt to play professional basketball over seas did not pan out. In a matter of four years, Prince went from playing semi pro football in Pittsburgh to being named the MVP of Arena Bowl XXX.

His success in the AFL earned him a camp invite from the Philadelphia Eagles but unfortunately he was let go by the Birds after just a few weeks. At 28, he is one of the older players on his team but ironically, he has played probably the least amount of football.

Other local players on this team include former Steelers receiver. Demarcus Ayers. former Pitt Offensive lineman, Jaryd Jones-Smith and former Penn State Linebacker, Deion Barnes.

I don’t know what to expect from this group but damnit, I will be rooting for them. They are underdogs but I think they might have enough of that “first man in, last man out” mentality to make them a legit threat to win it all.

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