The 2018-19 NFL season came to a conclusion last Sunday as the New England Patriots won yet another Super Bowl. In years past, that would mean players and fans alike would begin their long, seven month countdown to the return of football in September- but, not anymore.
The Alliance of American Football is a league created to compliment the NFL during its offseason and give fringe players a chance to develop and prove themselves in hope of making an NFL roster the following season.
There are nine former Tennessee Volunteers on rosters across the AAF, with the majority of them playing for the local Memphis Express; however, the most recognizable name of all of them may be quarterback Matt Simms.
The former Vol quarterback was selected in the second round of the AAF QB draft by the Atlanta Legends. He would go on to beat out the teams first round pick, former UGA quarterback, Aaron Murray to win the week one starting quarterback job.
While the game itself was fairly entertaining, it did not go as well as Simms had hoped for. He started the game 4/4 and looked as if he was in command of the Atlanta offense on the first drive. Things would go south quickly, however, as Simms would get picked off twice in the game while going a shaky 15/28 and mustering just 126 yards through the air for zero touchdowns. He would eventually be replaced by Murray, who would throw an interception of his own.
Simms, the son of NFL great Phil Simms, played for the University of Tennessee from 2010-2011. He started eleven games for the Vols in 2010 and threw for 1,460 yards with eight touchdowns and five interceptions. He would eventually lose the starting job to Tyler Bray late in the season. Simms saw brief action in 2011 with injuries to Bray but continued to struggle in seven games completing just 43% of his passes for 319 yards to go along with zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
You can catch several other former Vols in action as week one of the AAF wraps up with a two game Sunday slate. The Memphis Express take on the Birmingham Iron at 4PM eastern and have seven players who have donned the Power T.
Former fan favorites like WR Pig Howard and RB Raijon Neal headline the group of past Tennessee players. OL Dallas Thomas, DL Montori Hughes, DL/LB Corey Vereen, LB Colton Jumper, and DB Justin Martin will all be suiting up for the Express. TE Cameron Clear, who played just two games for the Vols in 2011 also was on the sideline for the San Antonio Commanders but did not record any statistics.