The National Football League is approaching its’ climax, as the 2019 season is all but over. However, there will still be football to watch after the Super Bowl. For those who need a year-round football fix, the Alliance of American Football will kick off its’ inaugural season on Saturday, February 9th. While the competition won’t match that of the NFL, quite a few NFL veterans found their way into the league. The Salt Lake Stallions are no exception, as they have several familiar faces scattered across their roster.
Alliance of American Football Teams: The San Antonio Commanders
The San Antonio Commanders selected quarterback Dustin Vaughan in the first round of the AAF Quarterback Draft. While he’s not guaranteed to be the starter, he certainly has the highest odds. Vaughan has his share of NFL experience, originally signing with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent back in 2014. Vaughan surprised everyone when he cracked the 53-man roster as the teams’ third-string quarterback; however, he never made it onto the field.
Vaughan couldn’t make the Cowboys roster in 2015 and signed with the Buffalo Bills practice squad. Since then, the West Texas A&M product bounced around the league, making brief cameos with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Vaughan was a three-year starter at West Texas, appearing in 30 games and starting 25. During that time, Vaughan established himself as one of the most prolific passers in school history. On his career, Vaughan completed 62.5% of his passes for 8,124 yards, 70 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. His passing yards are the third-most in school history, and he brought West Texas to the NCAA semifinal for the first time in school history back in 2012.
The Head Coach
Leading the San Antonio Commanders into battle is head coach Mike Riley. Riley has a wide array of experience, boasting head coaching experience at the collegiate level to go along with stints in the NFL and CFL.
Riley, age 65, has a 112-99 record as a collegiate head coach, including an impressive 7-3 record in collegiate ball. The 2008 Pac-10 Coach of the Year spent the 2018 season serving as a consultant for the Oregon State Beavers. Prior to that, Riley spent the 2015-2017 seasons as the head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Riley won a Bowl Game in his first season with the Cornhuskers and led the team to a 9-4 record during the 2016 season.
Not only does Riley have experience on the sideline, but he also has some experience on the field. During his collegiate days, Riley played for the Alabama Crimson Tide as a backup defensive back. While he didn’t have the biggest role on the team, Riley was part of quite a few strong teams. The Crimson Tide won the SEC title each year Riley played, and even won the 1973 UPI National Championship.
Other Notable Players
The San Antonio Commanders have two familiar faces at the running back position in David Cobb and Daryl Richardson. Cobb first entered the NFL back as a 2015 fifth-round pick and has one year of NFL experience under his belt. During his lone year with the Tennessee Titans, Cobb ran the ball 52 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. His 2.8 yards-per-carry left a lot to be desired and he couldn’t make final cuts in 2016. Since last playing a snap, Cobb has made brief cameos with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, and Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Daryl Richardson, meanwhile, actually showed a bit of promise on the NFL stage. A seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Richardson put together a promising rookie season with the St. Louis Rams. Playing in all 16 games, Richardson recorded 475 yards on 98 rushing attempts, good for 4.8 yards-per-carry. He also posed a slight threat in the passing game, finishing his season with 24 receptions for 163 yards.
Unfortunately, Richardson was never able to repeat his rookie heroics. Richardson played on three different teams over the next three seasons, recording a combined 77 carries for 222 yards. Richardson last played with the Indianapolis Colts, but was only on the roster for three days and never appeared in a game.
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