SAN ANTONIO — Sione Teuhema was busy relocating the lifetime of somebody else that he missed the call potentially altering his.

His Co Worker and he, Jerry, had a job. Bills needed to be paid. As Jerry drove to the destination of the customer before they drifted the contents into the new house teuhema packed the truck then rode together.

The call went to voicemail. Just after the move failed Teuhema inform Jerry about that, also listen to the message out of Phil Savage, the GM of the Arizona Hotshots.

“I told the motorist,” Teuhema explained. “Like,’Oh, hell , I’m playing football .'”

Two days later, teuhema quit the job that is moving.

The hot-shots procured Teuhema’s rights from the player allocation draft of the Alliance of American Football, which begins its inaugural season on Saturday. The linebacker may be the sort of player for whom the AAF was created. He also spent two years at LSU, has been kicked off the team — for”a couple off-field incidents,” he said — and resurfaced with the Southeastern Louisiana Lions. He went undrafted in 2018 and engaged in rookie minicamps together with the and the .

He was not signed. He guessed football was first done and found a job. Savage called.

The AAF is a team of opportunities and last opportunities, of closure and comebacks. Of finding a way to continue playing football and creating thickness the doesn’t always have enough time to develop.

Players aren’t getting rich — maybe not in their non-guaranteed contracts worth $250,000. But it’s a path straight back to a cash back. For most those 416 players on the eight AAF rostersthey hold out hope of one day getting there for the very first time or hitting the again.

Everyone else here — players, coaches, general managers and Bill Polian — was waived, fired or gone unsigned. At some point, the told them that they were not good enough.

And they still want to play.

“That is why I predict this league’football in its purest form’ because money has never changed this the way it can in a professional football or other sports,” said coach Mike Martz, among those couple with minimal desire to come back for the . “It is just enough. You’re playing with this match since you adore this game and you also like to continue playing it.

“That is why I presume that it’s the purest. There isn’t any additional changes other than the pure love for this particular match .”


Denard Robinson was in Jacksonville, Florida. teams ceased calling a long time. Robinson switched to running because he was not an passer and the team had to embrace the sort of crime in once a star quarterback at Michigan.

He hadn’t played together with Jacksonville, although robinson lasted four seasons. No one signed him — although He’d workouts using the Jets in 20 17, where he said tried converting him to cornerback and Chicago. He appeared retired if he was not.

Afterward his agent called and told him. He was unsure. The CFL had predicted, however, he had turned down them. The blend of pay, tax prices and being in , far out of his young son, was not palatable. This opportunity was closer. The money was decent. However he knew nothing concerning the AAF.

The 28-year-old was sick of flying to do the look and sitting on his sofa in Florida. Yet Robinson was not fully ready to pursue post-playing plans. He had sketched out playbooks to use should coaching was pursued by him and had written his thoughts and memories down for a potential publication about his own life and his time at Michigan, where he revered.

He was still uneasy about this.

“Started writing down lots of stuff as well as look, you have an opportunity to play football again and receive money for this, something that you always dreamed about,” Robinson said. “Although it’s not exactly the , it’s something. Some thing you might do for a few months and whether or not it’s not what you h to do for the next two, three years, then get into your life.”

So he decided to play but had to get in shape first. Robinson said he weighed 240 lbs in November and”needed a Gucci Mane belly” — a gigantic shift from his period at Michigan, when he was maybe 180 lbs. He looked in the mirror, even larger than he had ever been in his lifetime, and wondered,”What on earth are you doing?”

Robinson fell 25 lbs to accomplish 215. He wants to get down to 200 pounds finally, though he might never return to his previous weight . Along the way, he guessed this is a chance. The may possibly see his tape. Give him one more shot.

In case it really doesn’t, he turn 30’ll play for 2 seasons and use it as a bridge. It’d allow him to end football on his provisions. He began mentoring backs over the Atlanta Legends — much like Justin Forsett and Maurice Jones Drew failed for him when the Jaguars drafted him. He’s given younger players who haven’t undergone pass protection and footwork’s little tricks he was educated as a newcomer.

“I h to go back to the and this really is some thing that I could say,’Hey,'” Robinson said. “Occasionally I get within that coaching mode while I’m here. I start thinking like,’okay this may be.’ Materials like this. This really is how I would do it, too When I was a head trainer. This really is how I would do it, When I was a coordinator. When I was a running coach, I would like to know it in this way.”

His offensive coordinator in Atlanta is Michael Vick, among the boyhood idols. His mind trainer was assumed to function as offensive guru Brad Childress. Later Childress resigned but by the end of the initial week of training camp, who shifted.

That is not the . Robinson knew that. In a team of early chances and last opportunities, his new trainer has been getting his own shot.


Kevin Coyle walked into the area at the Dub Farris Athletic Complex in San Antonio for its Legends’ fourth practice of training camp. He did not know the end of your afternoon, he would be coaching the team.

On coordinating the defense He’d proposed. Yet Childress was not there. Coyle was told to conduct clinic. So he conducted the work out — he did not think it that unusual — things happen.

“back this afternoon expecting that it was probably likely to be some thing which has been ironed out by the time we came off the practice field,” Coyle said. “Clearly it was not. Things happened fast.

“The next thing I knew, I was in this specific position and coping with team, coping with practices, programs, everyone in the company now that you must communicate with, by the trainers to the equipment visitors to the director of football ops for my friend Frank [Kleha, the team’s PR manager ].”

He’s explaining this while sitting in the San Antonio Marriott Northwest’s M Club, where his team stayed throughout training camp for monthly. The Pro Bowl is on the tv screen behind him. They are a long way out of this. Their meeting rooms are in the Sam Houston ballrooms — the crime is in Salon C — and a curtain divides them by a hall way slumping as the makeshift equipment room. A sign for weigh-ins says that they happened before this morning from the hotel’s gym.

A career helper in his chance coaching football that was possible ended up with his very first shot leading a team.

“Over 40 decades,” Coyle said. “But it’s never been a driving force for me. I truly enjoyed being a coordinator on defense, having your own side of the chunk that you really were a lot enjoy, you are a general, you have your troops here and you also do something .”

Still, notes were gathered by him on what he would do in case it happened. The night of the promotionthat he took a calendar blotter, stared at the days and mapped his vision — a little unique from Childress’. Throughout extending coyle added a boom box for music. Shifted clinic times. Altered plot.

Coyle knows his hiring has been a shift. But everybody else in this team knows hallucinations may happen; player then player on team after team referred to it as a startup industry instead of a football surgery that is nascent. This happened for a noticeable person — Childress is one of a couple coaches who left the AAF. The others, like offensive coordinator-turned- quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna, had major or college jobs to head to.

And that is clearly a goal of the league people to better gigs.


Malachi Jones never played a regular season match, but he has seen enough football to believe in this league. The son of former Notre Dame captain Andre Jones, godson of Raghib Ismail and brother of receiver TJ Jones, he has seen the game at its highest degree.

His path is complicated. After four years at Appalachian Statehe was in training camp with the . Where he was 20 17 Rookie of town for its High Country Grizzlies after being trimmed, he played with in the National Arena League.

He signed with Albany of the Arena Football League last year, making Receiver of the Year honors and Rookie of the Year . He signed with the .

Childress a offensive consultant, told him. The trainer said when Chicago, he was cut him, he needs to play in it. Jones, who left little money in the AFL (between $20,000 and $40,000) and functioned part-time at his mommy’s faculty in the offseason, saw linking the AAF being a multi-fold opportunity: Make better money. Get tape that is much better. Play football.

He believed staying together with Albany. He was on his way to becoming an Arena star. But the allure of rendering it was too muchbetter.

“I just visualize it as another chance,” Jones said. “This league, the idea around it, I believe that it’s an great idea. It provides guys like myself and other players who have been in pre-seasons and also haven’t experienced a stint in the or had multiple stints at the , it provides guys an opportunity to have that successful movie that why not a training squad player might not get.”

So he also signed. He figures at worst, it’s really a chance for benefits, salary and a chance for your own graphic design major to take advantage of their league programs that are educational and internship.

This team is currently giving him what it’s providing many individuals in it, from coaches to players and even support team to managers: Still another shot on top.

“It is all about hitting the right team at the right time,” Jones said. “Not saying that the associations I was with prior, that I was not good enough to play there or anything it could be, but I was not the right fit at the right moment.

“And I feel as when I continue pressing and maintain creating good tape and showing teams whom I’m a team player and eager to do such a thing to get the club better, I always feel as if I will reach the right company at the right moment.”

That is the dream of American Football’s Alliance.