United States Football League - Revisited

...where football is still a game!

Welcome to the USFL Revisited!

Welcome to the USFL-Revisited!  This site is a collection of information regarding the original United States Football League (1983-85).  Extensive research of actual team rosters, transactions, and statistics have been documented within the pages of this site via individual team pages, final league standings and end of season awards, and the entire league schedule which contains links to individual game box scores, online video clips, and historical newspaper articles for each of the games from the opener to the USFL Championship game. 

As a primer for the site, I've created an original season preview for each of the 12 franchises using research from actual 1983 publications below.  For additional information, please check out the Links and References pages for listings of online and historical print / video resources.

1984 - Work in Progress

May 16, 2015 - 1984 Schedule page and all box scores (regular season and post-season) are now completed.  See the 84_sched pullldown above or by clicking the 84_sched link itself. 

With Google newspaper archive search no longer able to use publication dates within the search criteria appropriately, I was struggling to find the historical news articles for each game.  However, yesterday I was able to determine a way to search without dates and find the specific articles of interest.  As such, I have begun adding the online article links to each box score.  I have only completed links for Week 1 and Week 2 as of today.  It should be noted that I am reviewing each article in an attempt to prevent duplication between links.  Thus each article link should provide some unique information not available at the other links from each game.

All team pages are completed (1984 link on ribbon at top of page above or via its pulldown menu) except for the San Antonio Gunsligers. Despite checking several references, I hit a roadblock while researching the San Antonio Gunslingers' transactions that I could not figure out.  I will be looking into this next as I am now actively seeking additional references before continuing.  Appreciate all who have checked out the site! 

Arizona Wranglers 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Copper, Flag Blue, Gold, and Red
Stadium – Sun Devil Stadium (75,000 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 16,100
Owner – Jim Joseph
Chief Operating Officer – Harry Hulmes
Head Coach – Doug Shivey

HEAD COACH PROFILE: First-time head coach Doug Shively has served as an assistant coach for the last 21 seasons, the last nine of which in the NFL.  Shively's defensive coaching prowess has been most prevalent during his most recently job as the Atlanta Falcons linebacking coach under head coach Leeman Bennett (1977-82).  His tutelage of the Falcon linebackers helped the “Grits Blitz” set a modern-day record by allowing a stingy 129 points in 14 games in 1977, an average of 9.2 points per game.  In 1980, Falcon linebackers Buddy Curry and Al Richardson shared NFL co-Rookies of the Year honors as Atlanta won their first division title in franchise history.  Shively also served in the NFL as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints (1974-76).

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  The Wranglers have lagged behind their USFL brethren since the league's inception.  After struggling to lay down roots in Los Angeles, owner Jim Joseph relocated his franchise to Phoenix just three months after the league's initial press conference.  Over the next four months, Joseph negotiated in vain with such college coaches as Illinois' Mike White, San Jose State's Jack Elway, UCLA's Terry Donahue, and Brigham Young's LaVell Edwards before finally hiring Harry Hulmes to serve as the team's general manager. 

The long delay in organizing the front office has placed the Wranglers at an apparent disadvantage.  Hulmes finally filled the head coach position with longtime NFL assistant Doug Shively several days after the USFL draft.  Upon Shively's arrival, the Wranglers had only signed 68 players to make-good contracts as compared to other USFL clubs who had signed as many as 200 players leading up to training camp.  With only 5 of the team's 24 open draft picks signed and most of the second-tier NFL talent already with other teams, the Wranglers have set their sights on lesser college prospects to fill out their roster.  As a result, Shively finds himself with a roster that includes 41 rookies and only three players with 3 or more years of professional experience.

Offensively, Shively looks to employ a “Bill Walsh-style” passing offense equally mixed with the run.  In a surprising decision, Shively has tabbed Todd Krueger (R – Northern Michigan) as his opening day starter at quarterback.  The left-handed rookie beat out 3-year NFL veteran Dan Manucci and fellow rookie Alan Risher (R – LSU) by leading the offense to four touchdowns in his limited time within three pre-season games.  Mike Smith (1 yr – ATL) and Neil Balholm (R – BYU) will line-up outside though tight ends Phil Denfeld (R – Wake Forest) and Mark Keel (R – Arizona) are expected the contribute significantly as pass receivers.  Krueger will be joined in the starting backfield by halfback Curtis Bledsoe (2 yrs – KC) and fullback Darryl Clark (R – Texas), though Calvin Murray (2 yrs – PHI) is expected to see a lot of playing time from off the bench.  Terry Falcon (4 yrs – NE/NYG), the most experienced veteran on the roster, will anchor the offensive line as the starting left tackle.

The strength of Shively's 3-4 defense will likely be the safeties.  Aaron Mitchell (3 yrs – DAL/TB), the most recognizable NFL veteran on the roster, has fully recovered from the punctured lung that ended his last professional season and he will be joined by two-time All-American Tommy Wilcox (R – Alabama).  Local products highlight the linebacking corps as former Sun Devil Ben Apuna (1 yr – NYG) has impressed the coaching staff from the inside while former Wildcat Glenn Perkins (R – Arizona) will look to supply the pressure from the outside and improve on the 9 sacks he registered as a senior.  Powerful NG Bob Nelson (R – Miami, FL), who once held four different weightlifting records at Miami, should draw many double teams allowing Shively's blitzing scheme the gaps it will require to be successful.

WRANGLERS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
50
Ben
Apuna
6
26
1957
6
1
222
LB
Arizona State
25
2
16
Jim Asmus
12
2
1958
6
1
195P/K
Hawai'i
24
1
89Neil
Balholm
1
23
1957
6
2
180
WR
Brigham Young
26
R
23Curtis Bledsoe
3
19
1957
5
11
215
RB
San Diego State
25
2
20
Harold Blue
8
25
1960
6
0
195
RB
East Carolina
22
R
21
Jamie
Boone
3
6
1959
6
0
210
S
Miami (FL)
24
R
79
Todd Campbell
1
28
1961
6
2
255
DT
West Virginia
22
R
61
Ray Cattage
9
22
1960
6
3
260
DE
Washington
22
R
74Calvin Clark
3
8
1959
6
4
260
DL
Purdue
23
1
36
Darryl
Clark
8
9
1961
5
11
204
RB
Texas
21
R
85
Phil
Denfeld
7
31
1961
6
5
228
TE/K
Wake Forest
21
R
73
Terry
Falcon
8
30
1955
6
3
260
T/G
Montana
27
3
88
Jackie
Flowers
3
4
1958
6
1
192
WR
Florida State
25
1
35
Steve
Howell
12
20
1956
6
2
227
RB
Baylor
26
3
43
Lyndell Jones
3
18
1959
5
9
175
CB
Hawai'i
23
1
67
Frank
Kalil
9
1
1959
6
3
260
C/G
Arizona
23
1
83
Mark Keel
10
1
1961
6
4
228
TE
Arizona
21
R
63
Jeff
Kiewel
9
27
1960
6
4
270
T/G
Arizona
22
R
58
Jon
Kimmel
7
21
1960
6
4
240
LB
Colgate
22
R
15
Todd
Krueger
9
10
1957
6
4
205
QB
Northern Michigan
25
1
42
A.D.
Larry
9
1
1958
5
11
192
CB
Nevada-Las Vegas
24
1
59
Jim
Looney
8
18
1957
5
11 225
LB
Purdue
25
1
75
Mike
Mason
12
30
1958
6
6
280
T
U.C.L.A.
24
1
57
Glenn
McCormick
1
28
1960
6
5
251
C
Arizona
23
R
41
Aaron
Mitchell
12
15
1956
6
1
196
S
Nevada-Las Vegas
26
3
68
Daryl
Mueske
1
25
1960
6
2
255
G
Arizona State
23
R
33
Calvin
Murray
10
18
1958
5
11 188
RB
Ohio State
24
2
65
Bob
Nelson
3
3
1959
6
3
265
DL
Miami (FL)
24
1
55
Sam
Norris
9
22
1959
6
3
218
LB
East Carolina
23
R
51
Dave Otey
2
25
1958
6
1
270
C
U.C.L.A.
25
1
53
Glenn
Perkins
7
31
1960
6
2
220
LB
Arizona
22
R
72
Joel Peters
3
12
1957
6
5
275
DL
Arizona State
25
1
76
Chris
Prince
3
6
1961
6
3
264
G
Purdue
22
R
40
Verlon
Redd
2
28
1960
6
1
195
S
Hawai'i
23
1
7
Alan
Risher
5
6
1961
6
2
190
QB
Louisiana State
21
R
82
Billy Ryckman
2
28
1955
5
11
172
WR
Louisiana Tech
28
3
86
Mike
Smith
4
28
1958
5
10
194
WR
Grambling
24
1
56
Marcus
Tarver
4
23
1960
6
0
215
LB
Hawai'i
22
R
25
Tommy
Wilcox
7
30
1959
5
11
195
S
Alabama
23
R
27
Lee
Wilson
7
19
1959
5
9
182
CB
San Diego State
23
1

Birmingham Stallions 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Red, White, and Gold
Stadium – Legion Field  (75,412 / AstroTurf)
Season tickets sold – 13,100
Owner – Marvin Warner
Chief Operating Officer – Jerry Sklar
Head Coach – Rollie Dotsch

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  Rollie Dotsch's reputation as a renowned teacher was significantly enhanced by his work as offensive line coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1978-82).  His commitment to fundamentals and ability to effectively communicate those techniques to his players helped elevate their offensive attack to a championship level, winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles in 1978-79.  Other assistant coaching stops included the Green Bay Packers (1971-74), New England Patriots (1975-76), and Detroit Lions (1977).  Prior to becoming an NFL assistant in 1971, Dotsch coached 13 years at the collegiate level including the last five seasons as head coach at Northern Michigan (1966-70) where he compiled a 33-15-1 record while twice being named district coach of the year.

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  One of three USFL franchises not based in an NFL city, the Birmingham Stallions have a lot to prove both locally and nationally.  The passion and support for football here is well-documented.  The University of Alabama averaged 73,448 fans in four games played at Legion Field last fall.  The Birmingham Americans of the defunct World Football League averaged around 37,000 per game during the 1974 season, with nearly 50,000 per game attending games scheduled before the start of the college season.  This enthusiasm led to their inclusion as one of seven finalists for NFL expansion in 1976, yet Birmingham was spurned in favor of Tampa and Seattle.  Given a new opportunity to prove their voracity for professional football, the locals have surprisingly not embraced the springtime Stallions as season ticket sales are well below the original 30,000 projected by team president Jerry Sklar.  Some blame the struggling local economy, but Sklar believes they are taking a wait-and-see approach and hopes the team's play on the field will draw them out to the stadium.

“The fans here are used to competitive, hard-hitting, exciting and winning football,” explained Sklar.  “And that is what we hope to provide for them.”

To reach that goal, head coach Rollie Dotsch has handed the offensive reigns to first round draft pick Reggie Collier.  In 1981, The 6-foot-3, 207 pounder out of the University of Southern Mississippi became the first quarterback in major college history to gain 1,000 yards both rushing and passing in the same season.  The Stallions are looking to build their offense around Collier's unique talents, but will do so with a stable of inexperienced colts.  None of the projected starting receivers have caught a pass in a regular season game while the six running backs on the roster have combined for 292 yards rushing in 66 career professional games (4.4 yds/gm).  Fortunately, the Stallions secured a pair of anchors for the offensive line in veteran T Robert Woods (8 yrs – NYJ/NO) and four-time Pro-Bowler C Tom Banks (10 yrs – StL).  Their leadership and experience combined with Dotsch's teaching should help make the front line a strength as the season progresses.

Defensively, Birmingham also anticipates their front line to be one of their strengths.  They will be led by 4-time CFL East All-Star and former Crimson Tide DE Mike Raines (9 yrs – EDM/OTT/WPG).  Raines will likely team with former third round pick DE Reggie Lewis (2 yrs – TB) and two-time all-SWC and 3 year CFL veteran DT Jimmy Walker in the front of the Stallions 3-4 defense.  Littered with former training camp invitees and rookies, the Stallions are hopeful their back seven can channel their hunger and anger toward being passed over by the other professional leagues to make up for their inexperience.

STALLIONS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
83Greg
Anderson
5
20
1959
5
10
170
WR
Alabama State
24
1
78
Buddy
Aydelette
8
19
1956
6
4
260
G/T
Alabama
27
1
54
Tom
Banks
8
20
1948
6
1
243
C
Auburn
35
10
59
Mark
Battaglia
12
26
1959
6
2
249
G/C
Penn State
24
R
17
Dario
Casarino
9
30
1957
6
7
240
P
Washington
26
1
44
Billy Cesare
6
2
1955
5
11
191
S
Miami (FL)
28
5
98
Jackie
Cline
3
13
1960
6
5
276
DL
Alabama
23
R
10
Reggie
Collier
5
14
1961
6
3
207
QB
Southern Miss
22
R
58
Lester
Dickey
11
2
1957
6
1
225
LB
Missouri
26
1
82
Ron
Frederick
12
23
1958
5
11
180
WR
Duke
25
1
23
Earl
Gant
7
6
1957
6
0
207
RB
Missouri
26
2
21
Charles
Grandjean
11 16
1957
5
11
200
S
Kent State
26
1
42
Mike
Hatchett
1
9
1960
6
1
185
LB
Texas
23
1
57
Dallas
Hickman
2
16
1952
6
6
238
LB/DE
California
31
6
85
Mike
Hirn
5
20
1960
6
3
235
TE
Central Michigan
23
1
52
Tim
James
10
25
1956
6
2
280
C/G
Elon
27
1
80
Mike
Kincaid
9
3
1961
5
4
165
WR
Mississippi College
22
R
12
Bob
Lane
4
12
1959
6
3
205
QB
NE Louisiana
24
1
76
Reggie
Lewis
5
6
1956
6
3
258
DE
North Texas
27
2
96
Charles
Martin
8
31
1959
6
4
280
DT
Livingston
24
R
81
Darryl
Mason
10
27
1960
6
1
216
TE
Arkansas
23
1
51
Carl
McGee
7
15
1956
6
3
228
LB
Duke
27
1
50
Larry
McPherson
8
23
1956
5
10
218
LB
Fort Valley State
27
1
87
Kevin
Miller
3
21
1955
5
10
181
WR
Louisville
28
3
56
Mike
Murphy
1
14
1957
6
2
222
LB
SW Missouri State
26
1
4
Scott
Norwood
7
17
1960
6
0
207
K
James Madison
23
1
71
Pat
Phenix
10
15
1960
6
5
282
T
Mississippi
23
R
79
Mike
Raines
2
14
1953
6
5
255
DL
Alabama
30
9
90
Wendell
Ray
10
19
1956
6
4
233
LB
Missouri
27
1
28
Frank
Reed
5
13
1954
5
11
193
S
Washington
29
5
74
Pat
Saindon
3
3
1961
6
3
273
G
Vanderbilt
22
R
31
John
Skibinski
4
27
1955
6
0
222
RB
Purdue
28
4
88
Steve
Stephens
3
4
1957
6
3
227
TE
Oklahoma State
26
1
32
Ken
Talton
6
25
1957
6
0
205
RB
Cornell
26
1
49
Mike
Thomas
4
6
1957
6
0
175
CB
Tennessee State
26
R
20
Emmuel Thompson
11
15
1959
5
10
180
DB
TAMU-Kingsville
24
R
24
Charlie
Trotman
3
15
1958
5
10
185
 DBAuburn
25
1
75
Jimmy
Walker
12
30
1956
6
2
265
DL
Arkansas
27
3
45
Billy
White
1
3
1959
5
11
190
RB
Missouri
24
1
72
Robert
Woods
7
26
1950
6
4
259
T
Tennessee State
33
8

Boston Breakers 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Breaker Blue, Royal Blue and Silver
Stadium – Nickerson Field (20,535 / AstroTurf)
Season tickets sold – 4,000
Owners – George Matthews, Randy Vataha
President – Bob Caporale
Head Coach and General Manager – Dick Coury

HEAD COACH PROFILE
Coury has spent 9 years as an NFL assistant including his last six (1976-81) with the Philadelphia Eagles and Head Coach Dick Vermeil.  During that time, the Eagles achieved their only Super Bowl appearance and ranked second in winning percentage in the NFL.  Other assistant coaching stops included working for current Oakland Invader Head Coach John Ralston with the Denver Broncos (1972-73) and Tommy Prothro with the San Diego Chargers (1975).  Between those jobs, Coury served as Vice-President and Head Coach for the Portland Storm of the World Football League (1974).

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  With the inaugural USFL season approaching, the Breakers hope to have much more success on the field than they have already had off it.  The franchise had to settle for historic, but cozy Nickerson Field as their home field.  Though strategically located within the city, the original home of the AFL's Boston Patriots has only one-third the seating capacity of every other stadium in the league.  This problem has been compounded by minimal promotional and marketing efforts, resulting in season ticket sales below 4,000 at this point.  Issues also seeped into the personnel department due to their league assigned schools for the territorial draft: Nebraska, Boston College, Boston University, Massachusetts, and Harvard.  Unlike other franchise locations, the potential marketing advantage of using local collegians may not mean much if the overall product suffers due to having 3 of their 5 territorial schools below Division I-A status.

“I think we're at a big disadvantage there compared to other teams in the league,” said Coury.  “For all intents and purposes, only two of those schools (Nebraska and Boston College) give scholarships, which means we have to do almost all of our territorial drafting from those two schools.”

Yet in spite of these pre-season concerns, the Breakers appear to have assembled a competitive team by relying more on experienced players.  John Walton, who spent four seasons in a reserve role with Coury in Philadelphia, beat out recently released 12-yr NFL veteran Mike Livingston for the starting quarterback position. Andy Johnson (8 yrs - NE), Tony Davis (6 yrs - CIN/TB), and Richard Crump (7 yrs - CFL) will handle the bulk of the rushing and their fair share of the short pass receiving as the speedy Charlie Smith (8 yrs - PHI) stretches the defense in what is expected to be a wide-open offensive attack.

The biggest question entering the season likely rests on the Breakers' pass defense.  The team has failed to produce a consistent pass rush in any of their pre-season scrimmages which is bad news for an untested secondary.  After trying various combinations, Coury has chosen former NFL first round pick (DET/1973) Ernie Price and behemoth youngster Robert Geathers (6'9, 295 lbs) to bookend the Breakers defensive line.  Meanwhile, the most experienced DBs on the roster, M.L. Carter (3 yrs - KC) and Woodrow Wilson (2 yrs - CFL), will handle the corners.  While the Breakers will likely continue to tweak the personnel both up front and in the defensive backfield, UPI All-American linebacker Marcus Marek (Ohio State) expects to be a stabilizing force in the middle all season long.

BREAKERS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
58
Mike
Brewington
12
4
1957
6
3
225
LB
East Carolina
26
1
82
Ken
Brown
6
26
1956
6
0
182
WR
Nebraska
27
1
72
Louis
Bullard
5
6
1956
6
6
265
T
Jackson State
27
3
24
M.L.
Carter
12
9
1955
5
9
173
CB
San Jose State
28
4
81
Beau
Coash
6
12
1960
6
3
225
TE
Middlebury
23
1
89
Chris
Combs
3
17 1958
6
4
238
TE
New Mexico
25
2
26
Richard
Crump
2
28
1955
6
0
205
RB
Jacksonville State
28
7
25
Tony
Davis
1
21
1953
5
10
211
RB
Nebraska
30
6
69
Jerrell
Franklin
5
4
1959
6
3
285
G
Southern
24
1
84
Nolan
Franz
9
11
1959
6
2
183
WR
Tulane
24
1
61
Jeff
Gaylord
10
15
1958
6
3
245
DT
Missouri
25
1
99
Robert
Geathers
7
3
1957
6
7
290
DE
South Carolina State
26
1
54
Gary
Gibson
1
31
1959
6
3
218
LB
Arizona
24
1
55
Bill
Gompf
4
6
1960
6
2
225
LB
Utah
23
1
42
Charles
Harbison
10
27
1959
6
1
185
S
Gardner-Webb
24
1
7
Mitch
Hoopes
7
8
1953
6
1
207
P
Arizona
30
3
62
Dan
Hurley
4
16
1959
6
3
270
T
Nebraska
24
50
Mike
Katolin
1
30
1958
6
3
255
C
San Jose State
25
R
71
Oudious
Lee
6
14
1956
6
1
253
DT
Nebraska
27
1
80
Frank
Lockett
6
1
1957
5
11
192
WR
Nebraska
26
1
40Terry Love
8
25
1958
6
2
205
S
Murray State
25
1
56
Marcus
Marek
1
8
1961
6
2
225
LB
Ohio State
22
R
5
Tim
Mazzetti
2
1
1956
6
1
175
K
Pennsylvania
27
3
53
Mike
McLaughlin
3
7
1956
6
1
270
C
Massachusetts
27
1
59
Ben
Needham
11
19
1958
6
4
225
LB
Michigan
25
1
74
Bob
Newton
8
16
1949
6
4
257
G
Nebraska
34
11
52
Ray
Phillips
3
18
1954
6
4
224
LB
Nebraska
29
5
68
Ernie
Price
9
20
1950
6
4
248
DL
TAMU-Kingsville
33
7
65
Gerry
Raymond
6
6
1959
6
3
265
G
Boston College
24
1
36
Joe
Restic
8
23
1957
6
3
190
S
Notre Dame
26
1
51
Bill
Roe
2
6
1958
6
3
230
LB
Colorado
25
1
85
Charlie
Smith
7
26
1950
6
1
185
WR
Grambling
33
8
22
Tim
Smith
8
17
1957
6
2
195
S
Oregon State
26
1
77
Pat
Staub
3
11
1955
6
1
255
T
Temple
28
3
33
Anthony
Steels
1
8
1959
5
9
200
RB
Nebraska
24
1
38
Billy
Taylor
7
6
1956
6
0
215
RB
Texas Tech
27
5
10
Johnnie
Walton
10
4
1947
6
2
210
QB
Elizabeth City State
36
5
75
Daryl
Wilkerson
9
25
1958
6
4
255
DL
Houston
25
1
20
Woodrow
Wilson
9
10
1956
5
10
182
CB
North Carolina State
27
2
18
Doug
Woodward
9
12
1958
6
3
196
QB
Pace
25
1

Chicago Blitz 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Red, Blue, and Silver
Stadium – Soldier Field  (65,077 / AstroTurf)
Season tickets sold – 10,900
Owners – Dr. Ted Diethrich, Willard Harris, George Allen
General Manager – Bruce Allen
Head Coach – George Allen

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  The face of the league since joining the Blitz last June, George Allen brought instant credibility to the newborn league.  A 12-year veteran of NFL sidelines with the Los Angeles Rams (1966-70) and Washington Redskins (1971-77), Allen never had a losing season and stands as the third winningest coach by win percentage in league history (116-47-5, 0.705).  Known as a master builder of franchises, Allen ended a string of 7 straight losing seasons in his first season with the Rams and would go on to become the winningest coach in their history after just 5 seasons (49-17-4).  Allen moved to Washington where he took a franchise that had 1 winning season in their previous 15 campaigns and no play-off appearances in 25 years to 7 straight winning seasons that included 5 play-off berths and a trip to Super Bowl VII (67-30-1).  Allen also has historical ties to Chicago, where he served as an assistant coach to George “Papa Bear” Halas from 1958-65.  He was the defensive coordinator for the 1963 NFL champions and was also responsible for acquiring half of the team's roster as the director of personnel.

 

TEAM OVERVIEWNo team in the USFL, and maybe all of professional football, has spent as much time in the headlines over the past eight months as the Chicago Blitz.  One reason is the massive effort they have undertaken to secure their roster.  Beginning with the club's initial tryout session on August 21, the Blitz have evaluated more than 3,000 players within nine formal free agent camps around the nation and numerous special auditions at Blitz Park.  At one point in December, the Blitz roster stood at 268 players under contract.  But it's not just the quantity, but also the quality that has people talking.  As expected, Allen filled the roster with numerous veterans such as former NFL Pro-Bowlers QB Greg Landry (14 yrs – DET/BAL), DE Joe Ehrmann (10 yrs – BAL/DET), and S Eddie Brown (6 yrs – CLE/WAS/LA) as well as two-time CFL All-Star DE Junior Ah You (10 yrs – MON).  Surprisingly, the architect of the Washington Redskins' “Over the Hill Gang” has also acquired significant young talents like 1981 All-America TE Tim Wrightman (R – UCLA), 1982 All-America WR Trumaine Johnson (R – Grambling), and 1982 2nd Team All-America RB Tim Spencer (R – Ohio State).  The collective ensemble has pundits believing the Blitz will dominate the USFL much like the Cleveland Browns did the upstart All-America Football Conference in the late 1940's, though Allen seems to think differently.

“There are too many uncertainties for me or anyone else to be the favorite,” stated Allen a few weeks ago.  “I don't know who my kicker will be or who my fullback will be or one man on my defensive line or an offensive center I can count on.”

In spite of Allen's concerns, his team seems to have more players that could be “counted on” than any other in the league.  Believing the offense will have considerable advantages within the rules, the Blitz spent heavily on young, dynamic skill position players.  Spencer, a projected NFL first round selection, expects to lead the ground game after gaining 2755 yards and scoring 26 touchdowns over his last two collegiate seasons.  Another projected first rounder, Johnson, will look to stretch USFL defenses much like he did in the SWAC like when he set the NCAA record for yards per catch in a game against Jackson State (55.7 yds/rec).  Meanwhile, former Bears 3rd round draft choice Wrightman will look to take advantage underneath once he returns from torn right knee ligaments around mid-season.  With so many young attackers, Allen sought out an experienced field general to lead them and found one in the formerly retired Landry.  The 37-year old veteran has started 97 games in 14 professional seasons and should prove a steady guide if he can stay on the field.  That may prove to be a challenge considering the offensive line is the least experienced area of the squad.   None of the 9 lineman on the roster have ever started a professional game and only 2 have ever played in a regular season contest.

Historically a more defensive-oriented coach, Allen ironically considers the defense to be the weakest link of the Blitz.  Yet, there is no single squad in the USFL that has as much professional experience as the Blitz defense.  Half of the 22 defenders on the roster have appeared in at least 50 professional regular season contests and only 5 have appeared in none.  The most experienced is the centerpiece, LB Stan White (11 yrs – BAL/DET).  The first active NFL player to defect to the USFL, White had started 139 consecutive games (1973-82) and stands as the 2nd all-time interceptor among linebackers with 34.  He will be joined by LB Ed Smith (2 yrs – BAL) and rookie LB Jim Fahnhorst (R – Minnesota), who failed to sign with the hometown Vikings after being drafted in the 4th round of the 1982 draft.  Allen may not have settled on one defensive lineman, but he may not have to given he will have a solid rotation of seven veterans opening holes for the backers.  Ah You and Ehrmann may be the most decorated, but longtime Allen-favorite DE Karl Lorch (8 yrs – WAS) knows the system best and is a good bet for a solid season.  Though 5 of 8 defensive backs have a minimum of 50 games experience, the one to watch might be rookie CB Frank Minnifield (R – Louisville) who has earned a starting spot in the opening game.

BLITZ OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
77
Junior
Ah You
12
30
1948
6
2
233
DE
Arizona State
35
10
80
Marcus
Anderson
6
12
1959
5
11
178
WR
Tulane
24
1
54
Robert
Barnes
4
20
1958
6
4
255
G/C
Southern Methodist
25
1
27
Luther
Bradley
5
7
1955
6
2
194
S/CB
Notre Dame
28
4
67
Bruce
Branch
8
15
1960
6
3
258
G
Arizona State
23
1
25
Eddie
Brown
2
19
1952
5
11
187
S
Tennessee
31
6
63
Mark
Buben
3
23
1957
6
3
260
DL
Tufts
26
3
88
Wamon
Buggs
2
4
1960
6
2
200
WR
Vanderbilt
23
 1
3
Frank
Corral
6
16
1955
6
2
224
P/K
U.C.L.A.
28
4
84
Doug
Cozen
7
9
1957
6
4
241
TE
Illinois
26
1
21
Doug
Dennison
12
18
1951
6
2
202
RB
Kutztown
32
6
74
Joe
Ehrmann
3
29
1949
6
3
250
DT
Syracuse
34
10
78
Nick
Eyre
6
16
1959
6
5
274
T
Brigham Young
24
1
55
Jim
Fahnhorst
11
8
1958
6
4
230
LB
Minnesota
25
R
51
Joe
Federspiel
5
6
1950
6
1
230
LB
Kentucky
33
10
57
Doak
Field
10
8
1958
6
2
228
LB
Baylor
25
1
2
Trumaine
Johnson
11
16
1960
6
2
192
WR
Grambling
23
R
14
Tim
Koegel
10
28 1958
6
4
201
QB
Notre Dame
25
1
11
Greg
Landry
12
18
1946
6
4
207
QB
Massachusetts
37
14
70
Kit
Lathrop
8
10
1956
6
4
260
DT
Arizona State
27
2
24
Virgil
Livers
3
26
1952
5
8
178
CB
Western Kentucky
31
5
48
Kevin
Long
1
20
1955
6
1
212
RB
South Carolina
28
5
71
Karl
Lorch
6
14
1950
6
3
258
DE
Southern California
33
8
53
Andy
Melontree
12
1
1957
6
3
228
LB
Baylor
26
1
1
Frank
Minnifield
1
1
1960
5
9
182
CB
Louisville
23
R
68
Tim
Norman
7
10
1959
6
6
273
G
Illinois
24
R
65
Wally
Pesuit
3
4
1954
6
4
252
C/T
Kentucky
29
4
86
Paul
Ricker
9
23
1956
6
3
243
TE
Norwich
27
1
28
Don
Schwartz
2
24
1956
6
1
191
S
Washington State
27
4
56
Ed
Smith
5
18
1957
6
2
217
LB
Vanderbilt
26
2
46
Tim
Spencer
12
10
1960
6
2
224
RB
Ohio State
23
R
73
Mark
Stevenson
2
24
1956
6
3
285
OL
Western Illinois
27
1
42
Jim
Stone
11
18
1958
6
1
214
RB
Notre Dame
25
 1
75
Rob
Taylor
11
14
1960
6
6
293
T
Northwestern
23
 1
79
Troy
Thomas
10
11
1956
6
6
250
DL
Grambling
27
 1
50
Steve
Tobin
3
29
1957
6
4
258
C
Minnesota
26
 1
20
Maurice
Tyler
7
19
1950
6
0
189
DB
Morgan State
33
 7
29
Ted
Walton
8
11
1957
5
10
200
DB
Connecticut
26
 1
52
Stan
White
10
24
1949
6
1
224
LB
Ohio State
34
11
89
Len
Willis
3
4
1953
5
11
183
WR
Ohio State
30
4

Denver Gold 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Black and Gold
Stadium – Mile High Stadium  (75,123 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 31,500
Owners – Ron Blanding
General Manager – Robert "Red" Miller
Head Coach – Robert "Red" Miller

HEAD COACH PROFILEA popular figure in Colorado, Red Miller has returned to the sidelines for the home team at Mile High.  The winningest coach in Bronco history (42-25-0, 1977-80), Miller guided Denver to three playoff appearances, two division titles, and one conference title over four seasons. The Redhead earned NFL Coach of the Year honors in his rookie year as Denver finished its best regular season ever (12-2) and reached their first championship game (Super Bowl XII).  Prior to being a head coach, Miller served as a professional offensive line assistant for 13 seasons with 5 different teams (1960-72) and offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots (1973-76).

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  No team in the league has had as much success at the ticket office to date and yet the Denver Gold seem to be taking “thrifty” to a whole new level.  The team brought 130 players to training camp, 60 of whom who were cut within the first week, but did not pay any of their expenses.  Defensive line coach Charley Armey has been conducting contract negotiations with the team's draft picks since the club has decided against hiring a player personnel director.  Three front office employees, including the ticket manager of all people, have already been fired.  These incidents taken individually may not amount to much, but combined with recent public statements of owner Ron Blanding shed greater light on the penny-pinching.  First, he stated the team might not fill all of their available roster spots specifically to keep payroll under the proposed league-wide ceiling for player salaries.  He then proceeded to unceremoniously chastise George Allen and the Chicago Blitz for blatantly exceeding that total leading to a war of words in the media that did not end until USFL Commissioner Chet Simmons intervened.  With all the upheaval, one would think head coach Red Miller would be looking forward to the first kickoff.

“The scariest moment in football for the coaches and the players is when you line up for that first kickoff,” stated Miller at a recent press conference regarding the upcoming opener.  “Despite all the work you've done, you don't know what you've really got.”

Yet the football hungry fans in Denver have to wonder if Miller could be mistaking his pre-season jitters to a deeper concern regarding his handpicked economical roster.  Nowhere is this more concerning than on the defensive-side where 17 of 22 defenders have never played a down of regular season professional football.  And it has not helped that only the most experienced defenders proven the most effective during the preseason scrimmages.  LB John Barefield (3 yrs – StL) and S David Dumars (2 yrs – MON) have been swarming to the ball and are establishing themselves as team leaders.  But defensive coordinator Jim Carr must get more out of their less-experienced talent like former all-conference all stars LB Putt Choate (All-SWC, 1977 and 1978), DE Andy Poremba (All-WAC, 1982 and 1983), DT Matt Elisara (All-Pac 10, 1981), and LB Kyle Whittingham (All-WAC, 1981) if Denver expects to prevent other offenses from striking it rich on each possession.

Ironically, it may have been the richest and most controversial deal in USFL history that may have solidified what appears to be the Gold's strength.  The New Jersey Generals' signing of RB Herschel Walker made expected starting RB Terry Miller (4 yrs – BUF/SEA) expendable and thus he was traded to Denver.  A former two-time All-America and first round pick, T. Miller has struggled to find a place in the NFL and will seek to recapture his best days while following the lead-blocking of veteran FB Bo Matthews (8 yrs – SD/NYG).  

Joining them in the starting backfield will be QB Jeff Knapple (2 yrs – DEN/CAL), a local star who also seeks to restore the luster to a once promising career.  After leading the University of Colorado to the Orange Bowl as a sophomore in 1976, Knapple was kicked off the team following a conflict with an assistant coach during the 1977 season.  Though he would lead the nation's Division II passers at Northern Colorado in 1979, Knapple went undrafted in 1980 before catching on as a back-up for coach Miller's last Bronco team.  His past experience with Miller's offensive system served him well during training camp and now Knapple has a second chance at his professional dream.

GOLD OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
60
George
Atiyeh
3
6
1959
6
3
255
DT
Louisiana State
24
1
80
Howard
Ballage
7
13
1957
6
0
183
WR
Colorado
26
1
58
Johnny
Barefield
3
23
1955
6
2
224
LB
TAMU-Kingsville
28
3
35
Larry
Canada 12
16
1954
6
2
233
RB
Wisconsin
29
3
51
Phil Cancik
4
19
1957
6
1
228
LB
Northern Arizona
26
1
55
Putt
Choate
12
11
1956
6
0
225
LB
Southern Methodist
27
1
52
Tom
Davis
7
31
1955
6
2
260
C
Nebraska
28
2
21
David
Dumars
1
21
1957
5
10
185
S
NE Louisiana
26
2
22
Glenn
Ford
6
30
1960
6
1
200
RB
Lenoir-Rhyne
23
R
50
Greg
Gerken
4
30
1959
6
4
230
LB
Northern Arizona
24
1
90
Darryl
Goosby
8
28
1961
6
5
235
TE
Cincinnati
22
R
9
Steve
Gortz
5
23
1956
6
2
205
P
Nevada-Las Vegas
27
1
17
Ricky
Harr
8
8
1957
5
11 190
S
Colorado State
26
1
67
Ron
Hausauer
8
16
1959
6
4
270
G
Jamestown
24
1
72
Doug
Hoppock
1
3
1960
6
4
280
T
Kansas State 23
R
65
Glenn
Hyde
3
14
1951
6
3
255
G/C
Pittsburgh
32
9
81
Vic
James
2
6
1961
6
0
190
WR
Colorado
22
1
7
Ken
Johnson
1
5
1951
6
2
205
QB
Colorado
32
6
12
Jeff
Knapple
8
27
1956
6
2
200
QB
Northern Colorado
27
2
20
Will
Lewis
1
16
1958
5
9
185
CB
Millersville
25
2
88
Tom
Maher
7
12
1953
6
3
233
TE
Los Angeles State
30
1
13
David
Martin
3
15
1959
5
9
187
CB
Villanova
24
1
41
Bo
Matthews
11
15
1951
6
3
227
RB
Colorado
32
8
23
Nate
Miller
3
21
1958
5
10
185
CB
Cameron
25
1
43
Terry
Miller
1
7
1956
5
10
196
RB
Oklahoma State
27
4
53
Kelvin
Newton
4
20
1959
6
0
220
LB
Texas Christian
24
R
89
Bob
Niziolek
6
30
1958
6
4
220
TE
Colorado
25
1
70
Harold
Norfleet
6
3
1957
6
6
275
T
Prairie View A&M
26
1
82
Lonell
Phea
9
29
1958
5
10
175
WR
Houston
25
1
68
Andy
Poremba
5
13
1960
6
3
245
DE
Colorado State
23
R
74
Steve
Rogers
1
9
1959
6
5
260
T
Brigham Young
24
1
92
Laval
Short
9
29
1958
6
3
250
DT
Colorado
25
2
66
Joe
Silipo
12
31
1957
6
3
295
G/C
Tulane
26
1
37
Dave
Smilo
9
22
1958
6
2
190
DB
Eastern Michigan
25
R
3
Brian
Speelman
3
18
1957
5
11
185
K
Capital
26
1
32
Tom
Sullivan
12
10
1960
5
11
190
S
U.C.L.A.
23
R
24
Harry
Sydney
6
26
1959
6
0
217
RB
Kansas
24
1
99 Calvin
Turner
4
10
1960
6
4
270
DE
West Virginia
23
1
91
Larry
White
10
11
1961
6
3
260
DE
Jackson State
22
R
56
Kyle
Whittingham
11
21
1959
6
0
232
LB
Brigham Young
24
1

Los Angeles Express 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Express Blue, Silver, and Burgundy
Stadium – Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum  (92,516 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 16,100
Owners – Bill Daniels and Alan Harmon
Chief Operating Officer – Fred "Curly" Morrison
Head Coach – Hugh Campbell

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  At his introductory press conference, franchise co-owner Alan Harmon stated the Express had just hired “the best coach in football.”  Though it's occurred north of the border, Hugh Campbell's record is astounding.  As head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, Campbell has won nearly 79% of the games he has coached over the last six seasons (92-23-5, 0.788), which includes an 11-1 playoff record and an unprecedented five consecutive Grey Cup Championships.  The 41-year old has also served as head coach at Whitworth College (NAIA; 1970-76) and was a two-time All-CFL choice at wide receiver (1965 and 1966).

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  In a city of glitz, glamor, and fame, the Los Angeles Express know they have an uphill climb to make themselves relevant amongst a springtime sports landscape that includes the 1981-82 NBA champion Lakers, 1982 AL West division champion Angels, and 1982 NL West runner-up Dodgers.  Compounding the problem is their cavernous new home, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which is difficult to fill on an average game day.  Just ask the Raiders who, despite finishing their inaugural season in L.A. with the AFC's best record, averaged only 55,288 fans (59.8% capacity) over six home dates which included two playoff games.  To combat irrelevance, the Express front office made a concerted effort in drafting local stars by selecting six All-Americas and 14 USC seniors in their territorial selections.  The effort continued in the open draft when they selected national stars like QB Dan Marino (Pittsburgh) and DT Mark Bortz (Iowa) with early picks and then added multiple local selections from U.C.L.A. (3), San Diego State (3), and Fresno State (2).  With a number of players, like Marino, waiting to see where they are selected in the upcoming NFL Draft, there's a good possibility that the generous Express will be able to significantly upgrade their roster later in the season.  In the mean time, head coach Hugh Campbell is optimistic about his current players' potential, including his young quarterback.

“Tom Ramsey (R – UCLA) gives us a quarterback with exceptional athletic ability,” said Campbell.  “But what I like most about him – and what prompted us to draft him – was his rare character and leadership qualities.  With a new team, we need as many people like Tom as possible.”

Though not as highly touted as Marino, Ramsey finished last season as the most efficient collegiate quarterback in the country by completing 62.2% of his passes for 2986 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.  Leading the Bruins to their most wins since 1946, the co-Pac 10 Player of the Year and Rose Bowl MVP will now have the opportunity to guide the same offensive system Campbell used to win five straight Grey Cups in the CFL.  His primary receiving targets expect to be speedster WRs Kevin Williams (1 yr – BAL) and sure-handed WR Kris Haines (3 yrs – WAS/CHI).  Many in the organization had been hoping that ex-Trojan RB Anthony Davis (4 yrs – WFL/CFL/NFL) would recapture his youth to become the primary rusher, but the surprise of training camp has been rookie RB Tony Boddie (R – Montana State) who has outplayed all on the roster and earned the starting spot.  The offensive line is suspect heading into the season and will likely require some upgrades as the season progresses.
 
On the other side of the ball, the Express appear to have targeted their strength to be in the trenches.  Expected to lead the charge upfront will be former Raider DL Charles Philyaw (4 yrs) and former Ram DT Phil Murphy (2 yrs).  With the mammoth pair – Philyaw is 6'9” 276 lbs and Murphy is 6'5” 290 lbs – taking up a lot of blockers at the line, fleet-footed linebackers like three-time All-Big Sky selection LB Danny Rich (R – Weber State) should be free to rush the opposing quarterback quite often.  The success of their pass rush will be important as the Express plan to start three rookies in the secondary: CBs David Croudip (R – San Diego State) and Wymon Henderson (R – UNLV) and S Mike Fox (San Diego State).

EXPRESS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
2
Vince
Abbott
5
31
1958
5
11
195
K
Fullerton State
25
1
70
Clifton
Alapa
12
14
1954
6
2
238
DL
Arizona State
29
R
50
Carl
Allen
4
26
1958
6
2
237
C
Long Beach State
25
1
54
David
Aupiu
2
10
1961
6
2
235
LB
Brigham Young
22
R
24
Tony
Boddie
11 11
1960
5
11
198
RB
Montana State
23
R
40
Al
Burleson
9
24
1954
6
2
185
S
Washington
29
6
42
Scotty
Byers
7
3
1958
5
11
170
DB
Long Beach State
25
1
78
Gus
Coppens
2
7
1955
6
5
270
T
U.C.L.A.
28
1
69
Pat
Cornelius
3
17
1958
6
2
260
C/T
Utah State
25
1
23
David
Croudip
1
25
1959
5
8
185
CB
San Diego State
24
R
28
Anthony
Davis
9
8
1952
5
10
190
RB
Southern California
31
4
60
Mike
Durrette
8
11
1957
6
4
280
G
West Virginia
26
R
74 Dennis
Edwards
10 6
1959
6
4
253
DL
Southern California
24
1
88
Ricky
Ellis
6
27 1955
6
4
235
TE
Fullerton State
28
4
71
Wayne
Faalafua
11
18
1960
6
3
285
T
Brigham Young
23
R
99
Greg
Fields
1
23
1955
6
6
265
DE
Grambling
28
2
79
Mike
Fields
3
31
1959
6
3
278
G/T
Jackson State
24
R
73
Junior
Filiaga
11
7
1959
6
2
260
DT
Brigham Young
24
1
27
Mike
Fox
10
26
1959
5
11
180
DB
San Diego State
24
R
32
LaRue
Harrington
6
28
1957
6
0
210
RB
Norfolk State
26
1
89
Mike
Harris
5
3
1959
6
0
185
WR
Purdue
24
1
31
Wilbert
Haslip
12
8
1956
5
11
212
RB
Hawaii
27
1
85
Vister
Hayes
6
6
1954
6
0
180
WR
Miss Valley State
29
R
22
Wymon
Henderson
12
15
1961
5
10
186
CB
Nevada-Las Vegas
22
R
20
Tyrone
Justin
1
17
1958
5
10
170
CB
Fullerton State
25
1
57
Dann
Lute
3
11 1959
6
2
230
LB
North Carolina State
24
R
77
Charles
Philyaw
2
25
1954
6
9
276
DL
Texas Southern
29
4
64
Charles
Pitcock
2
20
1958
6
4
272
OL
Tulane
25
1
15
Mike
Rae
7
26
1951
6
0
193
QB
Southern California
32
7
80
Vic
Rakhshani
7
7
1958
6
3
225
TE
Southern California
25
1
14
Tom
Ramsey
7
9
1961
6
1
189
QB
U.C.L.A.
22
R
53
Danny
Rich
8
14
1960
6
3
220
LB
Weber State
23
R
51
Eric
Scoggins
1
23
1959
6
2
235
LB
Southern California
24
1
59
Ron
Seawell
2
17
1959
6
1
230
LB
Portland State
24
1
86
Mike
Sherrod
1
17
1958
6
6
240
TE
Illinois
25
1
81
Lonnie
Turner
8
31
1959
5
7
164
WR
Cal Poly-Ponoma
24
R
4
Glen
Walker
1
16
1952
6
1
210
P
Southern California
31
2
61
Eddie
Weaver II
3
25
1960
6
0
257
DL
Georgia
23
1
56
Greg Williams
11
10
1959
6
3
228
LB
Washington
24
1
84
Kevin
Williams
1
7
1958
5
8
164
WR
Southern California
25
1

Michigan Panthers 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Royal Plum and Champagne Silver
Stadium – Pontiac Silverdome  (80,638 / AstroTurf)
Season tickets sold – 8,000
Owners – A. Alfred Taubman, Judge Peter Spivak, and Max Fisher
General Manager – Jim Spavital
Head Coach – Jim Stanley

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  Jim Stanley arrives in Detroit with over 20 years coaching experience, though mostly at the collegiate level.  A former player under Bear Bryant at Texas A&M (1955-57), Stanley spent 10 years as an assistant before earning his first head coaching job in 1973.  Over the next six seasons, Stanley led Oklahoma State University to their best cumulative record (35-31-2) since joining the Big Eight Conference two decades ago.  The Cowboys appeared in and won two bowl games (1974 & 1976) and shared the Big Eight Conference title in 1976.  Over the last four seasons, Stanley has served as an NFL assistant defensive coach for the New York Giants (1979) and Atlanta Falcons (1980-82).

TEAM OVERVIEW:  Spring is the season of growth and the Michigan Panthers hope their predominately young roster will do just that and blossom as the football season progresses.  While some franchises were primarily seeking veterans, the Michigan Panthers decided to put more emphasis on younger players.  The Panthers are easily pacing the league with 19 signed draft selections, well ahead of the 12 signed by the next highest team (Arizona).  The average age of their entire roster (24.6 years old) is more than a year less than any other team in the Central Division.  Though many may consider the inexperience a disadvantage, head coach Jim Stanley sees it as a benefit.

“One of the great things about a young team is you can mold your own,” explained Stanley.  “Some veterans may be great, but they can also be set in their ways.  The real secret is to choose people with character and ability and bring them into your system and teach them the way you want them to play.  Sometimes, a lot of effort can overcome mistakes.”

It also helps if that youth has significant talent and the Panthers scored a major haul with the signing of WR Anthony Carter (R – Michigan).  A three-time All-American, Carter became the first receiver in Big Ten Conference history to surpass 3,000 career receiving yards.  In addition, he also holds a multitude of conference and school career records including most receiving touchdowns (37).  Despite the breakaway threat, Carter can only be an effective weapon if he has a quarterback who can get him the ball.  That responsibility will rest with untested QB Bobby Hebert (R – Northwestern (LA) State), who outperformed fellow rookie QB Whit Taylor (Vanderbilt) in training camp to earn the starting job.  Joining Hebert in the starting backfield will be two more rookies, RBs Tony Ellis (Michigan State) and John Williams (Wisconsin).  The rookie hit parade continues on the offensive line where second round pick OC Wayne Radloff (R – Georgia) and tenth round pick OT Russell Graham (Oklahoma State) will be called upon to lead their fellow trench-mates.

Defensively, great expectations have also been placed on highly touted rookie SS David Greenwood (R – Wisconsin).  A two-time All-Big Ten selection, the first round pick has earned the confidence of Stanley given his aggressive hitting and consistent tackling throughout the preseason scrimmages.  But unlike the young unknowns surrounding Carter on the offense, Greenwood will be surrounded by more known quantities.  Once the starting middle linebacker for the famed “Gritz Blitz” of the late '70's, LB Robert Pennywell (4 yrs – ATL) brings a tenacious, veteran presence to the middle of the stop squad.  He'll be flanked on the outside by a pair of NFL veterans, LB John Corker (3 yrs – HOU) and LB Mel Land (3 yrs – MIA/SF), making the linebacking corps the most experienced group on the roster.  One notable on the defensive front is former NFL 1st round pick DL Phil Dokes (2 yrs – BUF).  Dokes, who played for coach Stanley at Oklahoma State, is looking to revive a career that was significantly hampered by a shoulder injury several seasons ago.

PANTHERS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
25
John
Arnaud
6
4
1961
6
0
185
DB
Iowa State
22
R
50
Ray
Bentley
5
25
1960
6
2
250
LB
Central Michigan
23
R
3
Novo
Bojovic
11 2
1959
5
10
172
K
Central Michigan
24
R
62
Andy
Cannavino
4
20
1959
6
1
225
LB
Michigan
24
1
1
Anthony
Carter
9
17
1960
5
11
175
WR
Michigan
23
R
22
Clarence
Chapman
12
10
1953
5
10
165
CB
Eastern Michigan
30
6
89
Mike
Cobb
12
20
1955
6
5
244
TE
Michigan State
28
5
58
Will
Cokeley
12 6
1960
6
2
220
LB
Kansas State
23
R
57
John
Corker
12
29
1958
6
5
240
LB
Oklahoma State
25
3
72
Phil
Dokes
11
16
1956
6
5
257
DL
Oklahoma State
27
2
88
Donnie
Echols
12
16
1957
6
3
240
TE
Oklahoma State
26
1
53
Mike
Edwards
2
15
1957
6
4
225
LB
Oklahoma State
26
1
30
Tony
Ellis
11
19
1960
6
2
210
RB
Michigan State
23
R
73
Greg
Fairchild
3
10
1954
6
4
257
T/G
Tulsa
29
5
70
Chris
Godfrey
5
17
1958
6
3
260
T
Michigan
25
1
74
Russ
Graham
5
5
1961
6
4
260
T
Oklahoma State
22
R
26
Elbert
Gray
12
25
1959
6
0
170
CB
Weber State
24
R
31
David
Greenwood
3
25
1960
6
3
210
S
Wisconsin
23
R
34
Mike
Hagen
6
30
1959
6
0
240
RB
Montana
24
1
33
Jim
Hargrove
11
13
1957
6
2
228
RB
Wake Forest
26
1
11
Bobby
Hebert
8
19
1960
6
4
215
QB
NW Louisiana
23
R
29
Derek
Holloway
1
17
1961
5
7
166
WR
Arkansas
22
R
86
Ron
Ingram
10
27
1959
5
10
168
WR
Oklahoma State
24
1
77
Jeff Jackson
8
21
1959
6
7
265
DL
Toledo
24
1
47
Mel
Land
11
30
1955
6
3
243
LB
Michigan State
28
3
24
Freddie
Logan
3
9
1961
6
0
185
CB
Cincinnati
22
R
69
Marv
Mantos
3
26
1960
6
3
260
G
Michigan State
23
R
82
Frank
McClain
119
1957
6
0
183
WR
North Texas
26
R
23
Ron
Osborne
1
22
1961
5
11 190
DB
Iowa State
22
R
99
Ronnie
Paggett
1
1
1958
6
3
250
DL
Louisiana Tech
25
2
59
Robert
Pennywell
11 6
1954
6
1
222
LB
Grambling
29
4
56
Tom
Piette
8
29
1960
6
4
250
C
Michigan State
23
R
55
Wayne
Radloff
5
17
1961
6
5
274
C
Georgia
22
R
93
Wesley
Roberts
8
1
1957
6
6
253
DE
Texas Christian
26
1
10
Whit
Taylor
1
8
1960
5
11
185
QB
Vanderbilt
23
R
65
Dave
Tipton
12
10
1953
6
1
253
DT
Western Illinois
30
3
60
Tony
Vitale
9
2
1958
6
3
260
G
Central Michigan
25
1
68
Mike
Weston
6
16
1959
6
2
255
G/C
Wayne State
24
1
40
John
Williams
10
26
1960
5
11
213
RB
Wisconsin
23
R
51
Ricky
Young
9
1
1960
6
3
250
LB
Oklahoma State
23
1

New Jersey Generals 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Scarlet, White, and Royal Blue
Stadium – Giants Stadium  (76,891 / AstroTurf)
Season tickets sold – 30,000
Owners – J. Walter Duncan and Chuck Fairbanks
President and Head Coach - Chuck Fairbanks
General Manager – Jim Valek

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  Entering his 19th season as a head coach, Chuck Fairbanks has achieved success all the way up to the highest levels.  As a professional, Fairbanks spent six seasons leading the New England Patriots as their coach and general manager.  Over that time, Fairbanks compiled the highest winning percentage in franchise history (46-41-0, 0.529 Win Pct) while winning one division title outright and sharing another.  Around his time in New England, Fairbanks served as head coach at the collegiate level with the University of Oklahoma (1967-72) and the University of Colorado (1979-81).  Though he did not have the same level of success at Colorado (7-26-0), the Sooners won more than 76% of their games with Fairbanks (52-15-1) and finished amongst the top three teams in the country three times.

 

TEAM OVERVIEW:  A young league seeking national acceptance uses outrageous money to lure a phenomenal collegiate running back out of school early.  Sound familiar?  It should, but not for the reason you think.  The year was 1925.  While college football was near the forefront of the nation's sporting landscape, the fledgling National Football League was struggling to survive.  To boost their stock, the Chicago Bears paid college football's biggest superstar to leave college just after his last game of the season.  Over the next 67 days, Red Grange and the Bears would begin a legendary coast-to-coast 19-game barnstorming tour that brought crowds never before seen at a professional football game.  While drawing only 7,500 patrons to their last game before Grange, a standing-room only crowd of 36,000 awaited the Bears on a snowy Thanksgiving day for Grange's professional debut.  Drawing more than 65,000 people in New York and Los Angeles, the “Galloping Ghost” gave the professional game a level of public legitimacy it had been seeking but the stunt also had repercussions.  Several months later, the colleges were still fuming over this raiding of their campuses.  In an attempt to smooth over the hard feelings with their primary supplier of talent, NFL owners pledged their opposition to any further encroachment on the college game and dedicated themselves to preserving the amateur status of college athletes.  This agreement remained in place until about 10 days ago, when Herschel Walker signed a 3-year, $8M contract with the New Jersey Generals.  Can Walker capture the nation's attention the same way Grange did?  He probably will at first, but the Generals are going to need more than just Walker to have enough success to hold that attention.

“No one person can make a league,” insisted Grange, who will turn 80 this June.  “There is no such thing as a one-man football team.  Never has been and never will be.”

Even before the signing of the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, head coach Chuck Fairbanks put an offensive priority on building a solid offensive line.  Of the Generals five open draft selections signed to date, three are offensive lineman who all earned starting positions in training camp: OG Wayne Harris (5th round, Mississippi State), OC Kent Hull (7th round, Mississippi State), and OT Bryan Millard (12th round, Texas).  Harris, the most decorated of the trio, was a three-time All-SEC selection, just like Walker, and twice was named to the Honorable Mention All-America team.  Hull was a pre-season All-America selection this past season, but failed to meet expectations due to a nagging leg injury that has since healed.  Anchoring the end of the line is another all-conference performer in Millard, who earned All-SWC honors in his senior season.  Joining Walker in the starting offensive backfield will be longtime NFL back-up QB Bobby Scott (10 yrs – NO) and rookie FB Maurice Carthon (8th round, Arkansas State).  Though unable to sign territorial draft pick WR Willie Gault (Tennessee), the receiver cupboard is not bare given former NFL starters TE Victor Hicks (1 yr – Rams) and WR Mike Friede (2 yrs – DET/NYG).

Similar to the offensive building philosophy, the Generals have likewise concentrated their defensive resources in the front seven.  The unit's strength is expected to be in its linebacker corps.  Leading the charge from the outside will be LB Rod Shoate (6 yrs – NE), a four-year NFL starter who also bring previous experience with coach Fairbanks.  LB Reggie Mathis (2 yrs – NO), who hasn't played since suffering a detached retina in 1981, won one of the inside starting jobs with tenacious hitting in training camp.  The Generals initially built their defensive line around CFL-import DE Richard Murray (4 yrs – BC), but may have found their future foundation in a recent trade acquisition.  Rookie DE James Lockette (6th round, Missouri), acquired from the Birmingham Stallions for a 1984 7th round selection, has been dominant at times in preseason scrimmages and expects to have a solid season.  The defenisve backfield is expected to be more suspect with a pool of lesser known rookies and former NFL camp bodies expected to fill all four spots.

GENERALS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
26
Anthony
Allen
1
13
1961
6
0
175
CB
Texas Christian
22
R
11
Dave
Boisture
2
28
1959
6
1
191
QB
Holy Cross
24
R
89
Sam
Bowers
12
22
1957
6
4
250
TE
Fordham
26
1
80
Larry
Brodsky
1
19
1960
6
0
190
WR
Miami (FL)
23
1
48
Andy
Carino
7
31
1960
6
2
225
LB
Rutgers
23
R
33
Maurice
Carthon
4
24
1961
6
1
225
RB
Arkansas State
22
R
35
Larry
Coffey
6
7
1959
5
10
198
RB
Wesleyan
24
1
55
Ray
Costict
5
19
1955
6
0
217
LB
Mississippi State
28
3
24
Terry
Daniels
12
30
1960
5
11
181
CB
Tennessee
23
1
88
Mike
Friede
9
22
1957
6
3
203
WR
Indiana
26
2
54
Steve
Hammond
2
25
1960
6
4
225
LB
Wake Forest
23
R
64
Wayne
Harris
11
7
1961
6
2
269
G/T
Mississippi State
22
R
81
Victor
Hicks
1
19
1957
6
3
250
TE
Oklahoma
26
1
58
Kent
Hull
1
13
1961
6
4
262
C
Mississippi State
22
R
1
Dave
Jacobs
7
15
1957
5
7
153
K/P
Syracuse
26
2
70
John
Jewell
12
31
1959
6
2
255
G
Kent State
24
R
96
James
Lockette
4
7
1960
6
4
259
DE
Missouri
23
R
36
Thomas
Lott
8
1
1957
5
11
205
RB
Oklahoma
26
1
43
Reggie
Mathis
3
18
1956
6
3
225
LB
Oklahoma
27
2
86
Tom
McConnaughey
8
1
1957
6
1
182
WR
Central Arkansas
26
1
53
Mike
McKibben
9
3
1956
6
3
228
LB
Kent State
27
2
63
Troy
McMillin
1
19
1959
6
3
260
G
Illinois
24
1
76
Bryan
Millard
12
2
1960
6
5
283
T/G
Texas
23
R
21
Keith
Moody
6
13
1955
5
10
171
DB
Syracuse
28
5
93
Richard
Murray
12
18
1954
6
2
260
DE
Oklahoma
29
4
78
Greg
Murtha
4
23
1957
6
6
268
T
Minnesota
26
1
51
Frank
Naylor
1
25
1959
6
1
248
G/C
Rutgers
24
1
37
Dana
Noel
8
27
1958
5
10
185
DB
Minnesota
25
1
10
Bobby
Scott
4
2
1949
6
1
198
QB
Tennessee
34
10
56
Rod
Shoate
4
26
1953
6
1
214
LB
Oklahoma
30
6
85
Mark
Slawson
6
11
1959
6
2
195
WR
The Citadel
24
1
27
Sam
Sopp
2
16
1960
5
11
171
DB
Kent State
23
1
46
Dwight
Sullivan
4
24
1959
5
10
210
RB
N.C. State
24
1
77
Todd
Thomas
12
2
1959
6
5
262
T
North Dakota
24
1
34
Herschel
Walker
3
3
1962
6
1
225
RB
Georgia
21
R
95
Ben
Watts
3
18
1960
6
2
270
DL
Stephen F Austin
23
1
52
Mike
Weddington
10
9
1960
6
4
245
LB
Oklahoma
23
R
29
Mike
Williams
12
21
1955
5
11 193
CB
Texas A&M
28
3
98
Ricky
Williamson
7
26
1960
6
4
240
DE
Mars Hill
23
R
71
Tom
Woodland
1
7
1959
6
1
270
DT
Missouri
24
1

Oakland Invaders 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Invader Blue and Gold
Stadium – Oakland Coliseum  (53,880 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 24,100
Owners – Ted Taube
Head Coach and General Manager - John Ralston
Director of Administration – Howard Friedman

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  After spending the last three years as an administrator, John Ralston returns to the sidelines as a head coach this season.  In his last coaching stint, Ralston spent five seasons as the leader of the NFL's Denver Broncos (1972-76).  During his tenure, he guided the Broncos to their first winning seasons ever (1973, 1974, 1976) and earned AFC Coach of the Year honors in 1973.  Prior to that run, Ralston led the Stanford Cardinal to a pair of Pacific Eight Conference titles (1970, 1971) capping each with a Rose Bowl victory, the school's first since 1940.  In 13 seasons as a college coach, Ralston compiled an 86-47-4 record at Stanford (1963-71) and Utah State (1959-62).

 

TEAM OVERVIEWLooking to bridge the gap left by the recently departed Raiders, the Oakland Invaders have reached out to a few familiar faces looking for a transition in their careers.  It all started with the organization's first signing, DE Cedrick Hardman (12 yrs – SF/OAK).  Having spent his career in the Bay Area, Hardman is using this opportunity to prepare for life after football as he will also serve as a defensive line assistant coach.  A couple of months later, the Invaders signed 3-time Pro Bowler and former 1st round Raider draft pick TE Raymond Chester (12 yrs – OAK/BAL).  Chester, who has already made several public appearances on behalf of the team, is being groomed for a front office position with the organization once he retires.  Halfway through training camp, the team added a third contributor from the 1980 league champion Raiders in RB Arthur Whittington (5 yrs – OAK/BUF).  A significant contributor as a Raider, “King Arthur” has struggled to find a place in professional football since leaving Oakland after the 1981 season.  He hopes his return will give his playing career the kick start it needs.  The Invaders are hopeful that the new beginning for each of these old favorites will help spur their own growth within the community.  Their efforts appear to be working as ticket sales have swelled to the point that the club may challenge Denver for the USFL's attendance title.

    
“The team and this league are in the genesis stage,” explained Invaders head coach and general manager John Ralston.  “Everyone must work very hard and be very strong-willed to make it a success.”

After unsuccessfully attempting to sign territorial selection QB John Elway (Stanford) and sixth-round open draft pick QB Ken O'Brien (Cal-Davis), Ralston has decided hand over the reigns of his offense to hometown hero QB Fred Besana (1 yr – BUF).  A former 1977 fifth round selection out of California, Besana has spent the last 3 years in the semi-pro California Football League before coming to Invaders' camp and beating out former CFL and Washington State QB Steve Grant (1 yr – MON).  Fortunately for Besana, the offensive line's strength is expected to be pass protection.  Leading the line will be versatile OL Gary Anderson (3 yrs – DET/NO/WAS), who expects to start at guard but can play all positions on the line.  His most notable line-mates are OT Dale Markham (2 yrs – NYG/StL) and former All-Pac 10 OC Roger Levasa (1 yr – BAL).  Yet, Besana will be challenged to move the ball aerially given his diminutive starting wide receiving corps of WR Gordon Banks (5'10”; 2 yrs – NO) and WR Wyatt Henderson (5'10”; 1 yr – SD).  The Invaders will look to make up for the potential weakness by using Chester to threaten the middle and establishing a consistent running game.  With the recent release of two-time, 1,000-yard RB Delvin Williams (8 yrs – SF/MIA/GB) due to a recurring neck injury and camp star RB Poncho James (R – San Francisco State) slowed by a hip pointer, the recently signed Whittington will likely assume the primary starting role in the offensive backfield.  

On the other side of the ball, Ralston has secured veteran leadership in various defensive positions.  Player/coach Hardman will lead the charge up front, along with DT Monte Bennett (1 yr – NO) and DE Jerry Wilkinson (2 yrs – LA/CLE/SF).  Behind the line, former Gritz Blitz-er LB Dewey McClain (5 yrs – ATL) has captured much of the press, but it is LB Frank Manumaleuga (3 yrs – KC) who brings the most experience.  A three-year NFL starter, the native Samoan is looking to prove he has fully recovered from a pinched nerve that ended up costing him a starting spot with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Also, keep an eye on the lone rookie in the starting line-up, territorial selection LB Gary Plummer (R – California).  A nose guard with the Golden Bears last season, Plummer will be switching back to middle linebacker where he earned all-conference honors at Ohlone College prior to his Cal transfer.  S Frank Duncan (3 yrs – SD) will look to stabilize a green secondary that has no other player with more than 1 season of professional experience.

INVADERS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
60
Gary
Anderson
9
22
1955
6
3
253
OL
Stanford
28
3
88
Gordon
Banks
3
12
1958
5
10
173
WR
Stanford
25
2
91
Monte
Bennett
4
27
1959
6
5
270
DL
Kansas State
24
1
14
Fred
Besana
3
9
1954
6
4
203
QB
California
29
1
73
Leo
Biedermann
10
19
1955
6
7
254
T
California
28
2
87
Raymond
Chester
6
28
1948
6
3
232
TE
Morgan State
35
12
29
Kenny
Daniel
6
1
1960
5
10
180
CB
San Jose State
23
1
42
Frank
Duncan
11
16
1956
6
1
188
S
San Francisco State
27
3
61
Kevin
Graffis
10
1
1957
6
6
276
G
Washington State
26
1
18
Steve
Grant
4
12
1957
6
1
200
QB
Washington State
26
1
70
Lonnie
Greene
2
16
1958
6
4
272
DL
Mississippi State
25
1
86
Cedrick
Hardman
10
4
1948
6
3
250
DE
North Texas
35
12
82
Wyatt
Henderson
11 10
1956
5
10
180
WR
Fresno State
27
1
66
Steve
Houston
3
25
1960
6
4
255
G
Fresno State
23
1
31
Louis
Jackson
1
27
1958
5
11
195
RB
Cal Poly-SLO
25
1
20
Poncho
James
4
16
1961
5
10
198
RB
San Francisco State
22
R
55
David
Jefferson
11
24
1959
6
2
235
LB
Miami (FL)
24
1
75
Kurt
Jonker
1
21
1957
6
5
270
T
Augustana (SD)
26
1
56
Roger
Levasa
5
18
1959
6
1
250
C
Oregon State
24
1
92
Alva
Liles
3
6
1956
6
3
255
DE
Boise State
27
1
83
Ronnie
Mallett
1
20
1960
5
11
171
WR
Central Arkansas
23
1
54
Frank
Manumaleuga
5
9
1956
6
2
245
LB
San Jose State
27
3
72
Dale
Markham
7
24
1957
6
8
280
T
North Dakota
26
2
74
Dupre
Marshall
12
2
1958
6
3
258
DT
California
25
1
24
Derrick
Martin
5
31
1957
6
0
185
CB
San Jose State
26
1
52
Dewey
McClain
4
25
1954
6
3
236
LB
East Central
29
5
59
Dean
Moore
1
26
1955
6
2
210
LB
Iowa
28
1
44
Mike
O'Brien
4
25
1956
6
1
195
S
California
27
1
21
Jairo
Penaranda
6
15
1958
6
0
217
RB
U.C.L.A.
25
1
51
Gary
Plummer
1
26
1960
6
2
241
LB
California
23
R
40
Marcus
Quinn
6
27
1959
6
1
205
S
Louisiana State
24
1
85
Vince
Randall
8
24
1961
6
6
240
TE
Portland State
22
R
71
Clay
Ruyle
10
11
1958
6
2
267
DE
Stephen F Austin
25
1
58
Dave
Shaw
5
27
1957
6
0
225
LB
California
26
R
17
Kevin
Shea
1
28
1957
6
2
198
K
St. Mary's
26
1
10
Stan
Talley
9
5
1958
6
5
220
P
Texas Christian
25
1
32
Ted
Torosian
4
8
1959
6
0
227
RB
Fresno State
24
1
22
Arthur
Whittington
9
4
1955
5
11
181
RB
Southern Methodist
28
5
78
Jerry
Wilkinson
2
27
1956
6
9
248
DL
Oregon State
27
2
23
Billy
Yancy
6
16
1958
5
10
175
CB
Fresno State
25
1

Philadelphia Stars 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Crimson, Old Gold, and White
Stadium – Veterans Stadium  (72,204 / Turf)
Season tickets sold – 11,800
Owners – Myles Tanenbaum
President and General Manager - Carl Peterson
Head Coach – Jim Mora

HEAD COACH PROFILEJim Mora brings twenty-two years of college and professional coaching experience to the sidelines in Philadelphia.  Last season, Mora served as defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots and helped turn-around one of the worst defenses in the NFL.  Replacing five starters, three of which with rookies, the Patriots improved from 25th to 13th in overall defense and from 22nd to 7th in points allowed while becoming the first defense in six years to pitch consecutive shut outs.    Mora spent the previous four seasons as defensive line coach for the Seattle Seahawks, after 10 seasons as a major college defensive assistant at Stanford (1967), Colorado (1968-72), U.C.L.A. (1974), and Washington (1975-77).  Mora finished with an 18-9 record as head coach for Occidental (CA) College (1964-66).

 

TEAM OVERVIEWLast fall, the Philadelphia Stars were the picture of stability.  President and General Manager Carl Peterson was executing his plan for building the franchise and seemed lock-in-step with his hired coach, former Steelers assistant George Perles.  All that changed in December when Perles jumped his contract to accept an offer from Michigan State University, taking nearly all of his assistants with him.  Left with only one assistant coach, offensive coordinator Joe Pendry, Peterson diverted his attention away from team building to search for a new head coach.  Peterson finally found his man in mid-January when he hired the defensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, Jim Mora.  Upon his hiring, Mora realized the learning curve would be steep.

“I probably won't know a whole lot about this team before camp opens,” admitted Mora, who would have to assemble a staff and playbook in less than two weeks before camp opened in Florida.  “Carl and Joe spent a lot of time with these people so I'll have to go a lot on what they say and by what we see when camp starts.”

Unfortunately, training camp may not have been long enough to meld the players and new coaching staff into a cohesive unit considering the 31-3 drubbing they took from the Tampa Bay Bandits in their last scrimmage on February 26.  In spite of Mora's background, the defense appears to be the biggest concern.  No player on the final defensive roster has more than 2 years or 20 games of professional experience.  The most concern may by in the line, where injury-prone DE Frank Case (1 yr – KC), who missed time with knee injuries both in college and the pros, and DT Buddy Moor (1 yr – PHI), who spent his only professional season on IR, are expected to start.  Though LB Jon Brooks (2 yrs – DET/ATL/StL) is the most experienced defender, the inside combination of LB Glenn Howard (1 yr – BAL camp and the diminutive LB Sam Mills (1 yr – CLE camp) should prove to be the linebackers' strength.  S/Ret Scott Woerner (1 yr – ATL) and CB Antonio Gibson (R – Cincinnati) will anchor the secondary though the other two spot are still up for grabs.  Peterson is hoping to compliment the current defensive roster with a veteran acquisition or two within the next few weeks.
       
Offensively, the team has been built around a solid offensive line and a talented stable of running backs.  The Stars' most prominent headline this year was the signing of highly-touted RB Kelvin Bryant (R – North Carolina), who rushed for close to 3,500 yards in his career at the University of North Carolina.   But opponents must also be aware of explosive RB Allen Harvin (R – Cincinnati) and the pass-catching prowess of RB David Riley (1 yr – multiple NFL camps).  Of course, nearly all offensive success is dependent on a solid line and the Stars have assembled a good one.  With NFL veteran T Brad Oates (6 yrs – StL/DET/KC/CIN/GB) and first round pick T Irv Eatman anchoring the ends and second round selection C Bart Oates (R – Brigham Young) in the middle, opposing defensive fronts will have trouble getting their hands on the hard charging backs and starting QB Chuck Fusina (3 yrs – TB).  A former Nittany Lion and back-up to QB Doug Williams at Tampa, Fusina will likely be asked to manage the game more than trying to win it through the air.

STARS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
53
Jon
Brooks
6
22
1957
6
2
215
LB
Clemson
26
2
44
Kelvin
Bryant
9
26
1960
6
2
195
RB
North Carolina
23
R
65
Scott
Burris
5
7
1958
6
3
265
G
Ohio State
25
1
95
Frank
Case
8
14
1958
6
4
243
DE
Penn State
25
1
86
Willie
Collier
6
17
1958
5
10
175
WR
Pittsburgh
25
1
69
Chuck
Commiskey
3
2
1958
6
4
290
G
Mississippi
25
1
56
George
Cooper
12
24
1958
6
2
225
LB
Michigan State
25
1
52
Vince
DeMarinis
8
5
1959
6
3
228
LB
Montclair State
24
R
48
Kevin
Donnalley
1
17
1958
5
11
180
DB
North Dakota State
25
1
87
Tom
Donovan
1
13
1957
5
11 179
WR
Penn State
26
1
80
Ken
Dunek
6
20
1957
6
6
235
TE
Memphis State
26
1
75
Irv
Eatman
1
1
1961
6
7
293
T
U.C.L.A.
22
R
96
Don
Fielder
10
20
1959
6
3
240
DE
Kentucky
24
1
81
Scott
Fitzkee
8
4
1957
6
0
187
WR
Penn State
26
4
89
Steve
Folsom
3
21
1958
6
4
230
TE
Utah
25
1
14
Chuck
Fusina
5
31
1957
6
1
197
QB
Penn State
26
3
57
Jeff
Gabrielsen
8
11
1958
6
2
240
LB
Ripon
25
2
61
Rich
Garza
3
27
1958
6
1
257
G
Temple
25
1
23
Antonio
Gibson
7
5
1962
6
3
204
DB
Cincinnati
21
R
55
Joe
Happe
6
23
1958
6
2
255
C/G
Georgia
25
1
22
Allen
Harvin
3
18
1959
5
9
200
RB
Cincinnati
24
R
51
Glenn
Howard
11
4
1959
6
2
226
LB
Minnesota
24
1
24
Roger
Jackson
12
26
1959
6
1
190
DB
Penn State
24
R
43
Jerome
King
1
4
1955
5
10
173
CB
Purdue
28
2
11
Jim
Krohn
7
27
1957
6
3
195
QB
Arizona
26
1
7
Sean
Landeta
1
6
1962
6
0
200
P
Towson State
21
R
27
Mike
Lush
4
18
1958
6
2
195
S
East Stroudsburg
25
1
20
Mark
McCants
2
17
1958
6
0
193
S
Temple
25
1
54
Sam
Mills
6
3
1959
5
9
225
LB
Montclair State
24
1
91
Buddy
Moor
12
1
1958
6
5
250
DL
Eastern Kentucky
25
1
50
Bart
Oates
12
16
1958
6
3
265
C
Brigham Young
25
R
70
Brad
Oates
9
30
1953
6
6
274
T
Brigham Young
30
6
94
Dave
Opfar
1
16
1960
6
4
270
DL
Penn State
23
R
83
Rodney
Parker
7
18
1953
6
1
190
WR
Tennessee State
30
4
35
David
Riley
6
30
1956
6
2
215
RB
West Virginia
27
1
34
Jeff
Rodenberger
11
3
1959
6
3
235
RB/TE
Maryland
24
1
76
Willie
Rosborough
1
9
1961
6
4
243
DL
Washington
22
R
32
Booker
Russell
2
28
1956
6
2
233
RB
SW Texas State
27
4
1
David
Trout
11 12
1957
5
6
165
K
Pittsburgh
26
1
25
Scott
Woerner
12
18
1958
6
0
195
S
Georgia
25
1

Tampa Bay Bandits 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Red, Black, and Silver
Stadium – Tampa Stadium (73,000 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 20,300
Owners – John Bassett, Stephen Arky, Burt Reynolds
Managing General Partner – John Bassett
Head Coach – Steve Spurrier

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  The youngest head coach in professional football, the 37-year old Spurrier has quickly ascended the coaching ranks.  Starting as a quarterbacks coach at his alma mater in 1978, it took him only 2 years before becoming the offensive coordinator at Duke University.  The Blue Devils wide open offense set several ACC offensive records last season and led Duke to consecutive winning seasons for the first time in 11 years.  In addition to his coaching career, Spurrier's offensive philosophy for attacking defenses also comes from his own quarterbacking experiences.  A former Heisman Trophy winner (1966) from the University of Florida, Spurrier spent 11 NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1967-77).


TEAM OVERVIEW:  They say the definition of insanity is to behave the same way twice, given the same circumstances surrounding that behavior, and expect a different result.  One has to believe this mantra is driving the football operations of the Tampa Bay Bandits.  You see, primary owner and managing general partner John Bassett has been down this road before.  In 1974, Bassett held a similar position with the WFL's Memphis Southmen and gained significant notoriety when he lured Larry Csonka, Jim Kiick, and Paul Warfield away from the Miami Dolphins.  Though the trio would be compensated handsomely, Bassett never saw significant return on the investment before the league folded halfway through season two.  This time around, Bassett has concentrated his efforts on less-expensive, primarily local talent which seems to suit head coach Steve Spurrier just fine.

“Our team doesn't have any high priced players and to be quite honest with you, I don't think we need any right now,” stated Spurrier.  “I think that the high priced guys that we have a chance to sign may not be better than what we already have.  I think the players that we have realize that they're all making about the same money.  The harmony on our team right now is excellent.”

And that harmony has apparently led to on-field success in the pre-season as the Bandits won all three of their games by a combined score of 61-13.  Leading the aerial assault will be 32-year old and former Gator QB John Reaves (9 yrs - PHI/CIN/MIN/HOU) and 29-year old WR Danny Buggs (7 yrs - NYG/WAS/CFL).  Buggs will be complimented on the other flank by 23-year old and former Rattler Eric Truvillon, who impressed coaches enough in training camp to force the release of NFL veteran Johnnie Dirden.  Reaves will be joined by original Buccaneer George Ragsdale (3 yrs - TB) and rookie Greg Boone (Duke) in the offensive backfield, with rookie Ricky Williams (Florida State) providing a speedy change-of-pace from off the bench.

While the offense has been making the headlines, defensive coordinator Charlie Bailey has assembled a defense that has allowed only 1 touchdown in three pre-season tilts.  Linebackers Kelly Kirchbaum (1 yr - KC) and Keith Clark (1 yr - BUF) have stood out thanks to their aggressive play and sure tackling.  Behind them, former Steel Curtain safety Glen Edwards (11 yrs - PIT/SD) has been mentoring a trio of youngsters working around him while anchoring the defensive backfield.  Upfront, Fred Nordgren and James Ramey, a pair of CFL veterans, will attempt to continue opening holes for the blitzing backers.

BANDITS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
Yr
HtFt
HtIn
Wt
Pos
College
Age Exp
9
Zenon
Andrusyshyn
2
25
1947
6
2
210
K/P
U.C.L.A.
36
12
25
Alvin
Bailey
8
8
1958
5
10
183
DB
Alcorn State
25
R
28
Doug
Beaudoin
5
15
1954
6
1
193
S
Minnesota
29
6
21
Greg
Boone
1
8
1962
5
9
196
RB
Duke
21
R
71
Val
Brown
1122196065235DE/LB
Florida
23
R
88
Danny
Buggs
4
22
1953
6
2
185
WR
West Virginia
30
6
63
Curtis
Bunche 8
4
1955
6
5
245
DE
Albany State (GA)
28
1
75
Walter
Carter
12
19 1957
6
4
276
DL
Florida State
26
1
56
Keith
Clark
7
27
1958
6
4
225
LB
Memphis State
25
1
82
Martin
Cox
8
12
1956
6
0
180
WR
Vanderbilt
27
4
27
Glen
Edwards
7
31
1947
6
0
184
S
Florida A&M
36
11
33
Jeff
George
12
24
1957
6
1
185
CB
Illinois State
26
1
69
Steve
Gettel
5
20
1959
6
2
260
G
South Carolina
24
1
86Lewis
Gilbert
5
24
1956
6
4
225
TE
Florida
27
3
89
Willie
Gillespie
10
24
1961
5
9
170
WR
UT-Chattanooga
22
R
20
Tim
Groves
2
18
1959
6
1
210
S
Florida
24
1
54
Tony
Hayes
7
5
1961
6
3
226
LB
Florida A&M
22
R
64
Bobby
Hopkins
6
8
1957
6
2
265
G
Gardner-Webb
26
R
15
Jimmy
Jordan
2
11
1958
6
1
200
QB
Florida State
25
1
52
Merv
Krakau
5
16
1951
6
2
237
LB
Iowa State
32
6
51
Kelly
Kirchbaum
6
14 1957
6
2
240
LB
Kentucky
26
1
60
Doug
Mackie
2
18
1957
6
4
280
T
Ohio State
26
1
68
Fred
Nordgren
12
11
1959
5
11
240
DT
Portland State
24
1
66
Bob
Norris
11
13
1960
6
5
272
G
Eastern Illinois
23
R
61
Wes
Phillips
8
1
1955
6
5
275
TE
Lenoir-Rhyne
28
1
53
Paul
Piurowski
3
16
1959
6
3
230
LB
Florida State
24
1
23
George
Ragsdale
12
4
1952
5
11
185
RB
North Carolina A&T
31
3
78
Jim
Ramey
3
9
1957
6
4
247
DE
Kentucky
26
3
7
John
Reaves
3
2
1950
6
3
209
QB
Florida
33
9
70
Joe
Robinson
10
10
1956
6
5
280
T
Ohio State
27
1
36
Ken
Taylor
4
10
1958
6
1
195
S
Georgia Tech
25
R
74
Ken
Times
1
26
1957
6
2
246
DL
Southern
26
2
84
Eric
Truvillion
6
18
1959
6
4
205
WR
Florida A&M
24
1
67
Bob
Van Duyne
5
15
1952
6
5
243
C/G
Idaho
31
9
59
Russ
Washington
8
23
1959
6
0
220
LBS.M.U.
24
R
34
Willie
Wilder
9
19
1955
6
1
190
RB
Florida
28
1
22
Leon
Williams
3
23
1959
5
10
180
CB
Louisville
24
1
44
Ricky
Williams
3
28
1961
5
10
173
RB
Florida State
22
R
55
Bill
Winters
7
22
1954
6
5
270
OL
Princeton
29
1
87
Robert
Young
12
28
1957
6
3
232
TE
Bethune-Cookman
26
R

Washington Federals 1983 Team Preview

Colors – Kelly Green, Silver, White, and Black
Stadium – Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (55,045 / Grass)
Season tickets sold – 11,800
Owners – Berl Bernhard
General Manager – Dick Myers
Head Coach – Ray Jauch

HEAD COACH PROFILE:  The fourth winningest coach in Canadian Football League history, 44-year old Ray Jauch has successfully restructured two franchises in his 12 seasons as a head coach north of the border.  Implementing a philosophy of long range planning based on his penchant for developing young players, Jauch laid the foundation for the Edmonton Eskimos epic run of 9 Grey Cup Championship appearances in the last 10 years.  During his time on the sidelines in Edmonton (65-43-4), the Eskimos reached the playoffs 6 out of 7 years, reaching three title games and winning one Grey Cup (1975).  Following a year in the front office, Jauch left Edmonton for Winnipeg in 1978.  Over the next 5 seasons, the Blue Bombers made 4 playoff appearances, compiled a 45-35 record, and came within a game of playing for the Grey Cup themselves, losing to Edmonton 24-21 in the West Division title game this past November.

 

TEAM OVERVIEWIs there any city in America as hot for professional football right now than our nation's capital?  The USFL's Washington Federals hope not as they set up shop in the backyard of the NFL's most recent champion.  Having won their first league title in 40 years, few NFL franchises achieved the same level of support during the strike-shortened season as the Redskins.  But the District can be a fickle place.  Major League Baseball has twice failed to maintain a franchise in the area.  Even with the city's well-documented waiting list for NFL season tickets, can those fans be motivated to switch allegiances (and their wallets) to the upstart league?  So far they haven't and one would expect it will take a successful on-field product to generate similar enthusiasm.  Fortunately head coach Ray Jauch thinks his squad is ready to compete with all comers.

“My impression after a month of practice and a couple of scrimmages is that the games will have a tendency to be wide-open because there will be a lot of mistakes,” says Jauch.  “We're certainly not perfect, and we're far from where I hope we'll be, but I think we'll grow and I think we can be competitive right from the start.”

              

One reason for that optimism comes from the signing of first round pick RB Craig James (R – Southern Methodist).  A member of the famed “Pony Express,” James was a three-time All-SWC selection and finished his career as the third leading rushing in conference history behind former teammate Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell.  A pair of former Falcons will join James in the starting backfield in recently signed RB James Mayberry (3 yrs – ATL) and QB Kim McQuilken (7 yrs – ATL/WAS).  McQuilken's veteran leadership helped him secure the starting spot ahead of fifth round selection QB Mike Hohensee (R – Minnesota).  However, the rookie is considered an excellent passer and will likely see extensive playing time over the course of the season.  Either way, both quarterbacks have to be excited with the recent signing of two-time CFL All-Star WR Joey Walters (6 yrs – WPG/SAS).  Signed just days ago, the former Saskatchewan Roughrider has a penchant for the big play after catching 193 passes for 3407 yards and 21 touchdowns over the last two seasons.  Unfortunately, outside of 1982 All-ACC OT Dave Pacella (R – Maryland), the offensive line is suspect...particularly in pass protection.

Defensively, the Federals are hoping a mix of experience and youth will serve them well.  The bulk of that experience can be found in their defensive front.  It starts with 41-year old DE Coy Bacon (14 yrs – LA/SD/CIN/WAS), a three-time Pro Bowl and three-time 2nd Team All-NFL selection who is the oldest player on a USFL opening day roster.  He'll be joined by two-time CFL All-Star DT Ron Estay (11 yrs – BC/EDM), former WFL and CFL starter DE Drew Taylor (7 yrs – POR/BC/HAM/TOR/MON), and youngster DT Bennie Smith (1 yr – WAS camp).  A similar spectrum of experience will occur across the defensive secondary where three-time CFL All-Star CB Gregg Butler (7 yrs – EDM/MON/WPG) will be joined by S Donnie Harris (4 yrs – WAS/NYG/TOR), S Doug Greene (3 yrs – StL/BUF), and CB Jeff Brown (R – Liberty).  Sandwiched between those groups will be a trio of green linebackers – Ed Baxley (1 yr – KC camp), Farley Bell (1 yr – WAS camp), and John Zupancic (1 yr – PHI camp) – who have all had their share of problems in practice.

FEDERALS OPENING GAME 40-MAN ACTIVE ROSTER

#
First
Last
Mth
Day
 YrHtFt
HtIn
Wt
PosCollegeAge Exp
1
Obed
Ariri
4
7
1956
5
8
170
K
Clemson
27
1
79
Coy
Bacon
8
30
1942
6
4
269
DE
Jackson State
41
14
90
Bob
Barber
12
26
1951
6
3
240
DE
Grambling
32
7
50
Ed
Baxley
8
22
1959
6
2
226
LB
South Carolina
24
1
57
Farley
Bell
11 22
1956
6
4
235
LB
Cincinnati
27
1
36
Jeff
Brown
4
9
1961
6
1
180
CB
Liberty
22
R
83
Marc
Brown
5
7
1961
6
2
195
WR
Towson State
22
R
28
Gregg
Butler
12
26
1952
5
10
175
CB
Howard
31
8
52
Bruce
Byrom
6
21
1959
6
3
255
C/G
Maryland
23
1
58
Mike
Corvino
7
27
1960
6
2
240
LB
Maryland
23
R
85
Bubba
Diggs
6
20
1960
6
3
228
TE
Clemson
23
R
66
Chris
Dolce
10
10
1958
6
3
255
G
Clemson
25
R
86
Phil
DuBois
11
15
1956
6
2
220
TE
San Diego State
27
2
78
Ronnie
Estay
12
22 1948
6
1
240
DE
Louisiana State
35
11
21
Doug
Greene
2
10
1956
6
2
205
S
TAMU-Kingsville
27
3
44
Mike
Guess
4
20
1958
5
10
192
S
Ohio State
25
1
22
Buddy
Hardeman
10
21
1954
6
0
196
RB
Iowa State
29
3
26
Donnie
Harris
2
8
1954
6
2
185
S
Rutgers
29
4
3
Steve
Hoffman
9
8
1958
6
0
185
P
Dickinson
25
1
9
Mike
Hohensee
2
22
1961
6
0
205
QB
Minnesota
22
R
24
Willie
Holley
1
28
1957
5
10
187
CB
East Carolina
26
1
75
Myke
Horton
7
17
1954
6
3
260
G
U.C.L.A.
29
2
43
Mike
Hurst
12
31
1960
6
0
205
DB
Cincinnati
23
R
32
Craig
James
1
2
1961
6
0
215
RB
Southern Methodist
22
R
82
Walker
Lee
3
29
1956
6
1
190
WR
North Carolina
27
1
71
Mike
Matocha
2
15
1958
6
4
250
G
UT-Arlington
25
1
39
James
Mayberry
11
5
1957
5
11 210
RB
Colorado
26
3
11
Kim
McQuilken
2
26
1951
6
2
203
QB
Lehigh
32
7
53
Brian
Musselman
5
7
1959
6
2
256
C/G
Virginia
24
1
60
Dave
Pacella
2
7
1960
6
3
266
T/G
Maryland 23
R
69
Joel
Patten
2
7
1958
6
7
289
T
Duke
25
1
40
Eric
Robinson
12
12
1960
5
8
188
RB
Indiana State
23
R
54
Bob
Shupryt
9
29
1958
6
1
206
LB
New Mexico
25
1
92
Bennie
Smith
1
5
1960
6
3
252
DL
Missouri
23
1
80
Reggie
Smith
7
15
1956
5
4
168
WR
North Carolina Central
27
2
76
Tony
Suber
9
23
1959
6
3
276
DT
Gardner-Webb
24
1
70
Drew
Taylor
9
8
1950
6
5
250
DL
San Jose State
33
7
89
William
Wall
2
14
1960
6
4
226
TE
Virginia Union
23
R
87
Joey
Walters
10
29
1954
5
11
175
WR
Clemson
29
6
51
John
Zupancic
10
20
1960
6
0
222
LB
Miami (OH)
23
1