Former Steelers Mettenberger, Garvin Shine For AAF Saturday Evening

The Alliance of American Football is going into its third week of play, with two of four games having taken place yesterday, including a victory by the Orlando Apollos over the Memphis Express, the latter of whom are now 0-3. But there was a meaningful change in that game.

The Express made a change at quarterback from a berg to a berger, Christian Hackenberg being benched in favor of Zach Mettenberger, who spent the 2016 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mettenberger led the Express to two late touchdowns, but it was not enough to complete the rally.

Another former Steeler contributed to that, with linebacker Terence Garvin recording one of the interceptions on the night for the Apollos of Hackenberg. Garvin recorded two interceptions in the Apollos’ inaugural game, one of which he returned for a touchdown, so he already has three interceptions on the year.

Mettenberger was a sixth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2014. He participated in 14 games over the course of his first two seasons, starting 10 games, all of which he lost. He completed 208 of 345 passes for 2347 yards, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.

One of the best games of his career actually came against the Steelers during his rookie season, a 27-24 loss that featured a comeback from Ben Roethlisberger. Mettenberger completed 15 of 24 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in that game.

Following the 2015 season, however, the former LSU quarterback was released in May. The San Diego Chargers claimed him off waivers, but he was released in August, after which the Steelers subsequently claimed him. He was carried as their third quarterback that season after a need arose due to an injury suffered by Bruce Gradkowski.

As for Garvin, he was originally signed as a rookie minicamp tryout player in 2013. He spent three seasons with the Steelers, but they chose not to tender him as a restricted free agent in 2016. He would go on to play one season each in Washington and Seattle. He spent time in the offseason with Miami in 2018 and played briefly for San Francisco during the regular season.

Now he is emerging as one of the clear top players of the AAF as he looks to angle his way back into the NFL. Mettenberger hopes to do the same, having now been out of the league for the past two seasons. The fact that Hackenberg started over him was a bad sign, but now he will have the opportunity to lead the Express and get that tape out there.

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