The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the Birmingham Iron’s affiliate NFL teams, and so we here have somewhat informally adopted them as our Alliance of American Football team here. It helps that, as an affiliate, the Steelers have several former players on the Iron’s roster. And yesterday evening they got off to a 3-0 start in the AAF’s inaugural season.
A big part of that success on defense has been Steelers 2018 rookie undrafted free agent cornerback Jamar Summers, who has been one of the best defensive backs in the entire league so far this season, and perhaps one of the better defenders overall. He recorded another interception in yesterday’s victory over the Atlanta Legends by a score of 28-12.
Summers recorded three tackles in the game in addition to his interception and broke up a couple of passes, though he also drew a defensive holding call. In addition to Summers, former Steelers defensive linemen Casey Sayles and Johnny Maxey recorded statistics. Maxey had one tackle. Sayles had two tackles and a sack.
Two former practice squad offensive players, running back Ladarius Perkins and wide receiver L’Damian Washington, also made some minor contributions to the Iron’s success. Perkins rushed for 26 yards on eight carries, while Washington caught three passes for 28 yards.
In spite of the quality of offensive line play being an issue—among their lineman is former Steeler Larson Graham, a training camp participant out of Duquesne—former Cleveland Browns first-round pick Trent Richardson has been able to find the end zone six times this season so far, including three in yesterday’s win, despite averaging just 2.5 yards per attempt on the season. The Iron as a whole is averaging 2.4 yards per rush.
Quarterback Luiz Perez has only thrown one interception this year—the Iron’s ball security has been key to their success—but he also has yet to thrown a single touchdown. Richardson is in fact the only Iron player to score an offensive touchdown so far through three games.
On the contrary, their defense—which had a big goal line stand in the first quarter of yesterday’s game—has recorded five interceptions, two from Summers, and recovered three fumbles for eight total takeaways.
In the other game of the day, running back Terrell Watson—on the Steelers’ roster in 2017—rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries for the San Diego Fleet in a blowout 31-11 win over the San Antonio Commanders. Former draft pick Travis Feeney recorded three tackles for the Fleet as well.
On the other side of the ball, 2016 seventh-round wide receiver De’Marcus Ayers caught two passes for 14 yards for the Commanders while running back Trey Williams rushed for 75 yards on just seven attempts in addition to 13 yards on two receptions. David Cobb rushed for eight yards on three attempts. Darnell Leslie recorded one tackle for a run stop.