The Alliance of American Football as it’s currently constructed consists of eight teams, each with 52-man roster, in addition to any players on the injured reserve list, meaning a bit over 400 players in total. I have been able to connect roughly 30 players in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers, having spent at least some amount of time there.
I’m not sure if that is the most of any NFL franchise—remember, many players will have played for multiple franchises, though nearly a fifth of AAF rosters is made up of players who never made it to the NFL—but if not, it would have to be among the most.
It’s because of that that it’s not exactly a shock to see several former members of the Steelers make Pro Football Focus’ AAF Team of the Week for Week Three, including three players on the defensive side of the ball and one on offense.
The most significant player of this group for the startup league so far has been cornerback Jamar Summers, who has been one of the top defensive backs in the AAF and recorded his second interception on Sunday in the Birmingham Iron’s blowout victory over the Atlanta Legends in their first road game.
“If one person has made a name for themselves this season on defense, arguably the loudest of those names being shouted is Jamar Summers”, Cam Mellor wrote. “It was just another day at the office for Summers this weekend, seeing seven targeted passes come his way as he allowed just two receptions for 36 yards and brought down an interception and three pass breakups. His 8.9 passer rating when targeted was the best of the weekend from a CB and for the season, he has now given up just four receptions on 15 targets and has a 0.0 passer rating into his coverage”.
Two defensive linemen, Giorgio Newberry and Casey Sayles, also made the Team of the Week. Newberry was in camp in 2017, Sayles in 2018. Newberry recorded three tackles and some pressure on the quarterback in limited action for the Orlando Apollos. Sayles, also with the Iron, played the run well but managed six pressures on the pass rush, including a sack.
The Steelers are represented on the offensive side of the ball by running back Terrell Watson. Watson spent the majority of the 2017 season on their roster, even getting some work as a short-yardage back, but he was eventually swapped out for Fitzgerald Toussaint.
Watson, with the San Diego Fleet, rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries and added a three-yard reception this week in a blowout victory, though he is the team’s second-string running back behind Ja’Quan Gardner. 57 of his 73 yards came after contact, adding four first downs and two runs of double-digit yardage.