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BIRMINGHAM IRON STRENGTHEN COACHING CORE

Alabama Native and Auburn Great “Cadillac” Williams Highlights Lewis’ Inaugural Coaching Staff. Birmingham, Ala. – October 9, 2018 – The Birmingham Iron of the Alliance of American Football have named its assistant coaches to join head coach Tim Lewis’ inaugural staff. The Iron announced Steve Logan (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Carnell Williams (running backs), Dave Magazu (offensive line), Ray Rychleski (special teams/tight ends), Martin Bayless (secondary/assistant special teams) and Ray Hamilton (defensive line) to the coaching staff in the new professional football league. Steve Meyer (defensive assistant) will serve in a quality control coaching role. “This is a great group of coaches to be part of the first coaching staff in Birmingham Iron history,” said Lewis. “They bring a tremendous amount of coaching experience at the NFL and collegiate level. Some of them have played at the highest level and enjoyed outstanding playing careers. We wanted our players to learn from the best and that’s what I believe we found in these Iron coaches.” One of the highlights of Lewis’ first staff is Alabama native Carnell “Cadillac” Williams who starred at Auburn University after a tremendous high school career at Etowah High School in Attalla, Alabama. Steve Logan, Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks A 37-year coaching veteran in the NFL and at the collegiate level, Logan has enjoyed stops at Oklahoma State, Tulsa, Colorado, Mississippi State, East Carolina, Boston College at the collegiate level. He coached with Berlin and Rhein in NFL Europe and with Tampa Bay and San Francisco. Logan’s most recent stop was as quarterbacks coach for the 49ers in 2015. Logan has previously tutored three NFL-bound quarterbacks in the college ranks: Matt Ryan (Boston College), Jeff Blake (East Carolina) and David Garrard (East Carolina). He went 69-58 with five bowl appearances as East Carolina’s head coach from 1992-2002, and he was Boston College’s offensive coordinator in 2007-08. Dave Magazu, Offensive Line A 37-year NFL/NCAA coaching veteran, Magazu coached offensive line and tight ends in the NFL for 14 years. He spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Chicago Bears. Magazu began his NFL coaching career with the Carolina Panthers as the tight ends coach from 2003-06 before taking over the offensive line in 2007. He coached in Carolina until 2010. He served as offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos from 2011-14 before moving on to the Bears. In 2009, Magazu’s offensive line paved the way for Panthers DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to become the NFL’s first tandem to each rush for over 1,100 yards in a season. During his last stop with the Bears in 2016, rookie RB Jordan Howard rushed for a franchise record 1,313 yards and only six teams allowed fewer sacks. Magazu also coached at the collegiate level at Colorado State, Kentucky, Memphis and Boston College. Carnell Williams, Running Backs The overall fifth-pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2005 NFL draft out of Auburn University, Williams played six seasons for the Bucs and one season for the St. Louis Rams. He was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2005. Williams enjoyed a stellar collegiate career at Auburn, where he […]

Over Five Hundred Players Signed to The Alliance

The Alliance of American Football has reached a milestone in player acquisition, signing over 500 players to contracts for the 2019 inaugural season. The mark was surpassed with the latest batch of signings highlighted below, bringing the total to 515 players signed to contracts. “As we get closer to our first snap on February 9th, our experienced general managers and personnel teams have been working around the clock to build their rosters and offer players a chance to begin, extend or revitalize their careers,” said Bill Polian, co-founder, The Alliance. “I know the pressure and dedication that goes into building a championship-caliber team and it’s been exciting to see our rosters fill up with talented athletes that have come from all over the country – from small universities in the Midwest to powerhouse SEC schools and successful NFL franchises. They are all vying for another shot in professional football.” “Each day, when I see the personnel notice come across my desk, I’m reminded of why The Alliance is a league of opportunity — these players deserve a chance to continue their football careers and I’m honored they chose The Alliance,” said Charlie Ebersol, co-founder, The Alliance. “With our Super Bowl champion league executives, our best-in-class coaches and general managers, these players will take the field in February prepared and supported by those who have been there before them with an opportunity to compete at a high level in front of passionate, engaged fans. We welcome these 515 players to The Alliance.” Rosters Arizona Hotshots Atlanta Legends Birmingham Iron Memphis Express Orlando Apollos Salt Lake Stallions San Antonio Commanders San Diego Fleet

Introducing the Birmingham Iron

Richardson brings ‘Iron’ will to Birmingham

By Mark Newman The last time Trent Richardson ran the football for a team in the state of Alabama, it worked out pretty well for everyone involved. He finished third in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting, rushing for more than 100 yards in six straight games and leading the Crimson Tide to their third national championship in a four-year span. He was compared to Earl Campbell among other legends, and was considered a can’t-miss running back when the Cleveland Browns drafted him No. 3 overall in 2012 and gave him a guaranteed four-year, $20.4 million contract. For Richardson, at least, what happened after that is all well-known and water under the bridge: four NFL teams and a stint in the Canadian Football League. But now comes The Alliance of American Football, with an opportunity to come back home and start anew. Richardson was signed by the Birmingham team, which will play its game in front of Bama fans galore at Legion Field, until a new stadium near Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex is ready, likely for 2021. “Excited about this,” Richardson said to AL.com after signing. “Another opportunity for my professional career. Happy to be doing something that I really love doing, especially in Alabama and in Birmingham, which is a home away from home for me.” If anywhere is a right match for Richardson in his bid to restore his good name among football fans, it is unquestionably with the Iron and at a field near Tuscaloosa. Richardson rushed for 950 yards as an NFL rookie, but the Browns traded him to Indianapolis for a first-round pick the following year. The Colts waived him after the 2015 season. He immediately signed a two-year contract with the Raiders, but didn’t make their regular-season roster. Richardson joined the Ravens for the preseason in 2016, but that didn’t extend beyond the exhibition schedule. Richardson’s NFL stats stand at 2,032 yards on 614 career carries over 46 games. He spent one season with Saskatchewan of the CFL before he was granted his release on Aug. 15 so he could join The Alliance. With Birmingham, Richardson will play for someone who can identify with being a high draft pick whose NFL career is shorter than expected. The team’s new coach, Tim Lewis, was the 11th player chosen overall out of the University of Pittsburgh by Green Bay in 1983. Lewis played four seasons before having his career halted after a head-to-head collision with Bears receiver Willie Gault. The Alliance has a unique personnel acquisition system, and Richardson is precisely where both an organization and a player can benefit. Players are allocated to The Alliance based on their college footprint, and that includes the following schools: Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Louisiana Tech, NC State, Maryland, Missouri, UAB, South Alabama, Troy, Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Samford, Miles College, North Alabama, Tuskegee and West Alabama. If a player’s college is outside The Alliance footprint, the selection process moves to phase 2 — based on their most recent NFL or CFL team. “If the Birmingham team has Trent Richardson,” The Alliance co-founder Bill Polian told ESPN […]

Kick Six Chris Davis back in Birmingham

By Mark Newman Chris Davis is already a football legend in the state of Alabama, his iconic “Kick Six” photos hanging on the walls of Auburn faithful and not so much around Tuscaloosa. Whatever he does with the new Birmingham team in The Alliance of American Football, it will be phenomenal if it falls into the same category of notoriety he already knows so well. But there is life after the 109-yard touchdown return that somehow ended the 2013 Iron Bowl, and you kind of can’t wait to see what Davis does next. Or more accurately, how much football fans in these parts will appreciate seeing him in uniform. Just think, there might be Bama fans cheering in the stands to see him playing for them at Legion Field – playing cornerback, maybe even going back in the end zone on a long field-goal try. Five years have passed, and the Kick Six is the stuff of legend. Fourth-ranked Auburn (10-1) was playing the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide (11-0), and Bama coach Nick Saban called for a 57-yard field goal attempt after Auburn tied the score at 28-28. Cade Foster’s kick fell short, and Davis brought it out. He got an edge, then downfield, a key block that gave him open grass. It was one of the best finishes in sports, period. “The day after the game: Twitter followers, that Monday going into class, getting a standing ovation, man it was crazy,” Davis said in an Auburn Football podcast last year, recalling the moment he realized the magnitude of the Kick Six. “It was life-changing around campus. You walk around campus as a defensive player, people barely know who you are. They rarely come up and ask for autographs. But after that play, I felt like Cam Newton.” Davis, Newton and that Auburn team took that 2013 title, a smudge on Bama’s long stretch of dominance. Now Davis is on a roster representing the entire state of Alabama, and maybe beyond, one of eight teams in The Alliance. It’s funny, because you know someone in this Birmingham crowd probably was responsible for one of those Twitter posts photoshopping Davis’ foot to make it look like he stepped out of bounds that game. “I saw a lot of them and laughed at them. They were everywhere,” he said. “If you were on social media, you couldn’t help but see them. I just laughed because I knew I didn’t step out of bounds. But that’s how it is, Alabama and Auburn. The biggest college football rivalry.” Davis said he was “just hoping there was no flag on the play. That was the first thing going through my mind, hoping no flag on the play.” Last month, someone actually recreated the play using LEGO bricks. And right around the same time, the Tampa Bay Bucs literally recreated the play in a preseason game, prompting even more Kick Six references. It goes on. Now the star of the play is one of the names that jump out on the Birmingham roster, one of many Iron Bowl names. He was signed by the […]

Birmingham shows its strength with the Iron

By Mark Newman Get ready, Birmingham, for your new professional team, on a stage that gives us top-flight football for three additional months a year. Not to mention brings together two huge rivals — Alabama and Auburn, with players coming together in black, steel grey and silver.  The Birmingham Iron has arrived. Iron is one of three elements needed to make steel and make no mistake: This franchise is all about chemistry, both on the field and in the community. Long ago, fans in Alabama established their love for toughness, strength, durability and success on a foundation built to stand the test of time.   Birmingham’s proud history, its track record of behemoth beams and high-rising structures throughout the world, symbolizes hard work, brawn and trust. Meet your Birmingham Iron of The Alliance of American Football. The Alliance has eight teams, beginning play this February, and brings to Birmingham a franchise all its own, with familiar faces running the show and a name rooted in local history. The bottom line is simple. The Birmingham Iron, an Iron fist in the Alliance of American Football, promises a brand of football that will make Alabama proud.

Iron hoss: Birmingham GM Joe Pendry

As if Birmingham needs another reason to get geared up for the launch of The Alliance of American Football this February, here’s a big one. Joe Pendry is your team’s General Manager. And first of all, he is a fan of Birmingham. “To be in Birmingham with the Birmingham Iron, I think that’s a very appropriate name for our team because of the people in the city of Birmingham,” Pendry said on Wednesday, the eve of the team’s name reveal. “They citizens here are hard working and dependable, and the city is that way. It’s aggressive and progressive, from the mayor to the business community and football fans. I’m really excited about this.” All of that matters. But so does this: Joe Pendry became a key figure in The Alliance brain trust for the best of reasons. He cares about the sport to which he’s dedicated his life and the players who deserve the chance to perform at a higher level. “That’s what’s so exciting about it,” Pendry said. “There are so many players who never get the opportunity. Or, if they do have the opportunity in pro football, they might not last long because of an injury, because of being in the wrong place with a stacked deck of personnel, or various and sundry reasons.” Pendry is a rock star in the sport. He has worked for seven NFL teams and five major college programs, including Alabama from 2007-2010 as Assistant Head Coach. When he talks football, it more than probably is a good idea to take notes. The players he’s talking about now are part of a numbers game. And they’re bona fide professional football players. Looking back at how The Alliance started stocking its rosters, Pendry puts himself in the players’ cleats. “Each of them was one of 70,000 players playing college football,” Pendry said. “There are 1,700 on NFL rosters. So there are so many guys out there who can play the game and, for one reason or another, we’re going to get the guy who is a first-year rookie with no pro experience. We’re going to give that player a chance. We’re going to give a player who has bounced around two or three different teams a chance. And we’re going to give a player who has played four or five years a chance. “So you can start or revitalize careers, and it is an honor for me to be a part of that.” Iron will, the quality Pendry seeks like a metal detector. The nobility of job creation aside, Pendry knows The Alliance is onto something bigger. It starts with a quality product that’s fun to watch. It has the added benefit of competing against peers, famous ones. The other GMs. The coaches. The recognizable players. “With the people in this league and the experience they have, I’m grateful and looking very forward to what’s in store.” The cutting-edge aspects of The Alliance include gobs of data and access to real-time information about players’ performances. And beyond technical enhancements, there’s this impossible-to-argue upside: At a minimum, millions of fans of the sport get three […]

Lewis honored at helm in Birmingham

By Joel Poiley A skilled cornerback, Tim Lewis was known for his hard-hitting and ball-hawking defense during his four seasons in the NFL from 1983-86 with the Green Bay Packers. He’ll bring those same intense traits as Birmingham’s head coach in the new Alliance of American Football (AAF) when it begins play next February. Lewis spoke passionately about what attracted him to the AAF and his first head coaching position when he was introduced to the Birmingham community in June. “That vision that Charlie Ebersol, Bill Polian, Troy Polamalu, Justin Tuck and the other former players who are involved had of putting high quality football on the field in the spring, fueled by an alliance between the players, the fans and the game itself, really excites me,” Lewis said. “I’m humbled and honored to get this opportunity.” A first-round pick of the Packers (11th player chosen overall) in 1983 out of the University of Pittsburgh, Lewis led or shared the team lead in interceptions in his rookie year and 1985, totaling 16 for his career. Packer fans will recall his 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Los Angles Rams in 1984.    His career was cut short by a severe neck injury suffered in a Monday Night game against Chicago in the third week of the 1986 season. He wanted to continue playing, but doctors told him he would risk permanent paralysis after they discovered he had a narrow spinal cord. He retired two days after the injury. The 57-year-old Lewis began his coaching career in 1987 at Texas A&M with his former college coach at Pittsburgh, Jackie Sherrill. He later became defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2000-2003) and New York Giants (2004-2006). His 20-plus years of coaching also included stints at Atlanta, Carolina and Seattle as either a secondary or defensive backs coach. Birmingham will play its AAF games at historic Legion Field, home to the University of Alabama Blazers and site of many memorable college games, including the annual Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama for many years.   The upbeat Lewis said given how AAF teams will look for local talent, he expects fans to flock to games to see familiar faces. “By the allocation of players and by the way we’re going to pick and put our teams together, I couldn’t think of a better hotbed of football than this area of the country,” Lewis said. “We’ve got Alabama, we’ve got Auburn, we’ve got universities around here locally that will help us put our team together in a fantastic and dynamic way. “When you sit in the stands with your family and you’re watching the same kid that you just watched for two, three or four years at the local university, it’s going to be fantastic.”   Justin Tuck, an AAF investor, played for Lewis in New York when Lewis was the Giants defensive coordinator. He expects Lewis to run a tight ship. “Coach Lewis is a committed guy,” Tuck said. “A no-nonsense guy; a guy that’s a teacher. Someone who is more than X’s and O’s. Obviously, he knows the game of football […]