Atlanta Legends

The Atlanta Legends were a professional American football team based in Atlanta, Georgia, and one of the charter members of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), which began play in February 2019.[1] They played their home games at Georgia State Stadium on the campus of the Georgia State University. They were coached by Kevin Coyle, one of two AAF coaches without prior head coaching experience. The Legends were one of two AAF teams, along with the Arizona Hotshots, to be based in a city that has an NFL team (the Atlanta Falcons and Arizona Cardinals, respectively).

On April 2, 2019, the league's football operations were reportedly suspended,[2][3] and on April 4 the league allowed players to leave their contracts to sign with NFL teams.[4] The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.[5]

Atlanta Legends
Current season
Established 2018
Folded 2019
Played in Georgia State Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta Legends helmet
Atlanta Legends logo
HelmetLogo
League/conference affiliations
Alliance of American Football (2019)
  • Eastern Conference (2019)
Team colorsPurple, gold & white
              
Personnel
General managerBilly Devaney
Head coachKevin Coyle
Team history
  • Atlanta Legends (2019)
Championships
League championships (0)
Conference championships (0)
Division championships (0)
Home arena(s)

History

The Alliance Atlanta team was announced by the league on April 25, 2018, as its second initial team. Additionally, the head coach, Brad Childress, and offensive coordinator, Michael Vick, were announced.[6][7] On September 20, the league announced for four eastern inaugural franchises' names and logos including Atlanta as the Atlanta Legends.[8] The name and colors (purple, gold, white) are tributes to famous historical figures from the city, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Hank Aaron.[9][10]

Childress resigned a month before the start of the 2019 season, and Kevin Coyle, initially hired as the team's defensive coordinator, took Childress's place.[11] On February 7, 2019, two days before their first game, head coach Coyle announced that Vick would be unable to fill his role as offensive coordinator and would instead act as an advisor to the team.[12] Rich Bartel, who replaced Vick as de facto offensive coordinator and play-caller, abruptly resigned two days before the team's home opener,[13] prompting the team to hire Ken Zampese to lead the offense.[14]

The team's first game was at Spectrum Stadium against the Orlando Apollos on Saturday, February 9, 2019,[15] where they lost 40–6.[16] Their first home game was on February 24 against the Birmingham Iron, where they lost 28–12.[15] After starting the season 0–3, the Legends recorded their first win against the Arizona Hotshots on March 3, 2019.[17]

Staff

Atlanta Legends staff
Front Office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks – Ken Zampese
  • Running backs – John Johnson
  • Tight ends – Corey Woods
  • Offensive line – Pete Metzelaars
  • Offensive assistant – Miles Robinson

Defensive coaches

  • Defensive coordinator – Louie Cioffi
  • Defensive line – Leroy Thompson
  • Linebackers/Defensive specialist – Jennifer Welter
  • Defensive assistant – Tyler Anderson
  • Special teams coordinator/Linebackers coach – Mark Criner
 

Sports Medicine Staff

  • Head Athletic Trainer – Rachel Sharpe
  • Assistant Athletic Trainer – Daniel McAdams
  • Physical Therapist – Mike Thomas

Equipment Staff

  • Head Equipment Manager – Cortez Robinson
  • Assistant Equipment Manager – Jessica Gladden

Video staff

  • Video Director – Jacob Berry
  • Assistant Video Director – Rickey Layman

Coaching Staff

Eastern Conference
ATL
BIR
MEM
ORL
Western Conference
ARI
SL
SA
SD

Players

The Legends' assigned area, which designates player rights, includes the following:[18]

Colleges

National Football League (NFL)

Canadian Football League (CFL)

Roster

Atlanta Legends roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

  • 80 Charles Standberry
Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

  • 94 Tavaris Barnes DE
  • 95 David Dean DT
  • 94 Antonio Simmons DE
  • 90 Tracy Sprinkle DT
Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Rights list

  • -- Donnie Miles, Jr. DB
  • -- Matthew Schmidt OL
  • -- Jake Sutherland TE


Roster updated April 1, 2019
41 Active, 13 Inactive

More rosters

Media

In addition to league-wide television coverage through NFL Network, CBS Sports Network, TNT, and B/R Live, Legends' games are also broadcast on local radio by WCNN ("680 The Fan").[19]

References

  1. ^ Wilson, Bernie. "Atlanta Legends no more: AAF football immediately suspends operations". WSB-TV ATLANTA. Cox Media Group. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  2. ^ Kercheval, Ben (April 2, 2019). "AAF operations suspended, league's future in doubt after eight games of first season". cbssports.com. Retrieved 2019-04-02.
  3. ^ "AAF to immediately suspend operations". ESPN. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  4. ^ Schwartz, Nick (April 4, 2019). "AAF star Keith Reaser becomes first player to sign NFL deal after league shutdown". USA Today. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  5. ^ "AAF files for bankruptcy, officially closes down", USA Today, AP, April 17, 2019, retrieved April 17, 2019
  6. ^ Culpepper, JuliaKate E. (April 25, 2018). "Michael Vick will lead offense of new pro football league team in Atlanta". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  7. ^ "Michael Vick to be offensive coordinator on new Alliance of American football Atlanta team". WAGA. April 25, 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  8. ^ Benjamin, Cody (September 20, 2018). "LOOK: Alliance of American Football unveils logos of four pro teams that will debut in 2019". CBSSports.com. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  9. ^ Culpepper, JuliaKate (September 20, 2018). "Exclusive: Name, logo revealed for new pro football team in Atlanta". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Yasin, Kareem (November 27, 2018). "The Alliance of American Football Unveils its Inaugural Uniforms". Alliance of American Football. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  11. ^ "One month to kickoff, Childress quits AAF job". ESPN.com. 9 January 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
  12. ^ Vivlamore, Chris (February 7, 2019). "Michael Vick out as Atlanta Legends offensive coordinator". AJC. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  13. ^ Johnson, Parker (February 25, 2019). "Play-caller Bartel becomes third coach to leave Legends". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  14. ^ Perloff, Andrew [@andrewperloff] (March 3, 2019). "Interesting @TheAAF note... former Bengals OC, Browns QBs coach Ken Zampese came aboard to run offense for @AafLegends this week and helped QB Aaron Murray lead them win tonight. Zampese was with Andy Dalton for long time and Baker Mayfield last year" (Tweet). Retrieved March 3, 2019 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ a b "Alliance of American Football schedule released for Arizona Hotshots, other 7 teams". AZ Central. USA Today Network. October 16, 2018. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
  16. ^ Kercheval, Ben (February 9, 2019). "AAF Week 1 scores, highlights: Spurrier calls 'Philly Special' for TD, Orlando and San Antonio win openers". CBSSports.com. Retrieved February 11, 2019.
  17. ^ "Aaron Murray takes over at quarterback, leads Atlanta Legends to first win". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  18. ^ Inabinett, Mark (July 12, 2018). "Alabama, Auburn players to go on Birmingham AAF team's assignment list". AL.com. Alabama Media Group. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "'680 The Fan' To Carry Atlanta Legends Football Games". insideradio.com. January 16, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019.

Further reading

2019 AAF season

The 2019 AAF season was the first and only season in the history of the Alliance of American Football (AAF), which began on February 9, 2019. A ten-week regular season was scheduled for each of the league's eight teams.

On April 2, multiple sources indicated that Thomas Dundon, controlling owner of the AAF, had followed through on threats made in the previous week and suspended the AAF's operations, against the will of its founders. By the end of the week, the AAF front office had confirmed the suspension of operations and allowed players to opt-out of their contracts to sign with other leagues. The league filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on April 17, 2019.

At the time the season ended, each team had played eight games, and the Orlando Apollos, with a league best 7–1 record two games ahead of its nearest competitors, had clinched no less than a share of the regular season's best record, regardless of how the rest of the schedule would have played out. A four-team playoff was scheduled to start on April 21, with a championship game on April 27. Initially scheduled for Sam Boyd Stadium on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Nevada, the title game was moved to the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, before the league ceased operations.

Akrum Wadley

Akrum Wadley (born March 13, 1995) is an American football running back for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2018. He played college football at Iowa.

Brandon Watts

Brandon Watts (born January 21, 1991) is an American football linebacker for Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Georgia Tech. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the seventh round, 223rd overall of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Chase Farris

Chase Farris (born April 8, 1993) is an American football offensive guard for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football. He played college football at Ohio State, and was signed by the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

Colin Holba

Colin Holba (born July 8, 1994) is an American football long snapper for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisville. Holba was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round (213th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Damian Swann

Damian Rashad Swann (born December 4, 1992) is an American football cornerback who currently plays for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at the University of Georgia.

Doran Grant

Doran Grant (born November 30, 1992) is an American football cornerback for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Ohio State.

Dwayne Hollis

Dwayne Hollis (born July 7, 1989) is an arena football defensive back for the Philadelphia Soul of the Arena Football League (AFL). He played college football at North Carolina Wesleyan College and attended Denbigh High School in Newport News, Virginia. He has also been a member of the Helsinki Roosters, Lehigh Valley Steelhawks, Trenton Freedom, Shanghai Skywalkers, and Atlanta Legends.

Ed Reynolds (safety)

Edward Rannell Reynolds II (born October 18, 1991) is an American football safety who currently plays for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Stanford. His father is the former NFL linebacker and league official of the same name, Ed Reynolds.

Georgia State Stadium

Georgia State Stadium is a college football stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The stadium is the home of the Georgia State University Panthers football team as of the 2017 season, replacing the Georgia Dome which had served as their home stadium from the program's inception in 2010 until 2016. It was also the home of the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF).

Georgia State Stadium was originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics as Centennial Olympic Stadium. Following the 1996 Summer Paralympics, the Olympic Stadium was reconfigured as designed into the baseball-specific Turner Field, serving as the home of the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball from 1997 until 2016. After the Braves' departure for SunTrust Park in Cobb County, Georgia State University acquired Turner Field and its surrounding parking lots for a large scale expansion of the Georgia State campus, which includes new private and student housing, academic, and retail space, in addition to the stadium redevelopment.

Jeff Luc

Jeff Luc (born February 14, 1992) is an American football linebacker for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He previously attended Florida State University. In June 2012, Luc transferred to play at Cincinnati. Luc was a 2009 USA Today High School All-American selection.

Originally from Miami, Florida, Luc moved to Port St. Lucie in 2003, where he attended Treasure Coast High School. He registered 103 tackles (14 for a loss) as a senior, and played in the Under Armour All-America Game. Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Luc was listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the class of 2010.

Justin Thomas (American football)

Justin Micheal Bryant Thomas (born March 15, 1994) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Georgia Tech and signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2017. He has also been a member of the Los Angeles Rams and Atlanta Legends.

Keith Towbridge

Keith Towbridge (born May 21, 1995) is an American football tight end for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Louisville.

Khalil Bass

Khalil Bass is a gridiron football linebacker for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He was previously a player in the Canadian Football League, where he made his debut with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2015, and also played for the Ottawa Redblacks and Toronto Argonauts where he won the 105th Grey Cup.

Matt Simms (American football)

Matthew Phillip Simms (born September 27, 1988) is an American football quarterback for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football at Tennessee, before being signed by the New York Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Simms is the son of former New York Giants quarterback and Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms and younger brother of former NFL quarterback Chris Simms.

Pete Metzelaars

Peter Henry Metzelaars (born May 24, 1960) is a former American football tight end who played for the Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, and Detroit Lions in a sixteen-year career in the National Football League. Following his playing career, Metzelaars became a coach.

Seantavius Jones

Seantavius Jones (born August 9, 1992) is an American football wide receiver for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He was signed by the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He played college football at Valdosta State.

T. J. Barnes

Terence Jariviz Barnes (born June 14, 1990) is an American football defensive tackle for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Georgia Tech. He signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2013, and has also played with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Atlanta Legends of the AAF.

Younghoe Koo

Younghoe Koo (Hangul: 구영회, pronounced YOUNG-way; born August 3, 1994) is a South Korean-born American football placekicker for the Atlanta Legends of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He played college football for the Georgia Southern Eagles. As a senior, he earned all-conference honors in the Sun Belt Conference. Koo became a starter for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2017 before being released four weeks into the season.

Atlanta Legends
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