Former Seahawks LB Terence Garvin, ex-UW LB Travis Feeney break down their AAF debuts
Two former NFL linebackers with Seattle ties getting another shot at a pro football career with the new Alliance of American Football league joined 710 ESPN Seattle on Monday after the league kicked off this weekend.
Ex-UW Huskies linebacker Travis Feeney, who was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, is now with the San Diego Fleet, one of eight teams in Bill Polian and Charlie Ebersol’s AAF that began play with its Week 1 schedule Saturday and Sunday.
Former Seahawks linebacker Terence Garvin, now with the Orlando Apollos (coincidentally, he’s joined there by Feeney’s University of Washington teammate Azeem Victor), was one of the stars of the opening weekend. Garvin had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in the Apollos’ 40-6 win over the Atlanta Legends.
On Monday, both players recapped their debuts – Feeney with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, and Garvin with John Clayton.
‘Our game goes by faster, for sure’
Feeney, 26, said the AAF games are more fast-paced than NFL games. That’s due to a few intentional changes.
“Our game goes by faster for sure,” Feeney said. “We don’t have a long halftime and we don’t have TV timeouts, so the game flies by really fast. There’s some different rules for the defense. We can’t blitz from the two-yard box outside of the tackle, which as a defensive player you’re not too much a fan of because you can’t disguise as much, but you take it. You can only rush five. Simple things like that. Other than that, basically the game is the same.”
The AAF also scrapped kickoffs, which Feeney admits to missing, but it also contributes to quicker game times. The goal for most players is to return to the NFL, but playing in AAF games allows far more on-field opportunities to build up experience and game tape.
“Everybody’s trying to get back in, but everybody’s definitely enjoying this opportunity,” Feeney said. “Because you have a lot of guys who have been at home or guys who have been training non-stop, just preparing and waiting for that call. These guys are hungry more than anybody… you’re just keeping this energy going.”
Listen to Feeney’s entire interview here.
‘We’re all just looking for opportunities’
Garvin, 28, was one of the standout players from the AAF’s inaugural weekend.
“Everybody’s out here looking for opportunities just to show that they can play,” Garvin said. “There’s a lot of people in that league that can play that might be behind a starter that’s been there for six, seven years, and we’re trying to find an opportunity. And I feel like that’s what this league kind of gives a little bit, is another opportunity to show who you can be.”
Garvin also talked about the AAF’s training camp process and what he’s learning from NFL veterans in the new league.