I brought this up last week a little bit just because Mike Teel still is a favorite among Seahawks fans. Mike was on John Clayton's radio show last Saturday and it really was a great interview, one I'd recommend listening to in full.
They touch on a lot of things, from Teel's current situation in the UFL, how Matt Hasselbeck helped to mentor him when he was in Seattle, to learning under Tom Brady in New England. Teel was recently drafted by the Las Vegas Locomotives of the UFL and will be competing for a job there, so keep your eye on that.
The thing I actually took away from this interview the most were a few comments by Clayton. John brought up a lot of good points about the UFL, but most importantly, how it's a great avenue for players to develop their skills if they've washed out of the NFL. The thing about the NFL is that if you get stuck at the bottom of the depth chart it's very easy to get lost in the shuffle. In Teel's case, he'd been buried at third on the chart behind Hasselbeck and Brady for his first three seasons and never really had a chance to showcase what he can do on an everyday basis. Furthermore, he's been pretty unable to develop his skills much because the fact of the matter is that 3rd string guys don't get many reps.
What Clayton alluded to is something that is really interesting to me. Why not make the UFL a type of minor league system of the NFL where players can develop their skills, get a lot of playing time and not just sit at the bottom of the depth chart on each team? Right now, each team gets 8 players on their practice squad during the regular season. Eight. Why not field an entire farm team where you can develop your players and feed the NFL teams if injuries happen much like in Major League Baseball? It's not like fans overdose football. It's the most insanely popular sport in the nation and I know for a fact that if the Seahawks fielded a 'minor league' UFL team, that games would sell out every week. If team's ownership and administration were in charge of the drafting of those teams players as well it would make the draft that much more exciting and more players would get a chance to fulfill their dreams of a professional career playing football.
Obviously this is putting the cart in front of the horse during a lockout, but I have no doubt that Football will be back. The NFL is a league that works. Period. People want to watch the game. If you had a minor league program,- that's not played with weird rules in Canada or across the pond in Europe-, I think people would sit up and notice. The fact is that the supply of good football players is higher than the demand. Sure, the difference between a 1st rounder and a sixth rounder is huge. But, I'd submit that once you get to the 6th and 7th rounds, not much separates the guys that land on teams and the guys that go undrafted. I'm rambling but let me know what you guys think. Would you go watch, say, the Tacoma Seagulls? I know I would, especially if these guys were considered 'prospects' for the Seahawks. Damn right I would go watch.
Anyway, here's the Teel interview, check it out.