Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sprechen Sie Talk? | by Jay

The K├Âlner Stadt-Anzeiger's take on Peter Vaas departing stateside.

My German is a little rusty, but it's still better than Google Automatic Translations. Check this out:

(Cologne) - the ways of the Cologne Centurions and her coach Peter Vaas separate. The Head coach its resignation explained one day before the last season play of the Cologners with Berlin Thunder (not terminated with editorship conclusion of this expenditure yet). "I leave the Centurions and the NFL Europe with a heavy heart", said to the 53-Jaehrige, which had missed the qualification for the World Bowl with the Cologners. Vaas will in the future train the Quarterbacks at the University of Notre lady in the US Federal State Indiana. 1990 and 1991 had already worked there Vaas.

"it is a great opportunity to train again college football which I enjoyed, said always very much" Vaas - and pointed thereby on a contrast for the homeland of the Cologne Centurions.

At the university Notre lady come against it more than 80,000 spectators to the plays. Vaas, which will return today to the United States, strengthens there the team of the new coach Charlie, which can show three Superbowl victories with that new England Patriots. "Notre lady is somewhat completely special for me and my family", said Vaas, whose daughter studies Katelyn also there.
And our hearts forever...love thee Notre Lady.

Vaas won his last game in NFL Europe today, leading the Centurions over his old team, the Berlin Thunder. The broadcasters on Fox highlighted Vaas's imminent return to South Bend, and even cued up the fight song a couple of times during the game. Vaas spoke briefly at the end of the game, wishing his Centurions well, and expressing his excitement at working with Charlie Weis at ND ("Here come the Irish!")

It was interesting watching the game, as it's probably the first time I've watched European football since Tony Rice was taking snaps for the Barcelona Dragons in the nascent days of the old World League of American Football. (Quick -- how many of the original 10 franchises can you name?) The quality of the football is pretty good, but that shouldn't be surprising since a lot of the guys in the league are on assignment from NFL teams, or are better-than-average college players trying to hook on with a pro squad. Look at some of the NFL Europe alums who have made it to the NFL:

Kurt Warner
Kelly Holcomb
Jake Delhomme
Jay Fiedler
Jon Kitna
Brad Johnson
La'Roi Glover
Adam Vinatieri
David Akers
Dante Hall
Marco Rivera
Bill Schroeder
And these are just the bigger names. In fact, at the beginning of the 2004 season, you had 182 former Europe players on final NFL rosters for opening day. That's about five or six guys on every team, roughly 11% of the league. By my count, at least 30 of those players were coached by Peter Vaas at one point or another. And that's strictly for 2004, and doesn't count the guys who have already come and gone to the NFL under Vaas during his eight years in Europe.

So for the past eight years Peter Vaas has been working with and developing players with a pretty good amount of talent, and sending a fair number of guys to the NFL. I think this experience should serve him well under the Dome.

In any case, here's something to think about. In a game between the best of college football and the best of NFL Europe, who would win? Say USC played the Berlin Thunder...would the Trojans stand a chance?