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Rampage QB Happy in Grand Rapids
posted on ArenaFan.com, Sunday, February 24, 2008
Grand Rapids quarterback Adrian McPherson has
seen a lot in his relatively short football career, some good, some not so good.
As he heads into his third AFL season, things are looking up for him with a new
coach and a new supporting cast around him.
McPherson was the Arena Football League Rookie
of the Year in 2004 while playing for the Indiana Firebirds. He threw 61
touchdown passes that season and rushed for 19 more.
The Firebirds folded after McPhersonís first season in the League and he was
picked up by the Nashville Kats in a dispersal draft. He never played for the
Kats, however. Instead, he entered the NFL Draft in 2005 and was selected by the
New Orleans Saints in the fifth round.
In 2006, McPherson was injured during halftime
of a preseason game between the Saints and the Tennessee Titans when the Titans
mascot, T-Rac, accidentally struck him while driving off the field in a golf
cart. McPherson was waiting to catch a punt during warm ups and did not see the
He returned to the Arena Football League last year as quarterback of the Austin
Wranglers. He started eight games and soon after, he was released. He was then
picked up by the Rampage and started the final three games for Grand Rapids last
season after an injury to starter Chad Salisbury.
The Rampage hired new head coach Steve Thonn away from the Georgia Force during
the off-season and McPherson is one of the few Rampage players remaining on the
roster from last yearís squad.
McPherson reflected on his past and present Arena training camp experiences
after a recent scrimmage with the Cleveland Gladiators. ďIn Indiana, I was just
lost. As a young kid I really didnít know the game, so it was just a little
different for me. In Austin, I thought the training camp went well, but it
didnít cater to some of my abilities. I thought we had great players, but I
really didnít fit that system.
ďBut with Steve (Thonn), heís not only a great play caller, heís really good at
listening to the players and working to the best of our abilities. Heís using
the great system that he has and heís molding it to the players that he has.
Steve went out and cleaned house (in Grand Rapids). He went out and got every
player he wanted. He knew what kind of players would fit in his system and Iím
excited about that.
ďIím a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. I couldnít
understand why I was released by Austin and came here last year, but Iím as
happy as a little kid right now. Itís a small market and the fans are excited
about football. Iím looking for some great things this year.Ē
If McPherson can return to the form that made him the Leagueís Rookie of the
Year in 2004, the fans in Grand Rapids will have much to cheer about in 2008.
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