Kyle Rowley traveled a long road before he came to Spokane in the middle of the 2006 arenafootball2 season. He quickly took over as starting quarterback and guided the Shock to an af2 championship.
He traveled a long road over the next three seasons before his career path brought him back to Spokane. Rowley has earned the starting job and he'll make his AFL quarterbacking debut tomorrow when Spokane entertains Milwaukee. Rowley has played in AFL games, but only as a holder.
Read on for my unedited article on Rowley's well-traveled career and his aspirations in his second stint with the Shock.
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There have been stops in
And now Kyle Rowley is back in
The veteran quarterback has done just about everything possible in arena football. He led
He’s been on Arena Football League rosters, but the few snaps he took in AFL games were as a holder. That changes tonight when Rowley pilots the offense in
“You could call it a milestone in my career, but I’m looking at it as just another game,” Rowley said. “I’ve been playing this game for a long time. If you’re telling my story, it would be a milestone, but it’s the same game, same great players around me, same defenses that I’m going to be looking at.”
Scratching his AFL itch is a more of a bonus than a career obsession. There is a pragmatic side to Rowley that has served him well through stints at numerous af2 and AFL outposts. It’s helped him ride out the sport’s unending roster churn.
“There is no job security in pro sports, that’s the reality of it,” said Rowley, a
And that’s why he’s wearing Shock jersey No. 3 again.
“My focus has always been championships and I figure this is the best place to get that done again,” he said. “Honestly, I’d like to play a good amount longer, win more championships. That’s the goal, the only goal. I have to get to two before I can get to three.”
With six years of arena experience on his resume, the conclusion seems clear: Rowley and indoor football is an ideal match.
“My success is due to the fact my tools fit the game,” the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Rowley said. “I’ve always had a quick release. I’ve always been able to throw from different arm angles. I’ve always thrown on time. They stress that on the big field, but you can get away without doing it.”
Rowley’s af2 career numbers were impressive. He passed for 347 career touchdowns and 16,696 yards. His 4,693 passing yards last year set an af2 single-season record and helped
Still, he came to Shock training camp with no guarantees.
Hansen was cut and Crane was traded early in camp. Rowley was named the starter earlier this week, but he knows nothing is etched in stone, particularly with arena newcomer Meyer learning the nuances of the game. Both quarterbacks are absorbing offensive coordinator Matt Sauk’s system, which has some variation from his former boss, ex-Shock coach Adam Shackleford.
“I think I’m a little more aggressive play-caller, Sauk said. “The offense is built around the quarterback and you’re going to drop back and by the time you hit five (steps), the ball should be out, either deep medium or short. I’m always going to have that option for a quarterback.
“Kyle’s played six years. The more years you have, the more you understand angles, the throws and you can make up stuff, change how you throw the ball, sidearm or up above. The more throws you have, the better you’re going to be able to make a throw in a small area.”
Sauk is a former arena quarterback and a current quarterbacks coach. That means he’s a stickler for details – footwork, proper reads, timing.
“He’s keeping me on my toes,” Rowley said.
Meanwhile, Rowley’s feet are firmly grounded.
“I’m not looking to go to any other league,” he said. “I consider myself an arena quarterback and hopefully I can be one of the best that’s played the game.”