San Antonio, Texas
When you look back at the on-field success attributed to the genius of San Diego Fleet Head Coach Mike Martz, one often thinks of his team’s ability to throw the ball down the field at will. While the skill position players are most recognized for their flashy plays, many of their accolades would have never happened were it not for the big boys in the trenches. Martz’s “Greatest Show On Turf” scheme was set up by dominant pass-blocking offensive linemen, like NFL Hall of Famer Orlando Pace.
Martz used the pass to set up the run, and we can expect to see a lot of that same philosophy with the Fleet. It is no surprise that the team eventually rounded out its 75-man roster by adding multi-sport athlete Tylor King, who last played football in 2016 for Southern Oregon University. King (6’6″, 300 lbs) also led Southern Oregon to their first conference championship in the shot put event in 2016, the school’s first in five years, where he would defeat his opponent by five feet. On the football field, King was named to the All-Frontier Conference First Team in both his junior and senior years for the Raiders.
So where does King fit in with a plethora of other offensive tackles already on the roster? You can read a breakdown of the Fleet’s tackles here: San Diego Fleet Roster Breakdown: Offensive Tackle
With a host of existing tackle depth already on the roster, it is clear that this is a depth move.
At this level of play, using the NFL as the gold standard, it will be likely that some starters will be found in the least likely of places. Not to slight King, but coming from a small school and having not been in football since 2016, it will be a tall task for him to supplant some of the talents that are already in camp. He could be the equivalent of a camp body or he could be the cream that rises to the top. It really is one of the best parts of what this league will be based on; talented athletes looking to get a chance to make it to, or even back to the NFL.
As training camp continues, we will start to see primarily what the offensive scheme is going to look like. Will offensive coordinator Jon Kitna (whose previous highest level of coaching is as a High School head coach) be a placeholder for Martz’s high octane scheme or will he be given some leeway to institute his own ideas? My money is on the former, not the latter, and really, only time will tell.
One thing is sure — the addition of another lineman with ample stature makes sense for a Mike Martz team. King’s size, strength, and athleticism bode well for an offensive line unit that expects to be pass blocking a fair share of the time. He did not see the practice field on Saturday for the Fleet, but he will slowly find himself on the field in the coming days. The San Diego Fleet is scheduled to practice again Monday, January 6 at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio, TX. Every Alliance of American Football team will spend this inaugural training camp in San Antonio before heading home to prepare for opening weekend on February 9.