The NFL Alumni Development Academy has returned this month for its third year, and there are many attractive new elements to this successful initiative.
The NFL Alumni Academy was created in 2020 as an in-season training program to create a pool of free agent players who will be prepared and ready to join NFL teams during the season in the event of injuries. Adding “NFL Ready” players to the roster keeps the quality of performance on the field at the elite NFL level.
The new changes to the Academy for 2022 include:
- The Academy is expected to work with a total of 240 players divided into four groups during the next three months.
- There will be four three-week sessions this year with 60 top free-agent participants invited to each session.
- The venue for the Academy has moved from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton to Arlington, Texas to accommodate the additional players and to align with the Academy’s new partner. The warmer weather in Texas during the winter months also was a consideration in the move.
- That new partner is the XFL which resumes play this February with eight teams around the country. The XFL headquarters is based in Texas.
- Those players who successfully complete one of the three-week sessions but who are not signed by the NFL are guaranteed an invitation to the XFL training camp that opens in Arlington this January.
- The Academy now prepares players for all 22 on-field positions. Their workouts and practice sessions are taped and made available daily to NFL teams through a private 24/7 portal.
The roster of NFL alumni who are working with these young players now includes:
- Mike Tice (Academy Director of Development)
- Anthony Munoz (Offensive Line Coach)
- Chuck Smith (Pass Rush Specialists)
- Jay Hayes (Defensive Line Coach)
- Moe Williams (Running Backs Coach)
- Ted Cottrell (Defensive Coach)
- Antonio Banks (Defensive Backs Coach)
- Paul Spicer (Defensive Line Coach)
- Cris Dishman (Defensive Backs)
In addition to the NFL player alumni who are serving as coaches, Brian Picucci (Tight Ends Coach), Antonio Rodriquez (Performance Coach) and Larry Kirksey (Wide Receivers Coach) are on the Academy staff.
“All the coaches and NFL alumni involved with the Academy are working to improve these free agent players by sharing their tremendous knowledge and experience based on their previous NFL success,” says Academy Executive Director and former NFL coach Dean Dalton.
The NFL Alumni Academy has proven to be a stepping-stone for dozens of young players to advance to the NFL. The development of young on-field talent is the lifeblood of the NFL.
The NFL Alumni Academy also serves our mission of “Caring for our Own.” We at NFL Alumni are pleased to be leading this successful program.