With the Memphis Express opening up against the Birmingham Iron this Sunday, it appears starting roles are wrapping up, and some surprises have been made, and some underdogs have come out to shine.
First up, the Express appear to be headstrong on quarterback Christian Hackenberg. A decision I don’t necessarily agree with, I would have given the starting role to Zach Mettenberger. Mettenberger looked like the ace all through camp, but Hackenberg shined in the preseason game. Hackenberg went six for six ending with a 19-yard touchdown to wide receiver Fabian Guerra. Hackenberg has been taking mostly all first-team reps ever since.
Zac Stacy appears to be the number one back. Stacy is a great asset being able to run and juke out defenders easily as well as catching passes. Stacy plays with great versatility as well as his comrades out of the backfield do. Terrence Magee and Rajion Neal are also great backs built with speed and power.
The receiving corps appears to be standing tall with Kayaune Ross at 6″6 and 6″3 Reece Horn. Those two can make big plays with their height and speed. Fabian Guerra and Pig Howard will be the slot receivers whom both have great speed. The Express indubitably have the deepest receiving core in the league.
At tight end, Brandon Barnes is a force to be reckoned with. The Alabama State Hornet can sting defenses with power and athleticism. Barnes at 6″5 and 256 lbs will be a nightmare for all the defenses of the AAF. Barnes is also a fantastic blocking tight end.
On the line, Dallas Thomas and Demetrius Rhaney will lead the Express into battle with both having NFL Experience. Thomas with the Miami Dolphins, and Rhaney with the Los Angeles Rams.
Coach Singletary looks to keep his team poised and set with Christian Hackenberg leading his offense this weekend against the Iron in Birmingham. I look for the Express to make some big plays happen this weekend.