The United Football League is set to open it’s schedule in October of 2009 with four teams. The Las Vegas Locos (or Locomotives, depending on how they’re being marketed that day) recently held training camp, and here is a look at some interesting, memorable, or notable names that showed up on their training camp roster.
Az-Zahir Hakim put together a nine year career (1998-2006) that included time on the St. Louis Rams‘ famous Greatest Show on Turf teams with Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and Kurt Warner. Hakim was an exciting wide receiver, but also made a name for himself as a punt returner to watch too. Hakim spent four seasons with the Rams before moving on to the Detroit Lions for three seasons. He then spent one season with the New Orleans Saints before returning for one final year with the Lions.
J.P. Losman spent five years playing quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. He was drafted with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Tulane University, after briefly attending UCLA. Losman saw limited action in his rookie season, but started eight games for the Bills in year two. Losman’s third year in the league would see him start all 16 games as the Bills went 7-9 behind his more than respectable 3,051 passing yards, 62.5% completion rate, and 19 touchdowns. Losman would only spend two more years as a member of the Bills, seeing limited action during that time. He would finish his career with a 10-23 record as a starting quarterback, have more than 6,000 yards passing, 33 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions.
Drafted in the 7th round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers, Tim Rattay would go on to see action with three different NFL clubs during his eight year career (2000-2007) in the league. During his first three years with San Francisco he saw hardly anytime at all on the field, but that changed in 2003 when he got to make three starts, going 2-1 in the process. In 2004, he started nine games but put up a record of 1-8 as a starter, then he would see action in just four games in 2005 before leaving the 49ers. 2006 would see Rattay emerge as a backup and two game starter for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, going 1-1 in the process. In 2007, Rattay would appear on the roster of the Arizona Cardinals, although he would see virtually no action. He finished his NFL career with 432 completions on 714 attempts, a 60.5% completion percentage, for 4,853 yards. He would throw 31 touchdowns with just 23 interceptions.
Sharing his name, though a different spelling, with Josh Scobee the kicker for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Josh Scobey played running back and kick returner during the mid 2000s in the NFL. He was drafted out of Kansas State in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He returned 73 kicks during his rookie season for 1,684 yards, these numbers led the league. This rookie performance also included a 100 yard return for a touchdown. After two seasons with the Cardinals, he would move on to play two seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. His final year in the league, 2007, would see him split time playing the first part for the Seahawks and the second part for the Buffalo Bills. Though he was on the roster as a running back for much of his career, the only carries he ever saw were 27 attempts for 89 yards and no touchdowns during his second season in the league.
Marcel Shipp put together a very successful college football career for the University of Massachusetts. When he didn’t get drafted following college, he signed as a free agent with the Arizona Cardinals. Shipp didn’t see any action during his rookie season, but in 2002 he was given more of a chance and ended up with 834 yards on 188 carries and six touchdowns. He also caught eight passes for 413 yards and three more touchdowns. He would have two more productive years for the Cardinals before being phased out and seeing little action in 2006 and 2007. He would finish with 11 touchdowns, 2,197 rushing yards, and 605 carries during his six year NFL career. He would also catch 113 passes for 937 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns too.
Gary Stills was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 3rd round of the 1999 NFL Draft and would go on to put together a ten year career in the NFL. His first seven seasons were in Kansas City, he then played two seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, and one final season as a member of the St. Louis Rams.
The head coach of the Las Vegas Locomotives is Jim Fassell. Fassell played quarterback at the University of California at Long Beach and ended up getting drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 7th round of the 1972 NFL Draft. Fassell’s only pro playing experience would come with the Hawaiian Islanders of the World Football League where he would quarterback on a limited basis and become the answer to a great trivia question: Who threw the last pass in the history of the WFL? Fassell was the head coach of the New York Giants from 1997 to 2003. His most notable season was 2000 when he coached his team to a 12-4 record and an appearance in the Super Bowl. He has coached at the collegiate level as an assistant at Stanford and as the head coach of the University of Utah. He also has experience as an assistant coach at a number of levels with the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and the Baltimore Ravens. Jim Fassell has some experience in coaching in a non-NFL professional football league too, he was the offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Breakers of the USFL in 1984.