Albany Firebirds Mid-Season Check-In

The Albany Firebirds, a team that embodies unity and collective effort, are one of the AFL’s most electrifying, exciting, and high-flying teams. Their combination of prolific offense and opportunistic defense, a testament to their teamwork, has propelled them to an AFL-best 7-0 record.

Quarterback

The Firebirds have had contributions from several players, but none bigger than quarterback Jake Medlock. Medlock, a strong contender for the MVP title this season, has not only led the team to an undefeated record but also stands second in the AFL for total passing yards and completions.

Medlock is also second in rushing yards, a rare feat for a quarterback, which is a testament to his exceptional skills. His dual-threat abilities are a sight to behold in every game, inspiring the team and the fans alike.

In addition, Albany is getting even more reinforcements, as they announced recently that they are signing quarterback Malik Henry. Henry put together one of the most impressive arena football seasons in history last season in the NAL.

Playing for the Carolina Cobras, Henry led the league in passing yards with 3,116 and passing touchdowns with 60! He also set an NAL record with 10 touchdown passes in a game. It’s safe to say Albany is loaded at the quarterback position.

Offensive Weapons

Medlock’s favorite target is Darius Prince. The 6-1 veteran receiver leads the AFL in receiving yards with 574, receptions with 42, and receiving touchdowns with 11.

Prince is known for his elite speed, paired with great route running and shiftiness. He often gets behind the defense, ending up wide-open in the endzone. He is a huge reason for the Firebirds’ success in 2024.

Fullback and linebacker Jake Molinich has also been a force for this Firebirds squad. He is third in the AFL in rushing and has scored 2 touchdowns on the ground and one through the air.

Molinich provides Albany with a strong physical presence of offense. He allows them to convert on short-yardage situations or chew the clock with a big lead. He’s a beast, and undoubtedly, he will be a main contributor to this team for the remainder of the season.

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Defensive Woes

Despite Albany’s undefeated start to the season, they have had difficulty putting teams away. Last week against West Texas, the Firebirds were up 20+ at half, and the game still went into overtime. This is just one of the many times Albany has seen a large lead dwindle down this season.

Whether they are taking their foot off the gas or this is just the product of having an elite offense, they will try to shore it up in their remaining games. At times, the defense has been inconsistent, although they have the pieces to be one of the best in the league.

Trevon Shorts is a major contributor to the Albany defense. The NAL’s reigning Ironman of the Year has had a major impact on Albany’s success. Shorts is a hard-hitting linebacker who is feared by opponents. He plays with his hair on fire on defense, unwillingly rallying to the football to make plays.

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