Alliance of American Football: What to watch for in inaugural season

The NFL football season is over, but football isn’t going anywhere for a few months.

The Alliance of American Football, an eight-team professional football league, founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian, will debut Saturday at 8 p.m. on CBS. The league’s games will be televised through broadcast partners CBS, The NFL Network and TNT.

The league is comprised of former NFL coaches and players, and has some rule changes that could be fun to watch. There are no TV timeouts. No halftime. Teams must attempt a two-point conversion after every touchdown. There will be no kickoffs. There’s also no onside kicks. If a team wants to go for the equivalent of an onside kick, they get ball on their own 35 and will face 4th & 10. If they convert, they keep going.

The season runs through the end of April, and NFL teams will be taking notice.

“It’s really interesting for us from a personnel standpoint and our scouting staff,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said. “There’s actually a couple players that were on our practice squad, that are actually going to go down and play in that league, which they should.

“They came in for a couple weeks, practiced, did a good job for us, so we had some conversations with them about, ‘Hey, do you want to come back and sign with us, or do you want to go play?’ And those guys had a chance to go play in that league, which I think is great.

“It can really be helpful to these fringe players that might be on a practice squad, might be capable of being on a 90-man roster, but just need more playing time. So, we’re going to scout that league. They’re open for us to come down and evaluate. We’ll get their film once they start playing their games in February and March, so we’re going to scout them, yeah, for sure.”

View photos of the Detroit Lions rookies from the 2018 season.

Here's a closer look at the eight teams in the AAF:

(Eastern Conference)

ATLANTA LEGENDS

Stadium: Georgia State Stadium

GM and Coach: Former Rams GM Billy Devaney is the GM. They’re coached by former Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle.

Players to note: RB Denard Robinson, QB Aaron Murray, LB Brandon Watts

BIRMINGHAM IRON

Stadium: Legion Field

GM and Coach: Former NFL assistant and Alabama offensive line coach Joe Pendry is the GM. Tim Lewis is the head coach.

Players to note: RB Trent Richardson, QB Blake Sims, RB Ty Isaac, WR Quan Bray, DE Devin Taylor, DB Chris Davis, K Nick Novak

MEMPHIS EXPRESS

Stadium: Liberty Bowl Stadium

GM and Coach: Former Seahawks director of player personnel Will Lewis is the GM. Hall of Fame linebacker and former NFL head coach Mike Singletary is the head coach.

Players to note: QB Zach Mettenberger, QB Christian Hackenberg, WR Alton “Pig” Howard, TE Brandon Barnes, DE Sam Montgomery, P Brad Wing

ORLANDO APOLLOS

Stadium: Spectrum Stadium

GM and Coach: Former Seahawks, Bears, Falcons and Titans personnel man Tim Ruskell is the GM. Steve Spurrier in the head coach.

Players to note: QB Austin Appleby, RB De’Veon Smith, WR Jalin Marshall, LB Jacob Pugh, DE Earl Okine

(Western Conference)

ARIZONA HOTSHOTS

Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium

GM and Coach: Former Browns GM Phil Savage is the GM. Rick Neuheisel is the head coach.

Players to note: QB Trevor Knight, RB Larry Rose, DT Trenton Thompson, LB Scooby Wright, DB Rahim Moore, P Jeff Locke, K Nick Folk

SALT LAKE STALLIONS

Stadium: Rice-Eccles Stadium

GM and Coach: Former Dolphins and Saints GM Randy Mueller is the GM. Dennis Erickson is the head coach.

Players to note: RB Matt Asiata, WR Kaelin Clay, LB Trevor Reilly

SAN ANTONIO COMMANDERS

Stadium: Alamodome

GM and Coach: Former Cowboys legend Daryl Johnston is the GM. Former Nebraska coach Mike Riley is the head coach.

Players to note: QB Logan Woodside, RB David Cobb, LB Joel Lanning, DB Kurtis Drummond

SAN DIEGO FLEET

Stadium: SDCCU Stadium

GM and Coach: Dave Boller is the GM. Mike Martz is the head coach.

Players to note: WR Dontez Ford, OT Beau Nunn, DE Alex Barrett, LB John Lotulelei, DE Domontre Moore

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