Steve Spurrier was back in his milieu on Saturday night, and we’re not talking about a golf course. The head ball coach was on a football field. In Florida. Coachin’ em up. Tryin’ his best to revive the Fun 'n' Gun offense in the brand spankin’ new Alliance of American Football.
And he delivered a big ol’ zinger at the expense of the Washington Redskins after winning his sixth consecutive opener with a new team.
"Even won with the Redskins,” Spurrier said with a laugh. “That’s not easy to do.”
Spurrier lasted two seasons (2002-03) in Ashburn, two weird seasons marked by extreme dysfunction, a big win in Osaka in his preseason debut, a 12-20 regular season record, and a farewell Spurrier ultimately offered via a phone call from a golf course. He later said he regretted joining the Redskins because he went to the team that “offered the most money instead of the best situation.” He was typically frank about what went wrong for him in the NFL.
“The owner and the personnel guys, they picked the team. I couldn’t even pick the quarterback the second year,” he said in an interview with David Feherty. “So I knew it wasn’t going to work, but that’s okay. I probably didn’t do a very good job and the situation wasn’t what I was looking for, so it was time to move on.”
He went back to the SEC, finally resigning as South Carolina’s coach in 2015 with a 228-89-2 collegiate record, but he never officially retired and when the AAF called, he decided to coach again at age 73. On Saturday evening, his Orlando Apollos took the field against the Atlanta Legends and it was, well, quintessential Spurrier, as when the mic caught him delivering a play to his quarterback with instructions for the wide receiver. “Tell him to catch it next time,” Spurrier said.
Naturally, he called for a deep post throw on the first play. “We were going for it,” he explained. Of course, they were.
Spurrier’s defense, led by Terence Garvin, delivered, too, in the 40-6 win. Garvin, who played mostly on special teams for the Redskins in 2016, came up with two interceptions, one a pick-six, in the Apollos’ win.
Spurrier and Garvin weren’t the only AAFers with past ties to the Redskins. The Post’s Jake Russell spotted Arizona wide receiver Rashad Ross; Memphis center Demetrius Rhaney and defensive lineman Montori Hughes; San Antonio defensive lineman Joey Mbu, safety Orion Stewart and kicker Nick Rose; Orlando running back De’Veon Smith and offensive lineman Ronald Patrick; and Birmingham kicker Nick Novak, who had the most success of any of them.
Because the AAF has no kickoffs or extra-point attempts, Novak had to impress with his field goal kicking and he did so on kicks of 29, 28, 47 and 31 yards in the Iron’s 26-0 victory over Memphis.
Ross, who spent parts of three seasons with the Redskins, caught five passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns in Arizona’s 38-22 win over the Salt Lake Stallions.
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