Training camps across the Spring Football League wrapped up this weekend, despite the stay at home orders issued coast to coast due the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Here in Jacksonville, the surprise news out of camp from the head ball coach, Steve Spurrier is that QB Matt Nichols has won the starting job in camp, just slightly edging out Brad Kaaya and Devlin Hodges. Spurrier said; “Matt’s battled through a lot of adversity this off-season, but he’s a consummate professional and came into camp determined to prove that he can start and be successful in this league.”
Since the 2018 season, Nichols has been traded six times between Seattle, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Nashville, and Jacksonville. Nichols had a breakout year for the Wranglers in the second half of the 2018 season before crashing back to earth in 2019. “What can I say about Matt?” said owner Ryan Clark, “I love the guy. He was my first choice to lead the Six-Shooters in Dallas, I didn’t even consider another option. When I ended up with the Marshalls, I had the opportunity to get one of the absolute best quarterbacks in the game in Bo Levi Mitchell, so I had to pull the trigger. After finding out that the Six-Shooters had traded Matt to Nashville and that Nashville wanted to move him, yet again, I knew immediately that I wanted him in Jacksonville and pulled the trigger.”
Immediately upon his arrival, news had spread that incumbent QB Brad Kaaya was unhappy with the situation. “We love Brad.” said GM and Team President Martin Mayhew, “Brad is a very good, “up and coming” young QB in this league. We believe that he still has a bright future in this league and believe that he could still be in the future plans for our franchise.” Kaaya, 24, is coming off of an average but still fairly good performance with the now 2nd year Miami Mustangs, prior to that, Kaaya was the backup to Aaron Murray in New Orleans.
In other camp news, the Stingrays added former NFL Super Bowl Champion and Six-Time Pro Bowl linebacker, Clay Matthews III. The addition of Matthews to the linebacker corps gives the Stingrays a ferocious starting unit that already featured Vontaze Burfict, Joe Schobert, and Kevin Minter.
This week, the Stingrays will host their first ever game at home at TIAA Bank Field against the Buffalo Gunners in their pre-season opener.