Ex-Jets make key contributions as the rebooted USFL gets underway

As covered here several weeks ago, the USFL has been rebooted and teams including the Jets will no doubt be watching closely to see if any players stand out as someone who could be worth giving another NFL shot to.

The action got underway this weekend so we were on the lookout for standout performances or the progress of any former Jets.

Three games have been played so far:

NJ Generals v Birmingham Stallions

The opening game was a good one, as Birmingham scored a late touchdown to win 28-24.

Birmingham were sparked by former Jets defensive end Aaron Adeoye, who had six tackles including two run stuffs, a third down stop to force a punt and a special teams stop.

Running back Darius Victor, who was once invited to Jets training camp only to then sign with the Saints, rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries with a long of 21. He also added a special teams tackle.

From those players who were never Jets, the standouts for Birmingham were wide receiver Osirus Mitchell, who caught five passes for 96 yards and a touchdown and defensive lineman DeMarquis Gates who had a team-high 10 tackles including a sack.

As for New Jersey, they got a boost from ex-Jets tight end Braedon Bowman, who caught three passes for 32 yards including this touchdown:

Ex-Jets kicker Nick Rose also played a key role as his 47-yard field goal had give the Generals a late lead. He had missed two, including a 23-yarder, earlier in the game though.

Other ex-Jets to play included David Rivers and Destiny Vaeao, who combined for five tackles.

The Generals' standouts that aren't former Jets included wide receiver Randy Satterfield, who had five catches for 100 yards and a touchdown, including a 49-yard gain. Safety Shalom Luani also impressed with a team-high eight tackles including one big hit. He added an interception and a pass-breakup.

Houston Gamblers at Michigan Panthers

The next game was sloppy as some ex-Jets played a major role in Houston taking a 17-0 halftime lead but the Panthers almost came back to win it despite fumbling nine (!) times. They fell just short, losing 17-12.

On offense, the Gamblers got 71 rushing yards out of ex-Jet Mark Thompson, but another ex-Jet, Brandon Barnes - the first tight end selected in the draft - had no catches on three targets including one he couldn't hold onto at the goal line. Another former Jet, receiver Isaiah Zuber had two catches, including this touchdown, though:

Offensive lineman Brandon Hitner, another former Jet, started and recorded a tackle after a turnover.

On defense, a former Jet played a huge role as Ahmad Gooden had nine tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles, the first of which was returned for a touchdown:

His other forced fumble also caused a turnover:

Another ex-Jet, defensive lineman Domenique Davis, whose name is listed as Domenique David by the league for some reason, added six tackles for the Gamblers.

Among non-former Jets, Defensive End Donald Payne racked up an impressive 19 tackles for Houston.

As for the Panthers, they have four ex-Jets on their roster but none made any statistical contributions.

Philadelphia Stars at New Orleans Breakers

There weren't as many ex-Jets in the third game, but cornerback Derrick Jones was on the roster for the Breakers and defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun was in action for the Stars. Akinmoladun had two run stuffs but otherwise neither made a statistical impact.

In terms of players that weren't former Jets, Davin Bellamy made a massive impact with three sacks in the first half for the Breakers, who scored the winning touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter and held on for a 23-17 win.

There's one game left in the opening weekend with the Pittsburgh Maulers and Tampa Bay Bandits due to kick off soon. The only ex-Jets to feature in this game will be Maulers center Nico Falah and offensive lineman Corbin Kaufusi and defensive back Anthony Cioffi for the Bandits.