Ghaifan Getting Ready to Make Arena Football Debut
By Jamie Gatlin
With the start of the regular season coming soon, the Massachusetts Pirates’ roster will have some new faces. One player making his arena football debut is Youhanna Ghaifan, who
signed with the Pirates in September.
Ghaifan was an All-Mountain West defensive lineman at Wyoming and spent one season with the Washington Redskins.
Ghaifan went undrafted in 2019 but signed with the Washington Redskins as a free agent. His NFL stay was short-lived however due to a pulled hamstring in training camp.
While Ghaifan’s stay in Washington was brief, he hopes to bring versatility to the Pirates defensive line.
“I think I bring a lot more versatility in the Pirates defense,” Ghaifan told masspiratesfootball.com. “I can be a nose or a defensive end. That’s one thing I think I can really help with. I also bring pass rush and I can really stop the run as well even though there isn’t as much in arena football. “
Ghaifan is looking forward to the new challenges arena football brings.
“I’m excited for the atmosphere and trying something new,” Ghaifan said. “I don’t know what to expect so I’m excited to get started and experience arena league football. “
Ghaifan will not only have to adjust to a new atmosphere but also a new style of play. In arena football, one big difference is that there is only three defensive linemen.
“I would say it will be easier for me. Especially being a defensive end there will be a lot of space for me on the outside,” Ghaifan said. “I was in three-technique at Wyoming, where I had to go up against a guard and offensive tackle so not a lot of double teams that I will have to face.”
While the Wyoming product is excited to get the season going his training has been altered due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although the pandemic has made training harder, Ghaifan is still finding ways to prepare for his first season in Worcester.
“It’s affected my training in the aspect of really trying to get to a field or park. I’m always trying to do fieldwork,” Ghaifan said. “I have been able to do the weight room stuff and fieldwork at times that is harder to come by with parks closed.“
Even with the challenges that the pandemic has created, Ghaifan is still looking forward to his first season in Worcester. While the Pirates defensive lineman hopes to one day return to the NFL, but his focus this year is to bring a championship to Worcester.
“My main goal is to win a championship. That it was what we are striving for and hoping to get.”