Positional Breakdown: Quarterbacks
By: Peter Roseman
March 6, 2021
With the 2021 IFL season kickoff next month, now is the perfect time to take an in-depth look at the Pirates signal callers. Heading into the season anticipate Sean Bracket to be the team’s starting QB. Brackett will be playing in his third year for the Pirates. Expect the team to feed off of his game sense, knowledge, and energy. Backing up Brackett is former Tennessee-Chattanooga field general, Alejandro Bennifield. Bennifield brings his own style of play to the Pirates, including a natural ability to run. During his career at Chattanooga, Bennifield ran for over six hundred yards, most of those gained during his prodigious junior year. So while the veteran, Brackett, will start when the season opens against the Louisville Xtreme, expect the younger and talented Bennifield to be ready to take over at QB if necessary. Let’s take a closer look at each of these two players, their histories, and what makes them both such valuable members of the Pirates.
Brackett hails from Rhode Island and played his college ball at Columbia University, where he started for three seasons, 2010-2012. In 2010, Brackett’s most productive season for the Lions, he was named First Team All-Ivy League. He was a bright spot playing at a university noted for losing football games.
In spring of 2013 Brackett was not selected in the NFL Draft. With a passion and desire to keep playing football, Brackett began a career in arena football that’s now going on it’s seventh official season. He played for the Las Vegas Outlaws, Jacksonville Sharks, and Washington Valor of the Arena Football League and even traveled to China to join the Qingdao Clipper of the CAFL for 2016. In 2018, Brackett signed with the Pirates and has been a starter ever since.
All Brackett did in 2018 was lead the Pirates to a league-best 11-5 record, while passing for more than 3,000 yards and tossing a mind-boggling 74 touchdowns next to only 18 interceptions. As a reward for his performance, Brackett was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
In 2019, his follow-up season, Brackett again shined, throwing for over 2,500 yards with 57 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He was also named 2nd-Team All-NAL. Brackett’s accuracy and speed translate exceptionally well to the indoor game. He has the ability to make big plays on a consistent basis. Game film of Brackett demonstrates confidence and poise in the pocket but also an uncanny proficiency to find the open man when the pocket breaks down. Aside from his talent, Brackett brings one valuable intangible to the football field: his love for the game. There’s something to be said about a player who traveled to China in order to fulfill his football dreams. Lucky for Pirates fans, the fire inside Brackett still burns bright. That’s the kind of player the Pirates have taking snaps in 2021.
Bennifield joined the Pirates in 2019 by way of Lovelace, Georgia with a stop at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. The lefty played in 32 games for the Mocs, excelling most notably during his junior season. He threw for over 2,500 yards with 26 touchdowns and, additionally, ran for nearly 600 yards with 6 scores. Bennifield was sidelined during his senior season due to an injury. In spite of a strong arm and solid numbers, Bennifield went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft. That off-season, he caught on with the New Orleans Saints as a May minicamp invitee.
Bennifield saw minimal playing time for the Pirates as a rookie in ‘19 but shined in his performance. He threw for 180 yards on 18 of 33 passing with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. While a self-described pocket passer, Bennifield knows when to run and can extend plays when the pocket breaks down. He is confident in his arm but is also incredibly elusive in the open field, a dangerous combination. His style of play fits in well with the indoor game. Bennifield is a solid, competent backup and is ready to take over for Brackett if necessary.
The Pirates have both experience and talent at the quarterback position. Fans should expect Brackett to continue his productivity and elite performance. He enters his third season as leader of the Pirate offense. Bennifield will be playing in his second season as a Pirate. With his unique ability, there’s no reason not to think he can step in and run the offense, and win football games, at any time. So, yeah, Pirates fans, we’re good at quarterback. See you on April 24th.
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