Soul activate Teddy Jennngs off of Refuse to Report
The Philadelphia Soul activated former first team All-Arena defensive end Teddy Jennings off of the Refuse to Report list on Wednesday. Jennings found a home with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL but was released early in the team’s camp.
“It was good, they have a great organization.” Jennings said in an exclusive interview with ArenaFan. “The CFL game was fun, but a lot different then regular football. In regular 11 man football I am considered a prototype edge rusher, but in the CFL the defensive ends are smaller so Montreal brought me in as a defensive tackle. It was all new, but still fun.” Jennings said.
Jennings played on a defensive line with Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to play in the NFL. “He was a good dude, and he was learning the CFL game just like the rest of us rookies.” Jennings said.
Jennings decided against reporting to the Soul’s training camp in March in hopes of playing outdoors. Jennings presence was missed at camp, but rookie Jake Metz filled the spot of defensive end throughout camp. Jerome Williams Jr started camp opposite of Metz while Beau Bell and Justin Lawrence filled the mac and nose positions. One week into camp Bryan Robinson signed on for his fourth season with the Soul, and replaced Williams at the defensive end spot. Padric Scott emerged as the backup for the front three, while Caleb Bostic made the roster because of Jake Metz’s back injury that kept him out of action for nine weeks.
Bostic started opposite of Bryan Robinson for the first four weeks of the season, before being benched for matchup reasons in favor of Padric Scott against the Cleveland Gladiators. The Soul signed Curtis Young, a versatile defensive lineman and started him at mac linebacker during Beau Bell’s first injury. The Soul then traded Bostic to the New Orleans Voodoo for Offensive Lineman Daverin Geralds. Then prior to week nine, the Soul released Curtis Young who is now a member of the Cleveland Gladiators.
Currently Beau Bell is on inactive reserve, leaving Jake Metz starting at mac linebacker, Bryan Robinson and Padric Scott at the end spots, and Justin Lawrence at nose. Teddy will likely get the start at defensive end versus the Storm and Padric Scott will come off the bench and go wherever needed. When Beau Bell returns Metz will likely be used more at end and fullback, two positions the team thinks he could play in the future. With Jennings and Bell returning to the line, the Soul may posses the best defensive line in the AFL.
“Teddy adds another dimension to our defense.” Offensive and Defensive Line Coach Phil Bogle said. “His proven ability to make plays off the edge and get to the quarterback will only improve our defensive line unit.” Bogle said.
Former Soul offensive lineman weighed in on Jennings game and his experience facing him. “I didn’t really face Teddy in camp last season. We played opposite sides and I battled Bryan Robinson 95 percent of the time. I do remember the 2013 season on his two day waiver practices. He had those long arms and great body lean on his pass rush and immediately the staff liked what they saw.” Jones said.
Jennings and Metz have received comparisons since the team signed Metz in October. Jennings is 6’6, 260 Pounds while Metz is 6’6, 265 Pounds. Jennings is 25, while Metz is 24. Both players have spent time in the NFL, Metz in Detroit Lions training camp, and Jennings in various workouts with NFL clubs. In the preseason, it was expected that Metz and Jennings would both start at the end spots, prior to Metz’s injury and Jennings signing with Montreal.
“Jake has been playing really well.” Jennings said. “He has a lot of potential in the game of football. He is learning the game just like I was last year and has been developing his skill set consistently throughout the season.” Jennings said.
“Jake has versitility being able to play mac linebacker as well.” Bogle said. “Having him and Teddy brings the long armed body type that presents issues for pass opposing teams pass protection. Teddy can give Jake some insight on how he was productive in his All-Arena season last year. Huge lift for us.” Bogle said.
Jennings had 10.5 sacks and was selected as a first team All-Arena defensive end in 2014. Jennings was a rookie of the year candidate but Orlando Predators receiver Greg Carr won the honors.
“Anytime you can add an All-Arena performer to your roster, you have improved your team.” Head Coach Clint Dolezel said in the team’s press release. “He had an outstanding rookie season, and will help our pass rush as we continue to make our push towards the playoffs.” Dolezel said.
“I’m always excited to play football no matter what league, city, or country. I’m just happy and grateful for the opportunity to play the game today.” Jennings said.