Thursday, August 3, 2017

John Reaves

John Reaves passed away Tuesday at the age of 67.
Reaves,a former first round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles and star of the USFL's Tampa Bay Bandits was well known for that and his record setting career at Florida,where at one time,Reaves held the NCAA's record for passing yards,but in recent years might have been almost just as well known to college football fans as the father of Layla Kiffin,the beautiful ex-wife of controversial football coach-Lane Kiffin.

Reaves might have been an NFL failure as a starter,although he was shoved into a starting role as a rookie on a bad team in Philadelphia in a time that rookie quarterbacks rarely found success,but he was a star in the USFL as he was the triggerman for Steve Spurrier's Tampa Bay Bandits for "Bandit Ball",which was a wide open and fun offense even for a league noted for such offense.

Reaves was not very mobile,so he was pretty easy to sack even behind the Bandits offensive line,which was one of the better lines in the league,so I can imagine how he was a sitting duck behind the line of the 2-11-1 1972 Eagles,which was his main starting stint in the NFL.
However,in the USFL,he was able to get the ball out quickly and avoid rushes far better than his mobility would suggest.which allowed him to throw for over 4,000 yards twice with the Bandits.
Reaves also was one of the replacement players during the three game 1987 lockout as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the popularity of the Bandits (the lockout was barely two years after the final game of the USFL) to gain a little bit of familiarity with the non-union players for the fans.
Reaves went 1-1 for the replacement men in Tangerine and never played afterwards.

Reaves spent some time coaching high school and on the Steve Spurrier staff at Florida along with a non-Spurrier stint at South Carolina,but battled drug addiction in the 1980's before getting clean for decades before a 2008 arrest for drugs and gun possession that sent Reaves back to drug counseling.
Reaves is currently part of the lawsuit of former players against the NFL for symptoms of CTE and the surviving family plans on offering Reaves' brain for examination for the suit.

I've written a lot about the USFL and I'm still planning forgotten superstars on the 1983 Chicago Blitz after the earlier post on the 1984 Arizona Wranglers.but the story that so many of you might want to hear (from conversations anyway) is the connection with Donald Trump and why I dislike him so-someday soon perhaps....



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