In 2022 the Philadelphia Stars had two quarterbacks with NFL workouts on their resume. The first QB selected by the Stars was Bryan Scott. Scott had been the best quarterback on the field for The Spring League under his current head coach Bart Andrus for two seasons. During this stretch the pair went undefeated.
TSL Evolves into the USFL
In 2022 Brian Woods partnered with Fox Sports to launch the USFL. This was essentially the TSL 2.0, except this time players would be paid to play. Quite the departure from TSL that asked them to pay the league to play. This led to a totally different dynamic in 2022.
Players from across the country looked to the USFL for their next opportunity collecting a reported 3,000 names in their initial draft pool. However at the time these teams were trying to build from scratch and then in an extremely fast turn around time put a team on the field.
Naturally coaches tasked with this tried to draft players they were familiar with and no coach did it more than Bart Andrus who had as many as 17 players on his 50 man roster from The Spring league. None more valuable than his QB1 Bryan Scott.
Given the vast amount of players drafted by the Stars from TSL, expectations were high for Philadelphia. They had drafted a large advantage and many fans, myself included believed this would lead them to a successful season.
It would turn out the Stars would live up to these expectations but unfortunately their depth at quarterback would be tested before the roster size increase mid season. This rather serious injury to starting quarterback Bryan Scott in week 3 when the Stars were up by 9 on the eventual 9-1 Generals, left the team to turn to their backup quarterback.
Case Cookus played admirably. So admirably in fact he led the team to the inaugural USFL playoffs with the third best record in the league behind the only two teams to have just one blemish on their record. However during the season Stars fans did had to witness games in which Cookus was not playing well and ultimately we even saw him temporarily benched for Kj Costello late in the year.
Playoffs Prove a Point
Despite all of this the Stars would end up finding victory over their rival the Generals in the USFL Divisional Championship game. Case Cookus had done the impossible and led his team to the first USFL Championship game in over thirty years. Keeping an unbelievable streak for the Stars alive.
However when it came time for the big game against the once undefeated Birmingham Stallions, the Stars looked a bit over-matched late in the game. Following an injury to Cookus, KJ Costello was inserted in the game the third QB to play for the Stars this season.
Costello found some success but threw two crucial interceptions that ended the hope of a Stars victory. Watching the game, I couldn’t help but wonder if Scott, could have been the X factor that changed the outcome of this game.
Accuracy, Poise, Preparation Stand Apart
The main thing in Scott’s game that popped on tape was his accuracy. In three weeks Scott had one of the most impressive completion rates of any quarterback. By season’s end, Scott ranked eleventh in passing yards, with 558 yards despite playing just 2 and a half games in 2022. He was tied for 8th in passing touchdowns with Paxton Lynch who played in 6 games.
This was in part due to his poise in the pocket. On several occasions Scott stood in the pocket, absorbing a hit if it meant delivering a dart to his receiver. This trait rubbed off on his backups at times but Scott simply stood above the pack here. Currently Scott still stands third in completion rate, behind only DeAndre Johnson, and Luis Perez. This trio, marked the only three quarterbacks to top a 70% completion rate.
Finally his football IQ was put on display in week 1 when he was able to look off a defender and give his receiver a window to catch a touchdown pass. It’s clear he is a true student of the game, and absorbs coaching well. He’s also no stranger to film study which has been a strength of his which has only helped him microwave his development as a QB.
Law of Averages Leads to a Conclusion
Looking back, Scott averaged a higher completion rate, and more yards than either of his counterparts tasked with taking over. This was no accident it was the result of hard work, dedication, and an obvious connection with his coaching staff. Scott is now healthy and ready to get back on the field. He will attempt to show fans of the USFL, and NFL teams alike what they missed in 2022 with his injury.
You might want to tune in for season 2 of the USFL in 2023. The QB1 is set to return with a Championship sized chip on his shoulder. He will not rest until he gets a trophy and a ring to make up for what he missed in 2022. Now the only question that remains, is will he be playing in front of a home crowd in 2023 as the USFL explores adding more hub locations for season 2.