The Frankfurt Galaxy took home their 4th World Bowl yesterday in a 22-7 win over the Amsterdam Admirals. The NFL Europe's equivalent to the Super Bowl provides a chance for the young players to get experience as a NFL player, but also as an athlete.
For the Lions, 3 young players helped Frankfurt win the championship and 2 were on the losing side. But, all 5 got a great opportunity to improve their game in hopes of making it on the Lions. The 3 players on the victorious Frankfurt Galaxy were LB Sarth Benoit, G Matt McGhghy, and TE Sean McHugh. The 2 for Amsterdam were DT Marcus Jasmin and T Clint Stickdorn.
Many players that started in NFL Europe now have or had successful NFL careers. One in particular that is close to home is that of Jon Kitna. Kitna was the 1998 MVP of NFL Europe when he led the Barcelona Dragons to a 38-24 victory in World Bowl V.
Kitna sat down with the NFL Network, and courtesy of the official Detroit Lions' website, here's some of that interview:
The thing about NFL Europe, I came back from there - and I have had 10 (career) preseasons - that was the best preseason that I ever had after I came back from there. You can't simulate game-time reps, throwing the ball (in a game) and all those things. You can't do that in the offseason. Even now with the OTAs and those things, you get a lot of work but you don't have that simulation of game reps.
It can really help you if you take advantage of it that way. I think sometimes a lot of guys go over there with the wrong attitude, like they don't belong there or whatever the case may be, but you just have to take advantage of the opportunity that is given to you.
As you can see from what Kitna said, NFL Europe provides great opportunities for young players to get in some reps in the offseason to boost their level of play to allow them to be successful in the NFL. It sure worked with Kitna.