JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Youth can get you far, but you need experience to win.
"We got a lot of talent, some young quarterbacks. But, the reps aren't there, the timing of things aren't there," Jacksonville Sharks head coach, Siaha Burley, said.
Burley knew he needed help at the quarterback position. Lucky for him, his prayers were answered by an old friend.
"I've been calling that man for three years," Burley said with a smile.
The Sharks head coach is talking about former Arena Football League champion, Arvell Nelson, who Burley previously coached while the two were with the AFL's Cleveland Gladiators.
"We were actually able to work out a deal where I'm still able to work in Cleveland during the week and be able to get out there to Jacksonville probably a day before the game just to get a feel for the guys and walk through and get the system down and then play on Saturday," Nelson said.
In what Burley described as a "QB coming off the couch" is much more than that. In two games since Nelson's arrival the Sharks have battled back to a 3-4 record thanks to his experience in the arena game.
He's scored 16 total touchdowns in the team's last two wins over Carolina and San Antonio.
"A guy like that that's played nine years of arena football, the reps are there mentally so he was just able to be plugged and play," Burley said.
"Once I saw they (the players) were receptive of me and willing to listen and learn it was easy to tell them take this step on this route or go this depth on this route," Nelson said.
Nelson has four kids, a business and coaches high school football in Ohio. But he's found some room on his plate to get back in the game. Now that he's back, he sees a long road ahead of him.
"I want to play until I'm 40," Nelson said.
"God willing, my body holds up. I want to play the game as long as I can, but we'll see. We shall see," he added.