Brigade adds reigning AFL MVP for season No. 2

Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-03 18:01:27-04

In the offense heavy Arena Football League the quarterback is everything. Now the Brigade has the best QB in the AFL.

"To come here and to be a part of what they were doing and to see who they were bringing in and the pieces they were putting together, it seemed like the right spot for me," said Randy Hippeard.

He is Baltimore's new signal caller and is the reigning AFL Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year.  He comes over from the Tampa Bay Storm.

"We want to be combative, mentally tough, maximum effort, detail sound and accountable," Hippeard added.

"His leadership, his dedication to the game and his willingness to give of himself to win is remarkable," said Brigade Head Coach Omarr Smith.

The Brigade posted a 4-10 record in the franchise's first season. This year Coach Smith says he wants the defense to play more of a role in deciding games. 

That defense now includes Virgil Gray. The 34-year-old, six-year veteran stepped away from the field to coach on the Brigade staff last season. His plan was to retire but he had a change of heart.

"I felt like I could still play the game," he said. "My parents, they both wanted me to play and I felt like I kind of owed it to them to continue to play because that's what they wanted me to do too."

"That playing bug wasn't out of his system and now, having that year of coaching experience under his belt, he's going to see the game completely differently," said Smith.

Just like in its inaugural season there is some local flavor on the Brigade roster.

Receiver Daniel Adams is a Maryland native and played for the Terrapins.

Defensive lineman Justin Lawrence went to Morgan State and is one of the best defensive lineman in AFL. He joins the Brigade after winning back-to-back titles with Philadelphia.

"I spent most of my adult life here. I've been here since 2005. I actually live in Columbia now. Baltimore is my second home," said Lawrence. "I won two championships. I want to bring one back to Baltimore, rep my school really well."

The Brigade opens the season on Friday, April 13 when they host the Washington Valor.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook