10/24/2012 3:00 PM
JACKSONVILLE – The 2012 South Division Champion Jacksonville Sharks retained another veteran leader in the team’s secondary on Wednesday, announcing that defensive back Bill Alford has been assigned to the Sharks’ roster on a two-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 30-year-old Alford is set for his fourth season in the AFL and with the Sharks. Alford started all 18 regular-season games for the Sharks in 2012, recording a total of 58 tackles (53 solo), good for second on the team in that category. Alford showcased his versatility by serving as an injury replacement at Jack linebacker for the first four games of the season before returning to defensive back for the remainder of the year.
“Bill has been with us since day one, and has been a great leader and a team captain,” Sharks Head Coach Les Moss said. “He has improved every year while excelling at different positions on our defense and on special teams.”
Alford finished third on the team with three interceptions in 2012 and was the only Shark to return multiple interceptions for touchdowns last season. In the season opener against Kansas City, Alford scored a defensive touchdown and then recorded a safety when covering a kickoff. Alford later notched another “pick-six” against the Philadelphia Soul in Week 15. Alford also recorded 10 pass breakups and both forced and recovered a fumble in 2012.
In 2011, his second year in Jacksonville, Alford notched 40 total tackles, a career-high total of 2.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups and two interceptions during the regular season. Alford’s biggest play of 2011 came in the American Conference Championship, as he hauled in an interception with under a minute left to seal a Shark victory over the Georgia Force.
Alford is one of three players to play for the Sharks in each of Jacksonville’s three seasons as a franchise. In his rookie 2010 season, Alford started each of Jacksonville’s 16 regular-season games, recording eight pass breakups and recovering a pair of fumbles.
Before beginning his professional career, Alford completed his collegiate football career at Vanderbilt. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens in 2005, and also spent time with the NFL’s Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons as well as the Frankfurt Galaxy of NFL Europe.
Fellow defensive back Micheaux Robinson is currently ineligible for assignment until he completes rehabilitation from an injury suffered late in the 2012 season.
About the Jacksonville Sharks
The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and back-to-back-to-back South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Season Tickets for the 2013 season are now available, two tickets as low as $185. To reserve your season tickets or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700. Follow the Sharks on facebook at facebook.com/jaxsharks and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at facebook.com/sharkattackdance and Chum at facebook.com/chumsharks.