Frank Oliver lies on the turf grimacing in pain, he knew it as soon as it happened, it was fractured. His season done. His time in the bay area up in the air as hot shot rookie William Traylor is steering the Hammerheads to playoffs with the pedal to the metal.
It was first and ten, midway in the first quarter. Oliver takes the snap from center Barry Almanza, drops back, looks down primary receiver Jason Ludwig and fires as Scorpions linebacker Winston Carlson comes crashing down on Oliver, causing Oliver’s pass to take flight into the turf. Also causing the crackle heard around the league, Oliver’s leg pinned awkwardly as Winston full body weight of 215 pounds came screeching down on the future hall of famers leg.
Despite his ability to play at an elite level, many critics believed Frank Oliver’s time as the Hammerheads starting quarterback was fast approaching it’s end date. His bad days were increasing, becoming closer together than before. A rough outing against Birmingham in week two had some discouraged with the future hall of famer as he failed to put any points on the board for the first time as a Hammerhead, and had put up a measly stat line of 16/31, 191 yards and 0 TD’s, and 2 INT’s, and a QB rating of 43.9. Despite the narrow victory, he again failed to throw a TD pass in week six against Houston. Before his season ending injury Oliver had tossed a very un-Oliver like 9 TD’s and 5 INT’s on the year. His TD to INT ratio was his lowest since 2014.
Fast forward to week 12, rookie William Traylor is balling, coming off a big victory over division rivals Portland. Traylor had just thrown for 421 yards and 5 TD’s to 0 INT’s. The rookie is progressing at an alarming rate each and every week he starts. In the four games he has started the Hammerheads have averaged 36.8 points a game and are 3-1. He has thrown 16 TD’s to 8 INT’s for a quarterback rating 100.5.
Frank Oliver is William Traylor’s biggest fan, and Traylor is Oliver’s biggest student. The two break down film together as Oliver recovers from his fractured leg. He guides the rookie during games, often helping with play calling. Traylor credits Oliver for his steady growth as a quarterback.
At 33, there’s no question that Frank Oliver can still play at an elite level, the question is will he still play for the Hammerheads when he’s 34, or will the torch be passed?