More International Players Added To NFL Teams

Eleven of the best international football players from around the world will have an opportunity to make an impact on the NFL this season as part of the NFL International Development Practice Squad Program. The 11 players from five countries have earned positions on the practice squad rosters of teams in the AFC East, AFC South and NFC North Divisions.


The players selected for the program, which is now in its fourth year, have all displayed outstanding potential and performance in NFL Europa, including German defensive end BEN ISHOLA. The NFL Europa National Defensive Player of the Year joins the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts practice squad after helping the Hamburg Sea Devils to victory in World Bowl XV.

Five players – MARVIN ALLEN, CARL-JOHAN BJORK, SAMUEL GUTEKUNST, DANIEL WATTS and ULRICH WINKLER – participated in the program last year. One graduate of the initial class in 2004, Mexican guard ROLANDO CANTU, has already made his NFL debut, seeing action in the Arizona Cardinals' season-ending game against Indianapolis in 2005.

"The practice squad program was an excellent experience for me," Cantu says. "The exposure to the NFL environment and having an entire year with a team really pushes you to perform at a high level."

A closer look at the 11 international players heading to 2007 AFC East, AFC South and NFC North practice squads:


RB Jermaine Allen/Chicago Bears/UK. Totaled 181 scrimmage yards and scored three touchdowns for World Bowl champion Hamburg.

WR Marvin Allen/Miami Dolphins/UK. Caught 21 passes for 222 yards with one touchdown for Rhein.

LB Carl-Johan Bjork/Green Bay Packers/Sweden. Ranked second on Amsterdam with 46 tackles and recorded one sack and two passes defensed.

LB Eduardo Castaneda/Houston Texans/Mexico. Recorded 10 tackles and added five special teams tackles for Rhein.

OT Seppo Ewvaraye/Minnesota Vikings/Finland. Started seven games for Cologne and helped Offensive

Co-MVP Derrick Ross/Kansas City Chiefs/US. Lead league in rushing.

OT Samuel Gutekunst/Jacksonville Jaguars/Germany. Played in nine games and helped Berlin lead league in rushing.

DE Ben Ishola/Indianapolis Colts/Germany. Named NFL Europa National Defensive Player of the Year. Recorded 22 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, one pass defensed and three special teams tackles for World Bowl champion Hamburg.

WR Iiro Luoto/NY Jets/Finland. Caught five passes for 39 yards for Rhein.

DT Salomon Solano/Detroit Lions/Mexico. Recorded 15 tackles, one pass defensed and 0.5 sacks for Rhein.

DE Daniel Watts/Buffalo Bills/UK. Posted 10 tackles and one sack for Amsterdam and Rhein.

DE Ulrich Winkler/Tennessee Titans/Germany. Recorded 20 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one pass defensed for Frankfurt.

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