AAF will welcome “best available players,” without regard to social stances

The NFL allegedly has shunned Colin Kaepernick for his non-football activities. The Alliance for American Football says it won’t.

“Best available players,” AAF co-founder Charlie Ebersol told azcentralsports.com on Friday after the fledgling league announced Rick Neuheisel as the coach of a Tempe-based team. “You show up and you can play and you want to play in our league, then we want to talk to you.”

Which brings into question, once again, the question of whether the new helmet rule will change the between-the-tackles running game, where plenty of players routinely dip their helmets as they try to create holes, collapse blocking plans, gain yardage, and make tackles. The league has still yet to explain that specific wrinkle.

So, basically, there’s still a long way to go before this new rule and its implications can be fully and properly understood. The sooner everyone knows precisely what is and isn’t allowed, the better.

Here’s a look at all 16 games on the Niners’ schedule and whether they’re set up to make a big move up the standings.

Toughest tests: The Niners face a brutal road schedule outside of the NFC West, as the Chiefs and Chargers, as well as the Packers and Vikings, figure to be the two best teams in their respective divisions. Tampa Bay also makes for a long trip from San Francisco Bay. The degree of difficulty will be raised for Garoppolo, who’s 7-0 in the NFL as a starter, with duels against Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins.

Biggest breaks: The 49ers have a good home schedule. They will be a lot better than last year’s 3-5 at Levi’s Stadium while facing a slew of sub-.500 opponents from last season. That will be San Francisco’s boon as it tries to make a surprise run to the playoffs.
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