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Peter Tom Willis


Peter Tom Willis
Photo by Chris Arnold
AFL Experience: 3rd season
Height: 6-3
Weight: 205
Date of Birth: 1/4/67
College: Florida State


1997: After two years out of football, signed by the Storm in March to replace legendary quarterback Jay Gruden, now the head coach of the Orlando Predators...Got off to a good start, completing 21 of 32 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns in his AFL debut at Arizona (5/3); he was named Game MVP for his efforts...Enjoyed his most efficient game at Nashville (5/23), completing 20 of 33 passes for 246 yards and four touchdowns...Suffered bruised ribs in the first quarter of the loss to Albany (6/7)...After completing 11 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the first half against New Jersey (6/14), was injured again when he aggravated his rib injury while trying to make a tackle after a Lawrence Samuels fumble...Came back one week later against New York and completed 20 of 38 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns in spite of playing through the pain of ribs that turned out to be broken. The injury would persist through the rest of the regular season...Completed 17 of 30 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns in the win at Texas (7/5)...Connected on four touchdown passes and completed 13 of 28 passes for a career-high 280 yardsa gainst Anaheim (7/12)...Was 20-of-32 for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to Iowa (7/19)...In a workmanlike performance, completed 18 of 31 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns against Florida (7/26)...In just one half's worth of work at San Jose (8/2), hit on 13 of 20 passes for 123 yards...Trumped his efficient performance in the regular season win at Nashville with an even better one in the return trip to the Music City (8/10), completing 18 of 27 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions...His performance was the best of any quarterback in the quarterfinal round, evidenced by is 132.4 passer rating for that game...Two of his touchdowns covered more than half the field: a 40-yarder to George LaFrance and a 31-yarder to Lawrence Samuels...Threw for a season-high 277 yards on 21-for-38 passing in the semifinal loss at Arizona (8/16).

1998: If the Arena Football League gave out an award for the most improved player in the league, Willis would win it hands down after a spectacular season that saw him develop into one of the elite players in the game...Tied a team record for touchdown passes with 70 after having just 41 in 1997; in 1998, he had 41 after just eight games...Improved his completion percentage from 54.5 percent to 60.0 percent...Increased his total passing yardage by 565 yards...Cut his interception total nearly in half, from 19 down to 10...Finished third in the league in passer rating...Began his season at San Jose by completing 13 of his first 14 passes en route to a 19-of-29, 247-yard performance...Hit three passes of more than 35 yards, all to OS Wayne Walker...One week later against Nashville (5/9), he set career highs with 303 yards and seven touchdown passes...Completed three passes of more than 40 yards...Against Houston (5/16), he completed 16 of 21 passes for 197 yards and six touchdowns with no interception...Suffered a bruised thumb in the third quarter, but returned to action for two more possessions that resulted in two scores...Led the Storm to touchdowns on six of eight possessions...At Florida (5/23), he was named the game's Most Valuable Player as he connected on 19 of 37 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns...Led the Storm to scores on each of their five first half possessions, including four touchdowns...At New Jersey (5/30), he was again selected as the Game MVP after completing 11 of 21 passes for 234 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions...Led the Storm to scores on nine of ten possessions...Completed 20 of 31 passes for 242 yards and four scores with no interceptions in the 65-33 win over New York (6/6)...Spread the ball around, contributing to a Storm passing attack that had four receivers go over the 50-yard barrier...Connected on his first six attempts of the second half; after an incompletion on the second, he completed a 33-yard touchdown bomb to George LaFrance...In Orlando (6/12), he was named the game's Most Valuable Player after completing 19 of 35 passes for 239 yards and five touchdowns with one interception in spite of being under constant Predator pass rush pressure...Hit three of his scores in the final quarter, including a game-high 35-yard pass to Wayne Walker with 1:56 left in regulation time...Was involved in two turnovers---a third quarter fumbled snap and a fourth quarter interception...Honored as the league's co-Player of the Week after completing 21 of 29 passes for 274 yards and six scores in the 61-40 domination of Albany...Did a good job spreading the ball around, as three receivers each accounted for over 50 yards (Lawrence Samuels with 53, Wayne Walker with 68 and Stevie Thomas with 128)... Completed his first 11 passes in a row...Began the game with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Thomas...Bolstered his touchdown total for the season to 41, equalling his tally from last year after only eight games...In the return match with Orlando (6/27), he was named the game's Most Valuable Player after completing 26 of 37 passes for 281 yards and six scores...Sacked for the first time all season late in the first quarter, but turned around on the next play and hit Lawrence Samuels on a 38-yard touchdown pass...Showed a new talent by making a key block on Les Barley's six-yard touchdown run with 2:46 to go...Spread the ball around; three of the Storm's receivers each caught over 70 yards' worth of his passes...At Houston (7/2), he set a career high by completing 79 percent of his passes...Connected on 23 of 29 passes for 301 yards---the second highest total of his career---and five touchdowns...Four of his scores went to George LaFrance, who has caught 25 of Willis' 52 scores to date in 1998...Had two downers, unfortunately, fumbling a second quarter snap and tossing an interception in the third quarter that came as he got the ball away to avoid an imminent sack...Named the game's Most Valuable Player against Florida (7/12), completing 22 of 35 passes for 214 yards and six touchdowns...Connected on his first five attempts and hit six of seven in the first quarter...Spread the ball around, completing passes to eight different receivers...His six touchdowns went to four different receivers---two to George LaFrance, two to Lawrence Samuels and one each to Wayne Walker and Stevie Thomas...Struggled five nights later at Nashville (7/17), completing below 50 percent of his passes for the first time since the Storm's previous game with Nashville in Week Two...Also had his first multi- interception game since Week Two...Threw three touchdown passes, including a 42-yard strike to Wayne Walker in the third quarter that tied the score at 22-22...Ended the night with 235 yards on 15-of-32 passing...Rebounded from the Nashville defeat with an efficient effort in two and a half quarters of play against Iowa (7/25), completing 11 of 16 passes for 199 yards and five touchdowns... Led the Storm to touchdowns on all seven possessions he directed...Exited the game with the Storm holding a 58-17 lead...His final pass was his longest, a 42-yard scoring bomb down the left sideline to George LaFrance...Tied Gruden's season record for touchdowns at Grand Rapids (8/1), firing four to boost his season total to 70...Struggled mightily in the first 50 minutes of the game, completing just nine of 28 passes, but got hot at the end, completing six of his last seven...Accounted for 240 yards and did not toss an interception...In the postseason opener at San Jose (8/8), he turned in an efficient performance, completing 19 of 31 passes for 274 yards and six scores...Had a similar game against New Jersey (8/14), but did even better in terms of completion percentage, hitting on 76 percent of his passes (19 of 25) for 220 yards and four scores in the rout...In ArenaBowl XII, though, he turned in a stinker of a performance... Among the avalanche of negative stats for the Storm, the one that stood out most was his six interceptions, three of which landed in the hands of Orlando's Chris Barber...Barber's three picks were a postseason record, and Willis' six misfires were a league record for any game, regular or postseason...Amidst the gloom, he still threw four touchdown passes.

1999: Began the process of rebounding from the ArenaBowl XII trauma by completing 27 of 42 passes for 321 yards and four scores in the Week One loss to Albany (4/24)...Threw one interception; however, it happened because AFL rookie receiver Charles Wilson ran the wrong route...The 321 yards represented a new career high, and the best for a Storm passer since 1996...At Milwaukee (4/29), he had another outstanding performance, connecting on 16 of 30 passes for 283 yards and six touchdowns...Was named the game's Most Valuable Player for his efforts...Earned Game MVP honors for a second consecutive week after completing 14 of 29 passes for 182 yards and four scores against Florida (5/15)...Did not get off to a good start, though, completing just one of his first eight passes; in his defense, though, two passes were dropped and there was a questionable pass interference non-call on another toss...However, he rebounded to complete six consecutive passes in a stretch encompassing parts of the third and fourth quarters.

Career Highlights: Led Florida State to the 1990 Fiesta Bowl championship...Drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round of the 1990 NFL draft...Released by the Bears in 1994 and signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before being again released in 1995.

AFL Statistics



Date  Opponent   COMP  ATT   YDS   PCT  INT   LG   TD 
4/24  Albany       27   42   321   64%    1   32    4
4/29  Milwaukee    16   30   283   53%    1   43    6
5/15  Florida      14   29   182   48%    1   37    4
SEASON TOTALS      57  101   786   56%    3   43   14


Date  Opponent    RUSH   YDS    AVG   LG    TD 
4/24  Albany         0     0    0.0    0     0
4/29  Milwaukee      0     0    0.0    0     0
5/15  Florida        0     0    0.0    0     0
SEASON TOTALS        0     0    0.0    0     0



Year  Team       COMP  ATT   YDS   PCT  INT   LG   TD 
1997  Tampa Bay   225  413  2846   55%   19   46   41
1998  Tampa Bay   255  425  3411   60%   10   45   70
1999  Tampa Bay    57  101   786   56%    3   43   14
CAREER TOTALS     537  939  7043   57%   31   46  125


Year  Team        RUSH   YDS    AVG   LG    TD 
1997  Tampa Bay     12    -3   -0.3    3     0
1998  Tampa Bay      7    -8   -1.2    1     0
1999  Tampa Bay      0     0    0.0    0     0
CAREER TOTALS       19   -11   -0.6    3     0

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