What a great first weekend of XFL football. After watching many of the games played, I didn’t realize how many Coaches in the league were big names who either played or coached in the NFL.
We had a chance to here from one of the owners of the league, Dwayne “The Rock”, Johnson and he was excited to open up the season with an inspirational message, “You bring the dreams, we bring the opportunities,” he said. “XFL, Let’s Ball out Baby.”
While many players did play in the NFL, as seen by my last story, let’s take a look at the coaches who bring their leadership, abilities, and knowledge to the XFL.
Wade Phillips (Houston Roughnecks)
Plays Home games @ TDECU Stadium
Coach Phillips brings with him over four decades of coaching experience. His last coaching gig was in the NFL as the Los Angeles Ram’s defensive coordinator for three seasons. He is also the son of the late Bum Phillips who also was an NFL coach.
He is known as a defensive guru and an expert of the very complicated 3-4 defensive scheme. Despite that, he always had the players who could execute this system as his defenses were generally among the best in the NFL everywhere he has coached.
Terrell Buckley (Orlando Guardians)
Plays Home games @ Camping World Stadium
Coach Buckley has never coached in the NFL, but he was a standout player for 13-years and won Super Bowl XXXVI with the New England Patriots alongside “The GOAT” Tom Brady. Buckley was drafted fifth-overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1992 and also went on to suit up for the Miami Dolphins of the AFC East.
Buckley was a lockdown corner who was great at covering receivers one-one and was always on an island. He was very productive for those 13 seasons and will now look to thrive in his first-year coaching pro ball in the XFL.
Hines Ward (San Antonio Brahmas)
Plays Home games @ Alamo Dome
Just like Coach Buckley, Coach Ward has never held a NFL coaching position, but you may remember him as a legendary receiver in the Steel City. He also played in the league for 13-years and won two super bowls (XL) and (XLIII) with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ward has yet to be selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but keeps falling short every year.
He enjoyed the culture and all the winning that was done by Head Coach Bill Cowher who is now a pregame analyst for the NFL Today on CBS.
Jim Haslett (Seattle Sea Dragons)
Plays Home games @ Lumen Field
Coach Haslett brings with him over three decades of coaching experience, including two decades in the NFL. His last job was with the Tennessee Titans as their Inside Linebackers Coach.
Much like Phillips, Haslett is a defensive guru who is known for his 3-4 base defenses that bring heavy pass rushing on opposing quarterbacks. His defenses are very well coached and his d-line always makes sure to pursue to the ball before tackling.
Rod Woodson (Vegas Vipers)
Plays Home games @ Cashman Field
Coach Woodson comes into the XFL and he too was a former NFL player who played back in the day. He played in three Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XXXV playing with the Baltimore Ravens. Unfortunately, he lost the other two, (XXX and XXXVII).
He enters the league after working for the NFL Network, Big Ten Network, and Westwood One, as an analyst.
Woodson was not just a successful athlete in the NFL. He was a leader, a motivator, and good teammate to everyone who knew him as a player. The former monstrous corner now takes his talents to the XFL as a head coach instead of a player.
Now that we had the chance to watch our first-full weekend of XFL football, let’s hear what the other two Co- Owner’s had to say:
XFL Chairwoman and Co-Owner Danny Garcia knew what she had to do to help make her XFL dream become a reality. She also knew it had to be run and fundamentally changed from the previous owner Vince McMahon’s version. Along with her ex-husband, famous WWE Star and Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Red Bird Capital Owner Gerry Cardinale, it all came to fruition and opening day became a reality.
“I wanted the league to have an actual purpose,” she said. “This league was meant to unleash the dreams that football makes possible.”
Co-Owner and Red Bird Capital founder Gerry Cardinale further explained what Garcia’s purpose was and stated that putting a professional product on the field for this league and being a developmental league would be why the XFL will be a mainstay in spring football for years to come. So far, week one has been fantastic to watch.
“This league’s gonna last because it’s legitimate at it’s very core,” he said. “We’re putting an NFL quality product on the field in partnership with the NFL as a development partner for the league, we have two of the great owners here in live event and entertainment, and we have a world class broadcasting partner in ESPN.”
The owners were also thrilled to announce that San Antonio will host the Championship game that will be played at the Alamo Dome.
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Glad to see Jim Hassel back in football
Heard of some of them. There is a reason they are now out of the NFL and coaching this league!
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