The XFL is coming back this 2020. Just recently the league unveiled its inaugural eight teams. They are the Dallas Renegades, D.C. Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, Los Angeles Wildcats, New York Guardians, Seattle Dragons, St. Louis Blackhawks, and Tampa Bay Vipers. Although the February 8, 2020 season opener is still half a year away, XFL News Hub has decided to take an early look at the D.C Defenders.
The Run Down
Tasked to run operations for the Defenders is Erik Moses. The former Events DC executive found out about his appointment in April, and is naturally excited.
Moses has been working in the nation’s capital for a long time, which means he’s well aware of the high expectations in D.C. The XFL owners, in a press release announcing the hiring, alluded to Moses’s deep connection to D.C. This connection, in turn, will help the league connect meaningfully with football fans in the nation’s capital. Forging a strong connection will be critical, as the team is scheduled to play five home games at the Audi Field.
Calling the shots for D.C. will be the highly respected Pep Hamilton. This will be his first head-coaching job after being an assistant coach for over 22 years. Hamilton has been the offensive coordinator at various college programs, notably Howard University and recently, Michigan. He has also held that same post for the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Cleveland Browns.
But as Bleacher Report notes in its article about Hamilton’s hiring, he was at his best with the Indianapolis Colts. There he worked with Andrew Luck to turn the Colts’ offense into one of the NFL’s best. Hamilton, however, was fired in 2015 as the Colts and Luck struggled. Luck afterwards was coy when asked about the firing, leading many to believe he was responsible. The Stanford-alum has now rediscovered his form, and the Colts again are considered among the NFL’s top teams. bwin NFL’s predictions for next year’s Super Bowl outline that Luck will be critical to the Colts booking a ticket to the final. The team will be hoping to form an offense around Luck, just like Hamilton did during his tenure at the Colts. A week after that Super Bowl, Hamilton will get to start his own journey towards being a championship-winning coach.
Hamilton will also serve as the Defenders’ GM. In a statement Hamilton expressed excitement at the challenge at hand, then pointed out his “lifelong attachment” to the capital. Importantly he promised to “put together a terrific, hard-working staff, and a great football team for fans in and around our nation’s capital.” At the moment, Hamilton has just about filled out his staff. Among his notable hires are former NFL defensive back Steve Wilson (defensive backs and special teams coach); former AFL, NFL, and XFL linebacker Kurt Gouveia (linebackers coach); and ex-Atlanta Falcons tight ends coach Chris Scelfo (offensive line coach).
How the Defenders’ final roster will shape up remains to be seen, as the draft is to be held this October. But Hamilton has both pedigree and history as a long-time OC (and his success with Luck in Indy). So many are predicting that he might look to construct a high-powered offense, much like the Colts in 2013 and 2014.