The XFL’s Player Showcases are in the books, and last Friday, the XFL News Hub crew had boots on the ground for the event held at Arizona State University. While the showcases are very player focused, the media availability was centered around the league’s coaches and executives. In talking to several coaches and executives between the offensive and defensive sessions, the team learned a few new details.
1. Players will be housed & fed throughout the season.
In chatting with Las Vegas head coach Rod Woodson, we learned players will be housed and fed throughout the season. This was confirmed and further explained following Sunday’s big announcements. While the location(s) have not been officially confirmed just yet, players are expected to reside in hotels near their team’s practice facilities. Regarding meals, no details have been officially released at this time, but we can expect that info as we approach training camps.
2. Coaches are on 3-year deals.
St. Louis head coach Anthony Becht mentioned that he’s signed to a 3-year deal, which also seems to be the case for the rest of the league’s head coaches. While there’s always a chance someone leaves for a better opportunity down the road, with 3-year deals in place, it’s clear the XFL is thinking long-term regarding their coaches.
3. International players are on the radar but might be a challenge for year 1.
Another thing we learned while chatting with coach Woodson, is the XFL is interested in bringing in players from around the globe and they’ve begun some scouting internationally. However, legalities like work visas may restrict the league from reaching across the pond in year one, so do not expect many International players in the league right out the gates. Woodson did mention as the league establishes itself over a few years, the doors will open for international players to come to the states and show their wares in the XFL.
4. Offensive & Defensive Linemen are hard to come by.
This is a point that’s been reiterated time and time again by folks involved with every alternative football league I’ve had the pleasure of covering. It makes sense considering there are barely enough to go around in the NFL, but that’s a big reason these alternative leagues are necessary.
With today’s NFL, there needs to be a way to develop more quality offensive and defensive linemen after college, and leagues like the XFL can do just that. We saw former Seattle Dragons offensive lineman Michael Dunn go on to play with the Cleveland Browns in 2020, getting significant playing time during the 2020 playoffs and earning himself a more permanent role on the team.
With Sunday’s announcements after the league’s final showcase in Arlington, the flood gates of XFL news have finally opened. League ownership, executives, and coaches have already been more open with the media over the last few days than they ever have. As we get closer to kickoff, we can expect their media availability will only increase, with key members of the league’s staff making the rounds on various podcasts and more.
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