Just a week after the Arlington Renegades fell to the Seattle Sea Dragons at home, head coach Bob Stoops spoke to the media Wednesday regarding the team.
Topics that were covered during the media availability include Coach Stoops giving his thoughts on Kelly Bryant and what he brings to the table. XFL News Hub also asked him about what the quarterback situation looks like for this week’s contest against the Orlando Guardians. Speaking of Orlando, Coach Stoops discusses his assessment of the team and how he felt to see Guardians head coach Terrell Buckley get his first win as a head coach.
Coach Bob Stoops’ Remarks
QB Situation: Thoughts on Bryant, Who Starts This Week
The quarterback situation took a tough turn when quarterback Drew Plitt was placed on the injured list after suffering a knee injury against the Seattle Sea Dragons. This led to the team signing Kelly Bryant onto the team to fill in the third quarterback role. Coach Stoops liked what he saw out of him and got some help from the front office making the decision.
“Rick Mueller, our player personnel guy, keeps up with everybody in and around the league that has opportunities. So as much as anything, just size, speed, the guy that can give you a little bit change of pace with some run game as well. So just all of it just wanted to give him a shot. So he’s been fitting in really well, just in a few days.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Bryant will be inactive for this week which will leave Luis Perez and Kevin Anderson as the active quarterbacks. No starter has been named for the game as Coach Stoops and the coaching staff are still evaluating who will start.
“We’ve been sharing reps with Kevin (Anderson) and Luis (Perez) both and just we’ll evaluate at the end of the week here after tomorrow’s practice, who we think overall has done the best job, gives us the best chance at least to start the game.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Renegades Improved Offense, De’Veon Smith Impact
Despite the loss last week, the Arlington Renegades offense was able to accomplish two things they have not done all season. One is scoring two offensive touchdowns in a game. The other is having over 300 total yards of offense in a game. While the offense has shown a lot of growth, the coaching staff is looking for the unit to improve on short-yard situations.
“One area we’re working hard on, we could be more efficient is the short yardage, third and one, fourth and short, third and short. If we can get some of those cleaned up, we’ve got a chance to really help ourselves. And I just thought that last week, the last drive of the first half defense, with a minute to go, gives up eight points and then we go down and instead of getting any points down on the eleven-yard line, we come away with zero. And there’s not enough possessions in these games to overcome that kind of swing. And had we been able to pick up third and short, fourth and short, at least we’re going to get a field goal, or we may the way we were moving it very well, could have got a touchdown. So that makes a big difference in the game.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
One player that hasn’t been talked about as much as he should on the offensive side of the ball is running back De’Veon Smith. He’s currently third in the XFL in the league in rushing yards (278) and rushing touchdowns (four). Smith is also tied for third in first-down conversion runs with 16. Coach Stoops spoke about the importance of Smith to this offense and how he should be talked about more often.
“I mean, that guy is an absolute workhorse and tough and strong and gets yards that aren’t there, breaks tackles. In my eyes, he’s been really a great player for us. Definitely, he’d be a guy to talk about if you haven’t.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Orlando Guardians, Coach Buckley Evaluation
It was a special week last week for the Renegades’ next opponents the Orlando Guardians as they got their first win of the season against the DC Defenders 37-36 in a thriller. For head coach Terrell Buckley, it was the first victory of his head coaching career. Despite being in the same division, it was a moment Coach Stoops could say made him proud of the new coach.
“I texted him right after the game. Happy for him, excited for him. I know how hard he’s been working, and they look good. So I just complimented him on how good the team looked. T. Buck is a great guy, so I think we all pull for each other to some degree, all in the same boat. So, it was good to see him win.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
The last time these two teams played each other, it was a 10-9 win for the Renegades. Circumstances have changed since as the Guardians’ offense has scored over 30 points twice in the last three games. Coach Stoops knows this offense will be tough to defend.
“Well, defense is the same, but I think the big difference is the change of schemes in offense. Shane Matthews coordinating it and calling it. You see the difference, and I see a lot of which you would guess, a lot of Coach Spurrier out there. So, I’m going against him for three years. I recognize all the routes; the run plays whatnot is that system that Shane played in for a long time with Coach Spurrier and was with them a long time. So, you still got to defend it even though you know it. So, bottom line, I think he and the quarterback have been the difference in what they’re doing.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
The Renegades take on the Guardians in Orlando on Saturday at 4:00 pm EST in a game that has massive implications for the playoffs.
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