Arlington Renegades head coach Bob Stoops and quarterback Luis Perez spoke with the media Wednesday as they prepare for their XFL Championship game against the DC Defenders.
Both Coach Stoops and Perez spoke to the media about how they felt about their 26-11 win against the Houston Roughnecks Saturday. They also discussed their mindsets going into the title game as they look to take down the DC Defenders. Coach Stoops also gives some updates on players who were injured in Saturday’s South Division Title game.
Coach Stoops, Perez Media Availability Comments
Reflection on South Division Title Win
Saturday saw the Arlington Renegades have their best game of the season as they defeated the Houston Roughnecks 26-11 to win the south division. It was their first win on the season where it was a two-possession win for the Renegades. Coach Stoops spoke on how all three phases of the game were on full display for Arlington.
“Oh, definitely. You know, and might have had some half here or there, like the second half of DC or whatnot, but for the full game, yes, definitely. It was our best and most complete game.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
The offense recorded over 400 total yards and tied their season high for points with 26. Arlington’s defense held Houston to 225 yards of total offense and grabbed a critical fourth-quarter interception. Perez understood the importance of the team winning the division.
“Yeah, no, it was huge. It was huge for our team and just the Renegades in general. But no, it was fun. Good atmosphere overall was just good competition and shoot. Shout out to the coaches for giving us good game plan to go out there and execute.”Arlington Renegades Quarterback Luis Perez
Offense Coming Alive
There was a lot that went into the Renegades’ 419 total yards of offense as they got strong production from the running game. De’Veon Smith hit 94 yards on the ground as the offensive line led by Mike Horton and Willie Beavers blocked them to a 137 rushing yards day as a team. JaVonta Payton became the first 100-yard receiver on the team with 121 yards and two scores. At the end of the day, Coach Stoops said it all starts with Perez.
“I think as much as anything Luis brings is a major part of it. I think the fact that we also, I thought, protected really well and ran the ball well. When you can have some kind of balance that way, it usually makes a big difference in both running and pass. And so, I thought our o-line did a really good job, and I thought receivers, we didn’t have any drops and made some outstanding catches. Really all of them, as well as tight end Sal (Cannella) had some nice place third down pickup. So, when everyone contributes that way, you usually find some success.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Perez completed 70 percent of his passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He played a clean game with zero turnovers leading Arlington to 23 first-half points which is the most by the team all season. Being comfortable in the offensive system has helped Perez succeed in this offense in the last few weeks.
“The more you can master an offense, the better you play as a quarterback. And as you start getting more comfortable and comfortable with your receivers and the offense and how coaches calling plays and what to check, what not to check, and you start getting a good feel for things, you just start getting better.”Arlington Renegades Quarterback Luis Perez
There were two key players who were injured in the Renegades-Roughnecks game. Cornerback Shakur Brown injured his leg and did not return to the game. Receiver and returner Rannell Hall injured his foot in the game he also did not come back. Coach Stoops gave some updates on both players and how they are progressing.
“Yeah, Shakur, he has a fracture in his leg, so he’ll be out, but Speedo (Rannell Hall) his MRIs are good, and he should be ready to go.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
The news of Brown being out will most likely open the door for corners like Cre’Von LeBlanc to step up as he had a strong showing in the second half with two big pass breakups in the game. Hall being okay is good news for Arlington as his punt return replacement Tyler Vaughns fumbled and lost the ball in his place. Joe Powell eventually went in to return punts for the rest of the game.
Coach Stoops’ Future In The XFL
As most teams are closing in on the offseason, many are thinking about their futures in the XFL and potentially the NFL. While the season is not done for Arlington, it appears that Coach Stoops knows what he wants in his future with the XFL.
“Yeah, right now I intend to and hope to be, and we’ll see how things go. You never know. Life changes every now and then for everybody. So anyhow, I think they’ve done a great job. The players have really enjoyed it and assistant coaches have enjoyed it. So I think it’s very viable and I believe it’s going to be a huge success.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Preparation for Next Week’s Championship Game
This week is serving as somewhat of a bye week for the teams as the Renegades have elected to practice Tuesday and Wednesday. Coach Stoops discussed their game plan for this week before hitting it hard next week.
“Yeah, we still got some really good work, not quite as long through the week and then we’ll be in a normal rhythm come Monday, giving the long weekend off to rest and recover a little bit and then get back at it Monday.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Players’ mindsets now switch to championship mode as for a lot of these players, this is the biggest game of their careers. Coach Stoops has plenty of experience in big games as he has won a national title with Oklahoma in college. He was happy with the energy of the team as they are a week and a half from game day.
“Yeah, it means a lot to the guys. You could tell on the field after the game last week and in the locker room, these guys all play hard and are prideful in how they play. So, they felt good about it and they’re excited about this opportunity for sure.”Arlington Renegades Head Coach Bob Stoops
Another guy who has played in a national title, Perez understands the importance of this game to him and other players. For Perez, it’s about not letting the moment get to them and embracing it.
“Yeah, the biggest thing I try to say is just don’t make the moment be too big for you. Trust your preparation and your process that you’ve done throughout this whole season as what’s got us here. And don’t make the moment too big. But, hey, we tell these guys, ‘Big time players make big time plays and big-time moments.’ And this is a big moment, so we got to show up.”Arlington Renegades Quarterback Luis Perez
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