This past Friday, the XFL hosted its fifth showcase in Tempe, Arizona at Arizona State University, where over 200 talented athletes took their football talents and put everything on the line to get an invite into the XFL draft pool this November.
I had the pleasure of attending with other XFLNewsHub writers and Reid Johnson from The Markcast and getting to interview who, at the time, was only rumored to be the head coach of the Las Vegas team, none other than NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson. We would later find out on Sunday during the XFL Town Hall in Arlington, TX, that Woodson would officially be the head coach of the Las Vegas team.
Woodson on XFL Showcases
Rod Woodson was asked by The Markcast’s Reid Johnson how everything was going at the showcase, and he had some interesting takes on what precisely the head coaches across the XFL have been looking at during these showcases. Woodson stated, “The showcases have been enlightening, you got 200 some guys, and hopefully, you can find a couple of hidden gems somewhere along the line. He thinks there is some talent out there, and he is glad that the XFL put the showcases on and allowed them to see all the talent around the country.
The most significant remark I took away from Woodson stated was that he thinks some of the guys he kind of likes are probably out of position when they are at the XFL and that they are not at the position they usually would look at them for, but if everyone can think out of the box that way, he thinks they can find a couple interesting here and there guys. When asked to clarify what he meant by playing outside of their current positions? He said they probably played in those positions in college, but they are not in college anymore. They are probably a little bit bigger and stronger, and to think a little bit different.
USFL cares more about themselves than the players
When asked about the USFL and how they have many talents locked up, does he think there are still enough quality guys other there? Woodson said,
“Yeah, I mean, USFL has not locked up all the talent. They got some guys, some of the quarterbacks, and others probably signed two-year deals. It is unfortunate because they think about themselves and not the players. So hopefully, there is enough talent across this country. American football is played in almost every space in the world, so we are just trying to find that be it here or international, it does not matter. We are trying to find those guys who want to have an opportunity to play pro ball.”
Reid asked Woodson to clarify what he meant by USFL is thinking about themselves and not the players; what does that mean? Woodson would go into depth about how they are trying to stay going and in business, and the result of that is they are just getting paid to perform, so they are trying to lock up all the talent.
“I know that their outs are getting into the NFL; other than that, they will be there. I do not think that is how the XFL will do things, but in the end, there is much talent, enough talent around the United States.”
Goals in the XFL and Coaching Future?
I asked Woodson, with this being his first time with a head coaching job, what exactly is his long-term goal other than the obvious of winning? Furthermore, do you see yourself ever coaching in the NFL, or is that your goal?
“God opens my doors to walk through. Those are doors I am going to walk through. I was very blessed to have Doug and those guys called me to have this opportunity. I am not looking to knock any doors down in the NFL. I have coached at the NFL level for several years. I am happy to be here, and this is a perfect scenario for some of us coaches who have a foundation; I have my family, my faith, and my family is my anchors. However, football has been my lifeline forever. I have been doing this since I have been nine years old. However, I love it being here. I love being with the guys. I love Doug, Russ, Dwayne, Dany, and Redbird capital for the opportunity. So I am not looking past this, and even if I did to the guys, I will be coaching it would be very unfair.”
When asked about an earlier comment about XFL looking at international players, Woodson would say that there are some legalities with that being coming over and work visas and whatnot. So the first year might be a little more complicated. Not unless some of the guys already have the work visas, but as years go on, I think it will open up the doors. Football is played on every continent in the world. American ball is getting bigger and bigger and bigger. So hopefully, as the XFL stays around, it will allow those individual players to come over here and show their talent. It is exciting what the future holds.
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