The XFL is back, ladies and gentlemen. After the COVID-19 pandemic stopped a promising 2020 season short, the spring league is back with new owners and eight teams.
Some teams are tweaked, some teams are returning as is, but there’s one team that is completely new. That completely new XFL team is the San Antonio Brahmas.
The Brahmas kick off their season on February 19. They play host to the St. Louis BattleHawks, one of the XFL’s most popular teams from the 2020 iteration.
While the season draws near, let’s take a look ahead and preview the 2023 season for the San Antonio Brahmas.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s quickly breakdown where the Brahmas are among the XFL division alignment. The XFL has two divisions, North and South, each consisting of four teams.
The Brahmas play in the XFL South Division. They share a division with the Houston Roughnecks, Arlington Renegades, and Orlando Guardians.
The Brahmas will play each of their division opponents twice. San Antonio faces each of the XFL North teams once during the league’s 10-week season. Speaking of the schedule, here is how those 10 weeks will play out for San Antonio.
San Antonio Brahmas 2023 Schedule
The Brahmas begin their season at home against the BattleHawks before heading on the road for three straight games. San Antonio plays its first prime-time game in Week 3, and east coast viewers will have to stay up extra late to catch the Brahmas Week 4.
San Antonio returns home in Week 5 for the first game of a home-and-home series against the Arlington Renegades. They travel to Vegas in Week 7 before finishing the season with three straight games at home.
Five Players To Watch For 2023 Season
This is the Brahmas most up-to-date 51-man roster. Things are subject to change, as football is a very fluid sport. However, this is how they look heading into the season. Let’s take a look at five players to keep your eye on.
QB Jack Coan: Coan is the starting quarterback for the Brahmas this season. The 24-year-old played collegiately at Wisconsin and Notre Dame. Two of his five seasons saw him as a full-time starter, where he threw 45 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions across those two seasons. Coan led his teams to a combined 22-6 record with appearances in two bowl games.
Coan is the youngest of the three quarterbacks on the Brahmas roster. That gives head coach Hines Ward and offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo time to develop the 24-year-old as best they can. Coan has a track record of success, and the Brahmas hope that track record translates to professional football.
RB Jacques Patrick: Patrick is a veteran of the XFL, if you will. He played for the Tampa Bay Vipers, scoring two touchdowns before the league closed down. He played collegiately at Florida State, where he shined his final year in school. Patrick racked up 919 yards from scrimmage and scored seven touchdowns. His season culminated in an Independence Bowl win for the Seminoles.
Patrick has the trust of those around him, as he is one of five team captains alongside Coan. His leadership and familiarity with the XFL will be valuable to the team in 2023.
LB Joel Dublanko: Dublanko is another team captain with a successful track record in college. In fact, he was a part of college football history his senior season in Cincinnati. He recorded 113 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and 5.5 sacks as the Bearcats qualified for the College Football Playoff. They lost to Alabama, but being the first Group of 5 team to make the final four for football is a massive achievement.
Dublanko starts as the team’s middle linebacker and will be vital for their defensive success this season. Look for him to be a tone-setter for the Brahmas in 2023.
S Jack Koerner: Koerner played collegiately at Iowa, and became a full-time starter during his junior season. He spent five seasons with the Hawkeyes, as he had an extra year of eligibility following the COVID pandemic. His final season with the Hawkeyes saw him record 88 tackles and pick off two passes. Iowa finished 10-4, but the team lost in the Big Ten Championship and Citrus Bowl.
Koerner is the Brahmas best safety. He likes to play the ball but can also make a tackle when the team needs him. He should be the leader of the team’s secondary.
PR/KR Darece Roberson Jr.: Roberson came over to the Brahmas in a trade back in late January from the Houston Roughnecks. The Michigan native is a big play threat, averaging a little under 20 yards per catch and a little over 24 yards per kick return at Wayne State. The 24-year-old also runs a 4.35 40-yard dash.
Roberson will primarily see time as the team’s return man. However, he brings a level of explosiveness that makes him valuable as threat for screen plays and trick plays as well. Don’t be surprised if Roberson gets a few looks in on offense in addition to his return duties.
It is hard to pin down how well this team will do. That goes for other teams around the league as well. The XFL is essentially starting over from scratch, after all. However, the word “potential” truly is the word of the day in San Antonio.
If all goes well for coach Ward’s group, they could be a playoff team. They have a good balance of spring football veterans and hopeful young guns. And there isn’t a position group that projects to be a true hindrance. Only time will tell if the Brahmas can live up to their potential.
Featured Photo Credit: San Antonio Brahmas
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