The Kyle Sloter starter train has been conducted for the last two weeks by Arlington Renegades fans with no stop in sight.
This all comes from the performance of Renegades starting quarterback Drew Plitt who has the team at a 1-1 record so far this season. Unfortunately for Plitt, most of that contributes to the play of the defense. Their two pick-sixes in their week one 22-20 win over the Vegas Vipers were the key to their win. In last week’s 23-14 loss to the Houston Roughnecks, three turnovers were forced by the Renegades that led to all 14 points scored by Arlington thanks to short-field positions.
As for Plitt’s performance himself, it has been up and down through two weeks. Week one saw him complete a league-high 76% of his passes leading to the win. His performance in week two was not as good as he completed 50% of his passes, threw under 130 yards, and threw two interceptions. He did though throw two touchdowns in the loss to Houston.
This has been a topic of conversation among fans as to why the fans haven’t seen Sloter take the field at all this season. Things started to heat up Thursday morning when the Renegades released their updated depth chart which showed either Plitt or Sloter will start. In week two, there was no “or” between the two quarterbacks when the depth chart was released.
While in theory, it seems like an obvious choice to abandon ship with Plitt and put Sloter in, there is more that must go into the decision than that. Many factors could play a role in Renegades head coach Bob Stoops sticking with the rookie quarterback instead of the proven veteran.
Argument for Drew Plitt Starting
To kick this off, it should be noted that in the simplest terms, Plitt is a rookie. That means rookies aren’t going to be perfect. They are going to make mistakes. Former NFL quarterback Payton Manning threw 28 interceptions in his rookie season with the Indianapolis Colts and he became a hall of famer. This is in no way trying to compare the two quarterbacks, but it’s to prove the point that this isn’t going to be a smooth ride off the bat. He needs time to develop his game to be the quarterback the coaching staff believes he can be.
Plitt has shown the team and fans the potential he has already through two weeks. When given the proper protection, he can run out of the pocket to make a play with his legs should no receiver be open. He’s shown strong accuracy with connecting on short passes to his receivers to pick up five to seven-yard completions.
In a shorter season like the XFL has, it’s easy to be quick on moving on from a player if they are struggling, but Plitt isn’t playing that bad for what he is dealing with. Arlington’s running game has been performing below their standards and the offensive line has allowed multiple sacks each game. The whole team in general needs time to develop and build chemistry so the team should start playing better through the rest of the season.
Argument for Kyle Sloter Starting
One key reason for Sloter to be put into the starting lineup is his experience. He has played for multiple NFL teams and had success in the preseason. His success in the USFL last year showed that he can play at a high level. Even dealing with his ankle injury throughout the season, he still led the New Orleans Breakers to the playoffs with a 6-4 record.
He has similar skill sets to Plitt where he can be mobile and use his legs to make plays. The difference between the two is he is six foot, five inches while Plitt is two inches shorter than Sloter. While in hindsight it may not make a difference, a quarterback with that height and being able to still make the plays is always a major plus.
Where Sloter will be able to step in and help the offense out is cutting down on the number of mistakes and poor passes down the field. Plitt didn’t complete a pass that was over ten yards in the Houston Roughnecks game. This is where Sloter can take advantage and make the passing game more vertical instead of short screen passes and crossing routes.
This article shouldn’t be taken as this is favored for Sloter or Plitt to be the starter. The article is designed to look at this situation in multiple different ways. There are so many reasons why the Renegades should continue to roll with Plitt as the starter. It can go the other way to why Sloter should take over the job or not. Basically, it’s playing devil’s advocate for both players. In reality, this is almost a good problem to have with two capable quarterbacks on your roster.
At the end of the day, coach Stoops has to make the final decision on who takes the field as he needs to figure out how to get this offense rolling through the rest of the season. The truth is both quarterbacks are capable of starting and playing regardless of how fans feel about Plitt. It’s a matter of figuring out what is best for the team. Plitt’s performance this weekend against the Orlando Guardians will go a long way in deciding who starts moving forward. If the Renegades even go down that route.
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