Coaching staffs for the XFL are set, we have a rough idea of QB assignments, and are awaiting the upcoming player draft. Terrell Buckley has built and impressive staff around him with a wealth of experience in different systems, so how might this brain trust come together on the field?
Firstly, Terrell Buckley’s experience is as a cornerback and defensive backs coach, as is his DC of choice in Tony Carter. I’m excited to see what defensive backs these two, along with safeties coach Ronnie Lee bring in to play. With all their experience at this position, I have high hopes for the secondary in Orlando, and in a pass-happy football world, strength here should pay dividends down the road.
As far as what looks we’ll see from the defensive front, I’ve heard word that the scheme is still in its still in its early development phase. Based on the history of the coaches we can glean some idea of what things might look like, however. Both Tony Carter and DL coach Ty Warren coached with Matt Patricia in Detroit, and I wonder if we’ll see some hybrid-3-4 front Belichick looks on the front seven. If they employ some of the concepts they were around with Patricia, it’s more good news for the secondary, as Belichick’s scheme historically makes corners look good.
Mark Snyder is a high-quality linebacking coach as well, and whatever looks they present, I’m sure he’ll get his guys in good order. Ty Warren saw firsthand the effectiveness of Belichick’s 2 gap system as he soaked up blockers and disrupted plays for years in that scheme.
Let’s also keep in mind that the nickel defense has become more standard than base by snap count, so their selections at corner are still key past 1-2, and we will likely often see four down lineman and two off-ball backers.
On offense, it’ll be Robert Ford running the show. A branch off the Jimmy Johnson coaching tree, he spent a decade in that offense. Originally a Norv Turner design, they centered their success around the West-Coast philosophy of a strong run game punctuated by a short passing attack. They were able to find success with as Emmitt Smith pounded the rock and opening things up for Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Jay Novacek. They were able to replicate some of this magic in Miami, albiet with Larry Miller and Ricky Williams in the backfield, and were able to get some good years out of Jay Fiedler after Marino retired.
According to a report by Mike Mitchell, it appears that the Guardians starting QB will likely be Deondre Francois as it stands. The 25 year old passer has played for the Blues in TSL, posting 201 passing yards, a touchdown and a score. He’s also been a mainstay in Fan Controlled Football (FCF) with the Glacier Boyz and Bored Ape Football Club, where he’s posted a cumulative 767 Passing Yards, 19-3 TD/INT and 10 Rushing TD’s in the league.
Now, he’s been training with Jordan Palmer, and is ready to move up in the football world. As a young qb who is looking to establish himself, he’s coming into a good situation with Robert Ford and QB Coach Shane Matthews, both of whom have decades of NFL experience. Looking at the types of offenses Ford has run in the past, the two positions I’m most interested to see the team’s selections at are RB and TE.
The offenses Ford ran in in Dallas and Miami both centered around a featured bell-cow back, so I would hazard to guess they’ll be keeping an eye out for someone who can fill that role. I also mention tight end because one of the crown jewels in Ford’s resume was Jay Novacek’s All-Pro performances while he was TE coach in Dallas. He knows what success at that position looks like, and a star tight end would fit perfectly into the kind of offense he ran with Jimmy Johnson.
I can’t wait to see what kind of talent this team finds in the upcoming XFL Draft, even more so what this team looks like when they finally suit up. More than ready for the XFL to be back. Stay tuned for the latest here at XFL News Hub.
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