The First Week of the XFL’s third iteration is finally here. For three years fans of the XFL have been waiting for the league to make it’s triumphant return with the leadership of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Gerry Cardinale for2023. The Battlehawks begin their season by traveling to San Antonio to take on the Brahmas on Sunday 2pm February 19th, at the Alamodome on ABC, to let the XFL know the Ka-Kaw is still the law.
The Battlehawks will be led by Anthony Becht, who will be taking on first time Head Coach Hines Ward, who just recently announced Jack Coan would be their starting Quarterback for Week One. Coan who was with the Colts during the NFL’s 2022 training camp and was also named a Captain after beating out former NFL Quarterback Reid Sinnett for the coveted QB1 position.
The forecast calls for mostly cloudy with a high around 75F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Betting Odds Per DraftKings:
Spread: BattleHawks -2.5
Moneyline: BattleHawks -125, Brahmas +105
Per the press release distributed on Thursday for Week One.
What to Watch For:
The Battlehawks go into Week One with AJ McCarron looking to lead the team under center, and St. Louis local Brian Hill lining up as the teams RB1. Former NFL Vet Marcell Ateman, and USFL Vet Darrius Shepheard look to be McCarron’s main two targets starting Week One, with former Seattle “Dragons” WR Austin Proehl primarily working from the slot position. Coach Becht has been vocal about the team utilizing a McVey/LaFleur type offensive scheme under the supervision of Offensive Coordinator Bruce Gradkowski.
The Battlehawks Offensive Line will be anchored by former Defensive Lineman turned Center Mike Panasiuk and Alt Football veterans Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Vadal Alexander, and Jaryd Jones-Smith. Making his professional debut is former Penn State Guard Steven Gonzalez is starting at Left Guard for his first start since college.
Defensive Coordinator Donnie Abraham made waves cutting veteran players like Obi Melifonwu and Quenton Meeks in his Defensive Backfield and opting to start younger players like Silas Kelly along with LaKiem Williams at Linebacker. The Battlehawks strengths on defense comes from the experience on the Defensive Line.
The Battlehawks will go into week one with Alt-Football Vet Gelen Robinson starting at Defensive End, Lacale London playing in his first professional game since 2021, and Kevin Atkins making his Professional Debut. The Battlehawks also will have in rotation Freedom Akinmoladum, and Tani Tupou both who have experience from other Professional Spring Football Leagues.
Closing Thoughts and Predictions:
My prediction is that the Battlehawks go into week One with a 27-17 Win over the Brahmas. St. Louis boasts more experience at all positions compared to the Brahmas, with a good mix of NFL veterans coupled with Vets of the Alt-Football Leagues, over the past Four seasons. As with many of the past Spring Football Leagues the first two several weeks of play often come down to Quarterback and Offensive Line play. With the Battlehawks in my opinion boasting a superior unit in both those categories, they will be able mitigate mistakes for week one, and leave the Alamodome with Anthony Becht’s first victory.
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