The St. Louis BattleHawks have one of the more talented quarterback rooms in the XFL, and until today they appeared to have one heck of a quarterback competition brewing between Jordan Ta’amu and Taylor Heinicke. Until today. Coach Jonathan Hayes and the BattleHawks announced via Twitter that Jordan Ta’amu would be their starter Week 1 against the Houston Roughnecks.
As a starter his senior year at Ole Miss, Ta’amu threw for 3918 yards on 63.6% passing and 19 touchdowns versus 8 interceptions, he also added in 342 yards on the ground. After going undrafted, he signed with the Houston Texans and spent preseason 2019 with them. He appeared in 3 games, completing 7/12 passes for 50 yards and an interception.
Ta’amu and Heinicke both had solid performances during preseason and scrimmage action, but Hayes seems to like the younger Ole Miss product to steer what could be a high-octane BattleHawks offense.
St. Louis has talented playmakers at receiver with L’Damian Washington, Demornay Pierson-El, and Keith Mumphrey each providing talented receivers with pro-level experience. Pierson-El and Mumphrey are dangerous with the ball in space, while Washington has the size to fight for contested catches. Look for all three to provide Ta’amu with a diverse arsenal of weapons.
Ta’amu also has two solid receiving tight ends in Wes Saxton, an AAF alum, and Cole Hunt, who caught a touchdown from Ta’amu in the final scrimmage of training camp.
Additionally, Ta’amu has two NFL caliber running backs to help him establish the run and provide safety valves underneath in Christine Michael and Matt Jones. Both are established NFL-level talents who can catch as well as run, this should take a lot of pressure off of the young quarterback. Ta’amu is also mobile enough for both of them to benefit from the defense needing to account for him on read-option type plays.
Ta’amu has been handed control of what could be a top-level XFL offense, but it remains to be seen what he will do with it. It also is unclear how much of an opportunity St. Louis will provide the young QB. If he struggles early, they could make a quick move to go with the more seasoned Heinicke. Only time will tell, but this BattleHawks team looks to be ready to take flight.
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