A construction metaphor might be particularly apt when attempting to contextualize today’s XFL. 2001’s venture would be that abandoned vacant lot down the street where the old, run-down, sketchy building used to be but had that hidden stash of adult magazines you found when exploring it in third grade (that’s the He Hate Me part of the metaphor. Stay with me, here).
I guess the AAF would be an apartment complex that caught on fire when they hired the plumber to do the wiring because electricity works on the same principals, right?
The interesting thing is, if you were building a house…this would be the right way to do it, right? Filing blueprints with the State would be the equivalent of a three-year plan for self-sufficiency.
Hiring seasoned industry experts like licensed, bonded contractors and not getting in their way would be the equivalent of…hiring…seasoned industry experts like administrative professionals and coaches who have been in and around the industry for years. Professionals like Oliver Luck, Jim Caldwell, and John Fox.
Pouring a foundation would be the equivalent of each team creating an administrative support structure. I can’t speak for the other teams at this point but having a president with Ryan Gustafson’s Sounders FC credentials seems to be a good start. Jim Zorn as a head coach, Mike Riley as an offensive coordinator; these are legitimate football people with earned gravitas behind their names.
I guess that makes roster construction the house framing, plumbing, and wiring. And that’s what just got finished wrapping up yesterday.
The first XFL draft took a particularly interesting approach in order to mitigate some of the risks associated with sound and unsound drafting processes that can be put into play.
Firstly, each team was assigned a primary QB before the draft began, Seattle’s being Brandon Silvers.
Secondly, the draft happened in 5 phases; 4 position-oriented phases and one free phase at the end to fill up the corners as Pippin Took would say. This is to ensure that each team has no opportunity to shirk in one position group so as to strengthen another in an attempt at gamesmanship.
Thirdly, the draft proceeded snake-style rather than having a sequential, repeating list.
I guess the right metaphor for that would be using solid hardwood 2x4s or 2x6s in your framing and moisture seal so as to mitigate the risk that a cheaper plywood and future weather issues might bring.
Look, I ain’t trying to shill for the XFL. I’ll let you know if I see something go sideways. It’s just very interesting that, so far, if one were to build a legitimate football league, this is how I would imagine you would do it. Please let me know if you see a burial ground, an bees nest, or unsupported joists. To my eye, I ain’t seen it yet.
Anyway, on to the roster as it stands today.
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|Pos||Player 1||Slot 2||Player 3||Player 4|
|LWR||Fred Ross||Malachi Jones||Jalen Rowell|
|RWR||Kasen Williams||Austin Proehl||Korey Robertson|
|Slot WR||Keenan Reynolds||John Santiago||Mikah Holder||Reuben Mwehla|
|LT||Isaiah Battle||Michael Dunn||Brandon Haskin|
|LG||Venzell Boulware||Robert Myers||Anthony Johnson|
|C||Dillon Day||Kirk Barron|
|RG||Cyril Richardson||Craig McCorckle|
|RT||Quinterrius Eatmon||Jordan Rose||Na’ty Rodgers|
|TE||Jace Amaro||Evan Rodriguez||Cam Clear||Ben Johnson|
|QB||Brandon Silvers||B.J. Daniels||Joe Callahan|
|RB||Trey Williams||Kenneth Farrow||Ja’Quan Gardner||Lavon Coleman|
|EDGE||Stansly Maponga||Danny Ezechukwu||Durrant Miles||Marcell Frazier|
|NT||Tenny Palepoi||Pasoni Tasini||Jeremy Liggins|
|3-Tech||Will Sutton||Taniela Tupou||Jordan Thompson||Shane Bowman|
|5-Tech||Jacquies Smith||Praise Martin-Oguike||Martin Ifedi|
|SLB||Gionni Paul||Nyles Morgan|
|MLB||Steven Johnson||Kyle Queiro|
|WLB||Nick Temple||Dante Booker|
|LCB||Chris Davis||Channing Stribling||Jermaine Ponder|
|NB||Steve Williams||Sterling Moore|
|SS||Cody Brown||Jordan Martin||Tyson Graham||Mohammed Seisay|
|FS||Kentrell Brice||Santos Ramirez|
I left TEs Colin Jeter and Connor Hamlett off because they would have required a whole other column each and, sorry boys, you haven’t earned that privilege yet.
The first thing that jumps out at you is the team’s commitment to the TE position. They drafted it early and hammered it throughout.
The second thing that jumps out at you is that they didn’t draft a back-up QB until the 5th phase, the free round. That means that the team went through the entire skill-position phase leaving it alone. Not every team did that. The Houston Roughnecks were assigned QB Phillip Walker and their very first draft pick was QB Connor Cook. Oof, poor Phil. *That* tells me that the Dragons are okay with Brandon Silvers.
The third thing that jumps out is the legitimate football talent. Kasen Williams, Cyril Richardson, Isaiah Battle; I could keep going but there are people who have produced for college teams and played on NFL squads.
We’ll go over some of the more impactful aspects of this roster as time goes on but, for now, hey, this is looking legit.