The New York area has added another team for their football fan base. This upcoming season for the XFL marks the foundation of the New York Guardians. The Guardians will be playing in the Eastern conference for the league, and games will be hosted at MetLife Stadium. Although the team will be just starting up, there are a lot of veteran players on this team who can sure to make an impact on this roster. The New York Guardians are coached by Kevin Gilbride, former offensive coordinator of the New York Giants. The New York Guardians should be very competitive in the first year of this league. Let us dive in and look at each of the offenses position players for the season ahead.
Matt McGloin has had a storybook road as a football player. A walk on at Penn St, he became a star for the team during his 4 years there. He would finish his college year with 46 career touchdowns and second overall in Penn State’s history. McGloin would go to be undrafted, eventually being picked up by the Oakland Raiders. He would again have to claw his way to the top of the depth chart, eventually starting 6 games for a struggling Raiders team. McGloin would again put up a ton of yards with over 1500, and would take over the city as a fan favorite for a brief time being.
What McGloin brings to the New York Guardians is a battle tested player who is capable of leading a team when called upon. He has a decent arm and is able to add the touch on the outside throws. McGloin has very good pocket awareness, and often slides his feet to make throws happen. He will have to utilize his experience to help him in a league that is sped up. If he can adapt to the pace of the XFL league and utilize his weapons to be successful in this league.
The running back position should be a committee for the New York Guardians. The first running back of the committee will be Tim Cook. Seldom used during his career, Cook is the perfect size for short yard and goal line caries. Look for him to be the key power running back of this group. The next back to look at is Justin Stockton. Stockton is a much quicker back who can be seen as the play maker of the group. Look for him to be used in the passing game and when the team needs an explosive play. Both of these players had some success while playing in the AAF. Lastly, the Guardians have a shift back in Darius Victor. Victor is a versatile back who can be used as a change of pace player.
When looking at the running backs the Guardians have, no one player jumps out at you as being a star every down back. This unit will most likely have to use each individual’s strength in order to be effect. Kevin Gilbride will most likely spread teams out and use a power run game when call upon. He will get the most potential out of all three of these backs, and switch up running backs frequently between positions. This unit will not be the strength of this team by any means, but they should be able to be very competitive throughout the season. Being that both Cook and Stockton played well in the AAF, look for them to continue their success in the XFL.
The receiving core for the New York Guardians should be one of the best in the league. This unit has a lot of very length receivers who could make plays at all levels. The first receiver is DeAngelo Yancey. Although Yancey did not play during his brief NFL career, we was very effective during his time at Penn State. He finished his 10 touchdowns in his senior year. He has good physical tools and can meet the ball at the point of attack. Next, there is Mekale McKay. McKay is a very lengthy receiver who can dominate opposing defenders with his size. He should be the perfect red zone target for this style of offense. Tanner Gentry could also be a very good possession wide receiver for this team. In 2016 he was current NFL quarterback Josh Allan’s favorite target catching 72 passes on the year.
Look for the New York Guardians to spread the ball out to the numerous playmakers that they have. They have the perfect range of size and athleticism to be able to make plays against any defender they come up against. I expect them to utilize the top 3 wide receivers in most sets throughout the game.They should look to get mismatches against opposing teams secondaries, trying to find the match up advantages. It would not surprise me to see one or two of these guys leading the league in most statistical categories. This high octane passing attack should make them one of the most exciting teams in the league.
Tight Ends and Offensive Line
The tight end position is one that should be sure to give the guardian offense an advantage during games. Keith Towbridge is a very tall and strong tight end who has the ability to be a mismatch in the passing game. At 6’5”, 265 pounds, this guy looks like her could be an extra offensive line man. He is an excellent blocker who can help in the run game and also in pass protection. I expect him to be a huge factor in the red zone, as his size will make it very difficult for linebackers to match up against him.
As for the offensive line, the New York Guardians have a ton of depth for a unit that will drive this offense. When starting a new league like this, protection is the most important aspect of the game in order to get the offense in rhythm. There may be some speed bumps early, but with at least 6 to 8 guys who can start the Guardians will sure to find the right combination. Jarron Jones most certainly will be the anchor at tackle, and brothers Arie and Cyrus Kouandjio should have an immediate impact for this unit. Jones has the length and strength to hold up on the blind side, and the Kouandjio brothers were very talented at Alabama. Look for the coaching staff to get the most potential out of this unit if they can click early in the year.
The New York Guardians offense should have a lot of success this year under Gilbrine’s offense. They bring in the perfect amount of size, speed, and talent for veteran quarterback McGloin to make plays. Their running back committee should be able to rush effectively behind this offensive line if used properly. We feel that the wide receivers will be the stars of this group, as they prepare to match up against opposing defenses. I am very excited to see how this offense develops over the course of the year! Look for the New York Guardians to be another great football team to the New York area.