Click the link below to check out the interview…
By Alistair Fannell
NFL Training Camp 2019 has opened and ALREADY there some surprising names that were either cut, waved, not drafted or have not signed with any team, and could be playing in the XFL when the league starts up February 2020.
Mason Foster, who started 16 games with the Washington Redskins during the 2018 season and played nine seasons in the NFL, was cut just before training camp. Foster is not the only big name linebacker in the NFL that’s out of a job, players like Nick Perry, Sam Acho, Connor Barwin, and Manti Te’o are names that are not on NFL rosters currently.
Te’o is perhaps the most intriguing because he’s finished second in the Heisman Trophy race behind Johnny Manziel in 2013, along with a promising start to his career when he was drafted in the second round by the then San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers, yet injuries plagued his time in San Diego. He then played 2 seasons with the New Orleans Saints and has yet to be signed by any NFL team. Te’o could look to the XFL to restart his football career. Robert Nkemdiche, once a promising defensive lineman out of the University of Mississippi, was just released by the Arizona Cardinals at the start of training camp.
In the secondary, names like Sam Shields, Eric Berry, Mike Mitchell, Shareece Wright and Morris Claiborne come to mind. Berry, a 5-time Pro Bowl defensive back for the Kansas City Chiefs, is coming off back-to-back injury-plagued seasons, not to mention him suffering Hodgkin’s lymphoma that also sidelined him back in 2014. If an NFL team is not willing to sign him, don’t be surprised or shocked if the XFL gives him a shot. Morris Claiborne, who was a Top-10 draft choice by the Dallas Cowboys, and then started 15 games with the Jets last season could also see himself playing the XFL.
On the offensive side of the ball, there are some valuable players that could make an impact in the XFL in its first season. At quarterback, names like Brock Osweiler, Matt Cassel, Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett come to mind. Jones (currently a Los Angeles Charger) and Barrett, who both lead the Ohio State Buckeyes to the national title in 2015, but haven’t seen their opportunity to start or play in the regular season in the NFL. Running backs like Jay Ajayi, Jeremy Hill, L.J. Scott and Chris Ivory are players that are available. Ajayi and Ivory were both former 1,000-yard backs, while Ajayi played a key role in helping the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl during the 2017 season. Wide outs like Michael Crabtree, Kelvin Benjamin, Mike Wallace, Pierre Garcon, Dez Bryant could take advantage of the league’s potential offensive schemes, along with tight ends like Jermaine Gresham and Neal Sterling. The coaches and GMs of the XFL will definitely keep a close eye on all of the moves from the NFL preseason. When it’s all said and done at the end of the first week of September; you can best believe the cut list will have some high profile players that could see action in the XFL come February 2020.
By Alistair Fannell
For the first time in nearly 5 years, there was some form of professional football in St. Louis. On July 13th, 140 potential players tried out at the XFL Summer Showcase at Lou Fusz Training Facility in Earth City, Missouri. Guests watched as hopefuls were trying out for coaches and scouts on becoming the newest stars of the new league.
While there is still the buzz of the return of professional football to the Gateway City, the local media are still questioning whether the XFL will last, and whether it will compete against the always popular St. Louis Cardinals and the recently Stanley Cup Champion, St. Louis Blues. There could also be competition if the city is awarded a Major League Soccer team sometime this year.
St. Louis had supported professional football whether it was the Football Cardinals or The Rams, yet they both left a very sour taste that either broke our hearts or angered us with greedy owners who wouldn’t play ball with local leaders and wanted fancy, shiny stadiums.
Those that remember, the Football Cardinals first came to St.Louis in 1960 and played at Sportsman’s Park, then old Busch Stadium in 1966 till 1987. There was the Cardiac Cardinals of the 1970s with legendary coach Don Coryell. Despite having some success, the team never hosted a playoff during their 27 years in St. Louis. The team performance declined back in the late ’70s and 1980s and then the team moved to Arizona after the 1987 season when both St. Louis City and St. Louis County couldn’t come up with a stadium solution to keep the team in St. Louis.
We remembered THAT.
THEN in 1993, the St. Louis lost a bid for NFL expansion to Jacksonville and Charlotte. Then two years later, the Los Angeles Rams moved to St. Louis after 46 years. During their tenure the Rams won the franchise’s first Super Bowl during the 1999 season. Then it went downhill in which the team couldn’t find success. Despite all efforts by a Missouri governor and St. Louis’ strong effort in keeping the team, owner Stan Kroenke wanted to move the team back to its long-tenured home in Los Angeles. It was approved by 30 NFL owners in January of 2016, and St. Louis became the only city to have lost two NFL teams that relocated to western U.S. cities.
We definitely remembered THAT.
In 2020, professional football will return to St. Louis as its XFL team will begin play at The Dome at America’s Center. It will be the first time the city will have their very own professional football team that isn’t from another market, and the first time the city will be introduced to spring football. You know that professional football in the spring has seen little success going back to the days of the old USFL in the 1980’s, NFL Europe of the 90’s and 00’s and most recently the Alliance of American Football, which didn’t even complete its first season after only 8 games.
Vince McMahon brought back the XFL after the previous incarnation folded back in 2001. He wanted St. Louis as an XFL city and made it happen with its area leaders and officials; all despite it’s bad pro football history that the city had endured.
While sports media outlets in St.Louis like the Post Dispatch or Fox 2 St. Louis (who will air the games on their station) will pay little attention of the team, it will be supported by grassroots sports media outlets in St. Louis like the N The Zone Network and One Universal Production that cover the XFL and gives weekly updates of the League. Already, they have had interviews with new head coach Jonathan Hayes and XFL commissioner Oliver Luck. THESE are the ones that will cater for the fans, that care for the fan, that are all in for the new league. Those are the ones to pay attention to. Fans will get LIVE shows and podcasts about XFL St. Louis which has gained interest from the league itself.
While it’s not the No Fun League, it’s still pro football and it’s coming to St.Louis for the 3rd time since 1960. The third time’s the charm, right? This is traditional football with slightly different rules that should entertain fans in St. Louis and abroad. Don’t forget to follow the grassroots movements in St.Louis because there are exciting times ahead. Can’t wait until February 2020.
Here is each XFL Head Coach/GM and team presidents currently (as of 08/05/19):
Head coach/GM: Bob Stoops
Team President: Grady Raskin
WASHINGTON DC –
Head coach/GM: Pep Hamilton
Team President: Erik Moses
Head coach/GM: Jim Zorn
Team President: Ryan Gustafson
Head coach/GM: Marc Trestman
Team President: Josh Bullock
NEW YORK –
Head coach/GM: Kevin Gilbride
Team President: Janet Duch
ST. LOUIS –
Head coach/GM: Jonathan Hayes
Team President: Kurt Hunzeker
Head coach/GM: June Jones
Team President: Brian Michael Cooper
LOS ANGELES –
Head coach/GM: Winston Moss
Team President: Heather Brooks Karatz
The A-Train goes solo on this edition of “The Alliance 2 XFL Show,” sponsored by VK Credit Repair and Preferred Realty Investment Company. On this episode, the A-Train covers the latest in the Alliance which includes: Week 7 recap, Brandon Silvers and Johnny Manziel, Eminem and Charlie Ebersol, and if anyone knows what Alliance majority owner Tom Dundon is really doing. Also the latest in the XFL: The newest team presidents and Vince McMahon. Along with A-Train’s Week 8 predictions in the Alliance.
Not to forget who this week’s Alliance 2 XFL Game of the Week. Big thanks to Highlight Heaven for this week’s highlight.
In this week’s episode, the A-Train (@TheATrainShow) talks with Howard Balzer (@HBalzer721) about the wild Week 6, the official era of Johnny Manziel to the Alliance and the Week 7 preview. The A-Train closes the program with news & notes along with his thoughts on Johnny Manziel in the Alliance. This show is sponsored by VK Credit Repair and Preferred Realty Investment Company.
THE ALLIANCE 2 XFL Game of the Week is NOT Arizona/Orlando…it’s from the wild Birmingham/San Diego game where Birmingham won on a FG with no time left. Special thanks to Highlight Heaven!
NOTE: Not included in this week’s episode was the recent news of the Alliance Championship game being moved from Las Vegas to Frisco, TX and the Los Angeles’ XFL announcement of team president Heather Brooks Karatz.
Brand new episode of The “Alliance 2 XFL” Show is here!
Howard Balzer of AAF.com is back again this week (as he was missed the previous week) gives his thoughts on the thrilling Week 5, he gives his 1st half awards and the games to watch for Week 6. But first, The A-Train gives his Alliance 2 XFL News and Notes, this week…”What will Johnny Manziel do with his football future?” Also, why is St. Louis vital to the XFL’s success. This show is sponsored by VK Credit Repair and Preferred Realty Investment Company.
Here is The Alliance 2 XFL Game of the Week…it’s from the thrilling Stallions/Fleet game (via NFL)