The New York Guardians showed what their potential could be in the final game of the XFL’s first season. More importantly, they gave a glimpse of the future.
For their finale, the New York Guardians went to Dallas and came in with a game plan nothing specifically changed as Matt McGloin would have liked. However, the Guardians have found their leaders on offense and defense and entrusted those members to lead this team.
Kevin Gilbride, the team’s head coach trusted his staff to handle their players accordingly. He got every ounce of energy from his players and found potential from the unexpected. For the first time in the XFL’s re-inaugural season, the Guardians offense looked competent and had the ability to strike from multiple angles.
To sit here and say the offense’ early-season woes fell completely on veteran quarterback Matt McGloin would be unfair. New QB Luis Perez showed an outstanding ability to lead New York’s offense with his composure and mental toughness. Traits that were lacking from the quarterback position in the first weeks.
The more offensive series Perez played in, the more comfortable he looked. The former Division II National Champion from Texas A&M-Commerce found his stride and got the chains moving. Additionally, the run game started to pick up steam. It took a few weeks but quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus found his grove as the offense’s play-caller.
Defensive Coordinator Jim Herrmann’s New York Guardians D looked stout all season. On the front lines, they found ways to bring pressure, mixed up their zone blitzes, and even got a few of their big men on the line some interceptions. The linebacker group anchored by Ben Heeney in the middle was steady and the secondary gave up few uncontested plays.
Though this review may have been a few weeks late in lieu of everything that’s happened with COVID-19 nationally.
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The Guardians bring hope for spring football when the 2021 XFL season returns. Several players earned a chance at the next level, but nothing is guaranteed. For those that return next year to continue mastering their craft, this spring showed what successful alternative football can look like.
The XFL is just the thing for many star college players who previously didn’t get the right chance or opportunity.
It will be interesting to see how many players get the call for training camps, like Dravon Askew-Henry (Giants), once the NFL re-opens for business.
Are you looking forward to XFL in 2021? Let us know in the comments section below, or on social media.