XFL Reveals Team 9 Details

Team 9 head coach Bart Andrus
Team 9 head coach Bart Andrus

The XFL has established “Team 9,” a squad where the main eight XFL teams will draw their replacement players.

The league is touting Team 9 as being a benefit “of the rest of the eight-team league … and for 40 players still chasing their football dreams.”

Team 9 will be based in Arlington, Texas, and will practice at Globe Life Park, home of the Dallas Renegades. While Team 9 will share some resources with the Renegades, such as training and medical services, it will largely function as a separate entity.

Team 9 will be overseen by XFL director of scouting Eric Galko and coached by Bart Andrus. Andrus has coached in the NFL, CFL, NFL Europe, college and other spring leagues. He was an NFL offensive assistant in Tennessee and St. Louis, won an NFL Europe championship as head coach of Amsterdam in 2005, and was a CFL head coach with the Toronto Argonauts. Andrus also worked in NFL Europe with Luck, and thus is familiar with the “Team 9” concept.

“It was lifted directly from my experience with NFL Europe,” Luck said. “We literally called it ‘Team Dallas’ because it was in Dallas. The genesis of that was with teams in Europe, American players needed work permits. You couldn’t pick up a left tackle off the street in Scotland. We needed a group of guys who could practice and literally jump on a plane.”

The XFL Team 9 roster doesn’t include specialists, i.e., no kickers, punters, or long snappers.

The human performance company EXOS will also work with Team 9 daily to improve strength and conditioning in an effort to cut down on potential injuries.

The league also plans to utilize Team 9 to test new technology, including equipment, and measure other physiological trends.

Team 9 Operation

Eric Galko said, “Team 9 is not meant to be a waystation,  where teams can send down or stash players. The XFL goal is to build a Team 9 with the players that are familiar and accessible to teams — and prepared to play.”

For the first two weeks of the season, XFL teams are encouraged to pull from Team 9 to fill an open spot, but it’s not required. For example a team might be more comfortable signing a receiver cut in training camp who’s not on Team 9, and the league understands that perspective. Since all XFL teams should be familiar with Team 9 players by the second week of play, after Week 2 it will be a league requirement to utilize Team 9 players to plug an open roster spot.

As XFL teams dip into this resource, Team 9 will constantly get restocked to stay at 40 players. The league is also planning for the normal attrition that comes with a football season, as players get banged up and are limited in practice.

Interestingly, after Week 5, all Team 9 players will be absorbed by the eight teams allowing rosters to increase from 52 to 57 players. (Game day active rosters will remain at 46 players.) Then, Team 9 will be reloaded with approximately 36 players to finish out the season.

Team 9 practices will begin Feb. 3. Players will be available to XFL teams for private workouts every other Monday starting Feb. 10.

Current Team 9 Roster

QB Joe Callahan
QB CJ Collins
QB Garrett Fugate
QB Marcus McDade
RB Darnell Holland
RB Ray Lawry
WR Davon Grayson
WR TreyDonte Hill
WR Taivon Jacobs
WR Dalton Ponchillia
WR Andrew Verboys
WR Carl Whitley
TE Connor Davis
TE Pharoah McKever
OC Ryan Anderson
OG Korren Kirven
OG Terronne Prescod
OT Nick Callander
OT Gerhard de Beer
OT Brandon Haskin
OT Patrick Lawrence
OT Rod Taylor
DE Jesse Aniebonam
DE Martin Ifedi
DE Alex Jenkins
DT Daryle Banfield
DT Shane Bowman
DT Andrew Stelter
DT Trenton Thompson
LB Markus Jones
LB Darnell Leslie
DB Bryce Cheek
DB Reggie Cole
DB Marwin Evans
DB Tyree Holder
DB Josh Jenkins
DB Derrick Jones
DB Jermaine Ponder
DB Robenson Therezie