Guardians Frustrations Boil Over in Loss Versus BattleHawks

The New York Guardians showed a lack of discipline as the game went on. (Credit: XFL.com)

Down 23-3, an undisciplined New York Guardians team found their season falling apart, all with a half of play to go.

With the game starting slow, the BattleHawks held a lead of 6-0 in the first quarter. While the game was becoming chippy, it was nothing more than good football. The conflict between players was held within the snap of the ball to the whistle. But as the second quarter closed the BattleHawks took a commanding lead behind quarterback young Jordan Ta’amu. Down by twenty points, an interesting exchange between Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin and coach G.A. Mangus over national television. Coach Mangus gave McGloin a play to call, and he did. But there was a miscommunication where McGloin did not relay the call in full. St. Louis had over 29,000 to blame for the mishap.

While an interaction such as the one previously stated should not be too alarming, McGloin’s halftime interview last week was an insult to any claiming allegiance to the New York Guardians. Similar to this week, McGloin, who went into the second half of the game down a lot to a little to the D.C. Defenders. In a fit of rage McGloin told reporters they need to quote “change the whole gameplan” and had a hot mic where he blamed teammates. He was benched.

Benched again versus the BattleHawks, the Guardians lost all control, with no leader to be seen, seemingly, even in a coach.

With time winding down in the second quarter the Guardians were driving, a rare sight to say the least. That was until all hell broke loose. McGloin finally made a downfield completion. On the tackle, a BattleHawks defensive back dragged the leg of the receiver. Guardians offensive lineman Avery Young took exception to the hit and retaliated. Shoves, checks, and awkward slaps were thrown around. You could argue number 69, Ian Silberman threw punches. The next play McGloin threw an interception and there was yet again a scrap, this time on the sideline. While moments like these are normally put behind a team at halftime, center Ian Silberman had other ideas, sadly enough.

After the first play of the second half, Silberman threw a punch at an unsuspecting BattleHawk defensive lineman. The defensive lineman was seen pleading to the referee to throw Silberman out of the game after the assault. Instead, Silberman was warned and given an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Referees were showed talking to the coaches. They told them, the situation was being treated seriously and that they had there on the rouge offensive lineman. ESPN’s broadcast booth and on-field reporting was fantastic and portrayed a storyline during the events.

It’s honestly impressive that the bush league center created a whole story behind his immature actions, as a lineman. But it seems Silberman will be facing the consequences to his actions, after being benched, coach Gilbride seemed to be at a loss of words. Gilbride has seen plenty of football in his day but never anything like the XFL Guardians. Antagonizing fights and celebrating after minor success is the Guardians’ game. Gilbride has to virtually babysit.

But all of this is good for the XFL. While some fans and even writers may see this as annoying and embarrassing, a newly established league is built off of word to mouth. Fans will be buzzing about the crazy moments on social media such as Twitter and Instagram. All publicity may be good publicity, as long as it is used in a effective manner.

XFL Fans: Don’t Forget the Special Teams

Marquette King, St. Louis BattleHawks

In the past few years, punters and kickers have had a renaissance, with former Colts All-Pro Pat MacAfee at the helm.

MacAfee, who is unofficially retired from football, has become a media personality over the past few years. With the Pat MacAfee Show, broadcasting in the NFL and XFL, and guest appearances on national television, his influence has spread plenty far. With his focus on representing his brand, the catchphrase “For The Brand” has caught fire.

For The Brand can be interpreted as someone doing something to better their reputation. MacAfee wanted to break the stereotypes of kickers, punters, and long snappers being of little to no value and not being actual football players.

The XFL perfectly represents everything Pat MacAfee is about. Straight to the point, fast, fun, and mainly exciting. While the league’s efforts to eliminate point-after attempts and touchbacks has been viewed to hurt special teams, there are some ways it actually benefits it. The new rules have cut out all the fluff in football that’s hurt the game.

When a punter takes the field in the XFL, there are a few outcomes, and none of them have the ball being placed at the 25-yard line like it’s the NFL. The punting team cannot release past the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked. If the ball goes out of bounds inside the 35-yard line or lands in or out of the end zone it is considered a major touchback, resulting in the ball being spotted at the 35-yard line. These rules give reason to punt less, but field more.

Under the new rules, a star has been born in Marquette King. King, a former Oakland Raider, and Denver Bronco is the rocket leg behind the St. Louis BattleHawks red hot squad. The following punt went viral recently.

While it ended up being a touchback due to the fault of King’s teammate, the fact a punt went viral in week one of the XFL is astonishing. Marquette is known for his theatrics and swagger, and even though it was looked down upon in the NFL, the XFL seems to be a perfect fit for him. A flashy smooth-talking punter is what the XFL is all about.

DC Defenders kicker Ty Rausa missed a field goal and was immediately interviewed on the sideline. Rausa was visibly upset giving fans a rare insight into the hardships players face. The mentioned play is found below.

Rausa then went on to nail a 54-yard field goal. While the feel-good story can be the main take away, what should be mentioned is the fact punters and kickers are being put on a national spotlight for the first time ever. These players are only recognized when they screw up, or after doing something at a record-breaking level. For the first time in the history of football special teams players are making an impact beyond the field of play. And if this were to happen in any other league it might be bad for business. But the XFL has no issue providing an opportunity to all players.

Maybe in a few years, fans could be wearing jerseys of their favorite kicker or punter instead of running back.

New York Guardians Dominate on Both Sides of the Ball in Win Over Tampa Bay Vipers

Quarterback Matt McGloin leads the Guardian’s offence. (Credit XFL.com)

A game of football always has two sides, offensive and defensive play.

When a team executes both factors at a high level, they almost always win. The New York Guardians did just that as underdogs Sunday versus the Tampa Bay Vipers, with a point spread of that opened up at -3 points in the Vipers favor.

The New York Guardians, who made their opponent look unfit for football, dominated the Tampa Bay Vipers through four quarters of play. New York, led by quarterback Matt McGloin, went  15/29 with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Better yet, McGloin looked polished, with no interceptions.

McGloin said the following. “I just thought offensively there was a lot of flashes of how good we can be and some of the potential that some of the guys on that offense have but our offense as a whole, and obviously, there’s a lot that we need to work on still, but we’re close.”

Matt McGloin seems to feel the product of today’s game could just be the start of something special. He then later went on to praise his core group of running backs, who became a threat not only on the ground but in the passing game. “We’re very fortunate to have depth. Those guys are very skilled in the pass game, in the run game, and pass protection.”

The mastermind of it all, coach Kevin Gilbride, had a lot to say about the given by his players in their upset win.

“In terms of effort, in terms of heart, in terms of character, I thought they were terrific. It’s always nice to coach from a W and get better from there, so that’s what we’re looking forward to doing this week.”

Altogether it was a feel-good win for the Guardians, a day of firsts, as the high-level offense was complemented by an elite defense. The Guardians had five sacks as well as three interceptions and allowed no touchdowns. The lockdown play of the secondary had Vipers QB Aaron Murray (16/34, 231 yards and two interceptions) second-guessing all of his reads. This allowed for pass rushers to enter the backfield pressuring Murray into bad throws.

“You have to understand that when you play a good defense, you have to play perfect football,” Aaron Murray said. “You have to take care of it, you have to tuck it, you can’t force balls into tight windows because good defenses are going to make plays and you can get away with some of that stuff vs. lesser defenses. As we saw today it’s a good defense. They can make plays if you give them an opportunity and they definitely did that.”

Linebacker Ben Heeney’s play had stood out, with two tackles and nine assisted tackles, and one tackle for loss. Another defender who made his name known was defensive end Bunmi Rotini JR. JR had seven solo tackles, two combined tackles, and two tackles for loss. And finally, safety Wesley Sutton had two sacks putting the Vipers back fifteen yards, as well as five combined tackles. The Guardians completely shut down the Viper’s lackluster offense.

Fans were lined up outside the stadium in anticipation of the game. Walking onto the concourse chants of “Go Guardians” and “LGG” (Let’s Go Guardians) could be heard. Players were seen interacting with fans pregame, talking to the military in attendance, playing catch with fans, and signing plenty of autographs. “MVP, MVP, MVP,” rang throughout MetLife during quarterback Matt McGloin’s opening drive. There was a recorded crowd of 17,634, which came as a reminder that not only the players came to play, but a whole tri-state area was there in support.

Expect next week’s game versus the DC Defenders to be a defining moment, as it will be a test for the team’s defense, with the always dangerous Cardale Jones at quarterback. Hopefully, the XFL can continue it’s good ticket sales, the rumors of high TV ratings are true, and that fans are watching not just in week one but in week ten.

Prediction: What to expect from the NY Guardians and Matt McGloin in the 2020 season

Matt McGloin

The Guardians and Matt McGloin come into this season without expectations. But so do eight other teams/players.

With Matt McGloin at quarterback in coach Kevin Gilbride’s offense, the team has an overwhelming amount of experience and character. McGloin, who was a standout at Penn State, and even a competent quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, offers a talent that can be found on any NFL roster. A system quarterback, with some athleticism, but most importantly a strong-armed slinger with great pocket awareness. While he doesn’t offer elite talent in any specific area, he will more than thrive in an offense with Kevin Gilbride, who coached Eli Manning to a Superbowl.

Manning as a quarterback was nothing short of OK, but his career was legendary. While this may be a hot take, realistically Manning did not do anything but throw the ball where he had to, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Gilbride put Manning into the position to make easy throws, with routes that streaked across the middle, that broke down defensive schemes. The ball would be lofted into pockets of empty space where the receiver would do the rest. Considering the Guardians have six above-average receivers, and poster boy DeAngelo Yancey on the IR, McGloin will have more than enough talent to work with, similar to what Eli did in his prime. Also, note that McGloin is in a system that benefits him, which many QB’s in the league could only dream of having. As the season will near closer more and more Guardians predictions will come out, but there will only be one lock; Matt McGloin will be very good.

In a season filled with uncertainty and anxiety, quarterbacks like McGloin will be worshiped by fans and analysts.  Personally, I predict McGloin will lead the XFL Guardians to the league’s playoffs, making a miracle run with plenty of press and attention behind it. From that McGloin will land a contract with a team in the NFL as a solid backup.

New York Guardians Swap Receivers with Houston Roughnecks

The New York Guardians of the XFL have officially made their first trade in franchise history, which is a WR trade.

Last night on the XFL Guardians social media accounts the team announced WR Taivon Jacobs had been dealt to the XFL Roughnecks for WR Joe Horn Jr. The will Guardians face off against the Roughnecks at home on March 14th.

WR Taivon Jacobs was expected to be a starting receiver and is considered to be a consistent deep threat after his last year at Maryland, where he averaged 12.2 yards a catch, and had 6 twenty-plus yard catches, with four touchdowns. Taivon was cut by the Ravens most recently, but his coach made sure to comment on his play.

“We’ve got a guy [Taivon Jacobs] from Maryland here; he looked really good.”  – Ravens Coach Jim Harbough

Joe Horn Jr out of Missouri Western State (D2) is very similar to many players in the XFL, underrated, undrafted.

After college, Horn signed with the Baltimore Ravens. His father Joe Horn, who was JUCO product that made it to four Pro-Bowls, had been quoted saying the following to USA Today quickly after his son was cut by the Ravens.

“I do know he can play in that league,” “I taught him. I know he can run routes better than most of the receivers that start in the NFL. You can quote me on that. He might get upset when he sees that, but that’s a fact.” “He knows what it takes because he’s been at my level trying to make a team before,”

Both of these players join crowded rosters. Nothing is a guarantee and they will have to fight for any playing time. Though both players have the high-level experience, most in the XFL do as well, so they come into camp at an even playing field. Expect Taivon to gun for a starting spot, and Horn Jr to fight for playing time throughout the season.

DraftKings confirm XFL Contests will begin 2/8, Additional updates will come

As the season nears closer, the XFL seems to be making more and more press runs. First with the rule book, now with joint practices, things are starting to shape up. The most recent of this news comes from the fantasy football world.

In anticipation of the coming XFL season, DraftKings has announced that it will offer daily fantasy football contests to XFL fans throughout the course of the year. The announcement comes as no surprise, mainly because sportsbooks have already started to prepare for XFL gambling, or plan on preparing for the season after the NFL’s Super Bowl.

On January 10th on Twitter, the official DraftKings account responded to Twitter user @Cozy4041 that they would be having XFL contests this season and that those contests will begin on 2/8.

The XFL has also announced that plans for Fantasy Football are in the works and that with less than a month to go, they will be released shortly. While it is not known what these plans could offer, it has to be assumed it will be used as another revenue source for the league. Gambling and fantasy football are two things previous leagues, such as the AAF, never had access to. Something like gambling could propel the league’s life span and ability to fund growth.

Interview: XFL Hopeful Jerimiah Spicer Brings More Than a Story to a Roster

Jerimiah Spicer is a man with a plan. While Spicer is not on a roster, currently, he claims to have gained interest from two XFL teams, a CFL team, and the Chargers and Vikings of the NFL. The only person responsible for that is Spicer. In his early life, things did not come easy. I asked, “Could you describe the hardships you faced growing up?”

“Growing up, I lived on skid row with my mother, who was taken from me at two years old. I was homeless in poverty without a mother or a father, living in foster homes, group homes, and had gone to eight different high schools. Sleeping on floors, couches, abandoned apartments, and in my car, all I had was my grandma and mom, who died.”

Ultimately landing at Banning High School in California, Spicer was a standout with multiple division one offers. Sadly enough, he could not commit do to his legal situation. Quoting the following on struggles with social workers.

“My living situation kept me from being 100% focused on academics… I am a survivor and will always survive.”

Jerimiah went on to commit to Bethesda College of the NAIA. There he excelled as a player, well enough to be drafted into the newly established MLFB (Major League Football), which folded before Spicer even played a down. But in 2018 he was given a tryout from the Cape Fear Heroes, American Arena League, where he was an All-Star. After the season Spicer was given a shot with the San Diego Chargers, where he was later cut. But Spicer left his mark on the football universe, he was known to be a big hitter backer, while he was not NFL level, teams knew his name.

With that said Spicer gave himself a shot to be apart of the newly established XFL going into the 2019-2020 season. He was signed to the LA Wildcats of the XFL, who have recently waived him, which came as a surprise to many fans.

Jerimiah said the following to me after being cut: “I felt like I was kicked down while I was starting to get up.”

He took the cut personally. He claims to have even cried after he was cut, and it is now his new motivation.

“I am going to make it to the top, watch. I will be a star in the XFL, and lead the league in tackles. I just need a shot.”

While the answer might be obvious, I asked Jerimiah if he felt the adversity he’s been through has given him a chip.

“Hell yeah, I have a chip on my shoulder. My life hasn’t been nice, not one bit. I’ve always felt not accepted and neglected, but it’s helped motivate me to want to be the best in the world, not just football, but in my everyday life.”

I asked him what part of his game offers the most to whatever team will sign him, and he did not hesitate to answer.

“I play for the people, the fans. I have relentless energy, and I don’t quit, and I have the instincts to get to the ball and make the big play. Teams should sign me because I’m a diamond in the rough, I am always on winning teams”

He also said, “I hate to lose, more than I like to win… I am the definition of beating adversity and not quitting.”

Spicer has had some help around him over the years, and I’d like to repeat his shout out to that help in the following quote:

“My big bro Twon, his wife Lateisha, Fyawater, my aunt Rett, and other big bro Corey have all taken me in as family.”

Best of luck to Jerimiah, the football world will always root for you, and whatever endeavors may come your way!

If any readers would like to learn more about Spicer and his high energy big-hitting game, I refer them to this YouTube video:

YouTube video

Quarterback Matt McGloin to Put XFL Guardians at Massive Advantage

Matt McGloin – Oakland Raiders (Jeffrey Beall – Own work, CC BY 4.0, )

After a dominant senior season at Penn State, quarterback Matt McGloin was signed by the Oakland Raiders.

In McGloin’s rookie season (2013) he started six games, after the benching of starting quarterback Terrel Pryor. McGloin went on to win one game against the Houston Texans, going 1-5, and was later benched for Terrel Pryor.

The Raiders then selected quarterback Derek Carr in the second round of the 2014 Draft to take over at quarterback.

McGloin spent time with the team from 2013-2016. He then went on to be signed by the Houston Texans in 2017, where he did not play in a game and then signed by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018, where he did not play.

While McGloin does not hold an illustrious NFL career, the experience he offers to the Guardians, compared to other quarterbacks in the XFL, is something irreplaceable to the club. Most of the QBs in the newly established league have only seen NFL practice squad time, and some are coming into the new season with no professional experience.

For example, Cardale Jones of the DC Defenders. Jones was at one point a household name in the college football universe and even had a short NFL career. But, he never started an NFL game, or stayed on a roster as a backup. Even though Jones’s youth might be attractive to a team, McGloin’s experience can never compare. That is the case with most quarterbacks in the league. While there are better pure athletes compared to Matt, there is simply not a player who has dealt with the pressure of being a starting quarterback in the National Football League.

McGloin comes into the year with a go-to receiver that is no secret to the public. DeAngelo Yancey, from Purdue, is the clubs co-poster boy with McGloin. The ex-NFL receiver is someone who can make a quick impact on the league. McGloin’s playstyle definitely plays to Yancey’s, who is a deep threat, which compliments McGloin’s solid arm.

Expect to see the Guardian’s offense run through McGloin. While he has struggled with athleticism and mechanics in his past, he is more than capable of slinging the ball across the middle and getting moving the ball around the field.

XFL Guardians Reinforce Offensive Line with Two New Signings

The New York Guardians have signed two new offensive linemen, both with incredible stories and similar careers.

This morning (12/23) the New York Guardians tweeted the following:

From Toledo University, offensive tackle Brant Weiss has proven time and time again that athletes shouldn’t quit. In his senior season of high school, Weiss went down with a season-ending injury. He managed to stay in shape with wrestling and throwing discus, all the while gaining attention from college coaches. Weiss stayed local committing to Toledo and redshirted in his freshman year. In his sophomore season Weiss did not see game time, another setback. He had played in 11 games his junior season, but just as a substitute.  With one more shot at professional football, Brant put it all on the line. This time out he dominated, earning First-Team All Mac honors. After his senior year, Weiss went on to spend time with the San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, and the Arizona Hotshots of the AAF.

Last of the two pickups is Jordan Agasiva. The JUCO products road to the top has been bumpy, to say the least. While at Pima Community College, Agasiva learned to excel at the offensive guard position. Even though his road to professional football may be unorthodox, he always had remained in focus. In his player biography at Pima community college, he filled in his career aspirations box with the following; “Division I then to the NFL.”. Agasiva did just that. He went on to attend the University of Utah, where he played two full seasons and was named to the First-Team All Pac 12 as a senior. After going undrafted, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed him. Funny enough that was never the plan. Jacksonville gave Agasiva a simple tryout, but he impressed coaches so much he was signed.

While there are no guarantees in any competitive league, these two stand a good shot to crack the starting lineup, With that said, Weiss’ and Agasiva’s days in the National Football League are far from numbered if they can perform.

XFL Guardians Improve Defense with Signings of Three Players

Charles Wright, Connor Strachan, Tre Mathis

With the conclusion of minicamp, and training camp looming, the New York Guardians have selected the contracts of three defensive players. Defensive end Charles Wright, linebacker Connor Strachan, and cornerback Tre Mathis.

The roster has increased to 75 players, and considering the moves were made this morning (12/23), no players have, or are expected to be released. The Guardians Twitter account announced the moves this morning, as seen below:

DE Charles Wright is assumed to be former Vanderbilt University linebacker, but it is not yet known, as the Charles Wright signed by the Guardians has been listed at defensive end. Once verifiable this post will be updated.

A standout at Boston College, linebacker Connor Strachan has joined the team in an effort to jump-start his newly formed NFL career. As an undrafted free agent, the Jacksonville Jaguars took a shot on Strachan. And through camps, he held his own. So much so that Strachan made it until the team’s final cuts, assuming he impressed coaches, but it was not enough. Strachan was cut and has since been signed by the New York Guardians.

Hailing from Toledo University, cornerback Trevon Mathis has been signed by the New York Guardians. Undrafted in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings had gone on to sign him. There he played in all four preseason games. With no starts and limited repetitions, Mathis was later cut. He spent his 2019 summer with the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing in all four preseason games, and with no starts and limited reps, he was cut and signed by the Guardians.

Not a single player listed is a star, or will ever be one. But that is more than fine. Signings like these are great for all parties, players, and teams. For the player, it is another opportunity to get back to the NFL, which is assumed to be their ultimate goal in the XFL. And for the teams, it is great for filling holes, for either starters or positional depth. Currently, the XFL is running smoother than anyone could ever expect, mainly because of transactions like these.