It’s been a long, yet fun journey that started and ended in the great state of Texas. February 7th, we learned that Bob Stoops would be taking the role of head coach/general manager of the Dallas franchise, an announcement that shook the football world.
It’s been a little over four months and we’ve just now ended the announcement tour in Houston with June Jones donning a lei and Hawaiian shirt at TDECU Stadium, and a lot of people have asked…. what’s next? We had the pleasure of attending the press conference in Houston, and we have some answers.
Now that all of the coaches have been named, the XFL wanted to show that they weren’t letting the foot off the gas by making a slew of announcements just one day after the event in Houston. We saw hires from St. Louis, Tampa Bay, New York and Seattle, some in executive roles and others in the coaching staff.
From what we’ve heard, local markets are holding off from hiring lower level staff until the Team President has been hired, which makes sense. At this moment, officially five of the markets positions have been filled, and we expect the last three the come in the next few weeks.
You can keep track of all the latest hires and which roles still need to be filled with our brand new XFL Staff Tracker. The Staff Tracker will be updated every time a role is filled within the XFL.
I expect to see a lot more coming from each market from a marketing perspective once each Team President has filled the gaps. Everything from a greater social media presence to localized team websites. I wouldn’t count out more content via YouTube as these hires take place.
Going all the way back to late 2018 we heard rumors that the XFL would be holding tryouts of some form. It wasn’t until just recently that we learned that the XFL plans on traveling to each of the eight host cities to hold their twist on the NFL combine.
Initially there was a lot of speculation that these would be open tryouts, but that does not seem to be the case. We spoke to Commissioner Luck in Houston and he said that the main reason for being invite only was that the demand would be too high.
In regards to college players that are exploring their opportunities, they are able to register via the XFL website to join the Showcase without effecting their college eligibility. I expect some schools to push back against this, to possibly push potential/existing players from joining the Showcase, but so far there has been nothing official.
We were also able to confirm that the Summer Showcase will be open to the public for fans to watch. From what we understand there will be no cover charge, and attendance will be free.
The XFL will have coaches and scouts on location gathering info on players for signings and draft. We have also heard that the XFL will be looking at the pace of play, specifically looking for players that can work in up-beat style of play.
The Summer Showcase will involve:
- Height/Weight and measurements
- Combine-esque testing (40 Yard Dash, Vertical Jump, 3 cone drill, etc…)
- Positional Workouts
- 1 on 1 drills w/ XFL coaching staff
- Could lead to private additional workouts w/ XFL coaching staff
The XFL Summer Showcase will take place on the following dates:
- Dallas – June 7
- Houston – June 8
- New York – June 14
- Washington DC – June 15
- Los Angeles – June 21
- Seattle – June 22
- Tampa Bay – June 29
- St. Louis – July 13
Similar to the coaching announcements that were to have been done by April, the team identities seem to be pushed out as well. Initially we heard that we would know the team names, logos and colors by April, we are now hearing officially from the league that we should be hearing these in June now.
That being said, we have heard from sources that these announcements may be pushed out to July, or August at the latest. We’ll keep you updated as more information comes out about team branding.
Oliver Luck stated that the league plans to release their official rule book late summer, and it looks like that is still on track for August. The XFL has partnered with the Spring League and Your Call Football for the opportunity to test their proposed rules prior to the season, in a real-time game atmosphere.
Although the new XFL is trying to create a more traditional game then it’s first iteration, that does not mean it is going to be the exact same style as the NFL. The league is focused on creating a fast-paced game that can be completed in under three hours, even if it goes into overtime.
Some of the rules they have tested include:
- No fair catch on kickoff
- 5yd Halo rule on kickoff
- Faster play clock (25-30 second)
- Multiple forward passes (Must be behind line of scrimmage)
- Tiered extra points (1, 2 and 3pt)
- Shoot-out styled overtime
- Both teams offense and defense on the field at the same time (opposite end zones)
- Each TD is worth 1pt
- Best of five rounds
- If tied after five rounds, the game becomes sudden death
Initially the draft was said to take place in September, but we have now heard from Coach Hayes and confirmed with Commissioner Luck that the XFL Draft will actually take place in October. This makes sense as NFL teams will have made all of their final roster cuts by late September, which allows the XFL to have the maximum amount of eligible players.
Unlike the AAF, the XFL is not going to do a regional style draft; all players will be eligible to be picked up by any team. According to Luck, we may be a regional draft later in the year to supplement the teams rosters, but the initial draft if going to be fairly standard.
There is still no word on if the draft will be televised, but now that we know who the broadcast partners are I would not be surprised if they were. We’re just a little too far out to know the specific date and location of the event, or if it will be open to the public, but we’ll keep you updated on this as we get closer to the end of the summer.
The training camp will take place in Houston next January with all eight teams participating. This would replace a pre-season for the league, at least for the inaugural season. It’s very possible that if the league surpasses it’s predecessors existence that we may see a proper pre-season.
Commissioner Luck has stated in the past that he expects team practices to start around late fall, this would not replace that, rather this would supplement those practice sessions.
Last but not least, we arrive at the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The XFL officially kicks off just six days after the Super Bowl on Feb 8th, 2020. The early game starts at 2pm EST on ABC, and the later game starting at 5pm EST on Fox.
That is huge news for the XFL, both of their opening day games are going to be aired on “free” over-the-air television. Not to mention that all XFL games will be broadcast across ABC, ESPN, Fox or FS1. At the time of publication we’re 261 days away until the league brings spring football back to the field, and we can feel the excitement building each day.