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3 Aug 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

XFL Scouting Notes: Seattle Dragons – 16 @ Saint Louis Battle’Hawks – 23

Week four of the XFL is underway! The teams are starting to reveal their strengths and their weaknesses as well as their starting line-ups. Remember that this league doesn’t have a preseason outside of a single scrimmage before the season starts.

The New York Guardians hosted the Los Angeles Wildcats and we had ourselves a dogfight, ladies, and gentlemen. The Guardians were struggling to find an identity after two consecutive losses on the road. Their last loss, a 29-9 dismantling from the Saint Louis Battle’Hawks, showed a glimpse of hope as the team played their third-string quarterback, Luis Perez, who had been a star in the AAF last season.

The Wildcats were coming off of their first win, a shocking 39-9 victory over the DC Defenders. The offense was finally clicking under long-time NFL veteran Josh Johnson, and the Wildcats defense looked fine-tuned too.

Let’s get into these game notes.

Jordan Ta’amu continues to impress and grow

It’s so easy to headline quarterbacks, but Jordan Ta’amu continues to get better each and every week. Ta’amu is a heck of a prospect right now. In action Saturday night against Seattle, Ta’amu went 20 for 27 on his pass attempts and threw for 264 yards and a touchdown, and then added another 63 yards on 16 carries on the ground.

Ta’amu isn’t just a passer – he’s a valuable improviser, someone who can extend plays with his legs outside of the pocket and is a dual-threat to run with the football or throw it. His arm isn’t bad either, it actually might be the strongest arm in this league. He has such velocity that he can put on a pass when he needs to rifle it somewhere. The last point that I intend to make is that he’s spreading the wealth evenly on his team, and not relying on a single receiver week in and out. Ta’amu is probably the most pro-ready quarterback in this league and it’s really not even close.

The last thing to note from all of this from a strategy standpoint is that the Battle’Hawks prefer to run the football. They were unable to all game, and they were forced to lean on their quarterback. Now they know that Ta’amu can be a star when their normal gameplan falters.

Other notes

  • I really like Dragons defensive tackle Will Sutton. I think he has an incredible future in this league if not at the NFL level. Sutton collected 5 tackles, 2 for loss, in this game and showed off his incredible effort by getting downfield a couple of times deep into YAC plays and making tackles. Hustle and effort are his clearest strengths, as his motor never stops. He’s a good fit for the NFL based on what they want defensive tackles to do, eat blocks and impact the game. I’m excited to see how the rest of the season plays out for him.
  • Seattle quarterback BJ Daniels provided the Dragons offense with an incredible spark, and will probably get the start next week over Brandon Silvers. He’s not by any stretch of the imagination a “perfect” quarterback, but he is explosive and he offers a very good dual-threat option that the team will key into and be able to use.
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