Bears News: Previewing the XFL: St. Louis Battlehawks

Bears News: Previewing the XFL: St. Louis Battlehawks

by - Senior Writer -

Although there is no XFL team in Chicago, which sucks when you think about it, there is one team close enough for you to root for or at least call your own. That team is located less than five hours Southwest and right off the Illinois border.

In case you haven't guessed by now, I am talking about the Worlds most boring city (No pun intended), St. Louis, which plays home to the St. Louis Battlehawks. Let's be honest. If there was ever a market that deserved an XFL team, St. Louis would be it after losing the NFL team not once, but twice. If the first installment of the XFL in St. Louis indicates how things will go, fans will pack the Dome at America's Center as this could be one of the most ruckus crowds in the league.

Led by Jonathan Hayes the last time around, St. Louis was one of the more entertaining teams and posted a 3-2 record before the shutdown. With Hayes taking an assistant position for the Arlington Renegades, it will be up to former NFL TE Anthony Becht to work his magic as the first-time head coach gets the call.

Becht is not only surrounded by a bevy of talented players, but he helped put together a good coaching staff anchored by former NFL QB Bruce Gradkowski at the OC position. You also have former St. Louis Rams WR Ricky Proehl coaching the WRs as well as his son Austin who will get to later.

On the defensive coaching staff, you, Donnie Abraham calling the plays, while former Rams LB La'Roi Glover will coach the LB position. It is nice to see some former St. Louis Rams ties on this staff, as football in St. Louis is more than just football. It is family and family that they want to stay.

Looking at the roster, you are immediately drawn to the QB position, where AJ McCarron will be the starter. This is coming after league favorite Jordan Ta'Amu was under center last time around, so McCarron will have big shoes to fill. When it comes to the pieces around him, McCarron will have plenty of talent, especially at the WR position.

As mentioned above, Ricky Proehl will benefit from coaching his son Austin Proehl who also plays WR. Proehl is no stranger to the spring leagues and has often been one of the league leaders in receiving yards. Proehl will be joined by Darrius Shepherd and Donteea Dye, with Jordan Thomas holding down the TE position to give the Battlehawks a lethal passing attack.

You have a bevy of players in the backfield who could all be key cogs this season, but look for Brian Hill to lead the way. Hill has nearly 1000 yards of NFL experience and had some great moments with the Bengals early in his career. This is one of those offenses that is geared to score a ton of points and could be a nightmare for many teams to defend.

While the offense appears set to go, what about the defensive side of the ball? Former Chicago Bear LaCale London will be tasked with stopping the run after playing in just one game in the past three seasons in Chicago. London is one of many players who lack NFL experience and have yet to be given a fair opportunity to make an NFL roster. This could be their chance, as their play on the field will be crucial this season.

Looking at the secondary, you have Ben DeLuca set to be one of the safeties on the field as well as Nate Meadors and Chris Cooper. Tim Harris, Lavert Hill, Jordan Miller, and Quenton Meeks are set to play the CB position. Of that group, only Miller and Meeks have seen NFL action, and they have limited experience to go with it.

St. Louis has been starving to have football back in their home state. Now that it has returned and pair that with St. Louis City FC making its MLS debut this spring, it will be a fun time for St. Louis sports fans this year.

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