Bears News: Previewing the UFL: Arlington Renegades

Bears News: Previewing the UFL: Arlington Renegades

by - Senior Writer -

While we await the Bears' next move, it is time to dive back into the UFL as we continue to preview what is to come for that League. After already discussing the reigning USFL champs, the Birmingham Stallions, it is time to look at the other champ coming over. The 2023 XFL champion Arlington Renegades will look to challenge the Stallions for the top spot this season.

Long-time University of Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will lead the Renegades for the third time and second straight season. Known as an offensive mastermind, Stoops will bring in Chuck Long as his play-caller, as the Renegades' offense really came into its own last season. Leading the way on offense will be the battle of three quarterbacks, as Drew Plitt, Luis Perez, and Lindsey Scott Jr. will all look to win the starting spot.

Plitt was the starter most of last year but struggled to move the ball consistently downfield. Perez is a savvy veteran and is known as the most successful Spring League quarterback, having participated in every Spring League since 2019. He is the odds-on favorite to win the job right now, but count out Scott Jr., who is the NCAA record holder for most touchdowns in a single season with 72 during his time with Incarnate Word.

Unlike many of the teams in the UFL, the Renegades won't have much of a running game early on, as Leddie Brown and De'veon Smith will have to shoulder the load. Smith could be the favorite at this point, given his limited NFL experience, but that is one position that will be up for grabs this season. While the running game may take time to get rolling, the passing game should be on point no matter who is throwing the ball.

Having Sal Cannella as your TE certainly helps, as he has been one of the better TEs during spring league play.

The WR room, although very deep, is full of question marks and questions that will be addressed in the coming weeks. The sooner those questions are answered, the quicker this offense can take the next strides as a unit.

While the offense could be in flux early on, it will once again be the Renegades' defense setting the tone after coming off an impressive 2023 showing. Jalen Redmond and Trevon Coley will be two of the leaders up front and will be expected to stop the run and get after the quarterback. The LB group is where this team will shine, as the Renegades have the deepest and one of the most, if not the most, talented LB groups of all the UFL teams.

Vic Beasley instantly jumps out at you and is the captain of that group. The former Clemson star played six seasons in the NFL, five of them in Atlanta. During his tenure with the Falcons, Beasley racked up 37.5 sacks, so he has always had the ability to make things happen defensively. Although he only had .5 sacks with the Vegas Vipers in 2023, this is a much better situation, so expect him to look drastically different.

Beasley won't be alone when it comes to talented LBs, as he will be joined by Will Clarke, Storey Jackson, Donald Payne, and Tuzar Skipper, among others. If these guys do what they can, they will not only get after the QB but could leave their opposition susceptible to turnovers, which their secondary will feast on.

Ajene Harris is the one to keep an eye on in the secondary, as he closed out the 2023 season with five interceptions to lead the XFL.

Jamar Summers will join Harris on the outside, with Jamal Carter, Myles Dorn, and Cameron Brown all expected to see significant time on the back end. You also can't forget long-time punter Marquette King, who can flip the field with one kick. All these pieces in place will make the Renegades a tough out and should have them in the playoff running at season's end.

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