Bears News: Previewing the UFL: St. Louis Battlehawks

Bears News: Previewing the UFL: St. Louis Battlehawks

by - Senior Writer -

At long last, we have reached the final team in the UFL Team preview series as we head to the Midwest. Not only is this the only team in the Midwest, but some might also consider them America's team. No, we are not talking about the Dallas Cowboys, but more so the St. Louis Battlehawks, as they are ready to take flight again.

Led by former NFL TE Anthony Becht, the Battlehawks have been one of the most successful Spring teams since 2019 but have nothing to show for it. They hope this season will be different, as they are ready to pack the Dome with 35K plus fans to create the most hostile environment in the UFL.

That alone is why many view them as America's team when talking about the UFL as they have no trouble packing a large crowd inside that building. It does help when you have a great coaching staff that includes former NFL QB Bruce Gradkowski as your OC and former NFL LB Donnie Abraham as the DC, as this team is locked and loaded.

After pondering his football future, AJ McCarron will be back under center for the Battlehawks as he continues to rewrite his football story.

McCarron is without question the best quarterback in the league and is the most ready to make the move back to the NFL if a team wants him.

He will be backed up by Spring League veteran Brandon Silvers as the Battlehawks are in great hands at the QB position.

Former New York Giant Wayne Gallman will look to take some of the pressure off McCarron and the passing game. He is set to take over the RB duties this season. After rushing for more than 3000 yards at Clemson, Gallman went on to rack up 1500 yards in the NFL, so there is no denying that he knows how to run the football.

Even if Gallman proves he can change the game with his legs, this is still McCarron's team, and the offense will live and die by his arm. Having guys like Darius Shepherd and Steven Mitchell in the WR room, as well as Jake Sutherland at TE, does help.

However, the main focus in the passing game will be on Hakeem Butler, and rightfully so, as he picked up 599 yards and eight scores as part of the Battlehawks in 2023. The TDs led the XFl, while the yardage landed him inside the top 10.

For the Battlehawks to be at their best offensively, the addition of Jahcour Pearson could help, as he is expected to miss the beginning of the season with an injury. When healthy, Pearson has proven to be one of the best WRs in the UFL, racking up 670 yards with the Seattle Dragons in 2023 and looking to, at some points, duplicate that this season.

While the offense is in good hands across the board, what about the Abraham-led defense? Kobe Smith is looking to be one of the leaders up front, as is Austin Faoliu, but the brunt of the success on defense will come from the back end, which includes the LB position. DC or not, Abraham was a long-time NFL LB, so his specialty falls on that position.

Having the athletically gifted Emeke Egbule helps, as does Travis Feeney and his years of CFL experience. Will Harvey Jr. and Mike Rose are two more names to keep an eye on. Both were part of the Battlehawks defense last season, and that experience alone could help turn them into some of the better defensive players this season.

Looking at the secondary, you immediately come across long-time CFL safety Kameron Kelly, who has also logged 14 career NFL games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tim Harris, Ben DeLuca, Lavert Hill, and Nico Bolden are other names that the Battlehawks will be counting on in the secondary as they look to finally break down the door and be rewarded for their success.

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