Dallas Renegades: Three Keys To Victory For the Season Opener
There was no Dallas team in the XFL the first time the league was launched. However, it seems the football gods have smiled down upon the Lonestar state. Why? The Dallas Renegades are just hours away from stepping out onto the field for the first time ever. Taking on the Battlehawks of St. Louis in their first game ever as well, there should be no shortage of fun challenges ahead.
Two brand new, very talented teams will clash in the season opener. Only one can win. Here are the keys to victory for the Dallas Renegades:
Landry Jones must lead offense
The Dallas Renegades bring one of the most potent offensive attacks of any team in the XFL. Leading the way are coaches, Bob Stoops and Hal Mumme (the architect of the air raid). Stoops is no stranger to success as he once led the Oklahoma Sooners to college football prominence. With multiple college football playoff appearances, 10 Big 12 championships and a national title under his belt, a rejuvenated Stoops looks to lead a cast of familiar faces to yet even more success. Landry Jones, a familiar face too, along with Stoops and Jeff Badet will be important cogs in the machine that is the Dallas Renegades. A couple of new faces in Cameron Artis-Payne, Jazz Ferguson and Lance Dunbar will also look to lead the charge. The only uncertainty about this potent offense at least as far as the season opener is concerned is can Jones play with the injury he sustained before the season began. In order to defeat St. Louis, the offense must find a way to get going.
Revving up the Renegades Defensive Machine
The ability to play sound, disciplined football will be crucial for the Renegades defense this week because they will have to find a way to keep Jordan Ta’amu in the pocket. Dallas’s defense will face a tough test to play consistently for four quarters since their Air Raid offense can put their defense in harm’s way if they score too quickly or have too many three-and-outs. Hau’oli Kikaha had 19 sacks during his final year at the University of Washington. That performance led the Saints to select him in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Gelen Robinson should be expected to be a disruptive force at defensive tackle, which will set the tone for the rest of the defensive line to go to work against opposing quarterbacks. The secondary has plenty of experience; Josh Hawkins has three NFL starts in 32 games across three seasons. Hawkins is fast and can present a problem for any opposition. Josh Thornton is another cornerback who has spent time in multiple NFL camps and has pretty good speed, which should fit help him a lot this week against the St. Louis passing attack.
The coaching chess match
This game should present a bit of a mini- Oklahoma Sooners reunion. BattleHawks head coach Jonathan Hayes and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chuck Long. Hayes and Long both coached under Stoops at Oklahoma. Hayes was the tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for Stoops from 1999-2002 before heading off to the NFL to coach for 16 years. Long was the offensive coordinator for the Sooners when they won the 2000 BCS National Championship and should be able to help develop dual-threat quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, who will be the starter this week for the BattleHawks.
With the rules being similar but very different from the NFL, the fans in attendance and watching at home should expect a close game anyway. As per the tradition of this league, the game could be a high-scoring affair. Then again, maybe not. The coaching staff for each team could throw out a similar attack to each other. Fans in attendance and at home can expect to see a game that is the polar opposite of the NFL, maybe even a knockdown, drag-out fight. Fans in Dallas are excited. Not only is it a chance to watch more football, but to show the rest of the league that it is a way of life in the Lonestar State. For the XFL itself, this is a game that should make a statement. And, for the Renegades this will set the tone for the entire season.
How do you feel about the start of the XFL season? Are you excited to see the Dallas Renegades? Leave a comment below.
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