DC Defenders

DC Defenders vs. New York Guardians: What to watch for in XFL Week 2

DC Defenders vs. New York Guardians: What to watch for in XFL Week 2

During the opening weekend of the revamped XFL, both the DC Defenders and New York Guardians came out victorious in convincing fashion.

Both squads will put their undefeated records to the test on Saturday when the Guardians travel to the nation's capital for a 2 p.m. kickoff against the Defenders at Audi Field.

Here are three things to watch for...

1. Will the Guardians' defense be able to slow down Cardale Jones and the DC offense?

The New York defense put on a show in Week 1, holding the Tampa Bay Vipers to just three points.

The Guardians sacked Tampa quarterback Aaron Murray five times and intercepted him on three different occasions, as the former Georgia Bulldog struggled significantly in his XFL debut.

Defenders' signal-caller Cardale Jones is a significant upgrade over Murray and will give New York is a tough test in Week 2. Jones finished 16-26 for 235 yards and two touchdowns in DC's victory over Seattle. Jones'  116.7 passer rating was the highest of any XFL quarterback during the opening weekend.

The Guardians tweeted out a friendly warning to the Defenders ahead of Saturday's matchup. We will see how it all plays out.

2. Will either team be able to get its rushing attack working?

During the XFL's opening weekend, no team had a rusher reach 100 yards on the ground. In fact, St. Louis' Matt Jones currently leads the league in rushing yards with just 85. 

Both DC and New York struggled on the ground in Week 1. The Guardians' leading rusher was Darius Victor, who amassed just 32 yards on nine carries. Defenders' back Jhurrell Pressley was no better, as he recorded just 31 yards on 12 carries.

The Defenders backfield duo of Pressley and Donnel Pumphrey was supposed to be the strength of their offense, yet neither did much of anything in Week 1. Head coach Pep Hamilton will need to establish a working ground attack against New York in order for the team to stay undefeated.

3. What will the crowd atmosphere be like?

Defenders fans showed up in Week 1, as over 17,000 filled Audi Field to see the inaugural game of the relaunched XFL.

But a week later, with the league not as much of an unknown anymore, it'll be interesting to see the turnout. The fans definitely played a factor for DC in Week 1, and Jones and co. would greatly appreciate another stellar showing this Saturday.

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Report: XFL seeking new ownership after bankruptcy filing

Report: XFL seeking new ownership after bankruptcy filing

One month after filing for bankruptcy, the XFL is reportedly seeking new ownership in an attempt to save the league, according to Axios

Axios obtained documents that show an investment bank, Houlihan Lokey, managing the process, with letter of intent due by June 12 and formal bids due on July 6. 

The XFL claims to have been on pace to generate $46 million in revenue during its inaugural season. According to Axios' report, the league also had an average game attendance of 20,000 and 1.9 million average broadcast viewers for the nationally distributed games.

But the pandemic forced the league to cancel the rest of the season, suspend operations and lay off employees.

It was an abrupt move that left players, coaches and other team and league personnel wondering what's next. Some players parlayed XFL success to opportunities in the NFL, and former D.C. Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton landed on his feet with a professional gig with the Chargers. But that's not the case for the vast majority who were involved. 

If investors chose to revive the league, it would be done in the uncertain times currently swirling during the pandemic. Complicating matters is the indefinite timetable of the pandemic's duration. 

Dan Primack of Axios spoke to industry investors who are skeptical of somebody stepping forward to buy the entire league. But, those sources also acknowledged that sports can be unpredictable. 

"There are lots of people who are very rich but not rich enough to own an NFL team, so maybe someone will see this as the next best thing at a bargain price," one source said.

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Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton expected to go to Chargers, source says

Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton expected to go to Chargers, source says

Former XFL Defenders coach Pep Hamilton is heading to the Chargers to be the team's new quarterbacks coach though the deal is not yet official, a source with knowledge of the situation told NBC Sports Washington's Julie Donaldson. 

Hamilton led the Defenders to an exciting start in their inaugural season in Washington before league ceased operations earlier this month due to the effects of the COV-19 virus. 

Before his stint at the Defenders, Hamilton worked in various roles around the NFL, most recently as the assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns. Immediately before coming to D.C., he was the passing game coordinator and assistant head coach at the University of Michigan.

He started his career at Howard University, where he played quarterback as a student and returned as a quarterbacks coach.