Ranking the XFL coaching staffs based on how much I’d like to play for them

Would you rather play for Wade Phillips or Rod Woodson?

The XFL is coming back in 2023. It doesn’t have teams yet. It doesn’t even have team *names* yet — though we’re all rooting for a Memphis Maniax revival. But it does have coaches.

Well, most of the teams have coaches.

The league announced its head coaches back in April, dropping a list of names like Wade Phillips, Bob Stoops, and Hines Ward onto a football-starved nation. Those leaders had their coaching trees expanded Wednesday when coordinators and personnel directors were unveiled. There’s a fair amount of recognizable talent coming to Dwayne Johnson’s pet project, ranging from longtime college staples (June Jones) to NFL veterans trying to accelerate their move up the coaching ranks (Bruce Gradkowski).

So who did the best? Well, without any rosters it’s pretty difficult to say. What we can figure out is which teams might be the most appealing to the players who’ll be drafted this October. Who would I most like to play for? Using my scientific method of “these guys seem cool,” here are my very official, very well-researched rankings.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson reveals XFL broadcast partners

What television networks will show the third version of the XFL?

The XFL is still about a year away from its third launch. That doesn’t mean someone as savvy as league owner Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is short on finding ways to get publicity for the league.

On Tuesday, the pop culture icon revealed the league’s broadcast partners. The games in 2023 will be shown on ABC/ESPN and FX … all of them.

The agreement is for multiple years with ABC and ESPN who will have exclusive broadcast rights for all 2023-2027 game day content, and more.

Each season’s 43 games will be aired & streamed across ABC, ESPN, and FX.

The multi-year contracts show an optimistic side for the brand. The first version of the XFL was scuttled after its first season by WWE boss Vince McMahon.

He relaunched the league in 2020 but that ended mid-season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a definitive moment for the XFL and the beginning of an incredible, long-term partnership for the league, building on my longstanding, very successful legacy relationship I’ve had with Disney throughout my career,” Johnson said.

“We’re excited to be working with global visionaries that are aligned with the XFL’s values, are true team players and share our ambitious goals to grow the XFL as a global sports and entertainment business. Through the combined power of Disney, ESPN, and the XFL, together we will create a new powerhouse on the sports calendar and bring a dynamic game of football to fans everywhere. Time to ball out.”

“To find a partner that honors our foundation and to be able to root our vision of unwavering passion, accessibility, and the future of football with Disney as our home, is a dream come true,” league chairwoman Dany Garcia said.
“We are extraordinarily excited to explore the endless possibilities of this partnership – today is surely just the beginning.”

Meet the 8 XFL names (Wade Phillips!) who will be head coaches when the league returns in 2023

Wade Phillips is back coaching!

The XFL is coming back!!

(In 2023. You’re going to have to wait for The Rock-led league to return for a third incarnation after the second one turned some heads in 2020.)

Still, this is exciting news. And earlier this week, owners Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia announced the eight names of head coaches who will be at the helm of the teams who will play when the league returns.

Which teams will they lead? That’s undetermined, but I’ll say this: If you’re an NFL fan, you will recognize most, if not all, of these names, who are ex-NFL coaches and players:

XFL names 8 head coaches for third run

The XFL announced its head coaches for the 2023 season and there are some big names

The XFL announced its eight head coaches on Wednesday as league leaders Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson ramp up for the third incarnation of the league, which will kick off in 2023.

The XFL III will have some big names as coaches: Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, Wade Phillips, Bob Stoops, and Terrell Buckley are among the eight.

The other four are Reggie Barlow, Hines Ward, Jim Haslett and Anthony Becht.

Vince McMahon twice attempted to start and succeed with the XFL. The firsr run was scuttled after a year and the second was ended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then completely disbanded.

Former Cowboys HC Wade Phillips tabbed to lead XFL team in 2023

He went 34-22 and won 2 NFC East titles with Dallas; Wade Phillips will be the head coach once again when the XFL takes the field in 2023. | From @ToddBrock24f7

A former Cowboys head coach is the man in charge once again, in a league designed to give second chances.

Wade Phillips, who coached in Dallas from 2007 until halfway through the 2010 season, has been named one of eight head coaches for the XFL’s return in 2023.

The 74-year-old will join Bob Stoops, Terrell Buckley, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson, Reggie Barlow, Anthony Becht, and Jim Haslett as the head coaches for the revamped spring league co-owned by Dwayne Johnson.

Phillips is the son of legendary NFL coach Bum Phillips and has been roaming league sidelines since first working under his dad with the Houston Oilers in 1976.

He’s been everything from a defensive line coach to a Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator, but he’s also been the head coach for more teams- six- than any man in NFL history. He served in an interim capacity for the Saints, Falcons, and Texans, and he had official head coaching stints in Denver, Buffalo, and Dallas.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones hired Phillips prior to the 2007 season to replace the retired Bill Parcells; he beat out Norv Turner, Ron Rivera, Jason Garrett, and several others for the job.

Despite leading the team to a 34-22 record and two NFC East titles, his Cowboys were unable to win a postseason game under his command. Phillips did not survive his fourth year in Dallas; he was fired after a 1-7 start in 2010.

Phillips served most recently as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator, a role that earned him his first championship ring and Assistant Coach of the Year honors for that team’s 2015 season. He was not brought back following the 2019 season, though, and he had expressed frustration at not getting another shot at a head coaching job anywhere else in the league.

The new XFL will begin play in February of next year. While the eight head coaches have been announced, it is not yet known which team each man will lead.

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NFL to collaborate with XFL on innovation

What will the XFL and NFL work on together?

Things have changed big time from the first incarnation of the XFL. So much so, the NFL is going to work with the league, which will be in its third incarnation when it starts in 2023.

The news was announced on Monday that the leagues will work together on innovation.

Per the statement:

Health and safety will be a principal area of focus in both learning and innovation, with the XFL working with the NFL on forward thinking physical and mental fitness programs for players, the study of playing surfaces and equipment and the sharing of game trends and data.

Additional avenues for collaboration may include international football development and scouting,  as well as officiating, including the testing of different game rules for player protection and enhanced overall play, and of different technologies to enhance officiating.

Both sides weighed in with statements on what at one time would have seemed like an implausible tag team.

“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the NFL in these important areas,” said Dany Garcia, Co-Owner and Chairwoman of the XFL, and business partner of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“We are bringing forward an XFL that is progressive and forward-thinking when it comes to innovation, leveraging the newest technology to enhance game day experience.  We have an open field for innovative rules to enhance in-game access.  Sharing insights and practices between the XFL and NFL will do a tremendous amount of good for the game of football and support the player ecosystem overall.”

“The XFL has shown us that innovation is one of its core principles.  We are hopeful that this relationship will support further development and improvements in the game of football at all levels.” said Troy Vincent, NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

CFL scuttles idea of working relationship with XFL

The CFL announced it will not have a working relationship with the XFL

The idea seemed far-fetched to start with the different rules and field sizes. And on Wednesday, the CFL announced it is no longer pursuing a working relationship with the XFL.

“Our talks with the XFL, exploring the potential for collaboration and innovation, have been positive and constructive. While we remain open to finding new ways to work together in the future, we and our XFL counterparts have jointly decided to not pursue any formal arrangements at this time,” the league said in a statement.

The CFL 2021 season will begin Aug. 5. Its 2020 campaign was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was a sort of synergy to the a CFL/XFL partnership as Dwyane Johnson is one of the honchos of the twice-defunct league launched by WWE boss Vince McMahon.

Johnson spent some time in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders. However, his career took off on other platforms.

“We at the CFL are now squarely focused on preparing for August 5th and the start of our  2021 regular season, which will culminate December 12 with the playing of the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton, Ontario.

We are looking forward to this year and  a bright future for our league.”

Dwayne Johnson plotting interleague play between XFL and CFL

Dwayne Johnson is a big thinker. The mogul and actor is reported to be working on a plan to blend the XFL and CFL.

A run for President of the United States seems to be on stronger footing for Dwayne Johnson than a reported plan for his XFL and the CFL.

According to Front Office Sports, Johnson — with business partner Dany Garcia — is working to blend the XFL and CFL. That’s not the actual news.

What is would be the possibility of interleague play between the leagues.

Per FOS.com:

Here’s how it could work, a source told Front Office Sports: Both leagues would play their regular seasons — there could be “interleague” games, similar to MLB — and once the respective XFL and CFL champions are crowned, they’d face off in an interleague championship game.

There could also be an “All-Star Game” pitting players from both leagues. The long-term objective: the merger of the two pro football leagues.

Not quite sure what the football fans North of the border are going to think of such an idea given the history of the Grey Cup, which dates to 1909.

FOS was unable to get a comment out of either the XFL or CFL.

The CFL just missed a year due to the pandemic. The XFL made it through five weeks in its second run before Vince McMahon declared bankruptcy for the league, which lasted one year in its first incarnation in 2001.


XFL, CFL discussing working together

Could the XFL and CFL wind up going into business together? Sounds like it is a realistic possibility.

It figured Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s time in the CFL would pay off one day.

The actor, mogul, former WWE star, and football player was once a Calgary Stampeder for a couple of months. It didn’t work out too well and as the well-known story goes Johnson had seven bucks to his name after being cut.

Fast forward to 2021 and on Wednesday, it was announced the CFL and third-time fledgling XFL are discussing a business arrangement for the 2022 season.

XFL chairwoman/owner Dany Garcia, Johnson’s business partner, weighed in, too.

“Since we first acquired the XFL, we have focused on identifying partners who share our vision and values on and off the field,” Garcia said. “A vision filled with opportunity, innovation and the highest level of entertainment value for the benefit of our athletes, fans and communities. The CFL has expressed that similar sentiment and jointly we recognize a great opportunity to build exciting innovative football experiences that make the most of each league’s unique strengths.”

Both leagues saw their 2020 seasons wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CFL canceled its entire campaign while the XFL, run by Vince McMahon, got through five weeks before the WWE boss filed for bankruptcy and shut things down due to the pandemic.



Watch: Guess who is serving as an assistant coach at Okahoma?

The winningest coach in Oklahoma history is back with the program for this week, at least

Not that Oklahoma needs any help against Baylor on Saturday, but the Sooners’ staff is getting a boost from a legendary coach with plenty of ties to the program.

Most recently an XFL coach with the Dallas team in the short-lived league, Bob Stoops is taking time to work with the team he coached to glory for

Per Soonerswire:

Oklahoma is able to have Stoops in this role since he has stayed on at the university as an “institutional staff member” even after he retired as the head football coach. Theoretically, he could help coach a game if he was needed.

Stoops is filling in as some coaches on Lincoln Riley’s staff are out with COVID-19 issues.

Stoops is the winningest coach in Oklahoma history.  Stoops (190) surpassed Barry Switzer in 2013. Stoops led the Sooners to a school-record of 18 consecutive bowl berths and 10 Big 12 titles.