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Offseason in Review: Birmingham Stallions Offensive Line

Stallions come into 2023 looking to combat several losses throughout the Offensive Line. In addition to losing their Offensive Line Coach Jonathan Himebauch, the Stallions begin 2023 without Cameron Hunt (All-USFL), Jordan McCray, and Ryan Pope to the XFL, the Stallions have done their best to combat these losses by signing four free agents for the 2023 season.

BIRMINGHAM ALABAMA APRIL 23 Offensive Line coach Jonathan Himebauch of the Birmingham Stallions poses for a photo with players OShea Dugas 74 Ryan Pope 77 Jordan McCray 51 and Darius Harper 73 after the team defeated the Houston Gamblers 33 28 at Protective Stadium on April 23 2022 in Birmingham Alabama Photo by Jamie SquireUSFLGetty Images

New Kids on The Block:

The Stallions have brought in Cohl Cabral (C), Derwin Gray (T), Matt Kaskay (G), and Lukayus McNeil (T). All four have a bit of NFL experience coming to the USFL with Gray and Kaskay both appearing in NFL regular season games. ASU alum Cohl Cabral joins the Stallions after spending 2020 and 2021 back and forth on the Practice Squads of the Rams, Vikings and Saints. Most recently Cabral was with the Saints in 2022 but was waived after the 2022 NFL Draft. The Stallions also signed Lukayus McNeil, out of Louisville. A 2019 UDFA, McNeil has spent time with the Raiders, Falcons, Cowboys, and Seahawks, seeing a limited amount of roster time with the Falcons on their practice squad in 2019. Joining the Stallions will be McNeil’s first legitimate opportunity to earn playing time at the professional level in his career.

The additions of Derwin Gray and Matt Kaskey also offer the Stallions two NFL vets who have regular season experience. Due to the losses of Cameron Hunt, Ryan Pope, and Alt-League Vet Jordan McCray the Stallions have done a decent job of replacing three integral pieces of their 2022 team with veterans who have professional experience.

Who’s Coming Back:

The Stallions are set to return O’Shea Dugas, Darius Harper, Marquez Tucker, and Tyree St. Louis for 2023. All four Lineman have started for the Stallions at some point in 2022, with O’Shea Dugas starting 9 and Marquez Tucker appearing in all 10 games with one start. As the Stallions move into 2023 without some key pieces however, do have some key players from 2022 who can ease the pain of some of the Stallions most recent departures.

Center Jordan McCray has departed the USFL was a key piece in the 2022 Champion Birmingham Stallions McCray is a veteran of the NFL AAF XFL 20 USFL and now XFL 30

Missing An Alt-League Legend:

The biggest loss on the Stallions Offensive Line front was the departure of Coach Himebauch to the XFL’s Arlington Renegades. Himebauch’s expertise in coaching Alt-Leagues have led to numerous championships with the CFL, XFL (1.0), and NFL Europe. Himebauch’s departure from the Stallions leads to a vacancy at one of football’s most important position.

Moving Forward:

The biggest hurdle that Stallions face in 2023 is as mentioned replacing the elite players like Ryan Pope, Cameron Hunt, and Jordan McCray. The good news is that Stallions GM Zach Potter, and Head Coach Skip Holtz have done a great job in filling the holes left by veteran departures. The Stallions biggest issue on the Offensive Line may not be the players themselves but the departure of OL Coach Jonathan Himebauch. As the Stallions move into 2023, look for the revamped offensive line to play a major role in their quest for a repeat championship.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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