With the Pittsburgh Maulers playoff chances being thrown out the door this past weekend, the real off-season started Sunday morning for the Maulers. Now they have two remaining games left, but the team now enters a new challenge. With year two confirmed to begin next year, a lot is riding on season two for the Pittsburgh Maulers and how they can come back from possibly the worse season any spring football league team has ever encountered.
Does Kirby Wilson deserve a second chance?
Kirby Wilson, we all know, started off the season as the most hated coach in the league because of the show “United By Football” and his firing of a player over some Chicken Salad and Pizza; it was like an episode of WWE Raw or AEW Dynamite where he became the bad guy of the league right off the bat and frankly never recovered from that, it was almost like from the beginning everyone wanted this team to lose every game because of Coach Kirby Wilson.
The real question is, does Kirby Wilson deserve a second chance? We currently do not know how the USFL will handle coaches or even coaching staff after year one is over and if the coaches have a contract that has them stay through a certain number of years or not. I do not think he deserves a second chance; he has, from what we have seen play out on live television, a toxic environment for his quarterbacks, getting into fights on tv and benching them for a disagreement; this is not something an actual coach, especially in an NFL position, would do to their starting Quarterback during the middle of a game. It is a shame that he brought down so many players on his team to the point of no return; the real question is how many players want to play under Kirby Wilson next year?
Off-Season Coaching Change Top Three Candidates?
While my opinion may not matter to USFL officials or contracts, let’s say Kirby Wilson does get fired during the offseason, and so does his coaching staff, who currently would be great candidates as of today that could make a great head coach for the Pittsburgh Maulers, now if you head over to the USFLNewsHub and check out the article by Sam Just talking about “Is it Time For The Pittsburgh Maulers to #FireKirby?” article is a great starting point to see why this change is for the best and who he choose for the pick of the head coach position which an of today June 9th, 2022 is no longer available as he (Jonathan Hayes) former St. Louis Battlehawks head coach is now the Offensive Coordinator for Bob Stoops and what appears to be the Dallas location in the XFL in 2023.
- Winston Moss – Former LA Wildcat’s Head coach/General Manager
Winston Moss was made for Spring Football and especially a league that brings us closer to the action with the in-depth look at players and coaches like we saw in the XFL in 2020 because Winston Moss did not leave anyone hanging with some great content while coaching the Wildcats. While Winston Moss only won 2 out of the five games that the XFL played in 2020, he still brings great coaching experience from an 11-year tenure with the Green Bay Packers as an assistant head coach and linebackers coach from 2007 to 2018, winning Super Bowl XLV with the Packers. His Defensive coordinator from the LA Wildcats from 2020 is the Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach for the Tampa Bay Bandits. If Winston Moss does not end up on someone’s coaching staff in the 2023 XFL, he would be a prime candidate for the Pittsburgh Maulers next season.
- Kevin Gilbride – Former Spring League Jousters Head Coach in 2021 and XFL 2020 New York Guardians Head Coach.
Kevin Gilbride would bring a lot to the table for the Pittsburgh Maulers with a lot of experience as head coach of teams where he would lead the Guardians to a 3-2 regular season tied for 1st in the XFL east division. Then the following year would lead The Spring League’s Jousters to the Mega Bowl, losing to Hall Mumme’s Lineman. Kevin, who currently is not working anywhere, would be an excellent choice to come in and take the Maulers to the promised land in 2023 and reset the team. I would not mind seeing this happen and having a trade occur where the Maulers got Luis Perez to reunite Gilbride and Perez from the XFL in 2020.
- Hal Mumme – Former XFL Dallas Renegade Offensive Coordinator and Former TSL Lineman head coach.
Now Hal was on my shortlist before his indecent that happened back on May 27th, 2022, where Hal was arrested for criminal trespassing and resisting arrest in connection with an incident that occurred at a Hyatt in downtown Lexington. Hal Mumme is one of the most famous coaches in sports. With his experience in Spring Football, if he can get this legal action taken care of, he would be a prime candidate to come in and change up the Maulers and take the Lineman in the 2021 Spring League to the championship and lead them to the title. Hal would bring a completely different coaching experience than what the Maulers are used to currently with Wilson.
These three head coaches are currently free agents and not signed with anyone; with some spots left in the 2023 XFL coaching staff, there is a possibility Kevin returns to the XFL as a coordinator somewhere along with Winston Moss as well. Hal Mumme all depends on his legal situation, which I doubt he is on anyone’s list in the XFL and could explain why Bob Stoops took Hayes as his OC in Dallas for the 2023 season.
Do you keep Vad Lee and Roland Rivers III?
The Pittsburgh Maulers have two excellent quarterbacks on their roster that, with the right head coach and confidence, could be some excellent quarterbacks; the problem I have with keeping both Vad Lee and Roland Rivers is the fact both of these quarterbacks seem to be perfect for the starting job and not sitting behind the other as a backup. If I were the Maulers during the off-season, I would trade Roland Rivers III to get a draft pick or someone for either the Defensive line or more power on the offense for Vad Lee. I feel Vad Lee is who you give that chance to and stick with, as he did provide the Maulers their only win of the season so far. The Maulers could also trade Roland Rivers to the Houston Gamblers for Clayton Thorson as their backup, as after seeing a lot of his performance this year, he could make a good backup for Vad.
Overall, Kirby Wilson made a huge mistake when he got into an argument with Vad after a drive and benched him; it remains to be seen if Vad gets any more play time in the last two games meaning there is nothing to lose at this point. My final decision is that I believe that Vad Lee deserves the most significant chance possible to shine in the USFL.
Where could The Maulers Play If They Move to Pittsburgh?
We are still unsure where the Maulers will play in 2023 and if the USFL will stay in Birmingham for another season of the hub format. When we look at the city of Pittsburgh and the choices that the USFL has to play in their home city, these locations could fit the Maulers and USFL very well.
- Highmark Stadium – It is a 5,000-seat soccer-specific stadium but was home to the 2017 Pittsburgh Rebellion women’s football team. Now the attendance level in this stadium is on the lower side but hear me out. The USFL has struggled with attendance from day one. Due to the hub city format or whatnot, I see that the lower the attendance level capacity could fill the stadium up to make it look complete. The other plus is the view, as this stadium is in Pittsburgh’s Station Square and sits right next to the Monongahela River. This is the next best choice for the USFL without going overboard on a stadium that looks empty; this could be the start for the first to three years the team is playing in their home stadium.
- Heinz Field – Heinz Field is home to the Pittsburgh Steelers and could be used as a stadium for the Pittsburgh Maulers; during not my top pick because I cannot see after this season that Pittsburgh has attached so much to the Maulers that they would fill Heinz Field. Currently sitting at 68,400 capacity and opened nearly 20 years ago on August 18th, 2001, it would be a big step up for the USFL to go from Protective Stadium with 45,000. This would be an additional 23,400 seats to fill, and frankly, I don’t see this looking great, and we could see a repeat of how MetLife Stadium looked for the New York Guardians.
Besides these two stadiums, there is nowhere else directly in downtown Pittsburgh that would work for the USFL because you cannot convert PNC Park to a football stadium due to the timing of the USFL schedule being head-to-head with the Pittsburgh Pirates MLB Season. I think for the first couple of years, you really build your fan base at Highmark Stadium, and when you are there for 2-3 seasons, you can reevaluate and possibly move into Heinz Field. Either way, the decision to bring the Maulers and other USFL teams to their respective cities is best for a business, no matter what anyone else thinks. These are the two options available for the USFL to take from, and I cannot wait to see one day the Maulers get that opportunity to shine for their home crowd.
In The Pittsburgh Maulers, we trust
No matter your decision or on being a fan of the Maulers or not, there is a lot of work to be done to wrap up this off-season preview and prediction, I feel that regardless of what the USFL does with Kirby Wilson as head coach, who plays the final two games the Maulers could set themselves up to be a contender in the 2023 season of the USFL and we are here for the long run. Pittsburgh is an incredibly supportive city of their teams, especially when there is a team in Philadelphia like there is with the Stars; I think regardless of where the Maulers play next year, they could gain more fans coming out hot in the 2023 season with a new look and new head coach.
Stay with USFL News Hub to the road to the playoffs.