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USFL 2022: Birmingham Stallions 2022 Preview

As we gear up for the USFL’s kickoff today, the season is full of potential for the Stallions and their diverse cast of talent. We’ll see how things shake out on the field tonight vs the New Jersey Generals, and I’m excited to see what Skip Holtz & co can do out there. Let’s take a look at what I see as one of the most balanced rosters in the league.

The Offense

Led by NFL vet Alex McGough, there’s a lot to like in this QB room. McGough has been in the NFL with the Seahawks, Jaguars and Texans since being drafted in the 7th back in 2018. He’s seeing his first starting experience in the pros here, but has been learning behind Russell Wilson for years, and had a record-setting tenure at FIU. He’s supported by a cast of wideouts with a great combination of size/speed, and a massive TE target in the 6’7″ Cary Angeline.

I’m interested to see how their offensive line shakes out, and the unit is full of young players who already have experience around NFL teams. Their run game will be based on the speed of Tony Brooks-James and the versatility of CJ Marable, and the fact that they’re carrying Bobby Holly at fullback tells me they won’t be afraid to line up in the I formation and punch it when the need arises.

Overall I expect to see a well-balanced offense here, but given HC Skip Holtz’s background as a quarterback, I’m sure he wants to light it up.

The Defense

I think this could well be the top unit in the league. They feature bonafide veterans at every level, from DE Jonathan Newsome (7.5 NFL Sacks, 7 CFL Sacks), to linebackers DeMarquis Gates & Scooby Wright, and defensive backs Josh Shaw & Nate Holley, each of whom has 100+ tackles in the pros. There’s a lot of good young talent around them too, and top to bottom it’s as complete as they come in the USFL.

This squad is led by Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach John Chavis, who cut his teeth as DC at Alabama State and Alabama A&M back in the 80’s. He’s been a mainstay in the SEC ever since, leading defensive units from his alma mater Tennessee, to LSU, Texas A&M and Arkansas. With that level of experience, and the talent on this depth chart, my expectations for this unit are sky high.

Season Outlook

It’ll be a hotly contested race for the South, and their chief competition for the conference appears to be the Tampa Bay Bandits, led by XFL legend Jordan Ta’amu. I wouldn’t count out the Breakers either, and QB Kyle Sloter could be one of the most interesting names to watch this spring.

However, even with tough competition I think the blueprint of a stifling defense matched by a balanced offense makes a strong case for the USFL South, and I hope to see this team make a run at the championship. Also, home field advantage. Giddy up.

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