2020 Offseason Questions: Thoughts On XFL Debut Weekend?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.

The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.

How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: What do you think of the XFL, now that its first week is under the belt?

For the second time in as many years, we have on our hands a fairly high-profile upstart American football league, this one being the biggest yet. The revamped XFL debuted over the weekend, largely over major broadcast networks, featuring *checks notes* virtually nobody of note on a national level. Nonetheless, the initial reviews of those who watched seemed to indicate some enthusiasm for the product on multiple levels.

For one thing, the XFL’s rules work to differentiate it enough to be distinctive. The differences on kickoffs are particularly notable, and you’ll know if you’ve seen it. Introducing three-point plays after touchdowns is another interesting dynamic we haven’t seen come into play yet competitively.

Overall, the first week of games indicated that there may be enough offense to sustain some level of interest, and one hopes that they will only improve as the season goes on. For those wondering, we did not see Landry Jones yet, who started the opener as the third-string quarterback because he’s still recovering from a knee injury, but expects to be ready to go this weekend.

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