The 2023 season is set to be a game-changer for the XFL, as it will be the first season under the new ownership of Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia. The season is scheduled to start on February 18th with 8 teams competing for the championship, these teams include the Defenders, Sea Dragons, Battlehawks, Vipers, Renegades, Roughnecks, Guardians and Brahmas. New rule modifications will make the games more exciting for the fans and challenging for players: 35 second play clock; 3 OT rounds per team; 3 Time Outs per half; and a 4th Quarter onside kick alternative.

Arlington, Houston, Orlando, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C are the cities identified for XFL franchise teams. Each city has characteristics that make it stand out: Arlington has high household income and low unemployment; Houston has impressive job markets; Orlando is known for tourism; Las Vegas is an entertainment hub; San Antonio is home to worldwide companies; Seattle has a thriving tech sector; St. Louis boasts affordable cost of living; and D.C is home to many prominent political figures.

For the 2023 season, XFL teams began training camp with up to 80 players and trimmed their rosters down to 70 by January 21st. During the regular season, teams will be allowed 50 players, 46 will be active on game day. Rosters have been filled through a Quarterback Draft, a Supplemental Draft, Free Agents and undrafted/unsigned players. Much of the data on these rosters and players is anecdotal, making it difficult to determine the Power Rankings but @TheBrysh will take a stab at it here:


The DC Defenders are one of the returning XFL football teams, led by head coach Reggie Barlow and likely quarterbacked by Jordan Ta’amu. The Defenders should have an excellent running game with a talented group of running backs including Abram Smith and Pooka Williams. With the combination of Barlow’s leadership and Ta’amu’s skill, the Defenders might have the potential to climb out of the XFL North cellar.

The Seattle franchise has changed it’s name to the “SEA” Dragons, I don’t know why they added the SEA but this team has the talent to make some waves in the new XFL. Led by Head Coach Jim Haslett, the Sea Dragons have potential with wide receiver Josh Gordon, who has seen action with several NFL teams, but only if quarterback Ben Dinucci can deliver. With Ron Zook as DC, the Sea Dragons are a bit of a mystery, hopefully their defence is more impressive than their rather “stupid” looking logo.

The St. Louis Battlehawks are the favourites to win the XFL championship this season, at least in the eyes of the oddsmakers, and @TheBrysh agrees with that. Head coach Anthony Becht may be inexperienced, but they have been able to build a strong roster of veterans and newcomers alike. The Battlehawks also have exceptional uniforms and logos, which will look great on quarterbacks AJ McCarron and Ryan Willis who both have NFL experience.

The only thing better than having the Vegas Vipers being based in Sin City, is having NFL Hall of Famer Rod Woodson as HC is a good start. With Woodson at the helm, the Vipers are expected to be the best defensive backfield in the league. As if this wasn’t enough defensive firepower, add in Pro Bowl OLB Vic Beasley to pressure opposing quarterbacks and you have a definite contender in Vegas.


The Arlington Renegades are sure to become favourites in the South, and @TheBrysh predicts that they will receive massive support from their home town fans. Coach Bob Stoops already has XFL experience from the 2020 season, and will fire up the Renegades along with with 6’5″ QB Kyle Sloter, who has been juggled around the USFL and NFL. With Sloter at the helm and a dynamic support roster, the Renegades are likely to win the XFL South Division.

The Houston Roughnecks of the XFL have been scrambling to find a starting quarterback, and have turned to head coach Wade Phillips for guidance. Phillips, who has been coaching in the NFL since the 1980s, has three potential candidates: AJ Smith, Cole McDonald, and Kaleb Eleby. Spring football leagues have proven time and again that a solid QB starter is essential, hopefully Houston finds theirs.

The Orlando Guardians head coach Terrell Buckley who lacks coaching experience, is also “blessed” with a roster that may doom them to being the cellar dwellers of the South Division. On top of that, they also have three unproven quarterbacks in DeAndre Francois, Mitch Kidd and Quentin Dormady. It is clear that this team has a long way to go before they can compete, maybe there’s a diamond in the rough, I just wish they would have been called the “Gators”.

The San Antonio Brahmas are led by HC Hines Ward, a former NFL wide receiver who was snubbed by the Hall of Fame selection committee in 2020.The Brahmas have two promising quarterbacks in Reid Sinnett and Jack Coan who will be competing for the starting job. They also boast a strong roster with several key players such as NFL veteran RB Kalen Ballage, they could challenge for the South Division crown.

XFL Pre-Season: Expert Power Rankings by @TheBrysh! Disagree? Check out @TheBrysh full articles at http://www.shadysportsnetwork.com  Join the CFL Fans Group at https://lnkd.in/eA2FE59w Join the XFL Fans group at https://lnkd.in/gCQhzSPZ Join the USFL Fans group at https://lnkd.in/dGF87UHk

Written by: Jack Cameron @TheBrysh

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