What should be our expectations for the relaunch of the USFL

What should be our expectations for the relaunch of the USFL

It was June 3, 2021, when the USFL ended its 40-year hiatus from being an active football league. The league that was once run by former owner and President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is now back in action with eight new teams across the country.

Fox Sports has taken over as the main broadcaster of the league, as it has purchased a small amount of stake in the USFL. Many familiar NFL faces will return as well, as the coaches of the USFL all have very impressive resumes. Most notably, former Tennesse Titans coach Jeff Fisher takes over as the headman of the Michigan Panthers. The Tampa Bay Bandits went the offensive route, as they hired Todd Haley, the former Kansas City Cheifs Head Coach and Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Coordinator.

All of the coaches have either had NFL or FBS Divison 1 Football experience. Now, they are tasked with the challenge of both coaching their teams to success but also managing the front office as general managers. The divisions are split by North and South, as the Panthers are joined by the Pittsburgh Maulers, Philidelphia Stars, and New Jersey Generals in the North Divison. In the South, the Bandits are grouped with the Houston Gamblers, New Orleans Breakers, and Birmingham Stallions.

The USFL did a very good job at recruiting quarterbacks for its league, as they took several former Big Ten stars and all QBs with NFL experience. The first pick of the league to the Michigan Panthers was the former University of Michigan and Ole Miss quarterback, Shea Patterson. Patterson was the last player to be signed out of his NFL class in 2020, after a disappointing end to his Michigan career. The Panthers also drafted former Denver Bronco quarterback Paxton Lynch to compete with Patterson.

Elsewhere in the league, the Houston Gamblers took former Northwestern Quarterback Clayton Thorson with the fifth pick of the draft to be their signal-caller. Thorson spent time with the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and Dallas Cowboys before exiting the NFL and joining the USFL. Thorson set a record of 53 straight starts in college for the Big Ten Conference and tied Colt Mccoy for the most starts by a QB in the power five conferences.

Other notable quarterbacks in the USFL are both Kyle Lauletta for the Pittsburgh Maulers and Jordan Ta’amu of the Tampa Bay Bandits. Lauletta has ventured all over the NFL since graduating from Richmond in 2017. Lauletta has made appearances for the Giants, Eagles, Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, and Jacksonville Jaguars. Ta’amu, on the other hand, departed from Ole Miss in 2018 for the NFL. He had a short-lived stay with the Houston Texans in 2019 but was playing in the XFL by 2020. Ta’amu then returned to the NFL and bounced around the league but ultimately made his way to the USFL.

Same as the XFL, the USFL has three ways you can score after you get a touchdown. You have your common extra point conversion or two-point conversion in the USFL. Just like in the NFL, you can score a three-point conversion which is run from the 10-yard line. The clock in the league also gets some rules placed onto it. This season, during the second and fourth quarters, after the two-minute warning, the clock will stop on first downs. This rule is the same as the one the first USFL has established.

This year, technology will also be advancing as a microchip will be placed in the football to measure first downs. This microchip is similar to the Next Gen Stat the NFL uses to pinpoint the football at perfection. The USFL is entering into a new era of football, and it looks to build off its investments. There has been very little success for newfound competitors for the NFL; hopefully, the USFL can figure out the trick to competing.