Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy
We had made it to the midway point of the XFL season, but with the threat of a pandemic all around us, the XFL was forced to suspend their season. It is such a shame because it seems that this brand of football has staying power. It has excitement, they hold their officials accountable for calls, and the fan experience is outstanding! By all accounts, Vince McMahon and the decision-makers are doing the right thing by shutting things down, and unlike the defunct AAF, they will pay the players their remaining salaries, as well as give them the chance to immediately sign with NFL teams after completing their exit physicals. By all accounts, the plan is for the XFL to restart for the 2021 season, and you can be sure we will be here to cover it until then keep tabs on some of the stars that we were just getting acquainted with. So without further ado, Blitzalytics is going to hand out its end of the year XFL awards…
P.J. Walker: QB, Houston Roughnecks
Runners Up: Jordan Ta’ Amu: QB, St. Louis Battlehawks
Josh Johnson: QB, LA Wildcats
This was an easy decision at the midway point to name Walker the MVP, Ta’ Amu has played very good football, and Johnson has come on strong in the last few weeks, but he is the Most Valuable Player to his team. He is near the top in every major XFL passing statistics, but just from the eye test alone, you can see he is the best player in this league. His ability to throw off-platform is simply ridiculous, and his deep ball placement has led to highlight after highlight for this young league.
Offensive Player of the Year
Cam Phillips: WR, Houston Roughnecks
Runners Up: Donald Parham: TE, Dallas Renegades
Matt Jones: RB, St. Louis Battlehawks
Just like the conversation with MVP, the winner for OPOY was an easy decision. You have Cam Phillips on a different tier of production, and then the next two vying for the top of the next tier. Parham has flashed his pass-catching prowess and Jones is running hard as the lead back of a running back committee that boasts the XFL’s best rushing attack, but getting back to Phillips all he does is catch touchdown passes. The impressive part about all his scores is that he has caught them in a variety of ways showcasing his well-rounded skill set. Getting downfield on vertical routes, winning inside, catching back-shoulder throws, and everything in between this guy is one of the most complete WRs in this league.
Defensive Player of the Year
Kenny Robinson: S, St. Louis Battlehawks
Runners Up: Cavon Walker: DT, NY Guardians
Dexter McCoil: LB, St. Louis Battlehawks
This award was probably the most difficult to distinguish who has had the best year. We have three quality prospects. The first runner up is the XFL sack leader in Cavon Walker who has been manhandling IOL all year. Next is the swiss army style defender, Dexter McCoil who has flashed his speed and length both in run support as well as matching up with some of the best pass-catchers in the XFL. Ultimately though I went with the mold-breaking, Kenny Robinson from the St. Louis Battlehawks. While all the rest of his 2020 NFL Draft peers are running around in underwear for stopwatches all he has done is be a playmaker on the backend of a Battlehawks defense that plays smart and physical football. He has shown his instincts picking off 2 passes while showing he can fill in hard in run support as well. As being someone who is in uncharted territory by playing in the league in the same year he is eligible to be drafted don’t be surprised if you hear his name come off the board in the late part of day two of the NFL Draft.
Special Teams Player of the Year
Taylor Russolino: K, St. Louis Battlehawks
Runner Up: Marquette King: P, St. Louis Battlehawks
This is an award that is particularly hard to peg down just do to the lack of PATs in this league as well as the rules on the kickoffs, but I went with Russolino as he has been money for the Battlehawks this year as he has made 9 FGs including one from 58yds. He also has been doing solid work on kickoffs as well. King made a case for this award by booming some real bombs early on this season but had some problems with blocks the last few weeks.
Coach of the Year
June Jones: Houston Roughnecks
Runner Up: Jonathan Hayes: St. Louis Battlehawks
You have to name the coach of the only undefeated team in the XFL as Coach of the Year simply because of his ability to adapt his scheme to the players he has rostered as well as his ability to adjust in-game. Hayes comes in at second place because of how well-coached and disciplined his team plays on a week in and week out basis.
St. Louis Battlehawks
I giving the Battlehawks this distinction because of their rowdy and raucous fans that filled up the dome to give one final slap in the face to Stan Kroenke and the Rams who pulled out of St. Louis just a few seasons ago. With tickets opening up for the upper portion of the stadium this stadium and environment are the best in the XFL.
Best Home Field Experience
Even though St. Louis may have won the best fanbase, DC you should have nothing to be sad about. Seeing the fun and crowd involvement in the new tradition of the beer snake puts you squarely on top of all the rest of the XFL Franchises for Home Field Experience!
There you have it XFL Fans, what a great half-season we had to enjoy this league, and I cannot wait for the next installment in 2021!