XFL CEO and Commissioner Oliver Luck recently sat down with “The Survive and Advance” Podcast to discuss a slew of new details around the upcoming XFL season. See below for a brief outline of everything they talked about.
In discussing potential draft styles, Luck announced that there will not be a territorial draft in The XFL.
He states that the league wants complete transparency on how players are distributed to each individual team. The league looked into a potential territorial draft but they feel that it makes more sense to give coaches the complete freedom to stock any players that they want, and to stock the rosters the way that they see fit. The league will sign players to a large pool. There may be position specific drafts for skill positions but Luck did not go into any more detail.
Oliver Luck has already been in contact with several head coaching candidates
Former NFL/NCAA coaches who have reached out that want to join the league
No Formal offers have been made… yet
Coaches are expected to be announced early in January, after Black Monday in The NFL most likely
“The head coaching hires are the next big step for the league”. The XFL will work with the individual head coaches in targeting premiere quarterbacks for each respective team. The coaches that have reached out are excited about having the dual role of coach/gm.
Luck was asked if $300k per season is really enough for their star quarterbacks. Oliver stated that the league will target practice squad quarterbacks, who are making roughly over $120k/season. He even mentioned veteran backups who have experience in the NFL but have virtually no chance to be a starter. When asked about the CFL and their star group of quarterbacks. Luck stated that some CFL quarterbacks will be on the radar for the league.
“The league has an eye on a handful of quarterbacks from the CFL”. (CFL Free agency begins on February 19th)
Luck feels that the big benefit that the league has, is that they can offer these prospective quarterbacks, the opportunity to be a starter and play 10 games.
Oliver cited what an aid it was for the likes of Kurt Warner, Jon Kitna, Brad Johnson and Jake Delhomme. All QB’s who excelled in NFL Europe, a league that Oliver Luck ran. Luck states that the XFL is looking at young veteran quarterbacks who have 2 or 3 years experience in The NFL.
Luck was asked where The XFL refs are going to come from. He stated the league has a good opportunity because virtually every referee that is in college and the pros has the spring off. Luck when on to say that the league will be hiring 4 officiating crews because they will have 4 games a week.
There will be an extra official for ball spotting, similar to what some colleges are doing. The league wants to have less penalties and that the league will be doing things differently. One of the keys is setting up a standard where the refs are more likely than not, going to keep the flag in their pocket. Only throwing flags for blatant transgressions.
This led into a conversation of how officials have a tendency to throw flags to make up or cover for a poor call on a previous play. Oliver Luck wants to allow a certain amount of hand to hand contact. He feels that flags should only be thrown in blatant situations.
There was a discussion about the rules in the new XFL. Luck mentioned a 30 second play clock specifically. He feels that the league has solved the kickoff issue with their most recent testing. It was funny, the hosts suggested some CFL rules that the league has already tested. There was talk of the 2 point stance rather than a 3 point stance.
Oliver Luck has stated that the league average attendance goal is 20,000 per game. There are certain markets where they feel that will exceed that number. Luck mentions that the league is in the process of scaling the buildings in terms of ticket pricing.
Oliver Luck says that the league is very close to announcing their tv rights package. He went on to say “football fans will be very pleased with The XFL’s broadcast partners”. “Who are both partners that have extensive experience at the highest level of professional football”. “The league is excited about their partnerships”