Football

USFL Draft: Old School vs. New School

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The NFL and college football have adapted to a new style of pass first, but with the USFL draft having been completed, we may see a completely different USFL than we may have expected coming into the draft.

Let’s talk facts. When it comes to the outdoor game, especially at the top levels of college and pro football, it’s becoming as close to indoor football as you can possibly get on a field of that size. However, with the talent apparently available to the USFL teams in this year’s draft, it may become an old school vs. new school league.

In the NFL, we’re used to much high-paced action. The opposite may be true with how some teams in the USFL may want to try and win. Based on the player distribution we may see some teams try to grind out victories, and we may see old-school run-based attacks. The USFL will have its share of highly potent offenses that can score quickly, though.

The key to success in this league, like all forms of football, is the battle in the trenches. The most successful teams will impose their will on their opponents. (I know what you’re thinking, “Thanks Captain Obvious,” but it’s true.)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 8: Jordan Ta’amu #10 of the St. Louis BattleHawks scrambles during the XFL game against the DC Defenders at Audi Field on March 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shawn Hubbard/XFL via Getty Images)

Two examples come to mind of the variety you will see in the USFL

The Tampa Bay Bandits have Jordan Ta’amu. He poses a dual-threat. He can fling it down the field with ease and accuracy, but he can also run the football. Teams are probably going to have to set a spy on him to keep him in the pocket. With his arm talent, though, the Bandits can push the pace a little bit more.

The New Jersey Generals are going to have to be a ground and pound team, though. Many people think that style can’t work in football today. For the Generals to be successful, they will have to make it work.

They will have to commit to the run, and, then, the long runs will come after wearing out the defense. They will also have to attack with play action to all levels off of the runs.

If you’re hoping for a complete lower-tier version of the NFL, you’re looking in the wrong place. It may not be “as exciting” of a brand of football to watch in some cases. However, you will still get to see the things that make football great: men trying to impose their will on each other, and the strategy on how to do so.

Teams will fail and succeed, and some may do so spectacularly. The coaches in this league should not try to mimic college football and the NFL (or even the CFL). At this level of pro football, it should only be about trying to win in the style that’s best, not trying to keep up with the Joneses.

If ground and pound work, so be it. Do that. If the aerial attack works, do that. It won’t be a league full of air-based attacks, though. So, get ready. It’s going to be fun to watch.

Thanks for reading my article on how the USFL play style might be! For more content follow us on Twitter @generallyjets and @OT_Heroics!

Also, please be sure to check out the OTH Football Podcast on both Spotify and YouTube!

Main Image Credit

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY–JULY 14: Quarterback Chuck Fusina #14 of the Baltimore Stars passes a ball in the Championship Game of the United States Football League (USFL) between the Baltimore Stars vs the Oakland Invaders at Giants Stadium on in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives)

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Michael Pallas is an avid sports fan. He knows and is passionate about many sports, but mostly the NFL. Michael has an associate's degree in Liberal Arts from Saint Leo University. He's been covering the Jets since 2015 for various online sites.

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