The XFL will be training players and keeping them in shape as part of what they are calling Team 9. It is if an unfortunate injury may occur, and a spot will be needed to be filled quickly. We reported on the XFL’s Team 9 three months ago, but we now have more details.
XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck was in attendance at a recent XFL Summer Showcase event and revealed more about the unique concept called Team 9. There will be a team of 35-40 players covering all positions that a football team requires. Teams Nines sole purpose is keeping players trained and in shape if a player from an active roster suffers an unfortunate injury, which would then mean that a player from Team 9 will replace that injured player.
Essentially, it is like a pool of players ready to step in anytime an injury occurs. This prevents picking up players from literally anywhere and everywhere without that player having the proper training or experience, which could hurt the team or the league even more.
Per Pro Football Talk, below is what XFL Commissioner Oliver Luck had to say about the unique concept:
“What we want to try to avoid is our teams having to sign players off the street,” Luck said. “Example, Dez Bryant signed with the Saints this past NFL season, the first ten minutes of . . . that particular practice he tears an Achilles [tendon]. And so we want to avoid that. That’s quite honestly a costly Workers’ Compensation claim, so we want to have a group of guys that will be based in Dallas who basically are staying in shape. . . . We think that because of our 25-second play clock our game is going to require quite honestly a little bit better conditioning than what some of these guys may be used to in the NFL or the CFL. So it’s important that these guys are in shape, and it’s hard to stay in football shape on your own. That’s been one of my beliefs. You need to be around others.”
This special team is a fantastic opportunity for all those players in Team 9 as this could be their big shot and chance at being discovered. The potential of even playing in the XFL full time somewhere down the line keeps their hopes open.
Team 9 is an excellent strategy and a great innovation that the XFL can use. The originals of the idea came from Oliver Lucks experience running NFL Europe, where they implemented a similar player pool process.
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