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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oliver Luck has noted that there is a gra

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Los Angeles (ap) — Oliver Luck Has Noted That There Is A Gra - Sport

full of tombstones for spring professional football leagues going back more than 40 years.That graveyard filled a plot two months ago when the Alliance of American Football folded eight weeks into its inaugural season 2019 Dre Greenlaw Jersey , but the XFL commissioner thinks lessons learned from other leagues have already come in handy with a reboot of the XFL less than nine months away from kicking off.“We recognize it is a challenge. Spring football has seen a number of failed ventures over the years,” Luck said. “You need a solid business plan, capital commitments, good partners across the board and time. We’re in a pretty good position to come out of the gates stronger.”The XFL’s first games on Feb. 8, 2020, will come more than two years after Vince McMahon announced in January of 2018 that he was bringing the league back. Besides time, McMahon has given the league plenty of resources.McMahon has invested nearly $400 million in the XFL with three sales of his shares in World Wrestling Entertainment the past 16 months. He made his biggest investment on March 27, selling 3.2 million shares that were worth approximately $272 million.The last version of the XFL in 2001 was a joint venture between WWE and NBC. McMahon has started a separate company — Alpha Entertainment — to operate XFL 2.0.While McMahon was the face of the league the first time around, he has let others run with the ball during this launch. When the eight teams were announced last December, McMahon gave a short set of remarks before handing the rest of the proceedings to Luck, who has an established history as a sports executive.Luck came to the XFL from an executive leadership position at the NCAA. He previously was West Virginia’s athletic director, helped launch Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and was NFL Europe’s president.“That’s a purposeful and intentional decision,” Luck said of McMahon. “When I first started talking to Vince, which was almost a year ago, he made it very clear that he was running WWE and wanted a football face out there.”Even with McMahon’s stock sales, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing shows that he still holds stock that represents approximately 80.1% of WWE’s total voting power.Earlier this week the XFL announced multiyear contracts with Fox and ESPN to televise games which came on the heels of a deal with Elevate Sports Ventures to manage ticket sales. The San Francisco 49ers are one of Elevate’s stakeholders.Only two AAF teams were in NFL markets, whereas St. Louis is the only XFL team in a market that doesn’t have an NFL team. Los Angeles and New York, which had XFL teams the first time around, are back and are joined by Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington.Jeffrey Pollack, the XFL’s president and chief operating officer, said being in established football markets is the smart thing to do. Pollack also added that he could envision it being around $100 for a family of four to attend a game.“In its most fundamental form, being able to go to a game is part of having more access. It is also about the gameday experience, what our broadcast partners do and our digital content,” he said.With kickoff less than nine months away, coaches have been named in all but one city and team presidents are in place in four markets. Coaches include Bob Stoops in Dallas, Marc Trestman in Tampa and Jim Zorn in Seattle.Coaches are also their own general manager, which was an important selling point for Winston Moss, who was named Los Angeles’ coach on Tuesday.“I’m going to shop, cook them and serve them up,” Moss said.The league has already done some rules experiments with a spring league in Austin, Texas, and will have another development session later this spring in California. Luck said there is an emphasis on a crisper pace to games, but didn’t reveal much more about proposed changes.One thing that Luck did admit though is that there will be kickoffs in the XFL, which the Alliance did not have. Possessions in the AAF started at the 25 yard line following a score.“We are trying to address issues that fans have stated, like missing the kickoff return. We want to layer deeper and make safer but still keep it in the game,” he said.Luck said the league will start signing players next month with mini camps starting in November. Luck added that the biggest focus will be on finding talented quarterbacks, which he felt the AAF struggled at doing.“When I looked at their strategy of paying everybody the same they underpaid at the top of their roster and overpaid at the bottom quite honestly,” he said. “They had mediocre, I would say pedestrian quarterbacks at best and part of it was not willing to put more on the table. There are very good, young quarterbacks available. We can do a more selective job at the top of our roster and get better players.”While the league has already checked a lot off its to-do list, there still is plenty to go in the remaining nine months. First impressions are vital, but Pollack also said getting a foundation built for the long haul is just as important.“We’ve got a big lift. Success can not be measured in a season or two, but we feel good about our prospects,” he said. “The ingredients are there. We feel good about where we are headed.”FOX Fantasy AutoForm a Racing Team, Compete for PrizesPlay Now! The Senior Bowl is not about the game at the end of the week. Instead, the Senior Bowl is a chance for teams to get 1-on-1 time with players and see them in a team environment throughout the week of practice. How players respond to coaching, how they fare in meetings, and how they acclimate to the rise in competition during drills is the foundation of the event. That being said, the week of practices only offers so much, and many of the drills can be set up for one side of the ball to win. Additionally, some positions such as linebacker and running back can have a difficult time standing out given the nature of the practices. However, the game itself can provide a look at some players that practices either could not give or may have skewed one way or the other. The rules are watered down to make the game more of a simulation than a true scrimmage, but there is value in an 11-on-11 game setting, nonetheless. Front FourThis is a chance to get a good look at edge rusher’s pure 1-video station-1 ability in a real game environment. Because the rules are so limited, edge rushers pretty much have to attack their opposing tackle and simply beat their man. In drills throughout the week, edge rushers can get away with longer reps that look like wins, but would have realistically taken too long to generate pressure. In the game, guys will not be able to get away with that. With that dynamic in mind Dre Greenlaw San Francisco 49ers Jersey , look for Montez Sweat (Mississippi State) to steal the show. Sweat has a more well-rounded game than anyone here. Sweat’s long-armed speed to power play style is his calling card, but Sweat can set offensive linemen up and work them back inside. Sweat will be able to adjust on the fly and keep tackles honest, and he will surely show the speed to close if he breaks free from his opposing lineman. Where this game setting could be interesting is for someone like Charles Omenihu (Texas). Off the snap, Omenihu is a terror. His 6-foot-6, 275 pound frame flies off the ball like a much lighter player would, but after that, Omenihu does not provide a whole lot. It can take Omenihu forever to get around the edge once he’s gotten to the turning point, and he does not really have the ballerina feet to redirect consistently with countermoves. Watching how offensive tackles adjust to Omenihu’s style and keep him in check will be worthwhile. Conversely, a player such as Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech) could show out in this setting. With pass protections being fairly simple and edge rushers likely getting a number of clean 1-video station-1 looks, Ferguson’s savvy hand usage and timing could be the right recipe to give some of these tackles the business. With such little time for linemen to prepare for a pass rusher with many approaches, Ferguson could constantly mix up his approach and really throw these offensive tackles for a loop. LinebackersTe’Von Coney (Notre Dame) needs to finish the week by proving he can survive in coverage at game speed. A questionable coverage piece at Notre Dame, Coney had a surprisingly good week out in space in Mobile. He could keep up with guys down the boundary and did not surrender too much space in zone coverages. That said, a game speed environment as opposed to practices could pose a different threat to Coney. If he can finish out the week strong with a good coverage showing in Saturday’s game, he may be able to quell concerns about his coverage for some teams. To mention another star linebacker here, Germaine Pratt (North Carolina State) is worth paying attention to, especially for the 49ers. Fred Warner is more of the hard-nosed, between the tackles player for the 49ers, but Pratt could be the right pairing next to Warner to give the corps some speed. Saturday’s game gives the best run game looks over any of the practice sessions and Pratt needs to shine in those situations to prove he can win between the tackles well enough, even if his real value is in space and in coverage. David Long (West Virginia) falls into a similar category as Pratt, albeit not nearly the same caliber of player. Long is a fast, space-reliant player who can struggle to win between the tackles and get his hands dirty at times. Throughout the week of practices, Long was not much of a factor versus the run, so a good showing on Saturday could give his reputation a small bump. Two others to keep an eye on due to their versatility are Gerri Green (Mississippi State) and Ben Banogu (TCU). Both guys will be moved all around the field in the NFL, as they were during this week’s practice, and will need unique roles. They are jack-of-all-trades type players. Unfortunately, a one-off game with limited reps and restrictions on schematic creativity may not be the best environment for these guys. If they can flash anything of note, it will be a good day for them. Defensive BacksFor whatever reason, Nasir Adderley did not get very many chances during the week of practice to show what he is best at: covering ground in the back end. Adderley is a fantastic athlete as a center-fielding safety, but he was primarily asked to cover down low and play in man coverage during the week. It could be the case that they wanted to see if his ability to do so in the FCS could translate to doing so versus NFL talent, but hardly getting looks at his best traits feels like a missed opportunity for everyone involved. Look for Adderley to get more chances as a deeper safety during the game. The other versatile guy to keep an eye on is Darnell Savage (Maryland). The 49ers are in desperate need of a new nickel and Savage is really one of the only capable guys in Mobile who can play that role. Tracking how many snaps he gets there and how well he handles it versus the likes of Andy Isabella, Deebo Samuel, and others could be of value. As far as cornerbacks go, the usual suspects of Isaiah Johnson (Houston) and Rock Ya-Sin (Temple) will likely have impressive showings on the outside, but some of the more unheralded guys from the week of practice need to have a good day. The likes of Sheldrick Redwine (Miami, FL) and Jordan Brown (South Dakota State) need to make up for their up and down week of practice. The sneaky performer to watch is Jimmy Moreland (James Madison). Moreland was not quite as impressive as some of his peers throughout the week, but flashed more than enough closing speed and length to contest catch points that he boosted his status. Outside of the aforementioned Johnson and Ya-Sin, it should be Moreland who makes a name for himself on Saturday and puts up a battle with some of the larger receivers at the event. Which Senior Bowl Players Can The 49ers Go AfterAs far as the first round goes, Sweat is really the only option. The 49ers should not want to take Sweat at second overall, but if they can trade out of the position toward the 8-12 range, possibly with the Denver Broncos or Cincinnati Bengals, Sweat could be the move. If Leonard Floyd can go in that range, it would be no surprise if Sweat did the same. If Robert Saleh’s interview with Tom Pelissero is any indication, moving back and grabbing Sweat is absolutely on the table. Day Two is where the 49ers really have their options. Ferguson is likely their best bet at the top of the second round in regards to pass rushers, but they could also target someone like Carl Granderson (Wyoming) in the third round if they want to pair him with a true pass rusher like Sweat. The 49ers do not want to go after any of these 280-or-so pound players such as Zach Allen or LJ Collier, even if they may be fine players. That just is not the type of player they need or should be going for. The secondary is where everything opens up for the 49ers on Day 2. Given how high the 49ers are picking in the first round and the likelihood of available pass rushers in that spot, the second and third rounds are where the 49ers need to retool the secondary. Lengthier cornerbacks such as Johnson and Ya-Sin should be the targets. Both players can bump-and-run and command the boundary the way Saleh seems to want to do. Though guys like Ballentine and Boyd can play that style, it is more likely that Saleh favors the taller, more defined cornerbacks who will be available earlier. However, the conundrum the 49ers may have is that Pratt is their best Day Two fit as a linebacker next to Warner, but if they go after him, fixing the secondary might be trickier than they are hoping for. In all honesty, for as good as Pratt may be, cornerbacks are more valuable than linebackers. The 49ers have proven before that they will prioritize great linebacker play, but this secondary needs so much help that they may need to be disciplined in fixing the secondary this spring. Day Three of the draft should be the “just take athletes” day. With only two Day Three picks, the 49ers do not really have the volume of picks to try to pinpoint players and take specific chances. They may be best off taking good athletes at positions of need, especially on the edge. As Justis Mosqueda’s Force Players model has proven, plus-athlete pass rushers typically outproduce their less athletic peers, and given Day Three picks are mostly a shot in the dark anyway, teams are better off just taking the guys who test well athletically. Once the NFL Combine is wrapped up, the 49ers will get a better idea of exactly who those athletes are.

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Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:23 pm