The XFL’s New York Defenders beat the Tampa Bay Vipers in their first games, but which players made a mark that the Browns should keep an eye on?
The Cleveland Browns are on the lookout for talent. Each league, each player, each moment of football matters if it means finding talent to bolster the roster. The Browns aren’t far from competing from the playoffs, but they need to find talent at a fair price, who fits the roster and who can contribute right away.
That’s partly why the XFL is such a great proving ground for players. They’re thrown into an environment where they need to adjust to a new playbook, new teammates and find a way to win games despite having little prep time to gel as a unit. That type of adaptability is the exact thing the Browns need. They need players who aren’t resting on their name value, and who can adjust to brand new situations.
That’s why these games matter so much. So when the Defenders trounced the Vipers, it mattered for more cities and teams than just the two playing on that Sunday afternoon. These players could transition very easily to the NFL not just as backups, but some could even be starters. So to ignore these games would be a mistake for any real football, or Browns fans.
The Defenders had a great showing defensively, holding the Vipers to only three points the entire game. That doesn’t there wasn’t a Viper who stepped up to show their worth, because there was one, but the Defenders defensive was the story of the game.