Vipers set roster for season opener
The Tampa Bay Vipers have reduced their roster to the 52 players that will open the season Sunday February 9th in New York against the New York Guardians.
The Vipers are the new XFL team and will play 10 games, five on the road and five at Raymond James Stadium.
Head coach Marc Trestman who will also handle the offense has a lot of talent at his disposable and that starts with Aaron Murray at quarterback.
Murray who played his high school ball at Plant High and then starred in college at Georgia will start at quarterback for the Vipers.
Taylor Cornelius, and former USF star Quinton Flowers also made the 52 man roster at quarterback. Flowers will also get a chance at running back for the Vipers joining starter De’Veon Smith, Jacques Patrick, and Mack Brown.
With only three running backs listed on the roster, Flowers is certain to see some carries. And without a marquee back, it looks as if the Vipers may go with a running back by committee approach similar to a what the Bucs did with Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones till one back established themselves as the go to guy.
The Vipers have as many wide receivers on the roster as any team in the league led by Stacy Coley, Seantavious Jones, and Jalen Tolliver.
Former Florida Gator Antonio Calloway was picked up by the Vipers toward the end of training camp, but was placed on IR due to a lower leg injury suffered at practice.
At tight end, the Vipers will put one of the best in the league on the field in Nick Truesdall, He will be joined by Deandre Goolsby and Colin Thompson.
The Vipers have a lot of offensive firepower and should have one of the best offenses in the league.
Former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville will run the defense and this defense struggled in scrimmages against Seattle and Houston during training camp.
CeCe Jefferson former Gators standout will anchor the defensive line joining Deiontrez Mount, Bobby Richardson, and Jason Neil.
The Vipers also will have only have four linebackers on the roster led by Terrance Plummer and Emmanuel Beal.
Eleven of the 19 defensive players will be defensive backs, as this is expected to be a pass heavy league with the emphasis on teams having a high octane offense.
This part of the roster is broken down into safeties, cornerbacks, and defensive backs which is a hybrid position between the two.
Robert Priestley, Micah Hannemann, Bryce Canady, Jalen Collins, Shelton Lewis, and Rannell Hall will anchor the defensive backfield.
With the low numbers of defensive lineman and linebackers, it is expected that the Vipers may run a defense with three down linemen, two linebackers, and six defensive backs.
Every single XFL game will be televised on national TV. The league will have two games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
ABC, FOX, ESPN and FS1 will televise the XFL.
Fox 13 here in Tampa will have the Vipers opener on Sunday against the New York Guardians with kickoff at 2 PM.