Kevin Gilbride returns to the MetLife Stadium sidelines as the Guardians Coach & General Manager.
Professional football is here to stay even after the Super Bowl Champion is crowned. The New York Guardians of the XFL, the region’s newest professional football team, will kickoff on Sunday, February 9 when they play host to the Tampa Bay Vipers at MetLife Stadium. The XFL style of play will reimagine the way football is played and watched thanks to innovative rule changes that will make the game uptempo and action-packed — “less stall, more ball” as described by Commissioner Oliver Luck.
The XFL will also reinvent the fan experience as guests will find themselves closer to the action than ever before. Fans can choose seats right on the field, engage with players, and choose custom fan experience packages that can even bring them into the coach’s post-game press conferences.
“We are giving the fans more of what they want while truly making them part of the action,” said Janet Duch, New York Guardians team president.
The Guardians will be led by Head Coach and General Manager Kevin Gilbride. The two-time Super Bowl winning offensive coordinator for the New York Giants will return to the MetLife sidelines after seven years away from the game.
Returning to coaching did not come without hesitation, but a big part of coming back was the ability to surround himself with people that he trusted.
Joining the Guardians staff will be Gilbride’s former colleagues, Jim Herrmann, former defensive coordinator of the Giants, and Jerald Ingram, former running backs coach for the Giants, who are just as excited to be coaching together again as they are to be a part of Vince McMahon’s football venture.
It’s not just about the startup for Gilbride however, he is looking towards the long game. For Coach and his surrounding staff, it is about building something new and exciting for the love of football and bringing it to a fanbase that he knows is deserving.
The XFL will be implementing new rules to decrease downtime and increase the pace of play. One of these new rules includes a shortened 25-second play clock that Gilbride has had to coordinate and plan around. Guardians quarterback, former Penn State standout and Oakland Raider Matt McGloin, has been integral in incorporating Gilbrides’ offensive philosophy. From run-pass-options to five wide receiver sets, McGloin and Gilbride have already built a solid relationship since starting mini-camp back in early December.
McGloin won’t have a shortage of weapons to throw to as the Guardians selected four wide receivers and two tight ends within the first seven picks of the XFL inaugural draft.
The depth and diversity of the wide receiver position stand out as first-round selection DeAngelo Yancey out of Purdue will man the outside with 6’6” Mekale McKay playing opposite and former Chicago Bears wideout Tanner Gentry occupying the slot. Local boy Jake Powell will travel just a bit north from his time at Monmouth University to play Tight End in Kevin Gilbride’s diverse offense.
Coach Gilbride has stated that a major point of emphasis will be a physical brand of football which shows with the priority that the team has put on the offensive and defensive lines. Former Notre Dame standout and New York Giant Jarron Jones will anchor the line and bring his three years of NFL experience to help keep McGloin clean in the pocket. Jones will be joined by the 2013 Staten Island top lineman, Anthony Coyle, and LSU Butch Duhe Award winner Garrett Brumfield.
With the plan to run a 4-3 defense, the physicality of the Guardians’ front seven will be unmatched throughout the league.
Joey Mbu, Cavon Walker and T.J. Barnes will bring nearly 1000 pounds and a combined 11 years of NFL experience to a defensive line that will occupy blockers, allowing first-round selection and former First-Team All-Big 12 linebacker Ben Heeney free to roam and track the ball. Jamar Summers comes from the Alliance of American Football where he earned a Pro Football Focus grade that ranked him in the top three in the league.
Herrmann will look at Summers to shut down opposing receivers while A.J. Hendy, Dravon Askew-Henry and former Michigan State Spartan defensive captain, Demetrious Cox make up the rest of a secondary that plans to be swarming to the ball on every play.
Fans can come watch Matt McGloin, DeAngelo Yancey and the rest of the Guardians at MetLife Stadium this year beginning on Sunday, Feb. 9, when New York hosts the Tampa Bay Vipers. Lower level season tickets start at $25 per game and season ticket packages range from $125 to $575 per seat while seats with Club access start at $95 per game.
Fans can purchase tickets right now at XFLGuardians.com and ticketmaster.com.