The Orlando Guardians were a professional American football team based in Orlando, Florida, that played in the XFL’s 2020 season. Despite being a relatively new team, the Guardians had a strong start to the season, winning their first game against the Tampa Bay Vipers and quickly establishing themselves as one of the league’s top teams. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Orlando Guardians, their roster, their performance in the XFL, and their potential future in football.
The XFL was a professional football league that was launched in 2020. The league was created as a reboot of the original XFL, which operated for one season in 2001. The 2020 XFL season was set to be a 10-week season featuring eight teams from across the United States.
The Orlando Guardians were owned by the Alpha Entertainment, a company founded by Vince McMahon, the chairman and CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Alpha Entertainment was created specifically to launch the XFL and oversee its operations.
The Guardians were coached by Kevin Gilbride, a former NFL offensive coordinator and head coach. Gilbride was known for his aggressive offensive style and his ability to develop young quarterbacks, making him a natural fit for the Guardians.
The Guardians had a talented roster that included several players with NFL experience. Quarterback Aaron Murray, a former standout at the University of Georgia, was one of the league’s top passers, throwing for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns in five games. Running back Darius Victor provided a strong rushing attack, while wide receiver Jornell Manns was a reliable target for Murray in the passing game.
The Guardians played their home games at Exploria Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium located in downtown Orlando. The stadium has a seating capacity of 25,500 and provided a unique and intimate setting for XFL football.
The XFL suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the future of the league and the Guardians uncertain. However, if the league is able to resume operations in the future, the Guardians could be a strong contender for a championship.
Under Gilbride’s leadership, the Guardians had one of the league’s top offenses, averaging over 20 points per game. Murray was a skilled quarterback who was able to make quick decisions and deliver accurate passes, while Victor provided a strong rushing attack. Manns was a reliable target in the passing game, and the offensive line provided solid protection for Murray.
The Guardians defense struggled at times, allowing an average of over 20 points per game. However, linebacker Terence Garvin was a standout player who recorded 24 tackles and an interception in seven games. Defensive back Ranthony Texada also made an impact, recording 17 tackles and two interceptions in five games.
The Guardians had a solid special teams unit, with kicker Matthew Wright making all nine of his field goal attempts and punter Hunter Niswander averaging over 44 yards per punt.
The Guardians were able to attract a passionate fan base during their brief time in the XFL. Exploria Stadium provided a unique and intimate setting for football, and the Guardians’ strong start to the season generated plenty of excitement among local fans.
The Orlando Guardians provided plenty of excitement for football fans in central Florida during their brief time in the XFL. While the team did not achieve the success they had hoped for, they provided plenty of thrilling moments and showcased the talent of several players who could one day make an impact in the NFL.
If you’re a football fan in Orlando, you won’t want to miss out on any future developments regarding the Guardians and the XFL. Stay tuned for updates and news on the future of this exciting football league.