Updated: Mar 1
Through two weeks of XFL football action, the Saint Louis Battlehawks are 2-0 and are coming off back-to-back thrilling comeback victories. While the highs of of winning both games have been fun and exciting for fans, we've seen a lot of poor performance and questionable coaching decisions for the majority of both contests.
To preface, no one is calling for head coach Anthony Becht's job here. He's only two games into his head coaching career with the Battlehawks and everyone from the players to staff are still adjusting to what is a brand new league.
That being said. Becht was an interesting hire to begin with. When you look around the XFL, there are some pretty big names as coaches around the league such as Wade Phillips and Bob Stoops. Becht, a former NFL tight end, didn't have any head coaching experience at the professional level before taking the Saint Louis job. Before that, he was a tight end's coach for the AAF's San Diego Fleet. That's it as far as his coaching experience at the professional level. All in all, he was a big unknown as far as head coaches go.
Being that Becht is a former tight end, we can assume he's an offensive-minded coach, but the Battlehawks have failed to score more than 20 points in both games and their defense has carried them through two games by forcing several turnovers. So, the stagnant offense besides late in the fourth quarter in both games has been rather frustrating.
For example, there was a sequence in last Thursday's game against Seattle where the Battlehawks possessed the ball on offense essentially four times consecutively and only came up with three points. They had the ball at the end of the first half, took a sack that took them out of field goal range, got the ball to start the second half, did nothing, got the ball back after a muffed punt return, missed a field goal, got the ball again on another off another turnover and then finally(!) scored three points.
Some blame goes on the players sure, but the offensive play calling and execution can be a direct reflection of the coaching. There have also been plenty of questionable decisions such as deciding to kick a 50-yard field goal with kicker Donny Hageman right before the Dragons took an 18-17 lead. Hageman had been less than stellar leading up to that and kickers in the XFL aren't very reliable in general so you just have to know your team better in that situation. A 50 yard kick us too big of a risk and allowed the Dragons to take over on a short field.
Nonetheless, the Battlehawks are 2-0, and you could say the team is pretty resilient which can also be credited to the head coach. Becht, has been a winner so far and you can't argue that. It will be interesting to see how he progresses going forward and if he proves to be the right man for the job.