The XFL continues its search for football players, and some former NFL players are searching for another chance to play football.
Former NFL tight end Fred Davis (pictured) and former NFL safety Rahim Moore were among those who tried out fo the XFL at a Friday showcase at Long Beach City College in California.
Davis, who last played for the NFL in 2013, flew across the country and arrived just in time for the start of drills.
“Wish I got here earlier,” Davis told Jack Harris of the L.A. Times. “But it feels good to be out here, running around, catching balls.”
Davis made the trip for one simple reason: He wants to play football.
“For me, that’s what it’s really about — having the chance to still be able to play the game you love to play, that you’ve played for a long time,” Davis said. “Even though you take a break off, it doesn’t mean you can’t play it now.”
Davis isn’t sure that the XFL will work, but he welcomes the chance to get to work.
“It is easy to be skeptical, because it’s just now getting started,” Davis said. “You’re fighting the big giant — the NFL.”
Moore agrees with Davis: The goal is simply to play some football.
“It’s still football, you know?” Moore said. “There’s a risk in everything you do. But if you love something, man, just go do it.”
Moore played earlier this year in the Alliance of American Football, which went belly up after only eight of 10 planned regular-season weeks.
“It was a little bittersweet, a little emotional,” Moore said. “Because the group of guys that we had, it was the best team I’ve ever been on, as far as the camaraderie. … It was different.”
The XFL realizes that there’s reason to wonder if the latest spring football league is legitimate.
“They really should be skeptical,” Commissioner Oliver Luck said. “Maybe not cynical, but they should be at least skeptical. So putting an invitation-only thing together with good facilities . . . I think leaves an impression on these young men that, ‘Oh, this league, it is going to be a little bit different.'”
There’s that word again: Different. Whether different is better remains to be seen. For now, different gives guys like Davis and Moore, both of whom have been forgotten by the NFL, an opportunity to play football again. While that may not be enough to sustain spring football, which has consistently failed despite how different anyone tries to make it, it’s enough to attract guys who simply want something the NFL used to give them, but no longer does.