As the eight XFL teams prepares to play their first games this weekend, there’s a ninth team that will be watching. In lieu of having practice squads on each franchise, the XFL has an entire practice team, one that will consist of players who are ready to be called up to one of the actual teams when needed.
Bart Andrus will coach Number Nine, and the biggest name on the roster belongs to Joe Callahan. An NFL journeymen who once was second-string option in Green Bay, the Seattle Dragons drafted Callahan and released him on January 22. He’ll have 38 teammates (no others ring a bell) and they’ll focus on being physically and mentally ready to go, with Bart Andrus serving as their coach.
Number Nine has no kickers, punters, or other specialists. (Sorry, Internet son.)
The team will be based in Arlington, practicing at Globe Life Park and sharing some facilities with the Dallas Renegades.
“Guys that are on Team 9 roster today, probably a quarter of them will end up starting multiple games in the XFL this season,” XFL director of scouting Eric Galko said in an article on the league’s website. “Their dreams aren’t close to being dead.”
But their dreams definitely linger in the lowest level of purgatory, since all of these players want to eventually make it to the NFL. For the guys on Number Nine, their careers are as close to being where many still think Paul McCartney has been for more than 50 years.