3 Key Points:

  • A.J. McCarron’s return to St. Louis Battlehawks remains uncertain as UFL 2024 approaches.
  • St. Louis Battlehawks bolster lineup with key players from disbanded XFL teams.
  • New UFL season introduces traditional kickoff rules and updated playoff format.

Awaiting McCarron’s Decision

Originally covered by Gregg Palermo for Spectrum News, the St. Louis Battlehawks, transitioning to the United Football League (UFL) after the XFL-USFL merger, face a pivotal moment before training camp in Arlington, Texas, starting February 23. Fans and team management eagerly await the decision of quarterback A.J. McCarron on his return.

McCarron’s Impact and Future

Head Coach Anthony Becht, gearing up for his second season, spoke about McCarron’s impact and the anticipation surrounding his decision: “The original goal for AJ was to talk him into this opportunity, let him know how this could give him a nice platform and potentially get him where he wants to be, and he just had to come out, bet on himself and go do it. Well, we checked all those boxes for him, he was able to have a great year, we had a really good team and he achieved all his goals so I think for me, everyone on this roster’s trying to be that, trying to be that guy,” Becht said. McCarron’s performance last season, marked by leading the league in passer rating and touchdowns, makes his return a crucial factor for the team’s success.

Strengthening the Roster

The Battlehawks have strategically strengthened their roster by acquiring former Seattle Sea Dragon receivers Jahcour Pearson and Blake Jackson, alongside defensive stalwarts Mykael Wright, Qwynnterrio Cole, and Chris Payton-Jones. Becht expressed his satisfaction with these acquisitions: “We got every player that we studied and looked at and thought that would fit us. We feel great about it. We’ve just improved in so many areas that I’m really excited to see what it looks like come the end of February.”

League and Gameplay Updates

The UFL is setting a new course, differentiating from the XFL’s innovative approach to kickoffs. This season, kickoffs will align with traditional college and NFL styles. The playoff format too has been revised for a more inclusive approach, as Becht explained: “It may work out that first and second place teams make it but I think last year where there was so much unknown, maybe overlooking that factor obviously it hurt us because having the second-best record but not getting in…it was a tough pill to swallow so from what I’ve been told…this year moving forward, divisional winners best next two teams and I think that’s the right way to go.”

Looking Forward to Training

As the Battlehawks and their fans look forward to the upcoming UFL season, there’s a mix of anticipation and optimism. Coach Becht’s comments reflect a readiness to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the new season, with or without McCarron. The team’s preparations in Arlington and the season kickoff on March 30 are marked dates for everyone involved in the league.

author avatar
Mark Perry Editor
Mark Perry, a devoted sports journalist and founder of UFL News Hub, has been a key figure in XFL, USFL and UFL coverage since 2018.

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