Cardale Jones may be the face of this new edition of the XFL. The former Ohio State quarterback had one of the better performances of the first week of the league.
As quarterback for the DC Defenders, the national championship winner was 16-for-26 for 291 yards and two touchdowns. He showed off the impressive arm that wowed so many in the college ranks, and led Ohio State through the 2014 College Football Playoff with big wins over Alabama and Oregon. The Defenders rolled through the Seattle Dragons last Saturday, 31-19.
Ahead of this weekend’s Week 2 game against the New York Guardians, Jones made the rounds on ESPN. The network, along with FOX, which also has broadcast rights, has made a pretty serious push for the new league. On Golic and Wingo Wednesday, he was asked about the difference between the XFL and the NFL, where he spent three seasons with the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Chargers. He says he doesn’t see a major difference, citing the pro experience of many of the league’s players.
“I think it’s pretty much the same… I don’t really see a huge difference other than some of the rule changes,” Cardale said. “When it comes to the athletes at the end of the day, all these guys are pros, we get paid to play professional football. I don’t see a huge falloff.”
When asked about the biggest difference from a rules standpoint, Cardale Jones pointed to the lack of a 15-second cut-off on coaches communicating to players via headset in their helmets. He admitted that he isn’t a huge fan of the change.
“Me, personally? No…I don’t. Coach (Pep) Hamilton is such a great coach and understanding guy… for the most part he lets me go out there and play and operate.”
Obviously, Jones would probably like to get another shot at the NFL. That is probably the goal for most, if not all XFL players, and the league hasn’t tried to push itself as a true alternative to the NFL like it did in its first failed iteration. He says that his main goal, however, is to win a title with the Defenders.
“My goal, personally, is to win a championship here in the XFL with the DC Defenders. And whatever happens after that happens.”
The Defenders host the Guardians at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.