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USFL’s playoff coaches face dilemma in Week 10: How much to show?


As we enter the tenth and last week of the USFL’s common season, the postseason area is already set.

And as a result of all playoff video games will likely be held in the impartial website of Canton, Ohio, there isn’t any home-field benefit left to play for. Even the seeding of the 4 groups has been set. Here is the schedule:

Semifinals: Saturday, June 25

Philadelphia Stars vs. New Jersey Generals: 3 p.m. ET on FOX.

New Orleans Breakers vs. Birmingham Stallions: 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

The winners will then play in the USFL Championship Game on Sunday, July 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX. Tickets for the USFL playoffs and championship video games are on sale at United States Football League (USFL) (hofvillage.com).

Related: USFL playoffs are set: Everything to know on Generals-Stars, Stallions-Breakers

While it is easy to get excited for the playoffs, there are nonetheless 4 regular-season video games left to play this weekend, together with three of the playoff groups in motion on Saturday — Generals vs. Stars, and Stallions vs. Tampa Bay Bandits. On Sunday, the Breakers wrap up their common season towards the Houston Gamblers, whereas the Michigan Panthers and Pittsburgh Maulers battle in the one contest not involving a postseason squad.

Interestingly, the league has added a wrinkle to the principles to improve the significance of that Panthers-Maulers contest. The winner between the 1-8 groups will likely be rewarded with the primary decide in each spherical of the 2023 draft.

As far because the video games involving playoff groups in Week 10, nevertheless, there is not much up for grabs. With that in thoughts, how do coaches method the sport? Do they relaxation starters? Do they trim their playbook?

Those concepts may make sense, however for Stallions coach Skip Holtz, it is going to be enterprise as typical.

“We’re making an attempt to win,” he mentioned. “That’s what we wish to do. We need to win. And that’s how we’re going to method it.”

Breakers coach Larry Fedora echoed that sentiment, saying: “We need to win the soccer sport. It’s so simple as that. We’re going to put 11 guys on the market that need to win the soccer sport, on each aspect of the ball.”

For the Stars and Generals, issues are a bit extra difficult. As the highest two groups in the North Division, they meet in the semifinals on June 25. But additionally they meet on Saturday. How do Stars coach Bart Andrus and Generals coach Mike Riley steadiness ensuring their gamers are sharp with out revealing too much to their postseason foe?

“I haven’t made a dedication as to how we’re going to deal with it,” Andrus mentioned. “Playing a staff back-to-back, I’ve acquired expertise doing that earlier than.”

Andrus mentioned that each he and Riley acquired a style of their present state of affairs whereas teaching in the Canadian Football League. Teams play one another extra continuously in the CFL, which has solely 9 groups (the USFL has eight).

“You play groups 5 occasions up there as a result of for a very long time they solely had eight groups,” Andrus mentioned. “So, you play everyone in your division a minimum of 3 times, and everyone outdoors of your division a minimum of twice.

“I used to be simply speaking to one among our assistants, Marcel Bellefeuille,” Andrus continued. “And he was the top coach at Hamilton once I was at Toronto. And we performed one another 5 occasions in one yr, and a few them have been back-to-back, too.”

The different issue in play is that USFL groups carry solely 40 gamers on their game-day rosters, in contrast to 53 gamers on NFL rosters. So it isn’t so easy to simply relaxation your starters forward of the playoffs.

It will likely be attention-grabbing to see the way it performs out this weekend, and definitely value trying out how the playoff coaches deal with issues forward of the playoffs.

“It’s simply one thing you’ve to do,” Andrus mentioned. “It will likely be enjoyable.” 


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