The XFL is off and running, and there’s plenty to be excited about. From new rules to trick plays to players puking on the field, the buzz surrounding the reboot football league continues to grow by the day. However, one bad performance can apparently cost an assistant coach his job.
A day after the Los Angeles Wildcats lost to the Houston Roughnecks, general manager and head coach Winston Moss fired defensive coordinator Pepper Johnson. Giving up 37 points to an XFL team in the opening weekend was apparently too much to overcome.
The Wildcats have not named a replacement yet.
XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats Fire DC Pepper Johnson
The XFL has initially proven to be a success and it’s clear Wildcats head coach and general manager Winston Moss isn’t messing around. When he saw quarterback P.J. Walker toss several touchdown passes against his defense, enough was enough.
“We recognize that there are issues we need to address for the 2020 season. While these decisions are difficult, we have given this significant thought. We are here to put the best possible product on the field for our fans. We thank Pepper for his contributions to the Wildcats and we are looking forward to our home opener this weekend.”
Johnson was certainly bounce back, too. The former NFL linebacker has been around the game his entire adult life. He won two Super Bowls playing for the New York Giants. He earned three more rings as an assistant coach under Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots. Johnson, a second-round pick in the 1986 NFL Draft, has also been the defensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, and Memphis Express of the defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF).
For now, though, the XFL’s Wildcats are moving on without their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach after just one game.
XFL Week 1 Results
D.C. Defenders 31, Seattle Dragons 19
Houston Roughnecks 37, Los Angeles Wildcats 17,
New York Guardians 23, Tampa Bay Vipers 3
St. Louis BattleHawks 15, Dallas Renegades 9