XFL will look to increase pace of play, says Seattle head coach Jim Zorn
Former Seahawks quarterback and coach Jim Zorn is preparing to head up Seattle’s XFL team in 2020. Before he does, he stopped in on KIRO Nights to talk about the future of the new football league, and what fans can expect come next year.
Zorn is the third head coach to be announced; longtime Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will oversee XFL Dallas, while Pep Hamilton will oversee the XFL’s Washington, D.C. team. For Zorn — serving in a dual role as head coach and general manager — the hope is to have the league act as a second chance for players who maybe didn’t get a fair shake the first time around.
“I think this XFL is going to be a tremendous opportunity for young players that have been cast off or just haven’t developed as quickly as they wanted to, and I think it’s a chance for coaches to impact those players and help them to elevate,” he told KIRO Radio’s Gee Scott.
And while Seattle’s team doesn’t have colors, a name, or a practice facility yet, there’s plenty to be excited about for the league’s inaugural season in 2020. That includes proposals for new rules that will help push the pace of play in games.
“I think the whole idea is to get this clock running, and not have as much time between plays,” described Zorn.
The breadth of rules to accomplish that goal have yet to be completely sussed out, but at the very least, there’s a good chance the XFL will employ ball spotters, a duty that typically falls to on-field referees in the NFL.
“Officials won’t have to worry about the ball,” he said. “The ball spotter is interesting to me because once that guy puts the ball down you can go. It’s going to create some problems for defenses to get themselves ready for that next play.”
Additionally, coaching staffs will be limited to just 10 people, making for some tough decisions for Zorn and his XFL counterparts. In the NFL, staffs have anywhere from 14 to almost 30 coaches at any given time, each focusing on a highly specialized facet of the game.
Zorn is still no stranger to 10-coach staffs, though.
“Back in the 70s, we only had 10 coaches on the Seahawks staff when we first started,” he pointed out.
It’s unclear when Seattle’s team will be named, but fans in one of the most vibrant football cities in the country are standing by to find out.