Skip to content

Jones likes what he sees in new rules

HOUSTON -- Houston Roughnecks head coach June Jones can’t help but crack a smile when discussing the rules and gameplay innovations debuting in the XFL this season.

The wheels have been turning in his head, as well as the coaches on his staff.

“I like them, and I think that fans are going to like them, too,” Jones said after Monday’s training camp practice at TDECU Stadium. “You’re going to see a lot of different things on the conversion play. The overtime I like, also. We’ve also created kickoff return and punt return possibilities with those rules.”

Those new wrinkles were announced Tuesday, as the XFL formally unveiled the results of an 18-month research and development process leading to “less stall and more ball.” The league’s eight teams have already been practicing under the new rules with XFL Opening Weekend fast approaching on Feb. 8-9. 

The extensive data-gathering process encompassed input and ideas from a variety of experts, including current and former football coaches, players, officials, broadcasters, medical professionals and sports industry experts.

More than 6,000 football fans nationwide were also surveyed. The XFL has tested these rules and gameplay options under game conditions over the last year.

'Two or three' thoughts on that

One of the proposed rules that’s received considerable media interest is being able to throw multiple forward passes on one play.

Junes, long recognized for his offensive innovations and unique perspective to moving the ball, should have a field day coming up with something new. 

“The double-pass stuff, we’ve got two or three thoughts on that,” he said. “I guarantee that everybody is going to have their mind open and that’s going to happen on every team.

“We’ve been dreaming up things. It’s been pretty fun as a coach.” 

QB room on Day 2

As for the second day of camp, Jones said the Roughnecks are in a good spot. Players in helmets and shoulder pads continue to go through the install of formations and concepts that started with minicamp last month.

“We’ve got a lot in the last two days,” Jones said. “We’re looking at guys, evaluating, kinda getting the offense in, but all in all, we got a lot of production.” 

The quarterback competition between Connor Cook and Phillip Walker appears lively, as both are getting equal reps in practice. Jones is also high on recently signed signal caller Marcus McDade.

“We’ve got three guys that can throw the ball,” Jones said. “We get them plugged in to what we’re doing, I think that they’re going to do fine.”