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Zorn sizes up Cardale Jones

SEATTLE -- Rain and snow have challenged player toughness at Memorial Stadium this week.

Head coach Jim Zorn is just fine with that, because his Seattle Dragons will need to be tough to bring down their first opposing quarterback this weekend.

Cardale Jones is one of the biggest names in the XFL, and he's one of the reasons fans are tuning in to the first game of the season Saturday.

"Cardale Jones. Tremendous athlete. Really commands the field…Cardale has good presence on the field. He expresses leadership on the field and can really chuck it."

Seattle Dragons head coach Jim Zorn

Seattle travels to DC this weekend for a matchup that kicks off at 2 p.m. ET (11 a.m. back in Seattle) on ABC.

While the Dragons coaches have created healthy position competitions, including at quarterback, the Defenders have been pretty clear on who will start under center. The college star led Ohio State to a national championship, then went on to be drafted by the Buffalo Bills. 

After time with the San Diego Chargers and even a brief stint with the Seattle Seahawks on their practice squad, Jones was announced as the Defenders' quarterback right before October's XFL Draft.

Jones has a style of play different from the Dragons' two passers on the roster.

Brandon Silvers was announced by Zorn as the Seattle starter, and BJ Daniels is expected to also have a role on this offense. Silvers has impressed Zorn with accuracy, and Daniels uses his athleticism to roll out of the pocket and gain yards with his legs. Silvers also likes to move out of the pocket.

Zorn sees a different style when scouting Jones.

A guy like that doesn’t necessarily have to scramble outside the pocket. He’ll move around to find a soft spot. He’ll buy time inside the pocket. His game is inside that pocket. Doesn’t mean he can’t run…but he’d probably rather play from inside and get the ball out.


The Dragons and Defenders met in Houston twice, once for a scrimmage and once for a mock game, so they're familiar with each other.

But Jones didn't play much in either, and didn't reveal much from DC head coach Pep Hamilton's playbook.

Zorn says when you don't have game tape on your opponent, you just focus on what your team does best.

Seattle and DC meet just once in the XFL regular season, and both teams are excited to see if they can be the first team in 2020 to best an opponent and land in the win column.

Follow @xfldragons throughout the opener Saturday at DC, and all season long for highlights, photos, stories and more.