Hines Ward Gets First Win as Coach of XFL San Antonio Brahmas
Former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has captured his first win as a head coach. Ward’s San Antonio Brahmas of the XFL defeated the Orlando Guardians, 30-12, on Sunday afternoon at Camping World Stadium. Ward got drenched in ice-cold water after his first victory, which he called a total group effort from his guys. It was also the Brahmas first win in franchise history, as they’re now 1-1 on the season.
The Brahmas blew a 15-point lead late and lost to the St. Louis Battlehawks in the opener at the Alamodome last week, but this time around they held on after leading 27-6 at the end of the third quarter.
“We left some meat on the bone last week. We didn’t play a full 60 minute game,” Ward said during his postgame interview. “Felt like we had control last week, but it was a great learning lesson for our team. We learned a lot from it. And I wanted to use that fuel on the fire this week. Just so proud of the players. I watched all the hard work that they put into this.”
Former Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan powered San Antonio’s offense with three touchdowns. Former Denver Broncos first-round pick and Steelers backup quarterback Paxton Lynch continues to be horrendous. Lynch was benched for a second straight week in favor of Deondre Francois, who also struggled to muster anything against San Antonio’s defense. Despite the Guardians’ offensive woes, Lynch did have a touchdown pass to former Steelers wide receiver Eli Rogers.
Paxton Lynch to Eli Rogers for the TD 👀
Tied ball game.
— XFL Stats (@XFL_Stats) February 26, 2023
“On offense, we came out of the gate. Anytime you go on the road and scored in your first dive. That’s what you talk about all the time,” Ward said. “Defense held their own, penalties is kind of how they got the ball throughout the whole game and being able to pick up some yards. And special teams came up big, we got a punt block (that) put us in position to score. Overall, I’m just excited about everybody. … We our going to enjoy this win. Wins are hard to come by.
While Ward was thrilled to get his first win as a head coach, he was more stoked for his players.
“My first win as a head coach, I’m super excited, man. (But) I really care more for the players,” Ward said. “I wanted them to experience (it). I’ve already been to the mountain top, so I know what it feels like. I wanted this one bad for the players because I saw the hard work that they put into it.”
The Brahmas next game is against the Houston Roughnecks on Sunday, March 5 at TDECU Stadium. Kickoff is at 7 p.m and the game will be broadcasted on ESPN2.