USFL 2022: What to watch for in Stars vs. Breakers

USFL 2022: What to watch for in Stars vs. Breakers

Apr 14

By RJ Young
FOX Sports Writer

As the inaugural United States Football League gets under way, I am breaking down things I look forward to seeing from each of the four Week 1 matchups. 

Coming up this weekend is a contest between Bart Andrus' Philadelphia Stars and Larry Fedora's New Orleans Breakers, which will be played on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on USA.

(For the rest of the Week 1 matchups, go here.)

Philadelphia Stars: The dark horse to win the USFL title? 

The Stars are best positioned to begin the season firing on all cylinders. Head coach Bart Andrus and quarterback Bryan Scott worked with each other in The Spring League and are undefeated as a tandem.  

Scott, who is positioned to become a breakout star in this league, is surrounded by players he knows and who know him from his time in The Spring League.

"I can see that he has the talent, the ability," Andrus said. "All the things that I'm looking for in a quarterback, he has. This is going to be a great stage for him to show everybody exactly what he’s about."

Scott’s connection with tight end Bug Howard could become as entertaining to watch as Patrick Mahomes’ connection with Travis Kelce. Playing for Fedora at North Carolina, Howard caught 124 passes for 1,770 yards in three years. As a senior, he caught 53 passes for 827 yards in 2016. 

Andrus also put together a coaching staff filled with men who know how to coach, practice and plan in a league such as the USFL — i.e. with a limited roster, limited training camp and in close quarters with opponents. When I watched them practice last week at Legion Field, I was struck by just how cleanly their practices flowed and how in control of the offense Scott was.

New Orleans Breakers: How does Fedora’s offense look? 

Breakers coach Larry Fedora has a reputation for running single-back, no-huddle offenses that look to score on every play. But when practice ended last week at Bobby Bowden Stadium at Samford University — where Bowden, the legendary head coach, was an All-American quarterback and coach — Fedora was putting former Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon and North Carolina legend T.J. Logan through punt-catching practice. 

The moment stood out to me. In the humidity and heat after practice finished, not only were players continuing to get in some work, but the head coach was still working, too.

The Breakers began putting in their offensive and defensive schemes almost immediately after the supplemental draft ended last month, so they could hit training camp running. Like the Philadelphia Stars, they have a chance to begin the season on a high note. 

Kyle Sloter is projected to start at quarterback and will be the first to break a huddle for a Larry Fedora offense with Noel Mazzone calling plays as offensive coordinator. Fedora told me he hadn’t been in a huddle since 1996.  

"He's the type of quarterback we wanted," Fedora said of Sloter. "He’s a big guy that can pull the ball. He’s very athletic. He can run. He's a guy that processes very, very quickly. And that is so important and what we want to do on offense."