Rams should keep an eye on D.C. Defenders’ Reggie Barlow in UFL

The 2023 XFL Coach of the Year Reggie Barlow makes his return to football as the D.C. Defenders open their season in the new UFL against the Brahmas of San Antonio.

Barlow had himself a year in 2023. The first-year head coach of the Defenders led his team to a 9-1 regular season record and appearance in the XFL title game before he was defeated by the Arlington Renegades. However, his defeat in the final game should not erase the fact that the Defenders had the best regular season record, along with Barlow’s players achieving the XFL Offensive Player of the Year award (Jordan Ta’amu), the XFL rushing yards leader award (Abram Smith), and seven All-XFL selections.

Barlow also has a long history with HBCU programs, spending 13 seasons as a head coach with Alabama State and Virginia State. No stranger to the NFL, the former fourth-round pick played in the league for eight years.

Barlow’s resume speaks for itself. His XFL accolades speak volumes alone but when you add his conference title from Virginia State, his three division titles at Alabama State, and his 92-59 career coaching record, Barlow has proven he belongs with the big boys.

As a coach who has invested a lot in collegiate talent to fill out his roster, Sean McVay also lined his staff with coaches coming from the college ranks. McVay’s 2023 assistant head coach was Jimmy Lake, whom McVay hired after he was fired by the University of Washington. Ironically enough, the current head coach of the Washington Huskies is a former McVay assistant in Jedd Fisch.

Lake is one of many coaches with ties to the collegiate ranks and the Rams so Barlow wouldn’t be a fish out of water. He’s perfect assistant head coaching material and quite frankly, Barlow is an NFL-caliber head coach.

Barlow brings a tremendous amount to the table. An offensive coach by trade, Barlow’s player development skills are top-notch. As an assistant at Alabama State, he coached Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson, a future second-round pick, played 10 years in the league, winning a Super Bowl with Seattle by backing up Russell Wilson.

As head coach at Alabama State, he sent several players to the NFL, including Isaiah Crowell, Terren Jones and Greg Jenkins. Barlow still has strong ties to the HBCU landscape, giving the Rams a bit of insight into the talent-filled market.

Barlow is also a winner. He’s won at all three of his stops and perhaps a new league will give him an opportunity to showcase his skills. A fruitful 2024 should see Barlow take another jump in his career and there’s no reason Los Angeles shouldn’t be in play for the promising head ball coach.

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Rams should keep an eye on D.C. Defenders’ Reggie Barlow in UFL

Author: Brock Vierra

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