HOUSTON — With the same offseason trainer and quarterback coach, both Brandon Silvers and AJ McCarron had Sunday’s Week 7 XFL game between the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis Battlehawks …
HOUSTON — With the same offseason trainer and quarterback coach, both Brandon Silvers and AJ McCarron had Sunday’s Week 7 XFL game between the Houston Roughnecks and St. Louis Battlehawks circled on the calendar for when Mobile and Baldwin County representatives would compete against each other on a professional gridiron.
However, an arm injury left Silvers sidelined and McCarron shined in the duel against Cole McDonald with three touchdown passes to help visiting St. Louis emerge victoriously 24-15 and move to 5-2. Houston fell to 4-3 after an undefeated start.
While the pair of quarterbacks certainly discussed the game this offseason, McCarron said it didn’t enter the realm of trash talk.
“I try not to ever really smack talk. It's all love,” McCarron said after the game. “I root everybody on from my city because it's hard to make it out of our city. So, I wish everybody the best from Mobile.”
Silvers said with the two different-styled offenses the respective teams were running, they weren’t exactly working on the same techniques at Quarterback Country in Mobile.
“We were different, he's in a pro-style type offense, I'm in the Run N' Shoot so we have two totally different styles of playing so it wasn't really too much smack talk,” Silvers said.
Lower Alabama quarterbacks relish chance to rep hometowns
But in the buildup, both were excited to square off against each other and put on for their respective hometowns.
“Always representing Orange Beach and the 251 area, but Orange Beach is my home,” Silvers said. “He represents Mobile from his high school days in the 251 so just being out (here is awesome).”
“I love it, I've always taken a lot of pride in being from Mobile and trying to make the people there proud,” McCarron said. “That city's helped make me the man I am today, and I appreciate all the support that I get from there.”
Silvers hoped there might be a chance they get their duel in San Antonio at the XFL Championship on May 13, but said the Roughnecks would need to turn things around after a quick three-game skid. However, Houston still held the first-place spot in the South Division after Week 7 with the Arlington Renegades (3-4), San Antonio Brahmas (2-5) and Orlando Guardians (1-6) trailing.
With now a second win in a row, McCarron and the Battlehawks remained in second place in the North Division behind only the D.C. Defenders (6-1). St. Louis enters Week 8 tied with the Seattle Sea Dragons (5-2) who are both well above the Vegas Vipers (2-5).
McCarron shares priceless moments with children, family
McCarron has previously said he passed up a higher salary playing in the NFL and instead returned to the professional ranks with the third iteration of the XFL to create some precious moments with his sons, and plenty other family members, before and after the game.
“It's awesome. It's such a blessing,” McCarron said Sunday. “It's what I came back and played in the XFL for, to be able to create these memories. It's just something special that money can't buy.”
Silvers, who has family in the Houston area and has had members at each game so far, agreed it’s always special to have familiar faces in the crowd.
“It's always good to see family, not too bad of a fly or drive every weekend,” Silvers said. “It was good, obviously, they wanted to see me play so we'll just have to get healthy and get back at it.”
McCarron, too, hoped to manifest those conversations on the backfields of Quarterback Country leading up to the season but is grateful to watch Silvers play from within the same league nonetheless.
“He's just an awesome dude. He has a good time and I love having him around,” McCarron said of Silvers. “Super proud of him and always continuing to fight and persevere through his adversity and he's been playing well. Wish he had a chance to play today but it was good to see him and hopefully he's back next week healthy.”
The Battlehawks are set to open the Week 8 slate with a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday at home against the Vegas Vipers and the Roughnecks will travel to San Antonio for a 3 p.m. kickoff Sunday against the Brahmas.