Guardians’ Gilbride: ‘I’m very proud of the defense’

The New York Guardians (3-2) will face the Houston Roughnecks (5-0) on Saturday, March 14 at 2PM EST at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.

The Guardians won their first game on the road and improved to 3-2 on the season behind a stellar team performance. New York beat the Dallas Renegades 30-12 in front of more than 15,000 in Globe Life Park in Arlington. Luis Perez led the Guardian offense with 229 yards on 16 completions as well as one touchdown, an 80-yard bomb to Colby Pearson. The Guardians combined for more than 100 rushing yards for the 2nd straight week including 58 from Darius Victor and 41 from Justin Stockton.

On Stockton’s performance, Head Coach Kevin Gilbride said: “Justin is a terrific runner and he does give us a little change of pace. He certainly does give us some things in the passing game as well. We threw one to him but it’s something we know we can utilize even more than we did. We’re glad we have him and he stepped up big for us tonight. That’s an area that I think we can continue to expand upon.”

The defense was lead by a two-sack effort by Cavon Walker, extending his league lead, as well as interceptions by Toby Johnson and Ryan Mueller. Mueller’s interception came as he deflected a pass to himself, caught the batted ball and returned the interception for a touchdown.

“I think our defense has played well most of the games. They had fallen upon some slack times in terms of our red-zone defense over the last few weeks but they did outstandingly this time in that area,” said Gilbride. “The good thing is, the offense holds on to the ball which keeps it at a minimum, the time that the defense has to be on the field. Its great complimentary football and that’s what we’re looking to do

“I’m very proud of the defense, but I’m very proud of the entire team because I think the style of play that we employ right now will give us a chance week in and week out against some of the teams that have very explosive offenses. Hopefully, we will minimize the number of chances we have to defend on defense, the number of chances they get offensively.”

Gilbride on Guardians: ‘There was foolish penalties, stupid penalties, and just too many errors to win a football game’

The New York Guardians are struggling right now, and for the second straight week, they were routed on the road. In front of nearly 30,000 in St. Louis, the BattleHawks (2-1) prevailed 29-9.

Because of a rib injury, Guardians QB Matt McGloin was forced to miss the second half. Before the injury, McGloin was not great(8/11, 84 yards. 1 interception). He would be replaced by both Marquise Williams and Luis Perez.

It was a sloppy performance by the Guardians, which their head coach Kevin Gilbride acknowledged after the game.

“Our guys played hard, but we didn’t play smart, and you can’t win football games when you played like we did, and make as many mistakes as we did,” Gilbride said. “There was foolish penalties, stupid penalties, and just too many errors to win a football game against a good football team, and I told our team that. I was very disappointed.

“There were areas that we showed improvement, and I was pleased with that, but again, you can’t beat your opponent and yourself at the same time, and we did that too often.”

New York has to get their offense going. In the last two weeks, the Guardians have averaged 9.0 points per game, which is not winning football. Fortunately for the Guardians, they get to return home to face the Los Angeles Wildcats (1-2) on Saturday, which will hopefully give this team some confidence after getting blown out the last two weeks on the road. 

Guardians’ Gilbride blames himself for his team’s Week 2 loss against D.C.

What a difference a week makes for the New York Guardians. In their season-opening 23-3 victory against Tampa Bay at MetLife Stadium, they got a strong performance from QB Matt McGloin and big-time play from their defense.

However, on Saturday at Audi Field, the Guardians(1-1) were held scoreless in their Week 2 matchup against the D.C. Defenders and would lose 27-0. The Defenders(2-0) were led by QB Cardale Jones, who threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns.

One of the great things about the XFL is the access, and when a player is happy, sad, or frustrated, it will be on full display, which was the case with McGloin, who completed only 8 of his 19 passes for 44 yards and two interceptions. Before halftime, an angry McGloin had this to say to ESPN’S Dianna Russini


McGloin, who played for the Raiders in the NFL, would eventually be replaced by backup QB Marquise Williams in the fourth quarter. 

As bad as McGloin and the Guardians’ offense was on Saturday, according to Guardians head coach Kevin Gilbride, New York’s loss was his fault.

“I’m disappointed with how we played, and I told the team, ‘that’s on me,'” Gilbride said after the game. 

Obviously, this is the nature of sports. Players get frustrated, and they say things, but most of the time, the fans don’t hear it. McGloin probably said a little more than he wanted to in this game, but in the heat of the moment, stuff happens. You wonder how much this will impact the team moving forward. However, this a long season, and New York has to find a way to bounce back next week when they visit St. Louis in the BattleHawks’ home-opener. 

Photo: XFL