Tampa Bay Bandits vs Pittsburgh Maulers Prediction, 4/17/2022 USFL Picks, Best Bets & Odds
Tampa Bay Bandits at Pittsburgh Maulers
The Tampa Bay Bandits will go up against the Pittsburgh Maulers on Sunday, April 17, 2022, at 8:00 PM EST on FS1 and fuboTV.
Tampa Bay Bandits
The Tampa Bay Bandits will be led by Todd Haley after taking a break from head coaching since 2011. Haley does have head coaching experience in the NFL when he was at the helm of the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009 to 2011. he went 19-26 over the course of two and a half seasons when he was let go during his third season as head coach. He'll be looking for a "redo" in the USFL and will look for help from his quarterback, Jordan Ta'amu.
Ta'amu spent a lot of time on practice squads in the NFL but played well in the XFL in 2020 before it was shut down. Ta'amu had a reputation of not being able to process high level defenses and that's why he never got a real crack at the NFL. However, his athleticism is good enough to make a lot of plays, so he should be an impact player in the USFL.
The Bandits have some talented players on this squad including a pair of receivers. Eli Rogers is one player with NFL experience and was on the Steelers from 2015 to 2018. In 2016 he racked up almost 600 yards and tallied 3 touchdowns. Derrick Willes is another player who should make an impact and played for the Cleveland Browns in 2018.
Sitting at the head of the Tampa Bay Bandits is first time head coach, Kirby Wilson. After being a positional coach for many years, Wilson will get his first crack and leading a squad and he's ready for it. He's spent time on the 1997 staff of the New England Patriots with Pete Carroll and then spent every other year as a running backs coach for a team in the NFL. It's time he got a shot and Wilson is ready.
The Maulers took Kyle Lauletta with their first pick of the draft at the 7th pick. Back in 2018, Lauletta was a fourth-round pick by the New York Giants out of Richmond. Unlike a lot of the QB's in this league, Lauletta played in 2 games for the Giants, but he went 0-for-5 and threw one pick. However, he did play better in the preseason and threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns against the Browns and Jaguars. That being said, Pittsburgh brought in Josh Love to create some competition.
What coach Kirby Wilson does know are running backs. The Maulers drafted Garrett Groshek and De'Veon Smith. They both should be a large part of this offense. Groshek played QB in high school but was converted to a running back when he went to Madison to play for the Wisconsin Badgers. Smith went undrafted in 2017 and played for the Michigan Wolverines in college. He played in a few games for the Miami Dolphins that same year and caught 3 passes for 27 yards. He had more success in the AAF and will be a large part of the offense for the Maulers.
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The Tampa Bay Bandits remaining schedule:
Week 2 - Sunday, April 24 - New Orleans Breakers
Week 3 - Saturday, April 30 - at Houston Gamblers
Week 4 - Sunday, May 8 - at Birmingham Stallions
Week 5 - Sunday, May 15 - Michigan Panthers
Week 6 - Sunday, May 22 - at Philadelphia Stars
Week 7 - Sunday, May 29 - New Jersey Generals
Week 8 - Sunday, June 5 - Houston Gamblers
Week 9 - Sunday, June 12 - at New Orleans Breakers
Week 10 - Sunday, June 19 - Birmingham Stallions
The Pittsburgh Maulers remaining schedule:
Week 2 - Saturday, April 23 - at Philadelphia Stars
Week 3 - Sunday, May 1 - at Michigan Panthers
Week 4 - Sunday, May 8 - New Jersey Generals
Week 5 - Sunday, May 15 - at Houston Gamblers
Week 6 - Sunday, May 22 - at New Orleans Breakers
Week 7 - Sunday, May 29 - Birmingham Stallions
Week 8 - Sunday, June 5 - at New Jersey Generals
Week 9 - Sunday, June 12 - Philadelphia Stars
Week 10 - Sunday, June 19 - Michigan Panthers
Josh's Pick: We like Tampa Bay in the matchup.
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