Panthers' PJ Walker says the XFL was 'real football,' praises league for giving players opportunities

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P.J. Walker was one of the best quarterbacks in the XFL and was poised to lead the Houston Roughnecks to the championship before the season was cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Walker, who is now a member of the Carolina Panthers, touted the doomed league in an article for The Players’ Tribune on Friday. He wrote that the XFL was “real football.”

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“The new league that I played in was still owned by Vince McMahon, but there was nothing pro wrestling about it. It was real football,” Walker wrote, saying that most people equated the new XFL with the old. “Most XFL teams were really, really good. No gimmicks. No controversies. And I felt like the longer the season would’ve gone the better the league would have gotten — more intense, more competitive.”

He said the new league gave guys real opportunities.

“Beyond that, though, the best thing about the new XFL was that it gave the guys who are on the fringes of pro football the opportunity to go out there and play and show what they can do. There are so many great, talented players on NFL rosters that the league just isn’t big enough for everybody to play. And that’s a shame.

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“The XFL was important to so many guys. It’s hard to single out names because I don’t want to leave anybody out — because there are just a lot. If the season had gone on, most of them would definitely be getting their chances to play in the NFL. I believe that. I mean, some of them already are.”

Walker led the Roughnecks to a 5-0 record before the league shut down.

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As soon as XFL players were allowed to sign with NFL teams, he joined the Panthers. He will be backing up Teddy Bridgewater during the 2020 season.