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Much like the San Antonio Brahmas in the XFL conference, the Memphis Showboats organization survived, but things will look a little different in 2024 than they did in 2023. While the name and branding stay, HC Todd Haley, OC Bob Saunders, and the rest of the Showboats’ staff was replaced by former New Orleans Breakers HC John DeFilippo and his OC Doug Martin. Bringing over a dozen players from his 2023 Breakers squad, this is essentially a two-team mashup heading into the 2024 season.

DeFilippo spent many seasons in the NFL, dating back to 2005 where he occupied various roles such as QB coach, offensive coordinator, and passing-game coordinator before taking over as the Breakers’ head man in 2023. With the Breakers, DeFilippo fired off a healthy 64.8% situation-neutral pass rate while utilizing 4- or 3-WR sets on 59.1% of his offensive snaps. With his former QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson back in the CFL, DeFilippo brought in former Philadelphia Stars signal-caller Case Cookus to orchestrate his 2024 offense. Under center for a team that dropped back at a blistering 68.0% clip in 2023, Cookus is no stranger to pass-first offenses and should feel right at home with DeFilippo calling the shots.

Last season, Cookus was a short-area maven, completing 64.2% of his passes for a paltry 6.6 yards per attempt and a 4.8-yard aDOT. While much of that blame falls on Cookus’ shoulders, offensive line woes certainly didn’t help, as the Stars allowed a league-high 22 sacks in five games, good for a 10.1% sack rate. While we should see a reduced 2024 sack rate, the low-aDOT passing attack may be here to stay, as Bethel-Thompson posted an equally low 4.5-yard aDOT on 204 dropbacks in DeFilippo’s offense last year.

Of the eight receivers currently on the Showboats’ roster, three were part of DeFilippo’s 2023 offense in New Orleans and three were retained from the Showboats’ 2023 roster with another two being added during the dispersal draft.

Jonathan Adams may be the biggest name of the bunch, as the spring football veteran has found plenty of success during his two-year stint with the Breakers. During that span, he’s posted a 72/917/5 receiving line, most recently as one of New Orleans’ perimeter receivers under DeFilippo. Last year, he ran a route on 93.9% of tracked dropbacks and earned a 19.0% target share to go along with a 17.3% Air Yards share.

Dee Anderson joins Adams in Memphis as one of the receivers featured in New Orleans’ offense last year. During the three games we tracked where Anderson was active, he ran a route on 67.2% of dropbacks, earning a 22.4% target share. Like Adams, a majority of his routes (87.2%) came on the perimeter.

Lee Morris rounds out the trio of Breakers to switch homes. Morris ran a route on just 43.6% of dropbacks, 69.4% of which came from the slot. He should contend with Memphis veterans Rashard Davis and Vinny Papale for slot snaps. Davis ran a route on 68.4% of dropbacks last season, 91.3% of which came inside.

Ryan McDaniel is the one perimeter receiver who was retained from last year’s offense. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound wideout ran a route on 65.1% of dropbacks last season, 97.8% of which came on the perimeter. He managed a 16.8% target share but easily led the team in Air Yards share (25.1%) as the primary downfield threat.

A familiar duo finds a new home in Memphis, as the former New Jersey Generals tandem of Darius Victor and Trey Williams joined the Showboats via the dispersal draft. The 5-foot-8, 210-pound Victor has become something of a spring football legend, amassing a 227/1,128/13 rushing line over two seasons within one of the league’s most prolific rushing attacks before it was dissolved. While this Showboats offense will look quite different than the Generals he was once a part of, we did see DeFilippo commit to one running back last season, as Wes Hills left him almost no option. Hills handled 75.6% of the team’s rushing attempts, notching 130/578/8 while handling 87.9% of the carries after Week 1. Hills also showed well as a receiver, running a route on 44.8% of dropbacks, snagging a 22.6% target share. That role is more likely to be filled by Williams, but Victor is no stranger to being deployed as a receiver either, having racked up 34 receptions in his two USFL seasons.