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XFL Birmingham Bolts Press Release 4
Press Release 4
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Questions and Answers

Is it real football? How is the XFL different from the NFL? Is it real football? What got you interested in the league? What will be the role of the fans? Is it real football? What are the rule changes? Is it real football?

Since it was announced that Birmingham had been awarded a team in the XFL, there have been questions asked and asked - and answered and answered - but only by Thunderbolts coaches or front office personnel.

Finally, the players themselves are speaking out. With day two of mini-camp in the books Wednesday, a handful Birmingham players offered some answers.

Is It Real Football?
"We put our jocks on the same way the players in the other leagues do. It's still football with 11 people on each side. It will be a tough, aggressive game. There's nothing different about that."
-James Willis, linebacker and a 7-year NFL veteran

How is the XFL Different From the NFL?
"All of the guys here have to love football because we are not making that much. It's good money for the little time we are here, but not that much money. We don't have those big ole' salaries that each individual player works out. Everybody has a base salary and that's the way it should be."
-Nicky Savoie, TE & former New Orleans Saint

"The advantage of this league is that sometimes in the NFL there are some guys who may be overpaid. They may not perform, but they still get their roster spot."
-James Willis, linebacker and a 7-year NFL veteran

"It's still football. We are constantly reminded that it is real football. The way we practice tells you it is going to be real football."
-Ozell Powell, OL and former Washington Redskin

"Any opportunity I have to play football I take it."
-Quinton Reese, former Auburn defensive end

What Got You Interested in the League?
"After seven years in the NFL I had retired. When the pre-season games started coming on TV I started missing the game. I knew off the bat when I heard about the XFL, I had to get into it. I haven't played in front of the hometown fans since college."
-James Willis, linebacker and former Auburn star

"It's exciting for players to get this opportunity. Almost everybody in this league got fired from somewhere else and now they have a new chance to show their talent."
-Nicky Savoie, TE & former New Orleans Saint

On The Fans
"Most football players are winding up their seasons and we are just getting started. That gives the fan that much more football to watch. They have told us it will be different as far as the fans are concerned with cameras and access. None of us have been involved in anything like this. It will be a fun experience."
-Ryan Thomassie, center and former NFL Europe player

On Rule Changes
"It is exciting that the league has brought in a couple of rule changes that brings football back into football."
-Nicky Savoie, TE & former New Orleans Saint

"One thing I have to get used to is receivers getting a running start. That took me by surprise the first time I saw it. I guess I need to get a rule book and check it out."
-James Willis, linebacker and a 7-year NFL veteran

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