February 27, 2001
STAMFORD, CONN. – The XFL today named Memphis Maniax RB Rashaan
Salaam as its Offensive Player of the Week and New York/New Jersey
Hitmen DE Israel Raybon as its Defensive Player of the Week for
Memphis’ Heisman Trophy winner ignored a torrential downpour and
subsequent terrible field conditions at the L.A. Coliseum to blast
through the Los Angeles defense for 126 yards on 26 carries. The
total included a 21-yard TD run in the second quarter which would
prove to be the game-winning score as the Maniax dropped the Xtreme,
18-12, on Sunday night.
"That weather was the worst
I've ever played in,” Salaam said after the game. “I got used to
the footing as the game went on but I was never able to go at full
speed. The line opened up some great holes for me and I wish I could
have gone full speed because I would have had some really long runs.”
Salaam leads the XFL with 404 rushing yards on the season, and his
4.7 yards-per-carry average is second only to Chicago’s John Avery
For the Hitmen, “Raybo” recorded three sacks and racked up six tackles
as NY/NJ survived a rain-soaked Saturday night at Soldier Field
to shut out the Enforcers, 13-0, for the Hitmen’s first win of the
NY/NJ’s defense was dominating in shutting-out Chicago, holding
the Avery-less team to just 65 total net yards on the day.
“I told (Chicago QB Tim) Lester he was going to be in for a long
night,” said Raybon. “When I sacked him the first time, I said,
‘Remember me. I’ll see you next time you drop back.’”
Raybon is second in the XFL with five sacks on the season and his
21 tackles ranks him 10th in the league in that category.
Runner-up for offensive honors was Las Vegas RB Rod “He Hate Me”
Smart, who helped the transition to new QB Mark Grieb by racking
up 88 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, helping the Outlaws to
a crucial, 16-9 win in San Francisco’s “Hell Hole,” Pac Bell Park.
Smart also banged across from two yards out for a one-point conversion
after Grieb hooked up with Mike Furrey on a 41-yard bomb for Vegas’
Defensive runner-up was Outlaws LB Joseph Tuipala. “Samoan Light”
registered five tackles in Sunday's win over San Francisco. In the
first half, Tuipala twice sacked Demons QB Mike Pawlawski, forcing
fumbles both times that the Outlaws recovered.