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Orlando Renegades

The Orlando Renegades were a professional American football team that played in Orlando, Florida, in the United States Football League (USFL) for a single season in 1985. Before its season in Orlando, the franchise played in Washington, D.C., as the Washington Federals for two seasons, in 1983 and 1984.

Orlando Renegades
Orlando Renegades helmet Orlando Renegades logo
Founded1983
Folded1986
Relocated1985
Based inWashington, D.C. (1983–1984)
Orlando, Florida (1985)
United States
Home fieldRFK Stadium (1983–1984)
Florida Citrus Bowl (1985)
LeagueUSFL
ConferenceEastern Conference (1984–1985)
DivisionAtlantic Division (1983–1984)
Team HistoryWashington Federals (1983–1984)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colorsNavy Blue, Red, White               
Head coaches1983–1984 Ray Jauch (4–15)
1984 Dick Bielski (3–14)
1985 Lee Corso (5–13)
USFL Championships0
Conference championships0
Division championships0

The franchise was the worst in the USFL in terms of both game play – a combined record of 7-22-0[1] – and attendance during its two seasons in Washington,[1] prompting the move to Orlando. In Orlando, attendance was better and the team's performance on the field began to improve over the course of the season despite a 5–13 record, but the USFL folded before the team could play a second season in Orlando.

Contents

In WashingtonEdit

Washington Federals
   
Founded1983
Relocated1985 Orlando
Based inWashington, D.C.
Home fieldRFK Stadium
LeagueUSFL
Team HistoryWashington Federals (1983–84)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colorsKelly Green, Black, Silver, White
                   
Head coaches1983-4 Ray Jauch (4–15)
1984 Dick Bielski (3–14)
Owner(s)1983-4 Berl Bernhard

Creation of the franchiseEdit

United States Football League founder Donald Dixon was a strong proponent of a USFL franchise in Washington, D.C.,[1] and insisted on one despite the dominance of the National Football League′s Washington Redskins in the Washington market.[1] Real estate magnate Marvin Warner originally was slated to own the Federals, but when the USFL announced it was fielding a team in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama – the team which became the Birmingham Stallions – Warner opted to take that franchise instead. The USFL then turned to prominent Washington attorney Berl Bernhard. He stood atop a murky ownership structure. Bernhard was majority owner of Capital City Sports Management, a limited partnership which in turn owned the limited partnership that held the franchise, Washington Football Partners. In turn, Washington Limited Partnership was itself operated by three corporations.[2][1] Washington Football Partners was organized on August 20, 1982, in the District of Columbia, with Bernhard's Capital City Sports Management as the general partner.[1] The Federals played in Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Financial projections submitted to potential investors in Washington Football Partners, Ltd., foresaw the Federals losing $1.12 million during the 1983 season, with anticipated revenues of $4.13 million – including $2.6 million in ticket sales – and expenses of just over $5.25 million. Federals ticket sales before the USFL′s first season were disappointing, and after the Redskins won Super Bowl XVII on January 30, 1983 – their first NFL championship since 1942 – only 36 days before the Federals′ first game, Federals tickets sales dried up almost completely.[1]

1983 seasonEdit

The team lured Ray Jauch to be its head coach; he had previously guided the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers to success in the Canadian Football League. At the time he was the fourth-winningest coach in CFL history. The Federals initially made a splash by signing running back Craig James, one half of the famous "Pony Express" backfield at SMU.

More than any other team in the league, the Federals seemed dogged by inconsistency, bad timing, and terrible luck. A week before the season even began, their player personnel expert bolted to the NFL's New York Jets. The team changed quarterbacks almost weekly, with in-game quarterback changes in a number of games. Jauch's biggest mistake was probably giving the opening day starter, NFL veteran Kim McQuilken, the quick hook for rookie quarterback Mike Hohensee. From there the team never seemed to settle in with a quarterback for more than a few games in a row, and when McQuilken did play, he often pressed, forcing his throws into coverage. The team alternated between McQuilken and Hohensee, with occasional appearances by former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback "Jefferson Street" Joe Gilliam, who was far past his prime; he had last played a meaningful professional down in 1975, and he only threw for 673 yards. The only other quarterback on the team was rookie Mike Forslund, who never played.

Injuries also dogged the team. James was sidelined for five games with a fractured vertebra. Hohensee only played in nine games all season. At one point, all of the Federals′ receivers had leg injuries. The Federals had good linebackers in Joe Harris, Dan Lloyd, and Jeff McIntyre, who was Washington's best outside linebacker and could cover receivers downfield and stop the run. McIntyre lead the team in tackles and sacks until an ankle injury sidelined him for the final six games.

The first game in franchise history was a portent of things to come; the Federals were drilled at RFK Stadium 28–7 by the Chicago Blitz, the preseason title favorites coached by former Washington Redskins coach George Allen. The game was played on March 6, 1983. The Blitz, led by former Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts quarterback Greg Landry, raced out to a 28–0 lead. The Blitz held Washington to only one first down and a mere 24 yards total offense in the first half; Chicago led 21–0 before the Federals even recorded a second first down. By that time, Landry had hit 15 of his first 17 pass attempts, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Trumaine Johnson. McQuilken had a horrible debut as the Federals quarterback, and was replaced by back-up Hohensee; Hohensee accounted for the Federals only score, a 19-yard pass to Walker Lee.

The next week went even worse for Washington, as quarterback Hohensee, James, and wide receiver Reggie Smith all were injured. McQuilken could only muster three points of offense, while throwing two more interceptions.

In Week 3, the Federals led the Boston Breakers 16–9 with less than five minutes to go in regulation. However, two bad snaps on special teams led to a 19–16 loss.

Playing at home in Week 4, the Federals finally got a victory. They managed to defeat the Michigan Panthers, one of the better teams in the USFL and the eventual 1983 league champions. The Panthers were led by future NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, and wide receiver Anthony Carter, one of the fastest players in the league. Federals quarterback Kim McQuilken had one of his better games, completing 24 of 48 passes and throwing for 324 yards. He threw three touchdown passes and gave up only one interception, by Panthers linebacker Robert Pennywell; it led to a game-tying score on a pass from Hebert to Derek Holloway. The game went into overtime, during which Washington won on a 22-yard pass from McQuilken to Joey Walters.

In Week 6, the Federals led the Arizona Wranglers 21–16, only to have a potential game-sealing drive stall on the Wranglers′ 2-yard-line. The Wranglers' first play from scrimmage after that was a 98-yard touchdown pass — the longest in USFL history.

The Federals saved their best game for last in the 1983 season, playing at home against the Philadelphia Stars. The Stars, who entered the game with a record of 15–2, were a dominant team who had crushed Washington 34–3 earlier in the season. At first, it seemed like it was going to be another blow-out loss for the Federals, who entered the game with a record of 3–14. The Stars, led by all-league quarterback Chuck Fusina, built a 14–0 lead in the first half, but McQuilken hit Stan Rome with a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut Philadelphia′s lead to 14–6 at halftime. In the second half, Federals rookie linebacker Mike Corvino helped stop two late Stars drives with a sack and an interception. Former New York Giants running back Billy Taylor got in on the scoring for Washington with a six-yard run in the third quarter, and the Federals added two points on the conversation. McQuilken scored his first touchdown as a pro with a one-yard run for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter. Lane had his best day ever as a professional, catching 17 passes for 170 yards, and the Federals shocked the league by defeating the Stars 21–14.

The Federals finished with a record of 4–14, in last place in the USFL′s Atlantic Division and tied with the Arizona Wranglers – against whom they finished 1–1–0 for the year – for the worst record in the league. The only USFL all-star on the team was reserve running back Eric Robinson, whose kickoff return for touchdown vs. the Tampa Bay Bandits at RFK Stadium was the only kickoff return for a touchdown in the USFL in 1983.

Despite initial fears at the season's start that they had little going for them other than James[2] – who rushed for 823 yards during the season[1] – the Federals were far more competitive in 1983 than their 4–14 record indicated. Eight of their losses were by a touchdown or less. They had a fair amount of offensive talent and skill players with comparatively good depth, and they finished the season third in the league in passing attempts.[1] The Federals had pulled off an upset win over the Atlantic Division champion Philadelphia Stars to complete the season and had defeated both teams – Philadelphia and Michigan – who played in the 1983 USFL championship game. In spite of a tremendous number of on-field mistakes, the Federals might have been almost a .500 team — and perhaps even a 12–6 team — with just a few lucky breaks. The Federals had started the season 1–13, but they had a strong finish going 3–1 in the last four games, and tt appeared that the Federals had finally learned how to turn a close game into a win. The franchise had grounds for optimism as it considered its proespects for its second season in 1984.

The Federals′ marketing efforts were crippled by the Redskins' Super Bowl victory only 36 days before the Federals′ first game.[1] Washington-area fans largely viewed the Federals with indifference, and the Federals averaged only 13,800 fans per game in 1983 in a 56,000-seat stadium. Revenue from ticket sales amounted to no more than a third of the $2.6 million projected before the season.[1]

1983 Washington Federals schedule and resultsEdit

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Regular Season
1 Sunday March 6, 1983 Chicago Blitz RFK Stadium 38,007 ABC 7–28 L 0–1
2 Monday March 14, 1983 at Los Angeles Express Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum 22,453 ESPN 3–20 L 0–2
3 Sunday March 20, 1983 at Boston Breakers Nickerson Field 18,430 16–19 L 0–3
4 Sunday March 27, 1983 Michigan Panthers RFK Stadium 11,404 22–16 OT W 1–3
5 Sunday April 3, 1983 at Philadelphia Stars Veterans Stadium 14,576 ABC 3–34 L 1–4
6 Monday April 11, 1983 Arizona Wranglers RFK Stadium 13,936 ESPN 21–22 L 1–5
7 Sunday April 17, 1983 at New Jersey Generals Giants Stadium 35,381 ABC 22–23 L 1–6
8 Sunday April 24, 1983 Tampa Bay Bandits RFK Stadium 9,070 23–30 L 1–7
9 Sunday May 1, 1983 Birmingham Stallions RFK Stadium 12,818 3–35 L 1–8
10 Sunday May 8, 1983 at Chicago Blitz Soldier Field 11,300 3–31 L 1–9
11 Monday May 16, 1983 at Oakland Invaders Oakland-Alameda Coliseum 25,900 27–34 L 1–10
12 Sunday May 22, 1983 Boston Breakers RFK Stadium 7,303 14–21 L 1–11
13 Sunday May 29, 1983 New Jersey Generals RFK Stadium 11,264 29–32 L 1–12
14 Friday June 3, 1983 at Denver Gold Mile High Stadium 40,671 12–24 L 1–13
15 Saturday June 11, 1983 at Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 16,656 18–11 W 2–13
16 Monday June 20, 1983 at Michigan Panthers Pontiac Silverdome 26,418 ESPN 25–27 L 2–14
17 Sunday June 26, 1983 Los Angeles Express RFK Stadium 9,792 28–21 W 3–14
18 Sunday July 3, 1983 Philadelphia Stars RFK Stadium 11,039 21–14 W 4–14

Sources[3][4][5]

1983 Washington Federals statisticsEdit

Passing
No. Name Pos. GP/GS Comp. Attm. Yards Long Comp% TD's INTs SKDs Lost
11 McQUILKEN, Kim QB 11/9 188 344 1,912 55 56.3 7 14 24 222
9 HOHENSEE, Mike QB 9/7 92 190 1,296 80 48.4 9 7 12 102
10 GILLIAM, Joe QB 4/2 40 102 673 52 39.2 5 11 2 18
Rushing
No. Name Pos. GP/GS Carr. Yards Avg. Long TD's
32 JAMES, Craig RB 14/14 201 823 4.1 24 5
38 TAYLOR, Billy FB 15/13 172 763 4.4 34 5
23 BLEDSOE, Curtis RB 6/0 26 133 5.1 31 0
39 MAYBERRY, James FB 17/6 41 114 2.8 11 2
40 ROBINSON, Eric RB 16/3 49 97 2.0 8 0
9 HOHENSEE, Mike QB 9/7 19 73 3.8 19 0
11 McQUILKEN, Kim QB 11/9 13 9 0.7 7 1
35 CLAITT, Ricky FB 4/0 1 1 1.0 1 0
22 HARDEMAN, Buddy FB 4/0 3 −3 −1.0 4 0
10 GILLIAM, Joe QB 4/2 3 −6 −2.0 4 0
3 MOORE, Dana P/K 15/1 1 −8 −8.0 −8 0
Receiving
No. Name Pos. GP/GS Rec. Yards Avg. Long TD's
38 TAYLOR, Billy FB 15/13 64 523 8.2 55 2
87 WALTERS, Joey WR 16/15 63 959 15.2 42 6
32 JAMES, Craig RB 14/14 40 342 8.6 52 2
84 HOLMES, Mike WR 11/10 35 654 18.7 80 7
82 HARRIS, Mike WR 14/6 26 441 17.0 42 2
40 ROBINSON, Eric RB 16/3 18 172 9.6 20 0
22 HARDEMAN, Buddy RB 4/0 18 114 6.3 16 0
89 ROME, Stan WR 4/1 12 157 13.1 26 1
81 KINNEY, Vince WR 12/0 7 120 17.1 30 0
80 SMITH, Reggie WR 2/2 6 87 14.5 22 0
39 MAYBERRY, James FB 17/6 5 14 2.8 6 0
83 ROGUSKY, Vince TE 10/6 4 47 11.8 20 0
88 POSTELL, Jeff WR 7/1 4 32 8.0 9 0
23 BLEDSOE, Curtis RB 6/0 4 25 6.3 8 0
86 CHISLEY, Charles WR 6/2 3 47 15.7 30 0
85 DIGGS, Bubba TE 12/4 3 19 6.3 8 0
82 LEE, Walker WR 1/0 2 32 16.0 19 1
35 CLAITT, Ricky FB 4/0 2 27 13.5 14 0
89 WALL, William TE 3/2 2 20 10.0 11 0
89 SAMUELS, Tony TE 4/3 1 30 30.0 30 0
83 BROWN, Marc WR 2/1 1 18 18.0 18 0
57 LOIA, Tony C 9/6 0 2 --- 2 0
Kickoff Returns
No. Name Pos. GP/GS KORs Yards Avg. Long TD's
40 ROBINSON, Eric RB 16/3 21 609 29.0 94 1
44 GUESS, Mike FS 17/12 22 486 22.1 55 0
82 HARRIS, Mike WR 14/6 15 365 24.3 71 0
23 BLEDSOE, Curtis RB 6/0 7 109 15.6 31 0
80 SMITH, Reggie WR 2/2 5 81 16.2 31 0
33 GIAMMONA, Louie RB 1/0 3 66 22.0 24 0
51 MULLER, Mike LB 6/3 2 34 17.0 19 0
58 CORVINO, Mike LB 18/7 3 31 10.3 13 0
87 WALTERS, Joey WR 16/15 1 20 20.0 20 0
35 CLAITT, Ricky FB 4/0 1 13 13.0 13 0
54 McLAIN, Kevin LB 6/5 1 12 12.0 12 0
43 HURST, Mike SS 16/0 1 4 4.0 4 0
54 SHUPYRT, Bob LB 7/4 1 3 3.0 3 0

1983 Washington Federals rosterEdit

(Games Played/Games Started in parenthesis), Height, Weight, Age, College, 83 USFL Stats

1. ARIRI, Obed K (4/0), 5.08, 170, 27, Clemson, 3/7 FGs, 3/5 PATs, 12 pts

1. OLSON, Ken K (2/0), 5.11, 190, 24, Salisbury State, 0/1 FGs, 3/4 PATs, 3 pts

1. CASTRO, Dale K (3/0), 6.01, 197, 24, Maryland, 3/6 FGs, 2/3 PATs, 11 pts

3. HOFFMAN, Steve P (3/0), 6.00, 185, 25, Dickinson College, 15 punts/542 yds, 36.1 avg, 49 lng

3. MOORE, Dana P/K (15/0), 5.11, 180, 22, Mississippi State, 86 punts/3,480 yds, 40.5 avg, 60 lng, 1/3 FGs, 3 pts

6. VITIELLO, Sandro K (6/0), 6.02, 197, 25, Massachusetts, 10/17 FGs, 14/17 PATs, 44 pts

7. FORSLUND, Mike QB (IA/16G), 6.04, 194, 23, Liberty Baptist

9. HOHENSEE, Mike QB (9/7), 5.11, 197, 22, Minnesota, 92/199 comp, 1,296 yds, 9 TDs, 7 INTs, 19 car, 73 yds

10. GILLIAM, Joe QB (4/2), 6.03, 186, 33, Tennessee State, 40/102 comp, 673 yds, 5 TDs, 11 INTs, 3 car, −6 yds

11. McQUILKEN, Kim QB (11/9), 6.02, 203, 32, Lehigh, 188/334 comp, 56.3%, 1,912 yds, 7 TDs, 14 INTs, 13 car, 9 yds, 1 TD

14. GARRITY, Chris QB (DNP/3G), 6.01, 190, 23, William & Mary

20. BURRELL, Don SS (IA-8G), 6.01, 198, 27, Mississippi State

20. JACKSON, Victor FS (1/0), 6.00, 189, 20, Washington

21. GREENE, Doug FS (18/18), 6.02, 205, 27, Texas A&M-Kingsville, 108 tkl/48 ast, 1 fumb rec, 9 INTs/121 yds/1 TD

22. HARDEMAN, Buddy RB/PR (5/0), 6.00, 196, 29, Iowa State, 3 car/-3 yds, 18 rec, 114 yds, 5 pr, 42 yds

23. BLEDSOE, Curtis RB (6/0), 5.11, 216, 26, San Diego State, 26 car/133 yds, 4 rec/25 yds

24. HOLLEY, Willie CB (17/4), 5.10, 180, 26, East Carolina, 29 tkl/15 ast, 1 fumb rec

26. HARRIS, Donnie FS (7/6), 6.02, 185, 29, Rutgers, 25 tkl/24 ast, 1.0 sack, 1 INT/0 yds

28. BUTLER, Gregg RCB (18/14), 5.10, 170, 31, Howard University, 39 tkl/8 ast, 1 fumb rec, 2 INTs/25 yds

32. JAMES, Craig RB (14/14), 6.00, 215, 22, Southern Methodist, 201 car/823 yds/5 TDs; 40 rec/342 yds/2 TDs

33. GIAMMONA, Louie RB/KR (1/0), 5.09, 180, 30, Utah State, 3 kor/66 yds/0 TD

33. WATSON, Anthony FS (6/0), 6.01, 200, 24, New Mexico State, 1 tkl/1 ast

35. SANFORD, Mark FB (DNP/2G), 6.01, 213, 35, Virginia

35. CLAITT, Ricky FB (4/0), 5.10, 206, 26, Bethune-Cookman, 1 car/1yd; 2 rec/27 yds; 1 kor/13 yds

36. BROWN, Jeff LCB (18/18), 6.01, 170, 22, Liberty Baptist, 73 tkl/14 ast, 1 forc fumb, 6 INTs/47 yds

38. TAYLOR, Billy FB (15/13), 6.00, 215, 27, Texas Tech, 172 car/763 yds/5 TDs; 64 rec/523 yds/2 TDs

39. MAYBERRY, James FB (17/6), 5.11, 210, 26, Colorado, 41 car/114 yds/2 TDs; 5 rec/14 yds

40. ROBINSON, Eric RB/KR (16/3), 5.08, 188, 23, Indiana St., 21 kor/609 yds/1 TD; 24 pr/171 yds/7.1 avg; 49 car./97 yds;18 rec/172 yds

43. HURST, Mike SS (16/0), 5.11, 203, 23, Cincinnati, 15 tkl/3 ast

44. GUESS, Mike FS (17/12), 5.11, 188, 25, Ohio State, 79 tkl/31 ast, 2 fumb rec, 5 INTs/49 yds

50. BAXLEY, Ed MLB (14/10), 6.02, 226, 24, South Carolina, 29 tkl/17 ast

51. ZUPANCIC, John RLB (3/2), 6.00, 220, 23, Miami-Ohio, 6 tlk/6 ast

51. LLOYD, Dan LB (4/0), 6.02, 225, 30, Washington, 9 tkl/5 ast

51. MULLER, Mike MLB (6/3), 6.01, 223, 23, Maryland, 27 tkl/15 ast, 1.0 sack

52. BYROM, Bruce C/LS (18/5), 6.04, 240, 24, Maryland

53. MUSSELMAN, Brian C/G (10/9), 6.02, 255, 24, Virginia

54. SHUPYRT, Bob RLB (7/4), 6.02, 210, 25, New Mexico, 27 tkl/22 ast, 1.0 sack, 1 forc fum

54. McLAIN, Kevin MLB (6/5), 6.02, 227, 29, Colorado State, 29 tkl/16 ast

55. HARRIS, Joe RLB (13/13), 6.01, 225, 31, Georgia Tech, 57 tkl/23 ast, 2.5 sacks, 1 fumb rec, 1 forc fumb

56. PATTERSON, Kevin LB (3/0), 6.01, 235, 24, Virginia Union

56. FACYSON, Scott LB (5/0), 6.01, 230, 26, Howard University, 9 tkl/4 ast, 2 fumb rec, 1 INT/0 yds

57. LOIA, Tony C (9/6), 6.02, 325, 23, Arizona State

57. BELL, Farley LLB (6/4), 6.02, 235, 27, Cincinnati, 15 tkl/14 ast, 1 fumb rec

58. CORVINO, Mike lLB (14/7), 6.02, 238, 23, Maryland, 30 tlk/12 ast, 2.5 sacks

59. McINTYRE, Jeff LLB (8/6), 6.04, 232, 28, Arizona State, 52 tlk/36 ast, 7.5 sacks, 3 forc fumb

60. PACELLA, Dave T/G (18/18), 6.02, 266, 23, Maryland, started 6 games at RT, 12 at RG

62. CARNES, Tom G (IA/2G), 6.04, 275, 24, East Carolina

62. BUTCHER, Brian G (Exempt, 4G), 6.05, 255, 23, Clemson

63. JACKSON, Ed DT (6/3), 6.04, 235, 24, Maryland-East Shore, 21 tkls/9 ast, 0.5 sacks

66. DOLCE, Chris G (2/1), 6.03, 255, 25, Clemson

66. HARMAN, Vaughn G (15/6), 6.03, 263, 24, Towson State

67. WILSON, Mike G (4/2), 6.02, 250, 36, Dayton

67. VITALE, Tony G (4/0), 6.03, 265, 24, Central Michigan

69. PATTEN, Joel LT (18/18), 6.07, 310, 25, Duke

70. TAYLOR, Drew LDE/DT (10/8), 6.05, 225, 33, San Jose State, 21 tlks/13 ast, 2.5 sacks

71. MATOCHA, Mike DE (16/0), 6.02, 250, 25, Texas-Arlington, 10 tkls/10 ast

72. CALDWELL, Rod T (IA/3G), 6.03, 264, 25, Maryland

72. ROBINSON, Leroy T (5/0), 6.04, 255, 25, South Carolina State

74. FERNANDES, Ron DT (3/1), 6.04, 251, 32, Eastern Michigan, 3 ast

74. COBB, Bob DE (5/2), 6.02, 248, 26, Arizona, 7 tkl/7 ast, 1.0 sack

75. HORTON, Myke RG (17/13), 6.03, 258, 30, UCLA

76. SUBER, Tony DT (14/3), 6.04, 279, 24, Gardner-Webb, 16 tlk/22 ast, 4.0 sacks, 1 forc fum

77. SEVY, Jeff RT (12/12), 6.05, 260, 32, California

78. ESTAY, Ron RDT (17/11), 6.01, 240, 35, Louisiana State, 46 tkls/35 ast, 6.5 sacks, 2 fumb rec

79. BACON, Coy RDE (18/16), 6.04, 270, 41, Jackson State, 45 tlks/34 ast, 7.0 sacks, 1 forc fumb, 1 rec fumb

80. SMITH, Reggie WR/KR (2/2), 5.04, 168, 27, North Carolina Central, 6 rec/87 yds; 5 kor/81 yds; 2 pr/20 yds

80. FISHER, Mike WR (4/0), 5.11, 172, 25, Baylor

81. KINNEY, Vince WR (12/0), 6.02, 190, 27, Maryland, 7 rec/120 yds

82. LEE, Walker WR (1/0), 6.01, 190, 27, North Carolina, 2 rec/32 yds/1 TD

82. HARRIS, Mike WR/KR (14/6), 6.00, 185, 24, Purdue, 26 rec/441 yds/2 TDs; 15 kor/365 yds; 1 pr/0 yds

83. BROWN, Marc WR (2/1), 6.02, 200, 22, Towson State, 1 rec/18 yds

83. ROGUSKY, Vince TE (10/6), 6.02, 250, 25, Lehigh, 4 rec/47 yds

84. HOLMES, Mike WR (11/10), 6.01, 190, 33, Texas Southern, 35 rec/654 yds/7 TDs

85. DIGGS, Bubba TE (12/4), 6.03, 220, 23, Clemson, 3 rec/19 yds

86. DuBOIS, Phil TE (2/1), 6.02, 230, 27, San Diego State

86. CHISLEY, Charles WR (6/2), 6.00, 173, 25, District of Columbia, 3 rec/47 yds

87. WALTERS, Joey WR (16/15), 6.00, 175, 29, Clemson, 63 rec/959 yds/6 TDs; 1 kor/20 yds

88. POSTELL, Jeff WR (7/1), 6.04, 210, 25, Morehouse College, 4 rec/32 yds; 1 pr/0 yds

89. WALL, William TE (3/2), 6.04, 226, 26, Virginia Union, 2 rec/20 yds

89. SAMUELS, Tony TE (4/3), 6.04, 229, 29, Bethune-Cookman, 1 rec/30 yds

89. ROME, Stan WR (4/1), 6.05, 212, 27, Clemson, 12 rec/157 yds/1 TD

90. BARBER, Robert LDE (16/13), 6.03, 240, 32, Grambling, 45 tkl/21 ast, 5.0 sacks, 2 fumb rec

92. SMITH, Bennie LDT (15/15), 6.03, 248, 23, Missouri, 69 tkl/30 ast, 7.0 sacks, 1 fumb rec

93. MURRAY, Richard DE (5/0), 6.02, 255, 29, Oklahoma, 4 tkl/1 ast

HEAD COACH: RAY JAUCH

Offensive Coordinator: Dick Bielski

Defensive Coordinator: Leo McKillip

Offensive Line/Spec. Teams: Bruce Beatty

Secondary/Spec. Teams: Ted Vactor

Defensive Line: Gene Stauber

1983 Washington Federals opening day rosterEdit

Washington Federals 1983 Opening Day Roster (at 6-Mar-83)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Developmental Squad Injured Reserve


Rookies in italics
40 Active, 10 Developmental

1983 Washington Federals final rosterEdit

Washington Federals 1983 Final Game Roster (at 3-Jul-83)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Developmental Squad Injured Reserve


Rookies in italics
43 Active, 6 Inactive

1984 seasonEdit

Despite losing millions of dollars in 1983, Bernhard was committed to another season in Washington. The Federals had a lot of reasons for optimism in 1984. The 1983 team had played with heart under Jauch, taking better teams down to the wire even at the end of the season. The USFL added six new teams for the 1984 season, and with the league-wide talent pool expected to be diluted by expansion, the 1984 schedule seemed likely to include a number of very winnable games. With McQuilken's post-season retirement, the team had an undisputed and seemingly capable starter at quarterback in Hohensee. The Birmingham Stallions' acquisition of Cliff Stoudt made their 1983 quarterback Reggie Collier available, and the Federals added him for depth in 1984 alongside Hohensee and rookie Lou Pagley. Star running back Craig James had recovered from his 1983 injury and was healthy for 1984. It seemed like the pitfalls that Jauch had fallen into in the first season might be missed this time around. Player familiarity with the system and their teammates and having a proven winner like Jauch as a coach suggested the Federals were bound to deliver better results in 1984.

Unfortunately, the 1984 season unraveled in a hurry, quickly degenerating into a fiasco. The league scheduled the Federals to open against the expansion Jacksonville Bulls, probably in an effort to help the get the Federals off to a good start with an easy win. Unfortunately, that plan backfired; hours before the game, the Federals hobbled their defense by cutting all three of their starting linebackers, and the Bulls crushed the Federals 53–14. "We played like a group of untrained gerbils," Bernhard said after the game,[1] and the embarrassing loss forced him to act to save face for his franchise. Jauch was fired three days after the game and replaced by his offensive coordinator, former Maryand Terrapins and Dallas Cowboys running back Dick Bielski.

In Week 2 James suffered a season-ending injury. His frequent injuries had disappointed the Federals, and James wanted to play before larger crowds than the Federals could draw, and a little over a month into the season, the Federals granted James his release to allow him to sign with the NFL's New England Patriots.

Although the defense was awful throughout the season, the offense was respectable in the last 12 games or so. Hohensee played fairly well for a second-year starter and finished the season with a very respectable – by USFL standards – passer rating of 72.2. Halfback Curtis Bledsoe replaced James as the team′s featured running back, rushing for a respectable 1,080 yards and seven touchdowns in 1984. Wide receiver Joey Walters caught 98 passes for 1,410 yards and seven touchdowns and made The Sporting News 1984 USFL All-Star Team, becoming the Federals' main star.

Despite the successes of Hohensee, Bledsoe, and Walters, Washington opened the season with eight straight losses and suffered humiliating defeats at the hands of all six expansion teams;[1] among their season lowlights were two losses to the expansion Pittsburgh Maulers, who won only three games all season.[1] The Federals finished with a record 3–15, tied with the Maulers for both last place in the USFL′s Atlantic Division[1] and the worst record in the league.[1]

Fan support dwindled further; the Federals only averaged 7,700 fans per game in 1984, well below 1983′s disappointing average. The home opener drew almost 26,000 fewer fans than the 1983 opener;[1] it nonetheless was the biggest home crowd of the season. On April 14 the Federals offered free T-shirts to the first 10,000 fans through the turnstiles for a game against the Oklahoma Outlaws, but only 6,075 showed up,[1] and the crowd of 4,432 who came to RFK Stadium to watch the Federals play the Memphis Showboats on May 6 during a day-long rainstorm was the smallest crowd in USFL history at the time.[1][6]

1984 Washington Federals schedule and resultsEdit

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Bye
2 Saturday February 4, 1984 vs. Tampa Bay Bandits Fort Lauderdale, Florida 17,225 9–28 L 0–1
3 Saturday February 11, 1984 vs. Pittsburgh Maulers Melbourne, Florida 6,000 7–31 L 0–2
4 Friday February 17, 1984 vs. New Jersey Generals Orlando, Florida 3,784 24–27 L 0–3
Regular Season
1 Sunday February 26, 1984 at Jacksonville Bulls Gator Bowl Stadium 49,392 14–53 L 0–1
2 Sunday March 4, 1984 Philadelphia Stars RFK Stadium 12,067 6–17 L 0–2
3 Monday March 12, 1984 at Arizona Wranglers Sun Devil Stadium 25,218 7–37 L 0–3
4 Sunday March 18, 1984 Pittsburgh Maulers RFK Stadium 10,121 ESPN 7–16 L 0–4
5 Sunday March 25, 1984 at New Jersey Generals Giants Stadium 38,075 6–43 L 0–5
6 Saturday March 31, 1984 Chicago Blitz RFK Stadium 7,373 20–21 L 0–6
7 Monday April 9, 1984 at Houston Gamblers Houston Astrodome 16,710 13–31 L 0–7
8 Saturday April 14, 1984 Oklahoma Outlaws RFK Stadium 6,075 16–20 L 0–8
9 Sunday April 22, 1984 at Oakland Invaders Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum 14,828 31–17 W 1–8
10 Saturday April 28, 1984 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 42,810 ESPN 19–37 L 1–9
11 Sunday May 6, 1984 Memphis Showboats RFK Stadium 4,432 10–13 OT L 1–10
12 Friday May 11, 1984 New Jersey Generals RFK Stadium 11,367 31–17 W 2–10
13 Sunday May 20, 1984 San Antonio Gunslingers RFK Stadium 6,159 14–30 L 2–11
14 Sunday May 27, 1984 at Pittsburgh Maulers Three Rivers Stadium 15,153 6–15 L 2–12
15 Sunday June 3, 1984 Los Angeles Express RFK Stadium 5,263 21–35 L 2–13
16 Sunday June 10, 1984 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 22,100 21–42 L 2–14
17 Friday June 15, 1984 at Philadelphia Stars Veterans Stadium 22,582 8–31 L 2–15
18 Sunday June 24, 1984 New Orleans Breakers RFK Stadium 6,386 20–17 W 3–15

Sources[7][8][9]

1984 Washington Federals opening day rosterEdit

Washington Federals 1984 Opening Day Roster (at 26-Feb-84)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Developmental Squad

Rookies in italics
40 Active, 10 Developmental

1984 Washington Federals final rosterEdit

Washington Federals 1984 Final Roster (at 24-Jun-84)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Developmental Squad Injured Reserve Other Players active in 1984


Rookies in italics
43 Active, 7 Inactive

Moving the franchiseEdit

In March 1984, with the Federals failing on the field and at the gate for a second straight season, Bernhard decided to sell the franchise.[1] Florida real estate developer Sherwood "Woody" Weiser agreed in principle to buy the Federals for $5.5 million and made plans to relocate the team to Miami, Florida, with the name The Spirit of Miami for the 1985 season.[1] In anticipation of the deal, the USFL executed a lease agreement for the Miami Orange Bowl,[1] which would serve as the team′s new home field. At a meeting on May 9, 1984, the USFL′s team owners unanimously approved the sale of the Federals to Weiser.[1]

Weiser signed up University of Miami head coach Howard Schnellenberger as a part-owner, and hired him to become team president, general manager, and head coach of The Spirit of Miami as soon as the 1984 USFL season ended.[1] Weiser envisioned closing the deal to purchase the Federals soon after the end of the 1984 USFL season, with Schnellenberger in the interim hiring assistant coaches and joining them in evaluating player talent on the Federals and elsewhere in the USFL and preparing a plan of action for the team after Weiser concluded the purchase.[1] USFL owners openly discussed their expectation that a USFL championship game would take place at the Orange Bowl in the near future.[1]

In June 1984, Bernhard′s Washington Football Partners entered into a preliminary agreement to sell the Federals to American Sports, Ltd.., a company controlled by Weiser.[1] However, by this time there were persistent rumors that the USFL was considering moving to a fall schedule in 1986. Knowing that he could not even begin to compete with the NFL's Miami Dolphins for Miami′s professional football market in the fall, Weiser insisted on writing an escape clause into the purchase agreement that allowed him to cancel the sale if the USFL switched to a fall schedule. On August 22, 1984, the USFL team owners voted to move to a fall schedule in 1986. Weiser promptly canceled the deal to purchase the Federals, and American Sports, Ltd., relinquished the franchise to Washington Football Partners two days later.[1] This left Bernhard in a desperate situation, as he knew that he stood no chance of competing head-to-head with the Redskins once the USFL moved to a fall schedule in 1986.

Shortly thereafter, Tampa Bay Bandits part-owner Donald Dizney stepped in to end Bernhard's suffering, on the same terms that Bernhard had reached with Weiser.[1] In a deal agreed to on August 28, 1984,[1] and announced on September 1, 1984,[1] Dizney bought the Federals, moved them to Orlando, Florida, and renamed them the Orlando Renegades.

In OrlandoEdit

Orlando Renegades
Founded1985
Folded1986
Based inOrlando, Florida, United States
Home fieldFlorida Citrus Bowl
LeagueUSFL
Team HistoryWashington Federals (1983–84)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colorsBlue, Red, White, Gray, and Black                         
Head coaches1985 Lee Corso (5–13)
Owner(s)Donald Dizney

Orlando Football Partners, Inc., was incorporated in Florida on September 10, 1984, as the general partnership which owned the Orlando Renegades.[1] On December 31, 1984, Orlando Football Partners, Ltd., was organized as a limited partnership to hold the franchise, with Orlando Football Partners, Inc., as the general partner.[1]

The Renegades played at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Orlando lay within the territory of the USFL′s successful Tampa Bay Bandits franchise, which drew many fans from the Orlando area.[1] Rather than resist the franchise′s move to Orlando, however, Bandits owner John Bassett embraced it.[1]

Unlike Schnellenberger and Weiser of the stillborn Miami franchise, Dizney did not have the benefit of several months of research of coaching and player possibilities.[1] He opted not to retain Schnellenberger as head coach, instead tapping Lee Corso, a Florida State University alumnus and a longtime college head coach best known for his tenure at Indiana. Corso had a clear plan for the team. He decided to build around the very raw third-year quarterback Reggie Collier. After starting out looking much like the 1984 Federals, opening the season with six straight losses, the Renegades were fairly competitive in their remaining 12 games, winning five of them as the mobile and talented Collier, who had been an abysmal failure in Birmingham and Washington in his first two seasons, began to develop. (Collier later went on to play briefly for the Dallas Cowboys in the National Football League). Backup quarterbacks Jerry Golstyen and Steve Pisarkiewicz also played. The team's offense also featured running back Curtis Bledsoe and wide receiver Joey Walters. The Renegades finished with a record of 5–13 [1] and a seventh-place finish.

The Renegades drew far better than the Federals, averaging about 25,000 fans per game over their nine regular-season home dates,[1] and the crowd of 26,847 that attended the June 1 game against Tampa Bay, which included many Bandits fans who traveled to Orlando from the Tampa area for the game as part of a growing Tampa Bay-Orlando rivalry,[1] was a highlight of the season.[1] Dizney had hoped to draw more Orlando-area fans away from the Bandits than the Renegades did in 1985 and for bigger crowds overall at Renegades home games.[1] but he nonetheless decided to move forward with the team in Orlando for the 1986 USFL season.[1]

After the conclusion of the 1985 season, the USFL considered contraction of the league to focus on its more successful franchises. At a meeting on July 2, 1985, league owners discussed a possible merger of the Orlando Renegades, Tampa Bay Bandits, and Jacksonville Bulls franchises.[10] Dizney rejected the idea of the Renegades being involved in any merger, fearing he would lose credibility in Orlando if he agreed to move the Renegades out of the Orlando area.[10] Ultimately, the Renegades were one of eight teams selected to continue operations in the 1986 season, when the USFL planned to switch to a fall schedule, but the entire league collapsed before any games were played in 1986. Orlando Football Partners, Ltd., was dissolved on January 25, 1988,[1] and the franchise′s existence as a corporate entity came to an official end when Orlando Football Partners, Inc., was dissolved on September 26, 1997.[1]

1985 Orlando Renegades schedule and resultsEdit

Week Day Date Opponent Game site Attendance Television Final score W/L Record
Preseason
1 Saturday February 2, 1985 vs. Baltimore Stars Spec Martin Stadium, Deland, Florida 300 16–10 W 1–0
2 Saturday February 9, 1985 at Jacksonville Bulls Gator Bowl Stadium 20–10 W 2–0
3 Friday February 15, 1985 New Jersey Generals Florida Citrus Bowl 33,000 14–24 L 2–1
Regular Season
1 Saturday February 23, 1985 at Tampa Bay Bandits Tampa Stadium 45,045 ESPN 7–35 L 0–1
2 Friday March 1, 1985 New Jersey Generals Florida Citrus Bowl 32,748 ESPN 10–28 L 0–2
3 Saturday March 9, 1985 Birmingham Stallions Florida Citrus Bowl 25,831 10–34 L 0–3
4 Saturday March 16, 1985 at Portland Breakers Civic Stadium 25,885 17–23 L 0–4
5 Thursday March 21, 1985 at Jacksonville Bulls Gator Bowl Stadium 31,883 ESPN 31–34 OT L 0–5
6 Sunday March 31, 1985 Denver Gold Mile High Stadium 10,217 17–21 L 0–6
7 Thursday April 4, 1985 Memphis Showboats Florida Citrus Bowl 21,223 ESPN 28–17 W 1–6
8 Sunday April 14, 1985 at Arizona Outlaws Sun Devil Stadium 32,169 24–19 W 2–6
9 Saturday April 20, 1985 Jacksonville Bulls Florida Citrus Bowl 34,338 10–31 L 2–7
10 Monday April 29, 1985 at New Jersey Generals Giants Stadium 38,084 ESPN 7–24 L 2–8
11 Sunday May 5, 1985 Oakland Invaders Florida Citrus Bowl 21,085 7–21 L 2–9
12 Monday May 13, 1985 San Antonio Gunslingers Florida Citrus Bowl 22,404 ESPN 21–20 W 3–9
13 Friday May 17, 1985 Baltimore Stars Florida Citrus Bowl 23,121 ESPN 21–34 L 3–10
14 Monday May 27, 1985 at Birmingham Stallions Legion Field 24,500 ESPN 17–41 L 3–11
15 Saturday June 1, 1985 Tampa Bay Bandits Florida Citrus Bowl 26,847 37–7 W 4–11
16 Friday June 7, 1985 at Memphis Showboats Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 23,216 ESPN 17–41 L 4–12
17 Saturday June 15, 1985 at Baltimore Stars Byrd Stadium 6,988 10–41 L 4–13
Friday June 21, 1985 Los Angeles Express Florida Citrus Bowl Postponed; rescheduled for June 22.
18 Saturday June 22, 1985 Los Angeles Express Florida Citrus Bowl 22,865 ESPN 17–10 W 5–13

Sources[11][12][13][14][15]

1985 Orlando Renegades opening day rosterEdit

Orlando Renegades 1985 Opening Day Roster (at 26-Feb-85)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Inactives


Rookies in italics
43 Active, 7 Inactive

1985 Orlando Renegades final rosterEdit

Orlando Renegades 1985 Final Roster (at 22-Jun-85)
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special Teams

Inactives


Rookies in italics
43 Active, 7 Inactive

Single season leadersEdit

Rushing Yards: 1080 (1984), Curtis Bledsoe

Receiving Yards: 1510 (1984), Joey Walters

Passing Yards: 2766 (1984), Mike Hohensee

Season-by-season resultsEdit

Season W L T Finish Playoff results
Washington Federals
1983 4 14 0 4th Atlantic Division
1984 3 15 0 T-3rd Atlantic Division
Orlando Renegades
1985 5 13 0 7th Eastern Conference
Totals 12 42 0

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar dpmcintire.com Washington Federals (1983-1984) / Orlando Renegades (1985) Retrieved December 15, 2018
  2. ^ a b Pearlman, Jeff (2018). Football For A Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0544454385.
  3. ^ statscrew.com 1983 Washington Federals Game-by-Game Results
  4. ^ usflsite.com 1983 USFL Season
  5. ^ profootballarchives.com 1983 Washington Federals (USFL)
  6. ^ Anonymous, "Memphis 13 at Washington 10 OT," Associated Press, May 6, 1984. Retrieved December 16, 2018
  7. ^ statscrew.com 1984 Washington Federals Game-by-Game Results
  8. ^ usflsite.com 1984 USFL Season Retrieved December 14, 2018
  9. ^ profootballarchives.com 1984 Washington Federals (USFL) Retrieved December 15, 2018
  10. ^ a b Anonymous, "A merger of USFL teams in Jacksonville, Orlando and...," upi.com, July 6, 1985. Retrieved December 15, 2018
  11. ^ statscrew.com 1985 Orlando Renegades Game-by-Game Results
  12. ^ usflsite.com 1985 USFL Season Retrieved December 14, 2018
  13. ^ Anonymous, "Baltimore 10 at Orlando 16 (Deland, FL)," Associated Press, February 2, 1985. Retrieved December 16, 2018
  14. ^ profootballarchives.com 1985 Orlando Renegades (USFL) Retrieved December 15, 2018
  15. ^ Lorenz, Rich, "The New Jersey Generals have offered tackle...," Chicago Tribune, February 3, 1985. Retrieved December 15, 2018

External linksEdit