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Orlando Renegades

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Orlando Renegades

Orlando Renegades
Orlando Renegades helmet Orlando Renegades logo
Founded 1983
Folded 1986
Relocated 1985
Based in Washington, DC (1983–1984)
Orlando, Florida (1985)
United States
Home field RFK Stadium (1983–1984)
Citrus Bowl Stadium (1985)
League USFL
Conference Eastern Conference (1984–1985)
Division Atlantic Division (1983–1984)
Team History Washington Federals (1983–1984)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colors

Navy Blue, Red, White

              
Head coaches 1983–1984 Ray Jauch (4-15)
1984 Dick Bielski (3-14)
1985 Lee Corso (5-13)
USFL Championships 0
Conference championships 0
Division championships 0

The Orlando Renegades were a professional American football team that played in the United States Football League in the mid-1980s.

Contents

  • In Washington 1
    • 1983 season 1.1
      • 1983 Washington Federals schedule 1.1.1
      • 1983 Washington Federals statistics 1.1.2
      • 1983 Washington Federals roster 1.1.3
      • 1983 Washington Federals opening day roster 1.1.4
      • 1983 Washington Federals final roster 1.1.5
    • 1984 season 1.2
      • 1984 Washington Federals opening day roster 1.2.1
      • 1984 Washington Federals final roster 1.2.2
  • In Orlando 2
    • 1985 Orlando Renegades opening day roster 2.1
    • 1985 Orlando Renegades final roster 2.2
  • Single season leaders 3
  • Season-by-season 4
  • External links 5

In Washington

Washington Federals
Washington Federals helmet Washington Federals logo
Founded 1983
Relocated 1985 Orlando
Based in Washington DC
Home field RFK Stadium
League USFL
Team History Washington Federals (1983-84)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colors

Kelly Green, Black, Silver, White

                   
Head coaches 1983-4 Ray Jauch (4-15)
1984 Dick Bielski (3-14)
Owner(s) 1983-4 Berl Bernhard

1983 season

The Renegades started out in 1983 as the Washington Federals and played in Washington, D.C.'s Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium under the ownership of prominent Washington attorney Berl Bernhard. The team lured Ray Jauch to be its head coach; he had previously guided the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to success in the Canadian Football League. At the time he was the fourth-winningest coach in CFL history.

The Federals finished 4-14, tied for the worst record in the league. However, they were far more competitive than their 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.

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 Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.

The Blitz, led by former Lions and Colts Quarterback Greg Landry, raced out to a 28-0 lead. The Federals were so terrible in the game, 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 ever recorded a second first down. By that time, Landry hit 15 of his first 17 pass attempts, including a 23-yard touchdown pass to Trumaine Johnson. Kim McQuilken had a horrible debut as the Federals quarterback, and was replaced by back up Mike Hohensee. Hohensee accounted for the Federals only score, a 19-yard pass to Walker Lee.

The next week went ever worse for Washington, as quarterback Hohensee, Running back Craig James and wide receiver Reggie Smith all were injured. McQuilken could only muster 3 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 week three, the Federals finally got a victory. They managed to defeat the Michigan Panthers, one of the better teams in the USFL and future 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 QB Kim McQuilken had one of his better games, completing 24 of 48 passes and throwing for 324 yards. He threw three touchdowns compared to one interceptions. Panthers Lineback Robert Pennywell intercepted McQuilken, which led to a game trying score on a pass play from Hebert to Derek Holloway. The game went into overtime, where 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 2-yard-line. The Wranglers' first play from scrimmage after that was a 98-yard touchdown pass—the longest in league history.

The Federals saved their best game for last in the 1983 season. Playing at home against the Philadelphia Stars, the Federals shocked the league by defeating the 15-2 Stars 21 to 14. When all was said and done, despite the fact the Federals were a mere 4-14, there was one positive, they had defeated both teams who later played in the USFL championship game that year.

It seemed like it was going to be another blow out loss. The Stars, led by all league quarterback Chuck Fusina, led 14-6 going into half time. The Stars were a dominate team who had crushed Washington 34-3 earlier in the season. However, the Federals refused to bow down, as McQuilken hit Stan Rome with a 19-yard touchdown pass before half time. Lane had his best day ever as a pro, catching 17 passes for 170 yards. The Federals may have not been dominate in the second half, but they were good enough on this day. Federals rookie linebacker Mike Corvino helped stop two late Stars drives with a sack and interception, respectively. Former New York Giants running back Billy Taylor got in on the scoring for Washington with a six-yard run in the third quarter. Washington was able to add 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. The Federals had pulled off an upset win over Atlantic division champion Stars, giving much promise for the 1984 season.

The only USFL all-star on the team was reserve running back Eric Robinson, whose kickoff return for touchdown vs. Tampa Bay at RFK was the only kickoff return for touchdown in the USFL in 1983.

The team changed QBs almost weekly, with different QBs finishing a number of games. In part, it was because the Federals were bitten repeatedly by the injury bug. Jauch's biggest mistake was probably giving the opening day starter, NFL veteran Kim McQuilken, the quick hook for rookie QB Mike Hohensee. From there the team never seemed to settle with a QB 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. He was way past his prime and only threw for 673 yards. The only other quarterback on the team was rookie Mike Forslund, who never got into a game.

SMU star rookie running back Craig James was sidelined five games with a fractured vertebra. Hohensee only played in nine games all season. At one point, all of their receivers had leg injuries.

The Federals had good linebackers in Joe Harris, Dan Lloyd and Jeff McIntyre. Washington's best Outside Linebacker, Jeff McIntyre, could cover receivers down field and stop the run. McIntyre lead the team in tackles and sacks until and ankle injury sidelined him for the remaining 6 games. However, they simply stayed on the field too long.

Washington-area fans largely viewed the Federals with indifference. They only averaged 13,800 fans per game (in a 56,000-seat stadium). However, their marketing efforts were severely crippled by the Redskins' Super Bowl victory.

1983 Washington Federals schedule

Week Day Date Opponent Game Site Attendance Final Score W/L Record
1 Sunday March 6, 1983 Chicago Blitz RFK Stadium 38,007 7-28 L 0-1
2 Monday March 14, 1983 at Los Angeles Express LA Coliseum 22,453 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 3-34 L 1-4
6 Monday April 11, 1983 Arizona Wranglers RFK Stadium 13,936 21-22 L 1-5
7 Sunday April 17, 1983 at New Jersey Generals Giants Stadium 35,381 22-23 L 1-6
8 Sunday April 24, 1993 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 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

1983 Washington Federals statistics

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 roster

(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

Quarterbacks Coach:

Offensive Line:

Secondary:

Defensive Line:

Offensive Backs:

Strength & Conditioning:

1983 Washington Federals opening day roster

1983 Washington Federals final roster

1984 season

The second Federals helmet in 1984 switching to silver.

Despite losing millions, Bernhard was committed to sticking it out. There were a lot of reasons for optimism. In spite of the tremendous number of on field mistakes in 1983, the team had played with heart under Jauch, taking better teams down to the wire even at the end of the season. With just a few lucky breaks the Federals might have been almost a .500 team—and at best, a 12-6 team—in 1983. They had started the season 1-13, but had finished strongly going 3-1 in the last 4 games of the season. It appeared that the Federals had finally learned how to turn a close game into a win. With the league-wide talent pool expected to be stretched out due to expansion, the schedule seemed likely to be littered with a number of very winnable games. With McQuilken's post-season retirement, the team had an undisputed and seemingly capable starter at QB in Hohensee. The Birmingham Stallions' acquisition of Cliff Stoudt made their quarterback Reggie Collier available and the Federals added him for depth alongside Hohensee and rookie Lou Pagley. Star HB Craig James was healthy. 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 came unraveled in a hurry. The league scheduled the Federals to open against the expansion Jacksonville Bulls in a probable effort to help the get the Federals off to a good start. Unfortunately, that plan backfired when the Bulls crushed the Federals 53-14. Hours before the game, the Federals cut all three of their starting linebackers, a move which hobbled the defense. The embarrassing loss forced Bernard to act to save face for his franchise. Jauch was fired after the game and replaced by former Maryland Terrapins and Dallas Cowboys running back Dick Bielski. In week 2, James suffered a season-ending injury. At that point, the season became a total fiasco --- even though Hohensee played fairly well for a second year starter finishing the season with a very respectable QB rating (for the USFL) of 72.2.

Support was almost nonexistent; they only averaged 7,700 fans per game in 1984 (including a crowd of 4,432 against the Memphis Showboats), the worst per-game attendance in league history. With little fan turnout and James' frequent injuries, both the Federals and James were motivated to end their relationship. A little over a month into the season, James was given his release to allow him to sign with the NFL's Patriots. It took the Federals nine games to finally win. Among their season lowlights were two losses to the expansion Pittsburgh Maulers. The Federals finished 3-15, tied with the Maulers for the worst record in the league.

Although the defense was awful throughout the season, the offense was respectable in the last 12 games or so. HB Curtis Bledsoe replaced James as the feature back, rushing for a respectable 1080 yards and 7 TDs in 1984. "Go to" WR Joey Walters caught 98 passes for 1410 yards with 7 TDs and made the 1984 TSN USFL All-Star Team, becoming the Federals' main star.

With six games left in the season, Bernhard (who once called the Federals "trained gerbils") gave up and sold the Federals to Florida real estate developer Woody Weiser, who announced plans to move the Federals to Miami as The Spirit of Miami. Weiser quickly signed up Howard Schnellenberger as part-owner, general manager and head coach after the season ended.

However, on August 22, 1984, the league owners voted to move to a fall schedule in 1986. Weiser knew he could not possibly compete against the Miami Dolphins, so he canceled the deal. This left Bernhard in a desperate situation, as he knew that he stood no chance going head-to-head with the Redskins. A few days later, Tampa Bay Bandits part-owner Donald Dizney stepped up and ended Bernhard's suffering. Dizney bought the Federals, moving them to Orlando and renaming them the Renegades.

1984 Washington Federals opening day roster

1984 Washington Federals final roster

In Orlando

Orlando Renegades
Orlando Renegades logo
Founded 1985
Folded 1986
Based in Orlando, Florida, United States
Home field Citrus Bowl
League USFL
Team History Washington Federals (1983-84)
Orlando Renegades (1985)
Team colors

Blue, Red, White, Gray, and Black

                        
Head coaches 1985 Lee Corso (5-13)
Owner(s) Donald Dizney

The Renegades played at the Citrus Bowl. Lee Corso was hired as coach. Corso had a clear plan for the team. He decided to build around the very raw 3rd year QB Reggie Collier. After starting out looking much like the 1984 Federals, the Renegades were fairly competitive in their remaining 12 games as the mobile and talented Collier, who had been an abysmal failure in Birmingham and Washington in his first 2 seasons, began to develop. (Collier later went on to briefly play for the Dallas Cowboys).

In 1985, in addition to Collier, the team's offense featured running back Curtis Bledsoe and WR Joey Walters.

The Renegades were one of 8 teams selected to continue operations when the USFL elected to switch to a fall schedule in 1986, but the entire league collapsed before any fall games were played.

1985 Orlando Renegades opening day roster

1985 Orlando Renegades final roster

Single season leaders

Rushing Yards: 1080 (1984), Curtis Bledsoe

Receiving Yards: 1510 (1984), Joey Walters

Passing Yards: 2766 (1984), Mike Hohensee

Season-by-season

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

External links

  • Washington Federals on FunWhileItLasted.net
  • Orlando Renegades on FunWhileItLasted.net
  • http://www.usfl.info/renegades
  • http://www.kendrick.org/federals
  • http://www.remembertheusfl.8m.com/teams/orlando.html
  • http://www.remembertheusfl.8m.com/teams/washington.html
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