Luis Perez - Arlington Renegades XFL Postseason Fate In His Hands

Luis Perez: Arlington Renegades Postseason Fate In His Hands

Luis Perez is a spring football icon. This is his second stint in the XFL, currently serving as the Arlington Renegades signal caller.

As far as quarterbacks go, Luis Perez has been one of the most consistent in the spring football scene. Every year, we see him manage games with ease and efficiency for each team he plays for. He’s now in uncharted territory, though – potentially missing the playoffs for the first time in his career.

To fully understand what’s at stake this weekend, we have to start at the beginning of Luis’ journey in spring football.

AAF: Birmingham Iron

Luis began his professional career in the Alliance of American Football. He played for the Birmingham Iron, and helped lead the team to a 5-3 record.

It wasn’t Luis’ best football by any means, but he improved as the season went on. Of course, the AAF went defunct in week eight – but it wasn’t before Birmingham had already clinched a postseason berth.

XFL 2020: New York Guardians

The former bowler-turned-quarterback quickly found employment. He joined the XFL, originally as a member of the Los Angeles Wildcats. He was traded mid-season to the New York Guardians, and quickly made an impact.

After a rough start for New York, Perez stabilized the ship. Kevin Gilbride started Perez during the final two weeks of action, with the Guardians going 2-0 during that stretch. He threw for 418 yards and three touchdowns in his two starts.

As we all know by now, the XFL folded after week five. New York hadn’t clinched the playoffs, but sat at 3-2 – trending in the right direction with Perez at the helm.

TSL & USFL

In 2021, Luis played in The Spring League. He was reunited with Kevin Gilbride, playing for the Jousters. Perez split time with Drew Anderson, but performed quite well during his minutes. Luis helped lead the team to the Mega Bowl, where they fell to the Linemen.

Perez then burst onto the scene in the USFL, showcasing his leadership skills under Mike Riley’s guidance. He played for the New Jersey Generals, originally splitting minutes with DeAndre Johnson.

After Johnson went down with an injury, Perez was sensational. He helped New Jersey secure the North Division, leading the team to a 9-1 record. In 2022, Perez’ stats were off the charts:

1,200 passing yards
71.7% completion
9 touchdowns
1 interception

The team ultimately fell to the Philadelphia Stars in the playoffs. That being said, it was an outstanding season for the journeyman QB – and one that solidified him as a top signal caller in the spring football market.

XFL 2023: The Saga

Fast forward to the present day. The XFL returned to the field this year, and Luis Perez was in the pool of quarterbacks selected to be in the league. In fact, he was recruited to Jordan Palmer’s quarterback camp before the draft.

Perez was ultimately assigned to the Vegas Vipers, coached by Rod Woodson. He competed for – and won – the starting gig in training camp. Since then, it’s been a wild road for Luis.

Vegas Vipers Stint

It was an intriguing start to the season for Perez. In the season opener, he had an incredible first half, dicing up Arlington’s defense with ease.

The energy shifted in the second half, with a couple of pick sixes that put the Renegades in front. The up and down performance in week one set the tone for the rest of the year, as Luis Perez has faced plenty of obstacles.

He lost the starting job quickly, as Brett Hundley filled in the next couple of weeks. However, he would regain control of the offense after Hundley went down with a hamstring injury in week four.

In week five against the Orlando Guardians, Luis found his footing. He threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Vipers to their first win of the XFL season.

Unfortunately, week six would tell a completely different story. The Vipers were dismantled by the St. Louis Battlehawks, effectively putting an end to their postseason aspirations.

The Trade

This is where things got interesting. Rod Woodson had multiple quarterbacks who were talented (Perez, Hundley, Jalan McClendon), and knew he couldn’t start them all.

Perez, wanting to still compete for a playoff berth, requested a trade. Woodson honored his request, and Vegas worked out a deal with Arlington. Just like that, Luis Perez was a Renegade.

Arlington Renegades Resurgence

Understandably, Perez missed week seven. Drew Plitt got his final start for Arlington, in a loss against Seattle. Considering the trade had happened just a few days before, it made sense that Luis didn’t play right away.

In week eight, Perez made his official debut for the Arlington Renegades. They traveled to Orlando to face off against the surging Guardians.

It took a bit of time for Luis to find his footing, but he eventually led the team to a win. He threw for almost 200 yards, averaging 7.6YPA.

Week nine was a tough one. In the third quarter, Perez threw a pick six to DJ Swearinger, which put DC in front 26-9.

Luis could have simply hung his head then, accepting defeat. Instead, he rallied the team to a remarkable 17 point comeback in the fourth quarter – one that fell just short in overtime.

While Arlington was unable to win in The District, something clicked in that final period. The ball was moving with ease, which is a sight we haven’t seen much at all from the Renegades offense this entire XFL season.

Luis finished the game with 335 passing yards – a season high.

Offensive Impact

To no one’s surprise, Luis Perez has made a positive impact on the offense as a whole. This unit struggled to move the football much at all for the majority of the season.

Since his debut, the numbers have been up in almost every category. To start with, the passing game has increased by almost 100 yards per game.

At the same time, Arlington has continued to run the football effectively. Without Perez at the helm, the team averaged 25 carries per game. Over the past two weeks with Luis, they’ve averaged 24.5 carries per game, maintaining that consistency.

The Renegades are passing the football a bit more now, with Perez averaging 33 attempts in two games. This is almost five attempts more than what Kyle Sloter and Drew Plitt averaged through seven weeks of action.

There are still plenty of improvements to be made on the offensive side of the football. Arlington is dead last in the entire XFL, scoring just twelve touchdowns on offense this season.

That being said, three of those came in week nine, largely due to Perez’ presence at the quarterback position. One has to wonder what this season would have looked like if Luis was in Arlington from the very first snap.

Final Thoughts

Now, the true test is on the horizon for Luis. With a win this weekend against Houston, the Arlington Renegades would finally clinch the second seed in the XFL South.

Given his prior accomplishments in spring football, it’s safe to say that Luis Perez will be as locked in as ever this coming week. With a couple of games under his belt in Arlington, Perez must continue to build upon his performances, while maintaining efficiency.

Even though Houston is locked into the #1 seed, odds are they will still be playing with plenty of heart on Sunday. The fate of the Renegades is in the hands of Luis Perez – and it’s up to him to lead Arlington to the promised land.

The Arlington Renegades will host the Houston Roughnecks this Sunday, at 3pm ET on ESPN.

What are your thoughts on Luis Perez in the XFL this season? Will he lead the Arlington Renegades to the playoffs? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!