The Pittsburgh Maulers are bringing back some important pieces for the 2024 USFL season. After coming up just short in the Championship game a month ago, the team now looks to rebuild and retain for next year.
Free Agent Signings:
•CB Keith Gipson •RB Madre London •S Malcolm Elmore •DT Will Miles •DE Nasir Player
Last night, the team officially re-signed five players:
RB Madre London DT Will Miles DE Nasir Player DB Keith Gipson Jr. S Malcolm Elmore
Let’s take a look at what each player has accomplished in the USFL so far, and what they bring to the organization.
RB Madre London
Madre London is officially set to be in Pittsburgh for a third season. He’s been part of a one-two punch with Garrett Groshek for two years, posting 669 rushing yards and two touchdowns between 2022-2023.
In 2023, London had a bit of an off year from a numbers perspective. He rushed for only 254 yards, averaging 3.8 YPC. There are a couple of reasons for this – firstly, the offensive line struggled, especially during the early weeks of the season.
Secondly, Garrett Groshek averaged only 2.7 YPC. Pittsburgh’s backfield as a whole was underwhelming in 2023, with QB Troy Williams carrying most of the weight in that department.
That being said, London is a talented back who led the ELF in rushing yards just two years ago. With a couple of seasons under his belt in the USFL, maybe this is the year he breaks out.
DT Will Miles
Will Miles has re-signed with Pittsburgh for 2023, which is excellent news. Pittsburgh’s defense was one of the toughest through two years, largely due to vital role players such as Miles.
During the USFL’s inaugural season, Miles hardly saw any playing time. In 2023, he posted impressive numbers, finishing with 14 tackles and two sacks in ten games played (zero starts). He also notched a sack in the USFL Championship game.
DE Nasir Player
Another important re-signing for Pittsburgh is defensive end Nasir Player. Player does not get enough credit for what he brings to the table, serving as one of the quieter forces in the USFL.
Nasir joined the Pittsburgh Maulers in 2022, and finished that season with 14 tackles and a sack. However, in 2023, he took a major step forward – starting all ten games for Pittsburgh.
He was excellent, racking up 28 tackles, three TFL, and 3.5 sacks. Throughout the season he made countless plays for the team, many of which went unnoticed. One play in particular sticks out, in week ten. Nasir forced a fumble on New Jersey Generals QB De’Andre Johnson, with safety Eli Walker returning it for a score.
An underrated re-signing for the @USFLMaulers: DE Nasir Player.@yungnas45 had an excellent season for Pittsburgh, posting 28 tackles, 3 TFL, and 3.5 sacks. His game-changing forced fumble in week ten sparked their playoff clinching win. #USFLpic.twitter.com/VRmLjUZb5x
Having him back for another season is exactly what Pittsburgh needs. Firstly, he’s clearly an outstanding defender. Secondly, seeing players sticking around for more than two seasons helps with team chemistry and cohesiveness.
S Malcolm Elmore
The team captain has returned. Malcolm Elmore has been a key veteran presence for the Maulers defensively through two years, and now returns for 2024.
While his minutes were down in 2023, Elmore is a quality defender who has natural leadership abilities. Despite not seeing the field often outside of special teams, Malcolm made an impact both on and off the field.
So proud of Husker alumni Malcolm Elmore for being selected today as a team captain for the Pittsburgh Maulers this upcoming season! We are all so very proud of you and wish you well this season! #OnwardHuskerspic.twitter.com/C5gGkSQj4v
In 2022, Elmore posted 27 total tackles. Considering star DB Mark Gilbert is now in the NFL, the door reopens for Malcolm to make his way back to the field next season.
Generally speaking, each re-signing for the Pittsburgh Maulers is a valuable one. Not only does it help the team, but it’s also beneficial for the fans, who get to watch some of their favorite players once again.
General Manager Lonnie Young has done an impressive job in Pittsburgh so far. He helped bring the team to the Championship game, after a 1-9 record in 2022. With a full season of coaching under Ray Horton’s belt, the Maulers will be an intriguing team to follow in 2024.
What are your thoughts on these re-signings for the Pittsburgh Maulers? What will they accomplish in the USFL 2024 season? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!