'It's embarrassing:' Matt McGloin sounds off on offense's struggles during XFL loss

(Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader (TNS)
New York Guardians quarterback Matt McGloin celebrates the 23-3 win after an XFL football game against the Tampa Bay Vipers, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Joe Hermitt/The Patriot-News via AP)
  • Matt McGloin called the New York Guardians' game plan "embarrassing" on Saturday.
  • McGloin eventually got benched during the Guardians' 27-0 loss to the DC Defenders.
  • McGloin finished Saturday's game 8 for 19 for 42 yards with two interceptions.

Matt McGloin was always going to be an ideal choice for the XFL.

The Scranton native and former NFL quarterback was known as much for speaking his mind as he was for breaking records while at Penn State.

So for a new league built on entertainment, McGloin was going to deliver in that regard — win or lose.

And the former Nittany Lions standout turned plenty of heads on Saturday during the New York Guardians’ 27-0 loss to the DC Defenders.

One of the XFL’s goals is to provide more access than traditional leagues, including in-game sideline interviews. As expected, McGloin didn’t hold back when a microphone was put in front of him when trailing 12-0 at halftime.

“We need to change the whole entire gameplan at halftime,” said McGloin, who was 5 for 13 for 32 yards and an interception at the time.

Asked to elaborate, McGloin said, “There’s just a lot going on right now. It’s embarrassing here for us as an offense, so a lot of things we want to fix.”

ABC sideline reporter Dianna Russini, who conducted the interview, said she had never heard a quarterback say that before, to which Guardians coach Kevin Gilbride responded, “Well, that makes two of us.”

“I need to go talk to him and find out what the problem is,” Gilbride told Russini. “Because he needs to play better.”

McGloin threw a pick-six on New York’s next drive and didn’t finish the game, replaced in the rout by North Carolina’s Marquise Williams.

The sequence certainly caught the attention of football fans at large. At one point on Saturday afternoon, “McGloin” was the nation’s No. 1 trending topic on Twitter.

Gilbride — who spent 21 seasons coaching in the NFL, including two as the boss of the San Diego Chargers — addressed the situation after the game.

“It’s certainly raw, right? It’s out there for everyone to see and hear,” Gilbride said. “And I think sometimes when you’re frustrated, things come out that you probably, upon further reflection, you wish maybe didn’t come out.

“As I’ve said, we’ve gotta all do a better job. For us to single out one aspect or one component or one person or one player is foolish. Because all aspects need to do better.”

McGloin finished the game 8 for 19 for 42 yards and two interceptions. He had been one of the Guardians’ best players in last weekend’s league debut, throwing for 182 yards and a touchdown and adding a second score on a QB sneak in a 23-3 win over Tampa Bay.

With Saturday’s game out of reach, McGloin was on the bench.

“I just wanted to see Marquise get a shot,” Gilbride said. “I think we had seen enough that we were struggling offensively that I wanted to make sure that Marquise can run around a little bit and have some athletic skills and give him an opportunity to play.

“It was one of those deals where nothing we were doing on offense was working, so you’re looking for a spark, you’re looking for anything. So I thought I’d give him a chance.”

Not much changed as Williams went 4 for 8 for 51 yards and added 16 yards on the ground.

McGloin is still the Guardians’ starter heading into next Sunday’s game at St. Louis.

“We weren’t looking to (switch starters),” Gilbride said. “We were just trying to keep Matt healthy and let Marquise get a chance to get in there and do some things. … It was more just to get a spark, generate something.”