Zavier Cobb and Patrick Campos inject new life into Barracudas and Stallions

posted on January 22, 2018

Two new, but familiar faces will be patrolling the sidelines for the Dubai Barracudas and Dubai Stallions this season. 

With Kyle Jordan retiring from the Barracudas and Brett Turek leaving the Stallions to head home to the United States, their replacements for this season are two of the more recognisable names in the Emirates American Football League (EAFL). 

Zavier Cobb, the greatest quarterback in the history of the league, has hung up his cleats and shoulder pads to take over at the helm of the Barracudas, while Director of Youth Football Patrick Campos is making the transition from Barracuda to Stallion. 

For Cobb, he’ll move up to the men’s level after coaching his son Jason at the Bantam and Pee Wee divisions the past two seasons.

“It’s a fairly easy transition,” Cobb said. “I know the game of football, I’ve been playing since I was seven years old. I’ve been coaching for some time now with the youth, so it’s not too hard for me to hang the shoes up and approach the game from the viewpoint.”

With the longtime quarterback no longer in uniform, the Barracudas are attempting to replace him by staging a three-way battle at the position. Michael Andersen, who has been a mainstay with the team as a wide receiver and kicker, is one of the players in contention for the job.

Cobb, however, isn’t completely closing the door on his retirement, saying: “There’s always a chance [I’ll play again], depending on the personnel. Hopefully no one get hurts, but if that’s the case then I’ll be out there for sure.”

Across town, Campos is inheriting the foundation put in place by Turek and just like his predecessor did, he’s switching blue for red to now be on the other side of the Dubai rivalry.

“Yeah it’s not an easy transition from a psychological perspective,” Campos said. “I’ve not only been coaching the Barracudas, but really building up the organisation and developing a camaraderie between all the teams in that club. A big part of it is not wanting the Barracudas family to feel I’m being traitorous to them.
“But the reality is this is something that’s good for the league in the sense we’re looking for some continuity.”

Team guides

Dubai Stallions
 Patrick Campos
Star player: Taylor Avritt
Desert Bowl wins: 1
Last season: Lost in the first round of the playoffs
Strengths: Skill positions on offence are full of athletic playmakers who should offer more pop than last year.
Weaknesses: Inflated roster affords more bodies, but also means a bit of a learning curve as players get accustomed to new surroundings.
Verdict: While they have a new coach, it’s an experienced and respected one in Campos who should build on the foundation laid by Brett Turek in his lone season last year. They’ll also have the advantage of having the largest roster to start the season after struggling for numbers at times last year.

Dubai Barracudas
Coach: Zavier Cobb
Star player: Luke Norrey
Desert Bowl wins: 1
Last season: Lost in the first round of the playoffs
Strengths: Size isn’t in their favour, but speed and athleticism are and expect Zavier Cobb – a fast and athletic player himself – to utilise those attributes.
Weaknesses: Lacking cohesion and familiarity with plays coming into the season.
Verdict: A disappointing campaign last year forced a bit of a rest on the team, with head coach Kyle Jordan retiring and Cobb hanging up his cleats. How the Barracudas fare with a new coach and quarterback will determine whether they can return to being a contender and how soon.

Jay Asser - Sport360