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Can former NY Jets first-round pick find his way back to the NFL?

Anthony Becht, St. Louis Battlehawks, XFL, NY Jets
Anthony Becht, XFL, New York Jets, Getty Images

Coaching the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks, can former Jets tight end Anthony Becht springboard his success into an NFL job?

There may be some New York Jets fans reading this that are too young to remember who Anthony Becht is. Coming out of West Virginia, Becht was an athletic specimen. He was also a part of history.

Becht was one of four first-round selections made by the Jets in the 2000 NFL draft. He was selected 27th overall, behind Shaun Ellis, John Abraham, and Chad Pennington.

While his NFL career left more to be desired – Becht only scored 17 touchdowns in five seasons with the Jets – he could find himself on a road to redemption as a coach.

From the NFL to the XFL

Becht retired from the NFL in 2011, but he never left the football scene.

Since 2006, Becht has run the “Anthony Becht Football Camp” to give youth an opportunity to learn the fundamentals of football – and life. He’s also been a big part of the collegiate process, as well.

Since 2012, Becht has been a part of the IMG Academy as a draft prep coach. In that time, he has coached players such as Tyler Eifert, Vance McDonald, Gavin Escobar, and Trey Burton. He’s also been coaching in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl since 2015 with former Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis.

In 2019, Becht was the tight ends coach for the San Diego Fleet under Mike Martz – former St. Louis Rams head coach – in the Alliance of American Football (AAF). He was also an offensive coordinator at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Tampa, Florida.

From 2013-2020, Becht worked at ESPN as a college football analyst and has broadcast more than 200 games.

On April 13, 2022, the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks announced Becht as their head coach for the 2023 season. His defensive coordinator is another former Jets player, Donnie Abraham.

For Becht, everything has led to this moment.

“As a former player, I’ve been grooming myself for this,” said Becht. “Working with Mike Martz, doing college all-star games with Marvin Lewis, this was always part of the plan”.

Becht entered the 2023 XFL season as the league’s youngest head coach, but he’s already making a name for himself.

With four games left in the XFL season, the Becht-led Battlehawks sit at 4-2. Most recently, the team put a 29-6 beating on the Vegas Vipers.

The Battlehawks are in second place in the league’s XFL North division, owning the tie-breaker for a playoff berth as it stands now.

If the Battlehawks get into the playoffs, the stage will be set for Becht to showcase his prowess as a head coach. And perhaps, this former first-round pick might get his own redemption story.

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