Shane "Footsteps" Falco
Actor: Keanu Reeves
Replacement Quarterback for the Washington Sentinels. Had been out of football for several years after a disastrous Sugar Bowl game and a forgettable rookie year as a pro.
- Nice Guy: Keanu Reeves, playing The Heart. Yep, he qualifies.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: The '96 Sugar Bowl, in which his team, Ohio State, got blown out by 45 points. Almost everybody makes a comment about it, from Coach McGinty to Nigel to even Annabelle.Falco: Didnt anybody have anything better to do that day?
Coach Jimmy McGinty
Actor: Gene Hackman
Head Coach for the Washington Sentinels during the strike.
- Cool Hat: The fedora
Actor: Jon Favreau
Replacement Fullback/Linebacker for the Washington Sentinels.
- Lightning Bruiser: Along with The Berserker
- Rabid Cop: Is a SWAT team officer in his day job. Always operating at maximum intensity, even in practice.Coach McGinty: I hope he doesn't kill someone.
Actress: Brooke Langton
Head Cheerleader for the Washington Sentinels, and Shane Falco's love interest.
Nigel "The Leg" Gruff
Actor: Rhys Ifans
Replacement Kicker for the Washington Sentinels.
- The Gambling Addict: His gambling problems have left him in debt to the mafia.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: His debt to the mafia means the mafia will take away his pub unless he throws the game against Dallas for them.
Replacement Wide Receiver for the Washington Sentinels
- Crippling Overspecialization: He has amazing speed, but terrible hands.
- Third-Person Person: He slips into this when he's being interviewed after a game.
Actor: Troy WinbushReplacement Running Back for the Washington Sentinels.
- Badass Preacher: He's an ordained minister, but he's more than capable of kicking ass on a football field and in a fight.
- Career-Ending Injury: He played one professional football game before his career was ended by a blown knee.
Actor: David Denman
Replacement Tight End for the Washington Sentinels. Born deaf.
Actor: Michael Jace
A convict-turned-replacement cornerback for the Washington Sentinels.
Jamal & Andre Jackson
Actors: Faizon Love & Michael Taliferro
Replacement Guards for the Washington Sentinels.
- We're the guards. We protect our quarterback.
- Bash Brothers: To the point where they completely fall apart if they're not on the same team.
Replacement Offensive Tackle for the Washington Sentinels
- Big Eater: To keep up his weight as a sumo wrestler, he eats a lot.
The Starting Quarterback for the Washington Sentinels. He goes on strike at the beginning of the film, and has a vested interest in the replacements playing badly: If they keep losing, the owners will cave to the striking players demands and throw money at him to return to his job. It doesn't work out that way.
- The Bully: Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Spoiled Brat: This man has no redeeming features at all. You'll only tolerate him on-screen because...
- Humiliation Conga: Chew Toy: Martel is a total whipping boy: In order: he gets beaten senseless and thrown into shelf full of glasses; when he tries to exact revenge for the fight he started (and lost very quickly) his Porsche gets shot to pieces. His plans to make a lot more money fail as he crosses the picket line; in strikes you get paid more if the bosses come to you, rather than you going back to the bosses. Finally he gets bundled into a broom cupboard so that he can hear the losing team win with only one change. The one change was getting his useless ass off the field.
- Hypocrite: The film presents him as the leader of the striking players. As the replacement Sentinels fail in the first half he's whooping it up like nobody's business. By the final game, he's seen how good the Sentinels chances are and makes an off-screen deal with the owner to get back in the team. To sum up: when there was no glory available he bitched about the money the players deserved; when he had another chance at the play-offs he abandoned his co-strikers and went back to work. Once again, not a nice man.
Edward O'Neil (Team Owner)
Actor: Jack Warden
Owner of the Washington Sentinels.
- Bad Boss: Despite "[his] word is [his] bond" in that he promises not to interfere with McGinty's coaching, he goes behind McGinty's back to make a deal with Martel.
- I Gave My Word: Subverted.McGinty: You'll let me recruit whoever I want, no interference?
O'Neil: My word is my bond.
McGinty: I want it in writing.