SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Sunny skies shone down on Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium this morning as the San Antonio Commanders hosted their inaugural practice. The brand new Alliance of American Football team took the field at 10 a.m. expecting an hour and a half practice.
The session lasted an extra hour.
"We were probably a little bit ambitious today," said head coach Mike Riley. "We started with a conditioning test that lasted a little longer than I thought. Practice was actually the same amount of time that I thought it would be, but I'm going to cut this afternoon back a little bit because these guys did a lot this morning."
The extended practice had no effect the team's excitement level or quality of work.
"I was totally impressed," Riley said. "They did good work and had good attention. We've got a bunch of pros here, and they're fun to work with."
"I think we made a good first impression," said running back Khiry Robinson. "We've got a lot of guys that are willing to work and are hungry for football. I feel like we've got good energy, just bouncing around. It feels good to be around people who have all either played together or have some kind of connection with each other through football."
The Commanders have the rare opportunity to build a franchise from scratch. The 85-man roster is filled with brand new players, each sporting a variety of experience levels from the college and professional ranks. It's the job of a new coaching staff, and the players themselves, to put the pieces together.