On a new team in a new league, Demarcus Ayers finds himself in the role of a veteran.
The wide receiver from the University of Houston spent time with three NFL teams and is one of the most experienced players in the San Antonio Commanders’ training camp.
He saw action in two regular-season games and two playoff games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2016 season. He was signed to the New England Patriots practice squad in 2017 and Chicago Bears practice squad in 2018.
Ayers can see the Commanders coming together in the week and a half since the players reported to camp.
“The grind of camp right now, we’re like eight days in,” Ayers said. “Guys are starting to get the details down. I think the offense as much as we’ve been trying to put stuff in, the strengths and stuff like that, I think we’ve been doing a good job overall as a staff and as professional athletes.”
While with the Steelers, Ayers caught six passes for 53 yards and one touchdown in the regular season. He had three catches for 27 yards in two playoff games.
He entered the NFL draft after his junior season at Houston. In his final college season, he led the American Conference with 98 receptions. He had 1,222 receiving yards in 14 games.
Ayers was a star quarterback in high school. His senior year he led Lancaster (just south of Dallas) to the state title game. He rushed for 1,337 yards and 16 touchdowns and passed for 1,823 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Now a 5-foot-9, 182-pound receiver, Ayers believes his quarterbacking experience continues to benefit him on the field.
“Just the knowledge, the whole understanding of football,” Ayers said. “You have to know everything in every situation with the protections, how to get open, the timing from the quarterbacks, the blocking, the running backs’ paths and how to be be on the right shoulder to know he pops off a big run.
“It’s a very unique thing and it takes a lot of poise and a lot of knowlege playing the quarterback position so when you’re in other positions it makes the game a lot smoother for you.”