San Antonio Commanders training camp was a little noisier on Wednesday.
The Commanders practiced in full pads – helmets, shoulder pads, thigh pads, hip pads – and did a little more hitting as they took one step closer to putting things together with the AAF season opener a month away.
“It felt great man,” said Zack Sanchez, a cornerback from Oklahoma. “I know for most of the guys it’s been awhile since you felt that thud so I’m glad we got to get out here, get that feel again, get that excitement back.”
Sanchez went to high school in Keller, north of Fort Worth, and played in 36 games over three seasons at Oklahoma. As a junior in 2015, his final season with the Sooners, he intercepted seven passes. The next spring he was drafted in the fifth round by the Carolina Panthers.
Sanchez saw action with the Panthers during the 2016 season, playing in three games and starting one. He had a workout with the New York Giants in August, 2018.
“Once you’re out of that loop it’s hard to get back in. It’s real hard,” Sanchez said. “This is the best thing to happen, better than the CFL. There’s other leagues that are trying it.
“There’s a lot of home-grown talent here and a lot of guys who don’t get the look they may need. It’s a blessing to be here and I’m excited for it.”
Training camp report: Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2018
There was more contact with the full pads on than in the previous four days of training camp, but still no full tackling.
Commanders head coach Mike Riley could sense the energy in practice. The Commanders open the season Feb. 9 against the San Diego Fleet.
“Now it’s the real deal, one month away,” Riley said. “It feels good. I think our guys have made some real progress considering the short amount of time we’ve been together. There’s a million things left to do but I’ve really enjoyed working with these guys and it’s certainly real now.”
The weather cooled off and it felt a little more like winter, at least by Texas standards. After four straight days in the 70s, it never got above the 60s today.
Commanders add defensive back
The Commanders announced they signed De’Vante Bausby, a defensive back from Pittsburg State of Kansas. Bausby played six games with the Chicago Bears in 2016, was on the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad in 2017 and played in six games with the Eagles this season.