Riley evaluates Commanders’ first practice

Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston (left) and head coach Mike Riley talk on the field during the team's first workout. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston (left) and head coach Mike Riley talk on the field during the team’s first workout.
San Antonio Commanders head coach Mike Riley spent Thursday morning watching his new team on a football field for the first time.

Riley looked pleased at the Commanders’ mini-camp workout at Benson Stadium at the University of the Incarnate Word. The first practice ran longer than the announced schedule.

“We were probably a little bit ambitious today,” Riley said. “We had a conditioning test to start with that lasted a little bit longer than I thought. Practice was the same amount of time I thought it would be.

“These guys did a lot this morning. I was totally impressed. Good work. Good attention. We’ve got a bunch of pros here I think and they’re fun to work with.”

The team has four quarterbacks in camp: Dustin Vaughan, Marquise Williams, Logan Woodside and Dalton Sturm. All spent time throwing the ball except Sturm, who is not expected to do any throwing until training camp in January due to a shoulder issue.

“All the quarterbacks looked very sharp,” Riley said. “They’re all pretty darn natural throwers. They commanded the huddle well. Had a good grasp on what we are doing. I was impressed.

The Commanders took an 85-man roster into mini-camp. They will have to cut down to 52 players before their season opener on Feb. 9.

“When you get into these deals, you are going to get to a point where you have to cut some players. You always have to be evaluating,” Riley said. “But we also have to be busy putting in offense and defense and make sure that we’re progressing that way.

“There’s two things here. We’re going to have to form a team and get the cuts made so we have the right number on the roster. Then we’ve got to get them football ready so we can win.”

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