Commanders coach Mike Riley and the zen of bouncing back

San Antonio Commanders coach Mike Riley (right) works with players on holding for field goals. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders coach Mike Riley (right) works with players on holding for field goals. – photo by Joe Alexander
The talk of the football world on Sunday night was a missed field goal on the final play of the Philadelphia Eagles’ victory over the Chicago Bears.

San Antonio Commanders coach Mike Riley has been around long enough to have thoughts on working with players who shoulder the blame for tough losses.

“There’s a lot of mental parts that go into it,” Riley said. “The fact of the matter is that it was tough, it was a miss.

“What we coach is it’s a great opportunity to show that you can bounce back and that you’re-tough minded enough to do it and it’s a great chance to build a better you.”

Training camp update: Monday, Jan. 7, 2019

It was warmer and more humid than the first two days of practice, up to about 75 degrees when the players walked off the field. There were lots of visiting coaches on the sidelines, due largely to the American Football Coaches Association convention in San Antonio.

Cornerback Zack Sanchez and the rest of the players were in shoulder pads on Monday for the first time in training camp. - photo by Joe Alexander
Cornerback Zack Sanchez and the rest of the players were in shoulder pads on Monday for the first time in training camp.
Shoulder pads

The Commanders went through their first two practices on Saturday and Sunday with helmets but no pads. On Monday, they added shoulder pads. “It feels like real football,” one assistant coach said.

“If was given the choice I would go with shoulder pads on the very first day and still keep them up just because I think it provides them the protection when you’re running through the hole from the back,” Riley said. “I think it’s good. Frankly it wasn’t a lot different, except for the interaction in the line.”

Come watch practice

The Commanders’ daily news update includes the following:

“NEW ANNOUNCEMENT: All practices for teams of The Alliance of American Football are now open to the general public. Fans are required to sit in the stands.”

Roster addition

Henry Poggi, a fullback from Iowa State, is now No. 45 on the roster. He is listed at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.

Mabry no longer on roster

Former UTSA defensive lineman Ashaad Mabry is no longer on the roster. He was listed as a defensive end at 6-foot-2, 312 pounds wearing No. 97. Mabry was at the first training camp practice on Saturday, but didn’t have a helmet on. He was with the team in mini-camp. The team announced he was placed on the reserved/injured list via the waiver system.

San Antonio Commanders kicker Sergio Castillo Jr. works with Joseph Zema doing the holding. Zema is a punter. - photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders kicker Sergio Castillo Jr. works with Joseph Zema doing the holding. Zema is a punter.

Commanders defensive linemen go through drills at mini-camp

Matthew Godin, a defensive end from Michigan, was me taking pictures. He had a little fun making sure I saw him. - photo by Joe Alexander
Matthew Godin, a defensive end from Michigan, saw me taking pictures. He had a little fun making sure I saw him, too.
Saturday’s final practice of San Antonio Commanders mini-camp saw beautiful weather with sunshine and not much wind. Here is a look at the defensive linemen going through drills with assistant coach Jim McInerny.

Arthur Miley, Ashaad Mabry, Deion Barnes, Herbert Gonzales, John Sheehy, Jordan Wade, Matthew Godin and Winston Craig were going through the defensive line drills.

The Commanders open the inaugural Alliance of American Football (AAF) season on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at home at the Alamodome against the San Diego Fleet.

Commanders assistant coach Jeff McInerny works with the defensive linemen Saturday at mini-camp. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders assistant coach Jeff McInerny works with the defensive linemen Saturday at mini-camp.

Defensive end Ashaad Mabry at Commanders mini-camp

Former UTSA and MacArthur High School defensive lineman Ashaad Mabry is trying to earn a spot with the San Antonio Commanders. He was part of UTSA's original group of players in 2010. - photo by Joe AlexanderFormer UTSA and MacArthur High School defensive lineman Ashaad Mabry is trying to earn a spot with the San Antonio Commanders. He was part of UTSA’s original group of players in 2010.

The Commanders open the inaugural Alliance of American Football (AAF) season on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 at home at the Alamodome against the San Diego Fleet.