The San Antonio Commanders hit the practice field Saturday morning with two weeks left until the season opener.
The Commanders open Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. against the San Diego Fleet at the Alamodome.
“It was pretty smooth as far as everybody just kind of getting assignments, getting plays called,” Commanders coach Mike Riley said.
The team’s sessions on Sunday and Monday are not open to the public.
“We’re still kind of in training camp mode,” Riley said. “We have a preseason game coming up which will be good for us. But we are really just still trying to do what we need to do for camp.”
Wide receiver Alonzo Moore, who played for Riley at Nebraska, took part in his first practice since being signed by the Commanders. The team had a roster spot open after offensive lineman Jared Machorro was waived (injured) on Thursday.
Carl Whitley is a firm believer San Antonio is ready for a pro football team.
He hears the talk since the Alliance of American Football announced it was coming to town.
“They love it. When you walk around now, everybody talks about it,” Whitley said last week. “They can’t wait to see the team.”
The former Roosevelt High School wide receiver is part of the building process of the new San Antonio Commanders, as he tries to continue his football career.
“That’s why I’m happy I’m on the team and I’m from here,” Whitley said. “I’ve got a community behind me. Family and friends. They just want to see this team. We’ve been waiting for a team for the longest. Now we’ve got one. Whole San Antonio is ready to rise. Everybody sees how we are with the Spurs. It’s going to be great.”
Whitley has been with the Commanders through mini-camp in December and now training camp, which just completed its first week.
“One thing I gained is I’m familiar with the playbook now,” Whitley said of the carry-over from mini-camp to training camp. “We got started early. I feel like I’ve got a little edge on. I’m ready to get in. I’m a little ahead of my time.
“When you go into certain camps you’re not really ready. This camp we’re ready. We’ve got plays together.”
After Roosevelt, Whitley played two seasons of junior college football at Cisco College.
Whitley spent three years at Abilene Christian. He sat out the 2016 season after suffering a knee injury late in the 2015 season. In 2015, he played in 10 games and had 10 catches for 374 yards with two touchdowns. In 2017, he played in 11 games and made 31 catches for 307 yards with five touchdowns.
Even in high school, Whitley never played in the Alamodome. He got to spend some time on the field there last week in a team meet-and-greet event for season ticket holders.
“I’ve never played in the Alamodome in all my time playing here,” Whitley said. “It’s been good walking down on that field. Actually being able to play on that field is crazy to me.”
Photo note: Photos of Whitley are from the first six days of training camp. Whitley was limited in practice on Saturday do to what a team official called a toe issue.
For most of the San Antonio Commanders’ first mini-camp practice, players were broken up by position. In the later stages of practice, they got to try a few plays. Near the end, former West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan connected with former Abilene Christian wide receiver Carl Whitley.
The twosome are an example of something Commanders general manager Daryl Johnston told season ticket holders the night before: the smaller colleges in Texas are a wealth of football talent.
Here is the play from snap until finish.
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.