Commanders QB Dalton Sturm says arm feels good

Commanders quarterback Dalton Sturm, talking to the media after Tuesday’s practice, says his arm feels good. – photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders quarterback Dalton Sturm, talking to the media after Tuesday’s practice, says his arm feels good. – photo by Joe Alexander
San Antonio Commanders quarterback Dalton Sturm had recently taken time off from throwing due to an elbow issue.

That included watching as the team’s other three quarterbacks went through passing drills at mini-camp in December.

But the former UTSA starting quarterback has been throwing four straight days in training camp. Sturm reported after Tuesday’s practice at Central Catholic that he feels good passing the ball.

“It feels good. It’s not hurting me at all,” Sturm said. “I’m going out there, I’m able to make every throw I was before.”

A question mark was not only would Sturm be throwing when training camp started, but how he would feel the next morning after he tested his arm on Saturday.

“It was a little sore. I hadn’t thrown in about six weeks,” Sturm said. “That’s just normal. Coming out now, I’m feeling good and I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Commanders head coach Mike Riley said on Monday he has been impressed with Sturm’s history and his performance so far in training camp.

“I love Dalton. Dalton’s got a good story behind him,” Riley said. “He walked on, won the spot, won games, has records at his school UTSA. I think he’s got a lot of self confidence and I think he understands the quarterback position.

“I’ve been impressed since we really didn’t get to see him at mini camp when all his arm issues were going on. Seeing him out here and watching it all take place, I think it’s very interesting that way. I think that we’ve been fortunate in the quarterbacks we got in this league.”

Commanders quarterbacks stretch at the beginning of Tuesday's training camp practice. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders quarterbacks stretch at the beginning of Tuesday’s training camp practice.
All four quarterbacks in camp – Sturm, Dustin Vaughan, Marquise Williams and Logan Woodside – seem to be enjoying the quarterback competition. On the field they look like the foursome is a friendly group.

“I really like it. I’ve known Logan (Woodside) for a long time, Dustin (Vaughan) is my roommate at camp so being able to compete with him out here is great,” Sturm said. “Marquise (Williams) is a really good dude so being able to compete with these guys each and every day is awesome.

“We’re all shooting for the same thing and we’re all trying to be the best quarterback we can be at the same time. Being able to try and earn that starting job alongside these guys, while working with them and learning with them is just a great opportunity.”

Training camp report: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019

It was a hazy but sunny day and the warmest of training camp yet, getting up to about 78 degrees at Central Catholic High School’s football stadium. That might be the hottest day for a while. San Antonio is forecast to see cooler weather the rest of the week.

No pads, no helmets

The players went through the first two training camp practices on Saturday and Sunday with helmets, but no pads. Monday they added shoulder pads. Tuesday they were down to only jerseys. The coaches used the non-contact practice to focus on teaching offensive and defensive schemes.

Sounds like coaching

There are certain things you hear at practice that stick out. A favorite is receivers coach Keith Williams calling one of his player a “rascal” after a good play or a “dirty rascal” after a great play.

Wisdom from head coach Mike Riley on Tuesday: “All the parts will fit in some day.”

 Commanders receiver Speedy Noil (16) and Riley Smith talk during drills at Tuesday's training camp practice. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders receiver Speedy Noil (16) and Riley Smith talk during drills at Tuesday’s training camp practice.
Looking like a coach

Commanders receiver Riley Smith, who suffered a hamstring injury on the first day of training camp, wasn’t dressed out Tuesday. He was still with is fellow receivers, wearing black shorts and t-shirt and a Commanders cap, and could have passed for an assistant coach.

Speaking of coaches

There continued to be a large number of college coaches surrounding the practice field. Coaches from around the country are in San Antonio for the American Football Coaches Association convention.

Commanders waive Hawkins

The Commanders terminated the rights of offensive lineman Donald Hawkins via the waiver system. Hawkins was a 6-foot-4, 310-pound guard from Texas and wore No. 77.

First day for fans

Fans are now welcome to sit in the stands and watch practice. Tuesday was the first day of the open-door policy for the fans at all of the AAF training camps. There were a few in the stands at Central Catholic. Commanders practices on Wednesday and Thursday are scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

Fans were allowed to sit in the stands at Central Catholic's football stadium to watch Commanders' practice for the first time Tuesday. - photo by Joe Alexander
Fans were allowed to sit in the stands at Central Catholic’s football stadium to watch Commanders’ practice for the first time Tuesday.

Commanders add players to training camp roster, make cuts

Commanders players reported to training camp on Friday. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders players reported to training camp on Friday.
The San Antonio Commanders announced today that they added players to their 75-main training camp roster. The team also announced three players were released. Players reported today and practice starts tomorrow.

The following is from the Commanders official news release:

The Commanders have announced the signings of linebacker Arthur Brown, defensive back Kurtis Drummond, wide receiver John Diarse, offensive lineman Avery Gennesy, offensive lineman Donald Hawkins and running back Trey Williams.

Arthur Brown

Born in Wichita, Kan., Brown became a member of the Kansas State football program (2011-12) after electing to transfer from the University of Miami (2008-10). A two-year starter at linebacker for the Wildcats’ defense, Brown collected 218 tackles, 17 tackles for losses, three sacks and three interceptions. Drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Brown played five seasons in the league with the Baltimore Ravens (2013-15), Jacksonville Jaguars (2016), New York Jets (2016) and Seattle Seahawks (2017).

John Diarse

A native of Monroe, La., Diarse played wide receiver at LSU (2013-15) before transferring to TCU as a graduate student (2016-17). A two-year starter for Gary Patterson’s offense, Diarse became a feature piece of the offense. Finishing his collegiate career with 96 receptions, 1,429 yards and nine touchdowns, Diarse signed an undrafted rookie contract with the Denver last offseason. He was waived during the team’s final roster cuts after finishing the preseason with four catches for 68 yards.

Kurtis Drummond

From Youngstown, Ohio, Drummond was a three-star recruit before signing to play for Michigan State (2011-14). A three-year starter for the Spartans, Drummond was a two-time first team All-Big Ten reciprent and named a first team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America in 2014. Collecting 233 tackles, 14 tackles for losses, 12 interceptions and one sack, Drummond would sign an undrafted free agent contract with the Houston Texans following the 2015 NFL Draft. Drummond played two seasons with the Texans (2015-17) where he collected 13 total tackles and one forced fumble.

Avery Gennesy

A Southhaven, Miss. product, Gennesy started as an offensive tackle for Texas A&M (2014-17) under Kevin Sumlin. Transfering from East Mississippi Community College (2012-13), Gennesy helped the Aggies offense average 190.4 rushing yards per game and 361.6 passing yards per game during his two seasons as the team’s left tackle. Undrafted in the 2017 NFL Draft, Gennesy was a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars (2017-18), Cleveland Browns (2018) and Denver Broncos (2018) practice squads.

Donald Hawkins

Born in Tunica, Miss., Hawkins has spent some time in the Texas area. An offensive tackle for Texas (2012-13), Hawkins started in 24 of his 25 career games under Mack Brown’s offense. Following going undrafted in 2014, Hawkins has played offensive tackles for multiple NFL teams including the Philadelphia Eagles (2014), Cleveland Browns (2014), Dallas Cowboys (2014), Miami Dolphins (2015), San Francisco 49ers (2015), Carolina Panthers (2016), New York Jets (2016) and Kansas City Chiefs. The 26-year-old played in eight NFL games over the course of four seasons.

Trey Williams

A native Spring, Texas, Williams was a state champion running back for the Dekaney Wildcats before electing to play for Texas A&M (2012-15). Over the course of three seasons, the rotational back, Williams rushed for 1,343 yards on 204 carries with 18 touchdowns, while averaging a career 8.7 yards per carry. Williams also worked as the Aggies’ return man where he collected 1684 yards on 70 returns in three years. Since leaving College Station, Williams has been a member for several NFL programs, including the Washington Redskins (2015), Dallas Cowboys (2015, 2017), New England Patriots (2015), Miami Dolphins (2015), Indianapolis Colts (2015-16) and Pittsburgh Steelers. Williams also has played in the Canadian Football League as a member of the Toronto Argonauts (2017).

In other moves, the Commanders waived the rights to Tyler Palka (WR), Juwaan Rogers (RB) and Bryan Braman (DL).