Who is the Commanders’ top quarterback?

Commanders coach talks about the team's performance in mini-camp after the final practice on Saturday. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders coach Mike Riley talks about the team’s performance in mini-camp after the final practice on Saturday.
After the final practice of San Antonio Commanders mini-camp, I asked head coach Mike Riley if anyone stood out as the top quarterback. He didn’t name a player, but his answer was interesting.

“Even if I knew I wouldn’t tell you right now,” Riley said. He laughed when he said that. “That’s a good question. It’s just something that we’re going to let play out through time.

“Once we get these guys and you go 75 at camp it’s really open competition once again. We want them all to feel like they have opportunity. When people feel like they have opportunity I think you get the most out of them.”

Earlier in mini-camp, Riley said he was pleased with the way the quarterbacks looked. He repeated that viewpoint after Saturday’s final workout.

“They did a nice job,” Riley said. “I think we got a foundation at that position that’s going to be good for us to carry over into camp.”

During the Alliance of American Football (AAF) protect or pick quarterback draft earlier this month, the Commanders protected Dustin Vaughan in the first round. They picked Marquise Williams in the second round and Logan Woodside in the third round.

The team protected former UTSA quarterback Dalton Sturm in the fourth round.

All four quarterbacks have participated in the mini-camp, but Sturm has not been throwing due to what has been called an elbow issue. Riley said earlier in the week that Sturm would not be throwing until training camp in January.

Commanders quarterbacks Dustin Vaughan (left) and Marquise Williams go through a passing drill Thursday during the first practice of mini-camp. - photo by Joe Alexander
Commanders quarterbacks Dustin Vaughan (left) and Marquise Williams go through a passing drill Thursday during the first practice of mini-camp.

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.”

Vaughan to Whitley: Best play of first Commanders mini-camp practice

Former West Texas A&M quarterback Dustin Vaughan connected with former Abilene Christian wide receiver Carl Whitley. - photo by Joe AlexanderFor 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.

Commanders QB Dustin Vaughan meets the media

San Antonio Commanders quarterback Dustin Vaughan talks to members of the local media on Wednesday at the  team's mini-camp. - photo by Joe AlexanderSan Antonio Commanders quarterback Dustin Vaughan talks to members of the local media on Wednesday at the team’s mini-camp. The former West Texas A&M quarterback was protected by the team in the first round of the Alliance of American Football (AAF) quarterback draft.

“After the protect or pick draft happened, obviously it was an honor. But we all knew. We talk about it in the quarterback room. It’s a competition. It will be that. That’s exactly what it should be. It’s a level playing field. Everybody deserves the same opportunity.

“The expectation wasn’t that I was going to get treated any different than anybody else. We knew coming in that these four quarterbacks and all the positions to say the least are going to have to complete to win a position on this team.”
– Dustin Vaughan

Daryl Johnston and Dustin Vaughan talk to ESPN SA about the Commanders

Longtime Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston was officially introduced as the San Antonio general manager in the Alliance of American Football (AAF). - photo by Joe Alexander
Daryl Johnston
San Antonio Commanders quarterback Dustin Vaughan and general manager Daryl Johnston talked to Jason Minnix and Rob Thompson of The Blitz on ESPN San Antonio (AM 1250) on Wednesday.

Their conversations came the day after the AAF quarterback draft. The Commanders protected Vaughan, a former West Texas A&M quarterback, in the first round of the draft.

Listen to the ESPN San Antonio broadcasts below:
Daryl Johnston talks to The Blitz
Dustin Vaughan talks to The Blitz

Commanders protect QB Dustin Vaughan; lose Trevor Knight, Luis Perez

San Antonio fans watched at a viewing party at Walk-On's as the Commanders used their first pick in the quarterback draft to protect Dustin Vaughan.
San Antonio fans watched at a viewing party at Walk-On’s as the Commanders used their first pick in the quarterback draft to protect Dustin Vaughan. (CBS Sports Network)
The San Antonio Commanders protected Dustin Vaughan in the first round of the Alliance of American Football protect or pick quarterback draft.

The Commanders lost two of their original assigned quarterbacks in the first round and another in the third round.

The Commanders now have the following quarterbacks:
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Logan Woodside, Toledo
Dalton Sturm, UTSA

UPDATE 11: Commanders protect Dalton Sturm from UTSA with their fourth-round pick.

UPDATE 10: Commanders lose Austin Appleby from Purdue. He was picked by Orlando in the third round.

UPDATE 10: Commanders pick Logan Woodside from Toledo in the third round.

UPDATE 9: Commanders pick Marquise Williams from North Carolina in the second round.

UPDATE 8: “The Wizard of Odds” sets odds of Commanders winning the title at 6-1. Orlando the favorite at 5-2.

UPDATE 7: Disappointed reaction here at the draft party at Walk-On’s when Trevor Knight was picked by Arizona. He was obviously a favorite of many of the Commanders fans.

UPDATE 6: Two picks in a row the Commanders lose a QB. Arizona picks Trevor Knight from Texas A&M in the first round.

UPDATE 5: Commanders lose quarterback Luis Perez from A&M Commerce. He was picked by Birmingham in the first round.

UPDATE 4: In the first round the Commanders protect Dustin Vaughan from West Texas A&M.

UPDATE 3: Commanders QB Luis Perez from A&M Commerce got some love on CBS Sports Network on the draft show.

UPDATE 2: Commanders will officially protect one of their current quarterbacks in the first round;
Austin Applby, Purdue
Trevor Knight, Texas A&M
Luis Perez, A&M Commerce
Dalton Sturm, UTSA
Dustin Vaughan, West Texas A&M

UPDATE 1: San Antonio Commanders will apparently protect one of their current quarterbacks, based on what I heard from team General Manager Daryl Johnston talking on Ticket 760.

quarterback draft