When will Nick Rose have his Commanders moment?

The Commanders field goal crew: kicker Nick Rose (from left), holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Commanders field goal crew: kicker Nick Rose (from left), holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly. – photo by Joe Alexander
Nick Rose has been quietly perfect.

About twice every weekend, Rose walks out on to a football field and nails a field goal.

The former University of Texas kicker, teaming up with holder Joe Zema and long snapper Scott Daly, is 11-of-11 on field goal tries this season for the San Antonio Commanders.

But Rose hasn’t had one of those moments to bring the San Antonio fans out of their seats.

It’s bound to happen eventually.

The Commanders (4-2) are on the top of the AAF West standings, one game ahead of the San Diego Fleet (3-3) and Arizona Hotshots (3-3). The Fleet have had their last two games decided on a field goal at the end – winning a game when they made a field goal and losing a game when the other team made their’s.

The Commanders have four, five or six games left in the season. They have four regular-season games left, including today’s meeting with the Salt Lake Stallions (2-4) at 7 p.m. at the Alamodome. The fifth and sixth games, if they get there, are the conference final and AAF championship game.

Playing on the Commanders’ home field – they are in the Alamodome for the next three games – estimate that Rose has a good chance of making it from as far out as 61 yards. That means that once the Commanders cross the opposing 43-yard line, they are in the Rose Zone.

If and when the time comes, expect Rose to quietly walk out on the field and do his job. If he gets his moment at home, count on the fans in the Alamodome to finally make plenty of noise for him.

Colder weather arrives at Commanders training camp

The Commanders' offense goes through formations and plays at training camp on Monday on Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
The Commanders’ offense goes through formations and plays at training camp on Monday on Central Catholic High School. – photo by Joe Alexander
Training camp report: Monday, Jan. 14, 2019

For the first time since the Commanders started training workouts on Jan. 5, it felt more like winter in San Antonio. The players hit the field under clowdy skies and temperatures in the low 40s. It inched up a few degrees by the time practice ended about 1:15.”

“It’s Texas in January. It’s 70 and then 40. We just deal with it,” said Commanders coach Mike Riley, who spent time as a college head coach at Oregon State and Nebraska. “It really doesn’t feel any different for me getting started. It feels like training camp and the start of the season.

The players wore helmets but no pads – making it a day bodies could heal. Coaches could focus on teaching and there was less competing for positions. The players generally had hoodies on under their jerseys.

“Totally teaching,” Riley said. “I’ve done this for a long time and had to make a lot of fall camp practice schedules in my life. I’m just using that experience to see what’s happened with some guys.

“After three of four days in a row, a day to slow down is not bad. Then three or four more days then have a day off. I think there is a rotation in there somewhere to give them a day off physically rather than go six straight days full speed real hard. You’re at some point going to get diminishing returns.”

Center Eric Wren in offensive line drills on Monday at training camp at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Center Eric Wren in offensive line drills on Monday.

Former University of the Incarnate Word punter Joseph Zema gets in the work at the beginning of practice on Monday at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Former University of the Incarnate Word punter Joseph Zema gets in the work at the beginning of practice.

Offensive coordinator Matt Troxel talks with the Commanders quarterbacks during practice on Monday at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Offensive coordinator Matt Troxel talks with the Commanders quarterbacks during practice.

Running backs coach Lyle Moevao and head coach Mike Riley talk on the field during practice Monday at Central Catholic High School. - photo by Joe Alexander
Running backs coach Lyle Moevao and head coach Mike Riley talk on the field during practice.

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.

AAF assigns three players to San Antonio

The Alliance of American Football (AAF) had a uniform on display Thursday to announce the spring league's arrive in San Antonio. - photo by Joe Alexander
– 210football.com
The Alliance of American Football (AAF) on Monday released a list of its first 100 players – including three who are assigned to Alliance San Antonio.

Incarnate Word punter Joseph Zema is the first player from a local university to be assigned to Alliance San Antonio.

Sergio Castillo, a kicker from West Texas A&M, and Matthew Godin, a defensive tackle from Michigan were also assigned to Alliance San Antonio.

Zema was named top punter in NCAA Division I FCS for the 2017 season. More information on the UIW website:
uiwcardinals.com

Castillo played his final season at West Texas A&M in 2013. He made 38 of 49 field goals in his career with a long of 56 and converted 174 of 177 extra-points.

Godin played in 13 games as a senior at Michigan in 2016 and recorded 18 solo tackles, 9 assists and 1.0 sacks. Godin spent last season with the Houston Texans, but did not play in any games due to an ACL injury. The Texans listed him as a 6-foot-6, 295-pound defensive end.

The full list of the first 100 AAF players is available on the AAF website:
aaf.com