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.

Kickers working on field goals at Commanders mini-camp

Kickers worked on their field-goal skills at San Antonio Commanders mini-camp in December at Incarnate Word's Benson Stadium. - photo by Joe AlexanderAlliance of American Football (AAF) games won’t have kickoffs or extra-point kicks. But they will have field goals. Kickers Jarod Haynes and Sergio Castillo worked on their skills at San Antonio Commanders mini-camp in December at Incarnate Word’s Benson Stadium.

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.

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