Legends ‘burst’ onto scene at Training Camp
By Jaylon Thompson
SAN ANTONIO — The Atlanta Legends bounced off the buses as they entered the Star Complex for their inaugural training camp practice on Saturday afternoon. Everyone was all smiles as the team hit the gridiron to begin the journey toward success.
Over the last few days, Legends head coach Brad Childress installed a blue-collar approach that focuses on preparation and execution. Childress has maintained that he requires his players to have an “energy” and a “burst” to everything they do.
If the first practice session was any indication, the message was received loud and clear. The team flew around the ball and gave extra effort in and out of breaks. As a result, several players found their stride as practice progressed.
“It was a lot of rust that got knocked off as we only had one minicamp,” Childress said. “All in all, I thought they did a great job moving from drill to drill. We had a lot of technique work to do in a short period of time. They did pretty good and we have a lot to absorb.”
Many players stood out at practice. Safety Quincy Mauger opened team drills with an interception as he stepped in front of a slant route. Tight end Charles Standberry Jr. showed great reflexes in and out of his breaks and cornerback Ray Buchanan Jr. had a nice pass breakup in one-on-one coverage.
Along with those standouts, here are three takeaways from practice.
1. Receivers impress in individual drills
There is a unique bond between the Legends quarterbacks and their receivers. On Saturday, the receivers put on a show in their perspective individual drills. Guys like Seantavius Jones, James Quick and Austin Duke flashed their potential as solid route runners. Each made great catches and demonstrated a good understanding of the route tree.
Stephen Hill and Malachi Jones also got involved in the team portion. Jones wowed his teammates with a couple nice grabs. He found the end zone after hauling in a fade route down the sideline.
Malachi Jones credited the group success to their chemistry established in the locker room.
“It’s a very talented room,” Jones said. “We are bonding and building that chemistry as well as a receiving corps. Everybody brings their own special thing to the table. I am very excited to see where this team is going, and we are going to continue to get better every week.”
2. Defensive Line establishes on-ball techniques
The Legends defensive line had a good day at the office. From the early going, the front four was active in hand placement drills and stunt techniques. Defensive line coach Leroy Thompson helped the unit establish better get-offs and speed up the field.
The workouts showed up in team drills. The defensive line controlled much of the session and showed great pressure up the middle. It was a delight to Coach Childress as he praised the unit after practice.
“They look like they will be a force to be contended with,” Childress said. “I think (defensive line coach) Leroy Thompson and (defensive coordinator) Kevin Coyle will mix them up in there in terms of twisting (stunts).”
3. Practice ends on a good note
The first day ended with several players improving individually. As with every team, each player is getting evaluated to make the final roster. It was a strong first step for what will be a special training camp.
“The first day was a great day and I am excited for the rest of camp,” Malachi Jones said.