Legends QB Aaron Murray building chemistry with receiving corps
By Jaylon Thompson, Atlanta Legends Team Reporter
SAN ANTONIO — Before ending his introductory chat with Atlanta Legends general manager Billy Devaney, Aaron Murray needed to see a team roster.
The Legends quarterback had an idea. After spending three years in head coach Brad Childress’ system, Murray wanted to pass along his knowledge to his new teammates.
So, he reached out to the Legends receiving corps. Murray got in contact with a group of guys that included local standouts Stephen Hill, Malachi Jones, and Seantavius Jones.
Twice a week, Murray led the group and acclimated them into the offense. His goal was to build a connection that would carry the Legends through their inaugural season.
“We were nomads going from place to place,” Murray said. ” . . . The guys were great about it. We got some great work in and I think it will pay huge for us going forward.”
The group practiced at several schools in the Atlanta area. They spent time at outdoor fields and local parks to get better.
“They loved it,” Murray said. “They came out almost every single day rain or shine. It definitely helped. Now it’s about playing catch-up to build that trust and chemistry with the rest of the receivers.”
On Sunday, the receiving corps linked up again as the Legends held their second training camp practice at Dub Farris Sports Complex.
It didn’t take long for Murray to find a rhythm. He consistently pegged his receivers with accurate passes that allowed them to showcase their innate ability. In offense-only drills, he hit Malachi Jones with a 16-yard dagger route that was seamless.
Murray took a five-step drop and fired a pass right as Malachi Jones turned his head. The connection ended up being a key play in the practice session. It was a culmination of trust between the players.
Murray trusted him with his eyes and feet. In turn, the pass connection was a symbol of great communication Murray has established with the group.
“It’s about building that understanding of what they are looking at versus coverages and what I am looking at (overall),” Murray said. “They can pick my brain so that we are all on the same page.”
Malachi Jones agreed. He credited the Murray’s leadership as a big factor in his development as a receiver.
“It’s been huge to have the opportunity to throw with Aaron (Murray) over the last two months,” Malachi Jones said. “We are out there twice a week going over the plays and making sure we get certain routes down that we like to build chemistry.”
As training camp continues, Murray said he will focus on getting everyone involved in the offense. He has spent time growing bonds during team bus rides, lunch, and team meetings.
Coach Childress has noticed. He spent time at practice viewing the offensive session. He provided feedback and offered advice to the group as well.
“I think it’s a willing and want to group,” Childress said. “They understand, and I am impressed with the younger kids picking up all the language as quick as they have.”
The Legends are also working in the receivers with every quarterback on the roster. Each quarterback had a chance to work in team drills with the receiving corps. The ability to build reps with each signal-caller has helped the receivers develop.
“I think you can see it from the guys that are running routes,” Childress said.
The Legends are back at practice on Monday morning. According to Murray, Sunday was a good day at the office.
“I thought we made huge strides today in the individual and team periods,” Murray said.
The Legends open the season at The Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football’s inaugural game on February 9.