Stallions coaches ‘happy’ after joint practice with Birmingham Iron
By Chantel Buchi, Salt Lake Stallions Team Reporter
SAN ANTONIO — Drizzling, overcast and 55 degrees, the Salt Lake Stallions met the Birmingham Iron at the Gustafson Stadium.
Before warmups started, the Iron hyped up their team and yelled in the direction of the Stallions on the other side of the field. Stallions running back Matt Asiata replied with his usual start-of-practice Polynesian chant with the team. But today, he made sure he was heard.
Practice started with punt returns. During the quarterback drills, Josh Woodrum and BJ Daniels paired off on one side while Matt Linehan and Austin Allen paired off on the other. Woodrum and Daniels together went 29-of-36 in the first drill.
The Stallions warmed up with plays against their own team before they split into two to warm up against the Iron at the 10 and the 50-yard line. At the 10, the defensive lines were getting reps, and at the 50, the cornerbacks and receivers were getting reps.
Then they were ready.
Halfway through practice, the Salt Lake Stallions and the Birmingham Iron went head-to-head.
The excitement was rising when Linehan threw a dart to wide receiver Kaelin Clay, but when defensive lineman Trey Parker sacked the Iron’s quarterback, the excitement reached a new level.
“As a defense and as a whole team, we showed that we can be physical,” defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson said. “As a guy who has a pleasure running the defense, I was happy with what I saw.”
Practice ended after each team had their equal amount of 12 alternating defensive and offensive plays. Now, onto the tape evaluation.
“Our guys did extremely well on both sides of the football,” Stallions head coach Dennis Erickson said. “I’m happy with it. It’s going to be good for us as far as our evaluation as a coaching staff to get down to a 52-man roster, and then it’s just going to be good for us to see where we’re at offensively and defensively. But the biggest thing that I saw is we executed well on both sides of the football.”
The Salt Lake Stallions open their season on February 10 with a visit to Arizona Hotshots. The Salt Lake Stallions open their home schedule on February 23 hosting the Arizona Hotshots. Get your tickets here: https://aaf.com/salt-lake-stallions/tickets/