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Smiles abundant as Dragons open minicamp

SEATTLE – Judging by the smile on Keenan Reynolds’ face, he was happy to be in Seattle again. After being waived by the Seahawks late in training camp, the receiver was back on the field Thursday, wearing a blue jersey and sweat suit during the Dragons’ first-ever practice.

“It was a great first day,” said Reynolds, who played quarterback at Navy. “It was good to get out and run around in a practice. It’s been a while. I haven’t been on a team since training camp, so to be able to get back out here and run routes, catch the ball, run plays, it was cool.”

Smiles were prevalent all over the field as players savored their latest football opportunity.

“They finally got to get out and move around as a group,” coach Jim Zorn said. “That was impressive.”

When Reynolds left Seattle, he went back to Nashville, Tenn. – his hometown – and returned to work as a reservist in the Navy and continue training as he waited for the next step in his football career.

Just a few months after leaving, Reynolds is back.

“It feels like I never really left,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve still got a lot of good friends on the Seahawks I still talk to. I have a familiarity with the city, even the playbook is kind of familiar.”

The Dragons opened their inaugural minicamp at Memorial Stadium and got right to work, focusing on making the most of their time in Seattle before breaking for the holidays.

“I think it’s probably because it’s the first day, everybody is trying to be impressive,” Zorn said. “I’m looking for those guys who don’t get tired of what they did today, because everyone was paying attention, everybody was giving great effort.”

Not only were the players dialed in on the first day, but Zorn left the field impressed with the work his team put in during the offseason.

“The other thing I saw was how well-conditioned these players got themselves before they came here,” he said. “You could tell guys just didn’t sit around.”

It was a particularly special day for receiver Kasen Williams, whose birthday fell on the franchise’s historic day. But, the 27-year-old wasn’t thinking about celebrating. The University of Washington product was more concerned with running routes, catching passes and learning the offense.

Williams heads into his XFL career much like Reynolds, in a place that’s familiar. While both receivers believe they’re where they need to be – like they never left – as they head into the season with plenty to prove.

“Most people are just looking for an opportunity to play ball,” Williams said Wednesday night on Q13 News. “A guy like me, I haven’t played in a year now, so I’m just ready to get back onto the field and let the world know what I’m capable of.”