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Inside Renegades minicamp: Day 11

Dallas RB Lance Dunbar is part of a backfield that running backs coach Bobby Blizzard said will be tough to pare down.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- One thing has become clear as Renegades minicamp has wore on: The staff will have tough decisions to make when trimming down the running backs.

The current group includes Cameron Artis-Payne, Lance Dunbar, Austin Walter, Marquis Young, Darnell Holland and Dimitri Flowers

Artis-Payne ran for 1,608 yards in his senior season at Auburn and was the Renegades' highest-drafted running back.

Dunbar is a fan favorite in DFW who was a standout at Haltom High School and North Texas.

"The kind of offense we run, we need dual threats. Guys who can run the inside zone, run the outside zone and still be able to catch the ball like a receiver. All of these guys have that kind of skillset. Right now, if we had a game to play tomorrow, I’d be very excited."

Renegades RB coach Bobby Blizzard

Walter ran for over 1,700 yards at Rice. Young ran for over 3,600 yards at UMass. Holland ran for over 2,400 yards at Kennesaw State. Flowers, who plays more of an H-back role, averaged over 16 yards per reception and 4.2 yards per carry during four bruising years at Oklahoma. 

"I’m very impressed with the group that I’ve got. They were all hand picked by myself and our Director of Player Personnel Daryl Johnston," Dallas running backs coach Bobby Blizzard said. "The kind of offense we run, we need dual threats. Guys who can run the inside zone, run the outside zone and still be able to catch the ball like a receiver. All of these guys have that kind of skillset. Right now, if we had a game to play tomorrow, I’d be very excited."

What has stood out most about the group in camp is how clean their play has been.

Even without pads or contact, it's easy to notice missed routes, dropped passes, or bad reads. With so many players learning a new system, it's not even that surprising when mistakes happen. But that's one reason this backfield stands out.

"I can probably count maybe three or four busts during the whole camp so far," Blizzard said. "They’re not making mistakes, they’re making plays. I could go on and on about these guys."


Notes

  • Tuesday's practice was the first time in minicamp that receivers' and defensive backs' competitiveness spilled over into serious trash-talking, to the point that coaches and fellow players had to calm things down a little. Needless to say, this group is ready for full contact and XFL Training Camp in Houston. 
  • It was also the coldest practice so far, with temperatures sitting in the low 40s. But with clear skies and sunshine, head coach Bob Stoops took advantage of a chance to get out of the indoor practice facility. 
  • Renegades minicamp has seen its share of visiting high school and college coaches. Tuesday was no different, with Texas A&M-Commerce head coach David Bailiff and his staff dropping by to chat with the Dallas coaching staff and players and observe the new franchise in action.