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Minicamp Recap: Houston Roughnecks

QB Phillip Walker feels comfortable leading June Jones' Run and Shoot offense.

HOUSTON -- The Houston Roughnecks have had a busy first minicamp, and as anticipation builds around head coach June Jones’ return of the Run and Shoot to Texas, here’s a look at what the team’s been working on over the last two weeks.

"Take care of each other, I will take care of you guys ... trust me."

Head coach June Jones

Minicamp provided an opportunity for the coaching staff to take a good look at every player on the roster, both physically and mentally.

"We're getting to know them, and they're getting to know us, and I think we're already building a togetherness" said Jones. 

Jones prides himself on the character of the players on the team, so it’s no surprise that building mutual trust was a high priority coming into camp.

Throughout the various meetings and conversations, the theme continuously repeated itself -- and as the team began to settle in, the impact was apparent. 

“This is probably one of the best coaching staff I’ve been around in a long time,” running back Marquez Williams said. "They're putting the best people in the best positions on the field, and we have a bunch of athletes. I think it'll be exciting."

Speed Kills ... but it’s still a mental game

Jones couldn’t say enough about the team’s talent at wideout: "We have some guys that can really run, and everybody's had their day so far." Kahlil Lewis, Sammie Coates and Blake Jackson have been particularly impressive.

“It always takes time and a lot of reps to put in this offense but we’re right where we should be,” said quarterbacks coach Dan Morrison.

"Sammie Coates had a great camp. Big target, reminds of Michael Irvin when I played with him in the Pro Bowl back in the day." said offensive coordinator Chris Miller.

“There’s a lot of thinking. Most of the time when you’re running your routes you don’t have to think about what the safeties or corners are doing but in this offense you have to know what everyone is doing to complete the job. It’s what we do."

WR Joe Horn Jr. 

Speedy, Smart Defense is on the Menu

"Defensively, we've got some guys that can really run in the front 7. The back end has performed well; they're smart and doing things right," Jones said. With talents the likes of cornerback Saivion Smith, defensive end Johnny Maxey, defensive end Kony Ealy and others, it's clear this defensive is built around just that.

"Sacks are obviously the goal for us as a unit. It's a team game, and we're going for 30-plus," Ealy said.

As the defense also adjusts its strategy around the faster play of the league, defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell is confident in his guys' ability to shut down opposing offenses. "Look, we're playing fast and we're going to be fast; this defense will be fun to watch," he said.

For H-Town

With the state championships on the line, quarterbacks Phillip Walker and Connor Cook and wide receivers Jalen Saunders and Ryheem Malone took time to shoutout the Houston-area teams competing for the trophy. 

"It's just fun to be out here, it's gorgeous in Houston. It's good to be around professional football again," said offensive coordinator Chris Miller.

The team also spent time in the community, attending various fan and community events around the city.

Houston, see you soon ... again

As the Roughnecks reflect on the work of Minicamp and head into Training Camp, Miller said it best: "It's just a matter of repetition, but I'm really proud of how the guys picked it up. We've got a good group, a talented one, willing to learn -- very fun to work with. I feel good about where we're at right now going into Training Camp."

“Stay tuned. Feb. 8th, you’ll see the air show.”

WR Khalil Lewis

Catch the highlights from each minicamp:

The first XFL minicamp is in the books