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Trestman's concise, efficient practices set tone for 2020

Tampa Bay Vipers head coach Marc Trestman is probably happy that his quarterback finds his intense practices rewarding.

PLANT CITY, Fla. -- The first of two home practices leading up to the Tampa Bay Vipers’ Week 1 matchup versus the New York Guardians was wrapped up Wednesday at Plant City Stadium.

Head coach Marc Trestman runs a tight ship. Practices are concise and efficient. He has the ears of his players, and they respect him.

His coaching style is assertive, yet he follows commands with “please” and “thank you.”

“These practices we’ve had with Coach Trestman are probably some of the best I’ve been around. They are extremely competitive. I walk off the field, and I feel like I’ve just played a football game."

Tampa Bay Vipers QB Aaron Murray on head coach Marc Trestman's practices

Quarterback Aaron Murray likes what he’s seeing out of his head coach.

“These practices we’ve had with Coach Trestman are probably some of the best I’ve been around,” said Murray. “They are extremely competitive. I walk off the field, and I feel like I’ve just played a football game; I’m exhausted both mentally and physically. It really does feel like a game-like atmosphere. That’s what he creates out there.”

Trestman is just as impressed with the grind he sees out of his players. “The guys came out today and worked very hard throughout practice,” Trestman said. “They were very focused. We got a lot of work done today.”

With nearly 40 years of experience coaching football, Trestman not only walks the walk but talks the talk -- particularly when asked during his post-practice press conference about the strengths and weaknesses of his squad. “We don’t know yet,” he said. “We’re going to get a measuring stick, certainly on Sunday. Our hope is that we’ll play smart football and eliminate the things that we can control: pre-snap penalties, turnovers.”

Trestman is eager to find out more about his players during live game action. “[Sunday] will be our first opportunity to play against somebody else,” he said. “We haven’t had a chance to do that yet at full speed, not in a real game.”

The Vipers travel to New York on Saturday for their 2 p.m. Sunday matchup versus the Guardians (seen on FOX). They are led by Kevin Gilbride, who served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the New York Giants from 2004-13. Gilbride called the plays for the Giants during the seasons which won them Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.

“We’ll find out more about ourselves there. We’ll find out about how physical of a football team we have and how disciplined we are. We have an idea [about how good they are], and that’s why we drafted these guys.”

Trestman faces the same question in regards to the identity of their upcoming opponent. While the Vipers have practiced and had a scrimmage against the Guardians, there’s a lot of unknown. “We won’t know who they are until the end of the first quarter; what they want to do defensively, offensively, and special teams-wise,” he said. “But we do have an inclination.”

“The same would go for them. They saw enough of us to put somewhat of a game plan together. We’ve done the same. We have to just do our jobs and what we’re taught to do in all three phases.”

If their focused practice style says anything, the Vipers are looking to meet big expectations in the XFL’s 2020 season. Starting Sunday, they get their chance to live up to them and let their coach say “thank you.”