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Inside Defenders training camp: Day 2

The DC Defenders get dialed in on Day 2 of XFL Training Camp in Houston

HOUSTON -- Day 1 of D.C. Defenders training camp was about acclimation. But with 24 hours in H-Town under their belts, the players were ready to ramp things up.

The energy we saw toward the end of Minicamp, once the players really got a chance to gel, was back and in full force.

Energy isn’t just in big hits and smack talk, although there was plenty of that, as you'll see below. 

But what once again stood out was the amount of teaching and coaching the players provide to their teammates, especially on defense. No plays or drills are taken off. While there is still a long way to go until Feb. 8, the early progress is impressive.

Video of the Day

The secondary is undeniably the most Defenders’ entertaining unit, and not just because of longtime pro safeties Matt Elam and Rahim Moore are on the prowl. The energy and competitiveness are infectious.

This is just one small example of what it’s like to watch the Defenders’ defense.

Quote of the Day

"Nobody can break our energy. Nobody can break your energy. The only person who can suck your energy is you."

Defenders assistant coach Napoleon Sykes to the defensive line

Defenders of the Day

  • CB Elijah Campbell: The Defenders’ resident thumper is going to be a highlight machine come Feb. 8. He made play after play on Day 2, and his budding rivalry with wideout Malachi Dupre is becoming must-see. The following play is from Day 1, but it's worth another look.
  • LB A.J. Tarpley: The former Stanford Cardinal had a big day making plays in team drills. His athletic pick-six blew the top off of practice, garnering celebration from the defense and 25 pushups from the offense.
  • WR Deion Holliman: He might be the smallest player on the roster, but the Missouri State product is one of the hardest-working members of the Defenders. He’s one of the first players at the field and one of the last to leave. On Monday, the speedster had a solid showing during special teams work and hauled in two red zone touchdowns during goal-line drills. 
  • C James O’Hagan: One of several former University of Buffalo stars on the Defenders roster, the sturdy center arrived in Houston in great shape and has been dialed in the first few days at practice. At 6-foot-3, he’s one of the shorter offensive linemen on the roster, but his technique and explosiveness more than make up for it.

Also: this headband.