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Defenders training camp: Day 10

DC Defenders QB Cardale Jones at XFL training camp in Houston.

HOUSTON -- If there is one thing that connects the cities of Washington, D.C. and Houston, it's the weather.

On Monday in the Lone Star State, the Defenders were treated to a cold, windy and wet practice. A day later and the weather was flipped on its side, with nearly 100 percent humidity and no wind whatsoever. Those living in the D.C. area are all too familiar with fickle weather.

The Defenders will have to get used to ever-changing weather, and three weeks of training camp in Houston is helping them prepare for just that.

The Day 10 practice was a slower, more methodical one than in recent days, and the team thrived. It was arguably one of their best practices since arriving in Houston.


"It really is amazing how fast theses guys have come together, working together both in their position groups and as a complete defensive unit."

Defenders defensive coordinate Jeff FitzGerald on the team chemsitry


  • QB Cardale Jones: Tuesday was not only the Defenders' best practice thus far, but the star quarterback's as well. The 2015 National Champion was dialed in and focused. His passes were crisp, and he connected downfield on several shots. Everyone knows Jones possesses unreal arm strength, but it was his accuracy and timing that stood out, especially on intermediate passes. Most quarterbacks can complete the short passes and deep balls. Success under center often comes down to being able to make the intermediate throws, and on Tuesday, Jones was nearly perfect.
  • DT Tracy Sprinkle: Jones wasn't the only former Ohio State Buckeye to have a strong performance on Day 10. The 6-2, 290-pound Ohio native lived in the backfield for long chunks of time. He was one of the primary reasons Tuesday was not the best showing from the running backs. They had nowhere to go. Sprinkle is quick off the blocks and is adept at using his long arms to deflect passes. Expect him to become an impact player come Feb. 8.



On Wednesday, the Defenders head to TDECU Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston for a scrimmage with the New York Guardians, the team the Defenders will host at Audi Field in Week 2 on Saturday, Feb. 15.

"Tomorrow will be a great dress rehearsal for what it’ll be like on game day," head coach Pep Hamilton said after practice.

You may be familiar with several Guardians players. Former Maryland Terrapins Cavon Walker and A.J. Hendy are both on the squad, as are former Redskins E.J. Bibbs, John Kling, Joey Mbu, and Ranthony Texada.