Guardians' Training Camp: Day 14
HOUSTON -- Practice number fourteen of XFL Training Camp for the New York Guardians was a joint one with the Tampa Bay Vipers at Turner Stadium at Humble High School which is the Vipers training camp practice facility.
After days of practicing and hitting each other, the Guardians once again got to see the progress being made against the team they’ll face week one of the XFL season.
“It’s vitally important because you get a chance to assess where you are in comparison to teams, especially this one because we’re going to open up against them” said Guardians Head Coach Kevin Gilbride after the session.
Coach Gilbride was also encouraged by saying this is the best they’ve looked when going against another opponent. He added the team is nowhere near where he’d like them to be in terms of execution but was encouraged at the progress being made. He admitted he is happy with the teams intensity and drive but hasn’t been “thrilled” with the execution.
WELCOME BACK IAN SILBERMAN
The offensive line was challenged during the teams last scrimmage but made strides today. Coach Gilbride explained they’ve had a lot of moving parts and some players have been banged up but they recently got Ian Silberman back at center which made a big difference during today’s joint practice.
“Having Silberman back at center, he’s the key to the whole thing. He’s the traffic cop that tells everybody what they have to do in that short time frame you have,” said Gilbride. "Silberman was originally a guard but says he’s gotten more comfortable at center after working with coaches the past couple of years. It appears he has found a home hiking the ball for the Guardians. When asked if communication is getting better with the offensive line Silberman said “absolutely”.
Like coach, Silberman pointed to the importance of practicing against other teams because it gives him and the offensive line a chance to see different defenses, different personnel, and multiple fronts. They are clearly making progress because Coach Gilbride pointed out that Tampa Bay plays a sophisticated defense but was encouraged at his team’s reaction to the different schemes the Vipers run. Silberman feels that the offensive line will continue to gel once a definite rotation of first team players is selected. Right now, players are still rotating in and out to try and figure out the best group.
Meanwhile, Silberman did have praise for the Guardians defensive front. He said they are so big, talented and athletic and they challenge the offensive line each and every day. Because of this it’s been easier to go up against other teams defenses.
THE NEW ADDITION
Also on the offensive side of the ball, the Guardians made a trade with Houston Wednesday night to obtain Joe Horn Jr. Horn has excelled in practice the last two days making some over the shoulder long catches and running crisp routes. Houston runs a similar offense to New York so Horn said it has been an easy transition. “It’s been a great experience so far, since I’ve been here, getting to know the guys, they’ve accepted me and treated me like I’ve been here the whole time” said Horn which has also made it an easy transition.
So far he’s been eager to learn from the coaches calling them “real smart” and being able to learn a lot from them. Although acquired to be a wide receiver, Horn puts itsimply by saying “first of all I’m a football player” and says he’ll do anything to make the team better. Coach Gilbride is intrigued by Horn’s speed calling him one of, if not the, fastest players on the team.
BACK TO WORK
The Guardians are off on Sunday but are right back at it on Monday with a practice and walk through before their final scrimmage on Tuesday which is the end of Guardians Training Camp. The team is headed back to New York on Wednesday.
New York Guardians/Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice
"Jumpman T" -- TEO Redding
All throughout camp we have been talking about WR Teo Redding.
Another day, another highlight.