Dragons bond over dinner
SEATTLE – A receiver, a linebacker, a defensive lineman, two defensive backs and three specialists walked into a restaurant.
No, this wasn't the start of a poorly worded joke. It was the guest list of Dragons who decided to use a portion of their day off to go on a team-bonding trip to Lady Jaye in West Seattle.
On Monday, eight Dragons -- Jordan Thompson, Kyle Queiro, Kasen Williams, Johnathan Alston, Noah Borden, Ernesto Lacayo, Godwin Igwebuike and Brock Miller -- loaded into a pair of Ubers to sample everything from “twice fried chicken wangs” to the pork collar pastrami plate.
As much as they enjoyed the food, the trip was as much a chance to spend time together off the field in a convivial setting.
“I love stuff like this,” said Miller, the team’s punter. “It’s been great. All the guys on the team are solid. All of the guys here today were awesome. Then you throw food into the equation and it makes everything better. I appreciate the hospitality. I can’t wait to come back. I’ll try to come back every week, bring the wife, maybe. I highly recommend it.”
If there is one thing that has become apparent about these Dragons through minicamp, training camp and the first two weeks of the regular season, this group is close.
“I’ve been on a handful of pro teams, college, high school, everything and I was just telling my buddy that, at the pro level, I have yet to see a team like ours that has the chemistry off the field,” Miller said. “Everybody is cool with everybody and I think people saw that on Saturday. That carries over to the field and, when we’re all vibing, when we’re all friends, it makes it that much easier to go out and play alongside your brother.”
Monday’s trip featured the Dragons’ three Northwestern grads (Thompson, Queiro and Igwebuike), but in the moment, backstories weren’t important. What mattered was the opportunity to do something as teammates off the field.
“It was a good mixture of guys,” Williams said. “Most of the time, we do the team meeting with everybody, but besides that, it’s offense and it’s defense, so to get different position groups together, it’s great.”
Borden added, “It’s awesome. We’re grinding football non-stop, all day, every day, so to be able to get out in the community, be able to meet some of the people who live here, their great spirit, their good attitude, being able to witness that and bond together as a team, just having these experiences outside of football, it helps a lot.”
And the food, well, as Williams described it, it was “fire.”
“I knew it was going to be fire when the pork, I pulled it off the plate as gently as possible and it just basically stayed on the plate because it was peeling off,” he said. “It was a good meal.”
Quality food with good people. Not a bad way to kick off a new week.
“Anytime food is involved, we love it,” Borden said with a laugh.