BattleHawks Training Camp: Day 7
HOUSTON -- After a week of competing against themselves, the St. Louis BattleHawks finally got to face some fresh blood in the form of the New York Guardians.
The two teams held a joint practice on Saturday and went up against each other in 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills, as well as full team sessions. The difference in the players from the first week of training camp was stark. Having that competition against another team brought out the first in the BattleHawks that resulted in some chirping with the Guardians, but more importantly it made players take their game to the next level.
BattleHawks Head Coach Jonathan Hayes said that he liked how his team competed, even if they did get off to a slow start in his eyes.
"Once they realized the energy that the NY team was giving then they picked up it," said Hayes. "That was important for them to feel that. You can't practice that, you have to get in a game and feel that tempo."
You can't come out and wait to get hit in the face, you have to go punch someone right in the face. We kind of took a couple and then got our feet underneath us and finished strong.
Having been a tight ends coach for most of his career, it's definitely been a change of pace for Hayes to evaluate a team as the head coach.
"The first time out as the boss, it was different. Normally you just focus on your position guys. Now I'm trying to watch the entire thing and make sure it's going the right way."
Hayes said that once he's able to get in and start to look at tape from Saturday's practice, the coaching staff will have a better understanding of where the players stand and a first team group on offense and defense will start to become more clear.
Defensive back Darius Hillary also spoke about what it was like going against a different opponent for the first time in training camp.
The team gets a much needed day off on Sunday and will be back at it on Monday to go over everything the coaching staff saw from the joint practice.
Until then, enjoy this hype video from the BattleHawks' first week of training camp and some pictures from Saturday's battle against the Guardians.