Vipers Training Camp: Day 1
HOUSTON -- Today, the Tampa Bay Vipers officially opened their first-ever training camp.
But they're not home in Tampa.
They're approximately 980 miles west in Houston, which is playing host to the training camps of all eight XFL teams.
Each team is practicing at a different location throughout the city. For the Vipers, homebase is Humble High School's Turner Stadium.
Turner isn't your ordinary high school football field; it is a massive 10,000-seat shrine to the game. Walking through the locker room and out onto the impeccably-maintained turf field, you get the sense this is the ideal location for the Vipers players to ready themselves for gameday.
That first gameday is fast approaching.
Only 35 days remain until the team kicks off its first season in New York against the Guardians on February 9th.
"We understand that time is of the essence," Head Coach Marc Trestman said. "We've got to start finding out who our players are and put them in the right spots. We're also focusing in on the football we're going to run in all three phases... condensing the playbook a little bit."
The playbook isn't the only thing Trestman will need to condense. At the end of camp, the team will have to cut its roster from 70 players down to 52.
Trestman said he already knows those are going to be tough calls.
"We're emotionally invested with these players," he said. "We want them all to make the team, but we know and they know that can't be the case."
"We understand that time is of the essence."
Even with those cuts on the horizon, there was still a palpable excitement inside the stadium today.
"I think there's a sense of energy now that everyone's back," quarterback Aaron Murray said. "We've been through four or five installs now, so there's a knowledge about the base of the offense, base of the defense, and now we've got to go in there and tweak it a little bit."
Many of these players are excited to have this rare oppportunity to help build a team from scratch.
"There's no history with this team," quarterback/running back Quinton Flowers said. "We want to start our own legacy. We're ready to come back and go to work."
That work will continue on Day 2 tomorrow.
We will have you covered all of training with all the latest updates and interviews.
Catch up on the Tampa Bay Vipers' roster. Read the Training Camp preview.