Defenders training camp: Day 14
HOUSTON -- On February 8, the DC Defenders host the Seattle Dragons at Audi Field in the very first game of the 2020 XFL season.
But on Saturday, 1,400 miles west of the nation's capital, the Defenders shared the field at Rice Stadium with the very same Dragons team they will face in less than a month, coached by former Washington Redskins head coach Jim Zorn.
As training camp begins to wrap up, the teams are taking extra precautions to ensure players are rested and healthy for the season-opener. Saturday's practice might've been light on physical contact, but there was still much to glean from the 90-minute joint practice.
The defensive line had a strong showing in 1v1 drills, and while individual passing drills tend to favor the wideouts, the Defenders secondary was locked in during team drills, breaking up multiple passing attempts and forcing interceptions on Dragons QBs Brandon SIlvers and B.J. Daniels.
"In these joint practices team tend to be 'vanilla,' and don't tend to show a lot. But you can actually pick up a lot, guys tendencies, how they move, how their hips rotate, how they play the ball in the air, things like that. Teams might come out here and show dummy coverages or don't show you anything, just to confuse you. But we get a lot out of these practices, to be able to come out and compete against guys in different colored uniforms."
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Rahim Moore had several familial fans in the stands Saturday afternoon. Tiny kids in football equipment will never not make us smile.
DEFENDERS OF THE DAY:
- WR Jordan Westerkamp: The Illinois state high school football legend and viral sensation at the University of Nebraska, Westerkamo has been a workhorse wideout through the first two weeks of training camp. His Saturday practice was more of the same: Crisp routes, strong hands, and playmaking athleticism.
- DT Kristjan Sokoli: The Albanian-born big man had three excellent reps in 1v1 drills, blowing past his lineman all three times. By far the best individual performance in the practice's early going.
- CB Doran Grant: Another day, another interception for the former Ohio State Buckeye. The Defenders have shared the field with three teams thus far, and Grant has at least one INT against each opponent. If you're trying to identify potential playmakers this season, look no further than No. 21.