SD Fleet Daily Update
The Fleet held a morning practice at 8:45 a.m. CT at the Heroes Stadium complex in San Antonio, Texas. For the second-consecutive day, the session was held on a pair of grass practice field.
The Fleet had 70 of the 71 players on the roster participate in today - with the exception of DE Meffy Koloamatangi (knee), who missed his fifth-consecutive day with a minor knee injury.
With the retirement of FB Daniel Marx, six-foot-one, 244-pound RB Terrell Watson (Azusa Pacific) was taking reps at both running back and fullback. Watson had never played fullback in his career.
The defense survived a scare when LB Travis Feeney (Washington) left 11-on-11 drills with an arm injury. Fortunately, the injury was only stinger and he was able to return shortly thereafter.
DE Damontre Moore, a leader on the defensive line both vocally and through NFL experience, was mic'd up in practice for a Fleet video project on-tap for Content Creator James Brunt.
RB Paul James (Rutgers) delivered a de-cleating block in pass protection that allowed QB Mike Bercovici (Arizona State) to hook up with WR Kameron Kelly (San Diego State) on a long completion in 11-on-11 drills. The defensive sideline was quick to acknowledge the impressive block.
On one particular play, the defense flashed dominance when DE Jonathan Petersen (San Diego) broke into the backfield and would have had an easy sack in a game situation. On the back end, CB Justin Williams (Hampton) made a spectacular interception on a leaping grab near the sidelines.
Many outsiders questioned whether Head Coach Mike Martz would utilize the deep corps of tight ends on the roster. During one stretch in 11-on-11 drills, Fleet quarterbacks completed passes to tight ends on three-consecutive plays to TE Marcus Baugh (Ohio State), TE Gavin Escobar (San Diego State) and TE Darryl Richardson (San Diego State). Baugh was targeted quite a bit on Tuesday, and even recorded a touchdown grab in 11-on-11 drills.
WR Kameron Kelly (San Diego State) continues to be a favorite target among wide receivers and made another dynamite catch in 11-on-11 drills - leaping to his left and making an outstretched grab while holding on to the ball through contact with the ground.
LB Tau Lotulelei (UNLV) was again flying around on defense and made a pair of big hits in 7-on-7 drills.
Defensive Line Coach Vince Amey on his 'dawgs' (defensive linemen): "They're working their butts off. I'm excited about them; they're flying around. They do make mistakes 100 miles an hour... but I'm excited about the group. There's no let-off between the ones, the twos, the threes. We don't even have (numbered groups), we have color groups. That's how we're doing it. It's going to be a hard decision when that time comes."
Defensive Line Coach Vince Amey on the addition of the NFL-experienced Damontre Moore (Texas A&M) to the unit "He's been a blessing to our room, that's for sure. We have some young guys, but he's come in with some veteran experience, some leadership - he's been a good leader for us. When he speaks, guys stop and listen. Even myself - because I played a long time ago. He's up to the 'new-age guy;' and we talk about a lot of things - with the experience he has - and he tells the guys in the room about the experience. So he's another coach on the field with me right now. I really appreciate that."
DL Alex Barrett (San Diego State) on the addition of the NFL-experienced Damontre Moore (Texas A&M) to the unit: "He's learned from some of the best, and he's applying some of that same knowledge to us. As young guys moving forward in this league, it's good to pick up some wisdom from him - because he's been there, done that."
DL Alex Barrett (San Diego State) on the possibility of returning to play at his same college stadium, SDCCU: "It's going to be great. Qualcomm (old stadium name) was where some of the best games we've ever played at as Aztecs. I can't wait to get back there and do the same thing with the San Diego Fleet."
CB Kendall James (Maine) on the things he's working on in the AAF to get back to the NFL: "Just keep working on my technique; keep being confident. Injuries set me back a little bit, so it's good to know that I'm still healthy and can play at the next level. Just keep working on my technique; keep competing."
CB Kendall James (Maine) on learning under former NFL star and current Fleet Defensive Backs Coach Eric Allen: "It's real good. He's more of a friend than anything. He talks more about life to us in our meetings. He puts football aside a little bit until we really need to focus on it. As far as a coach, he's doing a great job. He's teaching us what he needs to teach us. He's letting us make mistakes when we've got to make mistakes, and then correct us - yell and scream at us. But he's like a teammate, basically, out there with us. So he's very good; good to have on the team."
DROPPING THE ANCHOR LINE (OF THE DAY)
TE Marcus Baugh (Ohio State), when replying to smack-talk from DE Myles Nash (Rutgers): "I'm going to be here every day. Same jersey. Same number. Even the same gloves. Every day."
LB Al-Rasheed Benton (West Virginia) on 'Kenny Rogers-esque' advice for the offense: "You've got to know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em; know when to walk away. Now here's the important part - know when to run."
The Fleet will enter practice tomorrow with:
11 days before its dress rehearsal game (i.e preseason game) against the Atlanta Legends at the Alamodome on Jan. 27.
25 days before the inaugural season kicks-off in San Antonio against the Commanders at the Alamodome on Feb. 9.
33 days before its home opener at SDCCU Stadium against the Atlanta Legends on Feb. 17.
COACHES SPOTLIGHT - VINCE AMEY, DEFENSIVE LINE COACH
Vince Amey, defensive line coach, spent a season in the NFL with Oakland after the Raiders drafted the defensive lineman in the seventh round (230th overall) in 1998 out of Arizona State University. While with the Sun Devils, he had a stellar, four-year career and was a Pac-10 Champion as a junior in 1996. During his playing career, Amey suited up professionally in four different leagues. In 1999, he won a World Bowl as a member of Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe. He also played in the XFL with the Las Vegas Outlaws (2001) and in Arena League with Los Angeles Avengers (2001-03) and Arizona Rattlers (2005-07). A native of Union City, Calif., Amey started his coaching career as a defensive line coach at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011. He quickly ascended to the college ranks with University of Arizona in 2012 - advancing from strength and conditioning coach (2012-14) to football analyst (2015) to defensive line coach (2016-17).
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT - ALEX BARRETT, DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
DL Alex Barrett (San Diego State), 24, was a collegiate standout at San Diego State University (2013-16) - where he finished his Aztecs career tied for fourth in program history in sacks (19.0) and tied for seventh in tackles for a loss (40.0). A team captain his senior year, Barrett played in a total of 50 career games and made 38 starts, totaling 169 tackles and a pair of interceptions. After earning 2014 Honorable Mention All- Mountain West Conference as a sophomore, the 6-3, 256-pounder was a First-Team selection in both 2015 and 2016 -- becoming the first SDSU defensive lineman to earn First-Team All-MWC honors multiple times. Barrett, a native of Mesa, Az., went undrafted in 2017 but was quickly signed by the Detroit Lions, with whom he had time on the active roster as a rookie and was a member of the practice squad in 2018.
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