Singletary’s message to Express: ‘Some of you will not be here’
By Dylan Rubino / The Alliance
SAN ANTONIO — After two straight joint practices for the Memphis Express, the team practiced with no pads Saturday morning at the S.T.A.R. Soccer Complex on a cold and windy day.
It was an easy day for the team as the practice was focused on resting their bodies and going through plays and formations.
But when head coach Mike Singletary huddled up his team at the end of practice, he had a strong message for his players: “The reality is, some of you will not be here. Next week of practice is going to be serious.”
As the Express get closer and closer to their season opener vs. the Birmingham Iron on February 10, Week 3 of training camp will be crucial, and the coaching staff wants that message to be clear.
“I really want our coaches to be more demanding of the guys in terms of the technique that they have been teaching,” Singletary said. “If we’re not seeing it on film, then we need to make some decisions about who we have and maybe that player doesn’t belong here.”
The team was pushed physically and mentally going up against the Atlanta Legends and Salt Lake Stallions two days in a row. Even on a chilly day in Texas, the players put in work, but taking care of themselves between reps was the most important part of the day.
“I want the guys to know that we’re trying to get somewhere and we’re trying to do things the right way, but at the same time, we have to give their bodies back and give them a chance to have a little sanity and think about where they are and things they need to do better and questions they have for the coaches,” Singletary said.
Singletary made the point to his players since the start of training camp that the best version of his team will be when they come together. Singletary and his coaching staff have noticed the camaraderie between the players grow during the second week of training camp as the team gets closer and closer every day.
“Guys are really pulling together. That’s the No. 1 one thing that has stood out to me this week,” Singletary said. “I saw certain guys step up and all of the sudden, it’s coming.”
As training camp hurtles toward Week 1 of The Alliance’s inaugural season, one thing is clear: It’s time to get serious.
“It’s hard not to get attached to the guys and we’re pulling for them,” Singletary said. “At the same time, we got to turn that switch and have the guys do it the way we’re asking them to do it.”
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Dylan Rubino covers the Memphis Express for The Alliance of American Football. Follow him on Twitter @DylanJRubino