Team Off To A Hot Start With First Meetings & Practices
by Elisabeth Osmeloski
The entire squad of players and veteran coaches came together for the first time in Salt Lake City last week, packing four and a half days with team meetings, conditioning time and practice drills.
With just over 50 days to go until the Stallions’ first game, it was evident the team was bonding quickly and getting into a strong rhythm from the start. By day three of field time, the position groups were firing on all cylinders, setting the stage for what is sure to be an exciting inaugural season for Utah’s first pro football team.
Chemistry 101: The Stallions’ Recipe for Success
Coach Dennis Erickson relied on his depth of experience in college and professional coaching to assemble a trusted staff of leaders to craft a solid game plan, focusing on developing talent and team work ethic quickly.
Erickson also recognized assembling talent from Northern to Southern Utah football programs would pay off in dividends, pulling in former Utes he was familiar with from his time at the U and beyond. No longer rivals at the college level, local players who formerly played for BYU, Utah and Utah State, but spent many years playing together in community programs, were spotted sharing meals and going over playbooks as a unit.
Defensive End and former Green Bay Packer, Chris Odom (Arkansas State) readily displayed his depth of football intelligence and pro experience with fellow position holder and roommate, Cameron Tarver (California, PA) as they quizzed each other on situational plays in the hotel lobby during their free time.
Players like Josh Woodrum (QB) and Kenny Bell (WR), who were previously on the Baltimore Ravens practice squad together in 2017, reconnected instantly and are ready to light up the Stallions scoreboard with their established chemistry. Bell couldn’t contain his excitement when he learned the Stallions pulled Woodrum first in The Alliance QB Draft, saying “Josh is an absolute stud… couldn’t have been happier with the QB we get to roll with come February!”
Woodrum was quick to agree, adding “It’s great getting to be teammates again in Salt Lake because we already have some great chemistry on the field. I know how he (Bell) runs his routes and he knows what I expect from my point of view when I’m throwing the ball so it’s been easy for us to get back on page with each other. It’s going to be a great connection for our offense this year.”
Bell, who was a record setting wideout at Nebraska, also lined up with fellow Cornhuskers Terrell Newby (RB), De’Mornay Pierson-El (WR), Tyler Hoppes (TE) and Josh Banderas (LB) for route running and practice snaps on the turf.
The team will reconvene when they head to a league wide training camp from January 4 – 28th. Following performances during those weeks in San Antonio, the final player roster will be determined before coming together in Utah for the 2019 season.
The Stallions’ first game will be Sunday, February 10th in Arizona vs. the HotShots. Tickets to that game are available via Ticketmaster here.