DC Defenders 2024 Training Camp Week One Report

DC Defenders 2024 Training Camp Week One Report

As we close in on one week into UFL training camp, there is plenty of news and rumors to break down concerning the DC Defenders.

Before diving in, let’s take a look at key dates for UFL teams over the month of March as we approach the regular season.

Day One/Two: Onboarding

The UFL divided training camp report days for players into two separate days, most likely to minimize travel issues and maximize efficiency with a new process. DC players arrived at training camp in Arlington, Texas on February 23rd, and were greeted with an initial onboarding process which allowed for players to congregate and meet.

The onboarding process reportedly included physicals, along with team meetings conducted by varying position coaches.

On February 24th, DC Defenders WR Josh Hammond announced his retirement from football via X.

Subsequently, DC signed WR Keke Coutee to replace their starting slot receiver from 2023.

Day Three/Four: Medicals & Conditioning

Before any pads are put on, players hit the field for conditioning tests to gain a baseline understanding of how in shape everyone is heading into training camp.

While this is the Houston Roughnecks conditioning plan, DC’s is most likely identical considering the two teams practice jointly.

Defenders DT TJ Barnes commented publicly on the training camp process up until this point, “Pretty organized…Gregg Williams is intense, I wish I had him earlier”. Barnes is not the first player to comment on Williams’ passion, and will certainly not be the last.

In other roster news, OT Kyle Murphy and K Enrique Yenny were removed from the roster following the onboarding and conditioning process. While Yenny’s absence was reported to be related to personal reasons, Murphy’s absence remains a mystery and his return to DC seems unlikely.

Rest of Week: On-Field Practice

After all mandatory boxes are checked, players finally strap up the helmets and begin on-field practice with their new, and returning teams.

While information from UFL officials regarding camp has been slim, social media content from UFL teams has been impressively steady. Many onlookers have discovered subtle details, including this video of QB Jordan Ta’amu throwing with a hand warmer on his backside, showing the 2020 Defenders logo.

WR Ty Scott has appeared in a few different videos from Defenders/UFL social media displaying his energetic persona. Last season, DC fans had the treat of KJ Sails hyping them up before games at Audi Field. Could we see Scott as the next personality to take over that role?

Other key notes from the Defenders first week of on-field practice at training camp include:

  • OL George Moore appears to be lined up at guard, opposed to tackle where he played at times last year for Arlington. That may change with Murphy’s departure, but expect Moore’s flexibility to be valued by DC.
  • Teams will be in pads starting next week. With just over a week until first cuts, teams will have limited time to evaluate each player.

The DC Defenders also signed OLB Chauncey Rivers this week. Rivers last played with the Roughnecks in 2023, but spent time in the NFL with Green Bay and Baltimore.

Final Thoughts

With limited media availability at training camp, it becomes foggy when trying to evaluate the players and type of impact on camp they have. Since training camp is a quick process this season, expect emotions to pick up within the next week or so as guys compete to make the 50-man roster.

GM Von Hutchins and HC Reggie Barlow have some tough roster decisions coming up, as they must get from 75 players to 57 players by March 10th.

What do you expect from the DC Defenders in 2024? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!