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Thunder Training Camp Notebook - Days 5-8 - First Cuts

Sunday March 15, 2015

PORTLAND – The focus turned from installation and education, to an increase in intensity and contact drills during the end of the first full week of training camp, as the Portland Thunder continue their preparations for the 2015 AFL Season.

“The time for teaching has passed, and now our emphasis is on the finer details,” said defensive coordinator Ernesto Purnsley. “Now it’s time for these guys to show proper execution, and we have had that as the point of concentration this week.”

The team spent the early part of the week working on position battles in larger groups, with DB’s, QB’s, and receivers working together on coverage schemes, timing, and route running, while linemen and linebackers concentrated on technique and pass rushing. The week culminated in two days of scrimmages that featured the first and second strings alternating across four sets of nine play situations.

While the scrimmages did not feature a clock, referees, or scorekeeping, the front four on defense could easily claim victory from both tussles. “The defensive front played well,” Purnsley added. “That makes sense for this time of year, when your offense is still making adjustments, and you have physicality and aggressiveness in your defensive line.”

The end of the first week of training camp also denotes the first round of roster cuts. Per league rules, teams must cut their roster from a maximum of 35, to a maximum of 28. OL Phede Celestin (6-4, 318, Marist) was reassigned.

The Thunder will practice six more times leading up to final cuts. The squad will be trimmed to 24 on Friday. Below is the tentative schedule for the rest of this week:

Sunday – 3/15/15
Oregon Soccer Center
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Monday – 3/16/15
Oregon Soccer Center
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Tuesday – 3/17/15
Oregon Soccer Center
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Wednesday – 3/18/15
Oregon Soccer Center
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Thursday – 3/19/15
Oregon Soccer Center
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Friday – 3/20/15
Ore. Soccer Center/Final Cuts
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Saturday – 3/21/15
No Practice
Off Day For Players

About the Portland Thunder
The Portland Thunder kickoff the 2015 AFL season March 27th against the LA KISS at the Moda Center! Tickets and sponsorships for the 2015 season are now available. For more information, email us atinfo@portlandthunder.com or call 503-773-4235. For all the latest news and discussion on the Portland Thunder, follow the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@pdxthunder).