By Jaylon Thompson / The Alliance
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Legends dived into game preparations against the Orlando Apollos on Monday afternoon. The Legends practiced at Milton High School in Alpharetta, GA and settled into their new digs with a higher level of intensity.
The practice was held at an expedited pace. The players moved quickly through individual and team drills as they simulated game situations. Legends head coach Kevin Coyle also utilized a “fastball” period that worked on player’s conditioning at the end of practice.
The in-depth session helped get everyone ready for Orlando. On Saturday, The Legends will open The Alliance of American Football’s inaugural season against the Apollos at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS. BUY TICKETS HERE.
“I think everybody is excited to be back in Atlanta,” Legends offensive lineman Freddie Burden said. “A lot of guys are from this area. They are excited to get home and get adjusted to everything.”
With the Super Bowl in the rear view, the Legends are ready to take center stage. Everyone is in regular season mode and ready to showcase their skill set to a national audience.
“It’s an exciting thing to know that now there is more football to come,” Legends safety Tyson Graham Jr. said. “Everyone’s eyes will be on this new league and they want to see what The Alliance has to offer. The fans want to see the similarities and the differences compared to the NFL.”
For Graham Jr., the similarities hit close to home. Growing up in Pompano Beach, FL, the free safety has waited for his opportunity to shine. He relishes the chance to play in front of family and friends and prove that he belongs.
“Playing back at home is a great moment and I have a chip on my shoulder,” Graham Jr. said. “I am playing in my backyard and the Apollos have a lot of guys I know. It’s exciting to see those guys. Once the whistle blows, it’s time to go to battle.”
Burden agrees. He said his mentality is to stay focused on the task at hand. He hopes the team can put the best work on film prior to the game.
“My mentality is to get everybody dialed in and on point before the game,” Burden said. “We just want to make sure everyone plays together and if we do that, we can be successful.”
However, both players know to take a gradual approach. They plan to get better each day with repetitions and film study.
The hope is to evaluate as a unit and perform at the highest level possible.
“It’s our time now and we have a game week,” Graham Jr. said. “We get to go against somebody else and it will be some great football going on. Now we just take it one day at a time and build on these days.”
The Legends will have their chance soon. The clock is ticking on the showdown with the Apollos at Spectrum Stadium.
“We are ready for Saturday night,” Graham Jr. said.
Atlanta Legends home games will be played at Georgia State Stadium. Fans can purchase All Five home games starting at just $75 HERE or by calling 470-798-3330.
Jaylon Thompson covers the Atlanta Legends for The Alliance of American Football. Follow him on Twitter @JaylonThompson.