San Antonio Commanders focused on battle in trenches
Just a few plays into the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football, San Antonio Commanders’ linebacker Shaan Washington gave the league its first viral highlight.
After rerouting the San Diego Fleet’s tight end, Washington had a free run toward quarterback Mike Bercovici, delivering a crushing hit that sent the football — and Bercovici’s helmet — falling to the turf.
The clip has been viewed more than 3½ million times on the Alliance’s official Twitter page, but the play is part of a trend the league has attempted to prevent.
Despite rules limiting defenses to a five-man pass rush, AAF quarterbacks were consistently under duress in Week 1 as the eight teams combined for 20 sacks.
The Commanders (1-0) are continuing to look for ways to keep their passers upright while attacking opposing signal-callers as they prepare to face the Orlando Apollos (1-0) at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Alamodome.
“The quarterback position is important at every level, and obviously it’s going to be important for us,” Johnston said. “There was concern about the athleticism on the defensive side of the ball matched up against offensive lines here. That’s why we do limit some of the things that defenses can do from a blitz perspective. We didn’t want to turn anybody loose to the quarterback.”