Head coach John DeFilippo on the end of Memphis Showboats training camp

Head Coach John DeFilippo, UFL Memphis Showboats
Head Coach John DeFilippo, UFL Memphis Showboats

On the final day of Memphis Showboats training camp, head coach John DeFilippo was aware of how tough this day was for many.

“A really hard day today obviously, for a lot of reasons,” DeFilippo said. “It’s never easy when you tell a young man that he can’t play football on your team.”

DeFilippo was referring to the fact he and his coaching staff had to make cuts to take the Showboats to a final 50-man roster, including cuts to TE Dominique Dafney, CB D.J. Daniel, WR Rashard Davis, G Chance Lytle, WR Ryan McDaniel, LB Shaheed Salmon, CB Tye Smith, and TE Cam Sutton.

DeFilippo pointed out how it was especially difficult when they had asked players to buy in to their culture, and they had bought in, only to be let go. He also made the point that they were cutting good players who would have made a USFL roster last year.

“I can only speculate on the team I coached last year in New Orleans, all eight of those players would have been on our team,” DeFilippo said. “How long we had to take to get to 50 shows you how pleased we are with the way we’ve drafted, and from the guys we inherited. We are pleased at where we are. Now we go make that into fruition in terms of going out and winning football games.”

DeFilippo claimed his next move was to go for a long walk and clear his head from what occured in training camp. Then, he would begin to consider how the team would prepare for their first game in Houston.

“The first thing we’re going to talk about is mental mindset on Monday,” DeFilippo said. “I’m going to tell our guys what’s gonna happen the first time something bad happens to our team, which is inevitably going to happen. We’re gonna throw an interception, we’re gonna get the ball thrown over our head, we may fumble the football… ‘how are we going to react?’ I want our players to start putting themselves in the game as we call it ‘early and often’.”

“I’m really interested to see how we respond, and how we practice this week,” DeFilippo said. “I think it’s going to be our mindset going into the Houston game.”

Coach DeFilippo also pointed out how the team needed to switch modes now that training camp had ended.

“The mode mindset has to change,” DeFilippo said. “Because you’re in evaluation, evaluation, evaluation the whole camp, and now you’re in game plan mode and the balls are going to start flying and it gets real.”

The Showboats currently have three quarterbacks on their roster: Case Cookus, Josh Love, and Troy Williams. Many expect Cookus will be the starter come game time, however coach DeFilippo is not ready to confirm this fact.

“I have a really good feel for it,” DeFillipo said, when it came to ranking his quarterbacks. “We’ll trot somebody out there on our first offensive play,” DeFilippo remarked without giving any clue as to who that player would be.

The Showboats will kick off their 2024 season Sunday, March 31 at the Houston Roughnecks, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. CT. The season-opener will air on ESPN.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.