The Spring League‘s Fall season officially opened up last week when players arrived in San Antonio. Practices and meetings all week, as well as uniform and equipment assignments.
We talked to Conquerors specialist Matt Mengel about how camp was going so far, and how bad the itch was to actually start playing.
For those who aren’t familiar with Mengel, he was the punting specialist in 2014 and 2015 at UCLA. Averaged over 40 yards per punt in those two years as a Bruin.
He was historically a kicker, able to do both kickoff and scoring, but at the time he was there, Texans Kicker Ka’Imi Fairbairn was on the team. Relegating Mengel to the punting duties.
That doesn’t mean he can’t kick. The experience at UCLA allowed him to add a tool to his belt, and as a kicking game specialist, that’s important. The Spring League will be able to show that he has a skill set that professional leagues need to employ.
Mengel says that camp is exciting. He’s happy to be playing, and the guys with him are making it easy for him to be comfortable, showing off his talent.
“I love our coaching staff. Over the last few practices of special teams I’ve done very well and have earned their utmost trust. Their attention to detail is great. I’m doing well and quite happy with the opportunity to showcase my talent with live reps.”Matt Mengel
When as ked about what rules may be different than what we’re used to, Mengel says kickoffs will be from the 25-yard line, so that return specialists can show their abilities, cutting down on touchbacks.
Another wrinkle to show off individual skills is that only a certain amount of people are allowed to rush the kicker, cutting down on injuries, and schemes to block kicks. While allowing for the kickers to display their skills, as well as punt returners.
Games start on Tuesday the 27th, with the first televised matchup being the Conquerors versus the Generals on FS1. So, we’ll get to see what Mengel can do early.
So far, according to the league’s Twitter account, there will be no way to view games that aren’t on the FS1 schedule.
We tried to reach CEO Brian Woods for more details about rules, and COVID-19 protocols, but we haven’t been able to connect.
We’re really looking forward to getting this season going, and will be on top of everything happening in The Spring League. So, stay with us for all of your updates.