Saturday, July 20, 2013

On the Beat with the Chicago Rush at Practice

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to attend a Chicago Rush practice.  Of course, I jumped at the chance to partake in another aspect of the Rush experience.
I arrived early and was immediately greeted by offensive lineman Steve Edwards.  As documented here previously, Edwards is a fellow Mount Carmel alum and we have talked several times this season.  As I made my way to the practice field, I exchanged greetings with Coach Bob McMillen, quarterback Carson Coffman, receiver Reggie Gray and kicker Jose Martinez.  Upon taking my position at midfield on the sidelines, assistant coach Walt Hausman, Director of Media Relations Jonah Rosenblum and several other players welcomed me.  At the risk of repetition, this is a professional, classy organization.
I watched for two hours, as players warmed up, performed simple drills and eventually had a full 7-on-7 scrimmage.  Being that close to the field always makes me respect the abilities and efforts of these players that much more.
Also, despite being indoors and having huge fans, the temperature was still high, but I did not hear one complaint from anyone.  This team is focused.  Then again, Coach McMillen would have it no other way.
After practice, I joined CBS 2 Chicago's Krista Ruch in a media session with Coach McMillen, Gray, Coffman and quarterback Luke Drone.  The main topics were the big, upcoming game against Arizona, the challenges of the season, the heat and other interesting things.  I admit, CBS Chicago's Krista Ruch asked more questions, but CBS is slightly bigger than  I had no problem with her taking the lead.  I got my turn every time and together we got some interesting stuff.
The Rush is traveling to Arizona to face the 14-2 Rattlers.  This is a crucial game for the Rush, who are currently tied for 1st in their division, but would lose the tie-breaker at this point.  It is going to be a tough game, but I have faith in the Rush.
I saw the determination from everyone yesterday.  Coach McMillen sets the tone and everyone else is right behind him.  The team looked ready, sharp and confident.
Unfortunately, I will not be in Arizona, but I will be following the game online.  This team deserves our fandom.  They have earned it.  I am in it for the long haul and I encourage everyone to get on the Rush bandwagon now!
Please enjoy the following interviews with Coach McMillen, Coffman, Drone and Gray.  Also, go to to follow this team.

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