XFL NY/NJ Hitmen Press Release 2
Press Release 2
NY/NJ Hitmen mini-camp news and notes

Don't be alarmed - the HITMEN are smokin’
Day Four of the inaugural NY/NJ HITMEN skill position mini-camp was not without incident, as the HITMEN raised its profile among the men and women who are sworn to protect and serve the public.

As Wally Richardson, Keith Elias, Andre Coleman and Eric Stocz, posed for a locker room photo session for Men’s Journal Magazine following the morning practice, the special effects caused quite an alarm—literally.

It seems that an over zealous photographic assistant set the fog machine to high, prompting smoke to fill the locker room and corridor of the Kean University Gymnasium and activating the fire alarm in the process.

Quick to respond to the imaginary inferno were members of the Kean University Police Department and the Union Township Fire Department Station 11, who rushed to the locker room, axe in hand, to assess the situation.

The fire fighters and men in blue were good sports about the incident, as were the dozens of Kean students who suffered a brief interruption in their physical education classes. The firemen offered to disconnect the alarm until the photo session was completed.

Running back Obadiah Cooper attempted to crash the session, but instead joined the chorus of players who exhorted the bare-chested Stocz and Coleman with catcalls and suggestions to pump up and oil up to enhance their film image.

Observing the action, HITMEN Vice President and General Manager Drew Pearson reminded the players to look tough, noting that “HITMEN don’t smile.”

Coleman found it difficult to follow Pearson’s instructions, breaking into a wide grin when Offensive Coordinator Ron Calcagni joked that the players should be wearing thongs for the picture.

Apparently the photo shoot required a greater effort from the players than it appeared, at least for Stocz, who noted that flexing his muscles was more taxing than the morning practice.

The line of the day belonged to Elias. When asked to remove his white turtleneck by the photographer, who said he was “glowing” in the preliminary pictures, the fair-skinned Princeton grad replied, “It won’t make much of a difference, my body is as white as the shirt—I’m so white I make milk look dark.”

The "More you do" league
HITMEN Head Coach Rusty Tillman has continually espoused the values of versatility throughout camp, touting the XFL as the “more you can do league.” It was no surprise, therefore, to see standout running back Malcolm Thomas among the candidates for long-snapping duties. The Syracuse standout stated that he was the back-up long snapper for the Orangemen, and his smooth form and accurate snaps did not belie this claim.

Big (Hit)men on campus
Despite the fire alarm distraction, the players have been well received on campus by the Kean student body, happily obliging autograph seekers during lunch and dinner—further evidence that the XFL is an all-access league.

Mammoth center Dustin Owen thoroughly enjoyed his interaction with the Kean students. Owen taped a web-cam and radio interview with attractive Kean radio personalities Sugar and Spice. Line coach Edwin Bailey said he never saw Owen move faster than when he volunteered his services as the comely radio duo were searching for players to interview.

Player X-ing - proceed with caution
An independent camera crew could have used some of Owen’s speed and agility during the afternoon session. The crew ventured too close to the blocking sled and was nearly run over during a drill, proving that even all-access has its limits. So members of the media should remember to use their powers wisely.

Making an impression
To say the least, the HITMEN are talented … and not just on the field. Many were surprised at QB Charles Puleri, a native of Bronx, NY who most recently was with the Dallas Cowboys, broke into a convincing Rodney Dangerfield impression.

Sporting a wide, Rodney-like grin while tugging at the neck of his jersey, Puleri quipped, “I get no respect, I tell ‘ya, no respect.” Well, that’s not what Coach Tillman is saying.

“I can’t get over the group of guys we have here in camp,” explained Tillman. “Most of these guys could be … rather, SHOULD BE on NFL rosters. I was thoroughly impressed with our group of quarterbacks, tight ends, backs and receivers.”

Following dinner, the coach himself admitted to a few impressive talents of his own. “I used to be able to do a great Ed Sullivan … Really! And when my voice get better, I’ll show you my best Jackie Mason.”

I think we’ll have to take you up on that one coach. But for now, back to football.


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