PORTLAND -- Portland's new Arena Football League team, the Thunder, opened training camp this week at the Tualatin Indoor Soccer facility.
Media Day was Tuesday, featuring 35 players who took part in the first day of full contact.
“Just so excited to be out here with the team,” said former Oregon Duck Darron Thomas, who is battling for one of the quarterback spots with the Thunder. "This is my first day, so I’m knocking off some rust.”
It’s been more than two years since Thomas' last game, when he helped the Ducks beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.
Darron will have his work cut out for him in a QB battle with two other players. One is Nathan Enderle, a former Idaho QB who was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 2011. He also spent time in three other NFL camps.
The other is Houston Lillard, from Southeast Missouri State University. Houston played in the Indoor Football League with Tri-Cities and happens to be the brother of Blazers guard Damian Lillard.
“I live here,” Houston said. "Obviously, my brother’s here. I have my son here and I feel like it’s a new team and I can get my foot in the door to make an impression and name for myself."
Head coach Matthew Sauk, 37, brings more than a dozen years of experience in the Arena Football League, both as a quarterback and coach. He likes all three quarterback choices.
“I’ve got 14 days to make a decision,” he told KGW. “The good thing is all three can do it, and that’s what’s important.”
The Thunder play their season opener March 17 at the Moda Center against the San Jose Sabercats.