PITMAN — Atlantic City Blackjacks quarterback Warren Smith started practice Saturday morning and immediately connected with wide receiver Warren Oliver Jr. on a routine slant route.

Smith later completed a corner pass to Oliver on a 2-on-2 drill against Philadelphia Soul defenders during the teams’ joint practice at Virtua Total Turf Experience.

But Smith and Oliver had prior connections before joining one of the Arena Football League’s two expansion teams.

Both played for the 2017 Lehigh Valley SteelHawks, a since-defunct team in the National Arena League. And both players are from South Jersey.

“Warren (Oliver) is a great wide receiver and does a lot of good things for us,” said Smith, 29, of the Forked River section of Lacey Township. “Our Lehigh (Valley) days, we had a really good run together. So it’s good to have good chemistry with a receiver like that.

During 8-on-8 drills Saturday, Smith, a 2008 Lacey Township High School graduate, guided the Blackjacks downfield and found wideout Antwane Grant for touchdown.

Oliver also made some big receptions with the Blackjacks’ other quarterbacks, Randy Hippeard, a former Arena Football League MVP, and Drew Powell.

“Today was a good day,” Smith said. “Warren (Oliver) had a good day. I had a good day. We are just going to build off this and keep going forward.”

Oliver, who played football at Palmyra High School and Rowan University, competed for the SteelHawks in 2016 and 2017. Last season, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Oliver played for the Champions Professional Indoor Football League’s Duke City Gladiators in New Mexico.

“It’s easy, honestly,” Oliver said of his chemistry with Simth. “I’ve been in practice with him for an entire season. I know what he wants. I know what kind of depth he wants, or where he wants you to brake.

“He’s a good dude, so I just do what he says and get the ball.”

The 28-year-old Oliver said he works out with players on the Soul, including quarterback Dan Raudabaugh, defensive backs James Romain and Dwayne Hollis and wide receiver Lonnie Outlaw.

The Soul won the ArenaBowl championship in 2016 and 2017.

“The Soul is obviously a great organization,” Oliver said. “We competed hard. They went against us, we went against them. They hit us, we hit them. It was a good day.”

Atlantic City coach Ron James said Smith and Oliver have both been impressive.

“Both have been working hard in training camp, and there is no doubt they are true professionals,” James said. “They show their grit against these guys, and I think that hook up is only natural.”

The Atlantic City defense forced two turnovers in the first four series of team drills Saturday.

“Practicing with the Soul is great because they are one of the best teams in the Arena Football League and have been, and they are well-coached,” James said. “Getting out here kind of gives us a litmus test of where we need to be for the next two weeks when we line up to play them again.”