200 prospects at the Charlotte tryout ! Jim's a busy boy

Oh Canada

Posted by Jon Copper: I went to a tryout for the Canadian Football League Saturday in Charlotte. The team was the Montreal Alouettes. I didn't know what to expect, but it was a really good experience. This was the third tryout they have had in the United States this offseason. There were over 200 guys there from all over -- Florida, Ohio, the Carolinas, even Sweden.

Registration started at 8. Jim Popp, the GM, was the guy handing out and even making extra T-shirts in the back. That was as interesting comparison to the NFL. I have a hard time thinking Parcells or Belichick or Rooney would be down in the equipment room handing out T-shirts at a rookie tryout. Coach Bob Price at U-Va. told me the CFL was great football, just without all the bells and whistles and characters. I think this was one way that proved his point.

The day was good. We ran 40s and pro shuttles and did individual as well as one on one drills. There were two thunderstorms that delayed us about an hour and a half total throughout the day. We finished about three. I left them some game film, and they said they would be in touch with some guys over the next three weeks to bring them into training camp which starts June 1, so we will see.

That is really cool, im sure you can find some good lost talent at these camps. Even some dude who never played organized football but is in shape and knows what do can impress enough to get a shot at a pro contract.

Maybe but this is a tough year to get an invite. I don't remember a year where there was this much talent at camp.

With the NFLE folding in 2007, the AFL cancelled 2009 season and there is a 2010 rumor re-start, football "jobs" are limited.

With over 200 NCAA Div 1 colleges, lots of "import" players are now giving a look at the CFL...which is big :thup: IMHO !

These guys paid 100.00 us (cash...) a piece to participate plus make their own way there from as far as Sweden. That's 20k, probably covers the staff's transportation (I'm pretty sure Jim ties it to some little R&R home :wink: ) plus pay for guys like Price to get there and rental of the facility. Costs the Als nada and they fill their neg lists and can find a jewel once in a while I guess.

Loved the part about Popp making t-shirts in the back. I always pictured him as a head banger in his younger days, a cool one.

Yeah me too. Jim is amazing, works his ars... off, big family man. I think he has like four young children.

IMO he's the Als. We've been very fortunate to have him and I was cool with him getting a second year as a coach. I wonder how much longer he'll stay with the team. At some point someone in the NFL will offer him something niceeee. I've always wondered if having taken the job in Baltimore had anything to do with him not being in the NFL... But I'm pretty sure Mr. Wettenhaul treats hime very well. At least I hope.

As a GM, Popp is the man. I hated him as head coach, but thankfully he himself (possibly with Wetenhall's prodding) realized it was best to step back and hire a qualified HC. It's win-win, because it gets Popp back to doing what he does best: recruiting talent.

No question thats his best attribute. I'll always remember a bunch of "no-names" starting, and turning into league All-Stars. He especially has a good eye for Returners.