2018 camp

Camp is coming, so thought sharing some thoughts would be good in advance...look forward to hearing from everyone

Bodies in bodies out...there are a few on the line. I think we will see one or 2 vets pushed this year. Something that is actually pretty uncommon in football. IMO the biggest change we see this year....in 2016 we had just horrid Canadian depth and a lot was done to correct that in an uphill battle, and holes were addressed all over the place. by now that depth is fairly stable. It is not where they want it...but it is getting there and I rather like where it is heading overall. The last couple of years it was about finding athletes and making a physical team, but now holes are largely filled, so they have the luxury of being a lot more particular in who they sign. They also have players in the US actively seeking them out because they have so many camps and awareness is very high on the club...it is paying off. Now they are in a position where they can focus not just on athletes but guys with the pedigree...I know this has been a sore spot for many the past couple of years, and I think you are going to see a big transition this year because of he past 2 seasons of off-season work.

A few things to watch...

Same E will be transitioning to WILL. Interesting move, but I think he will excel at it. He is very fast with a great reaction time and has one of the best bursts on the D.

Wilkins will be a guy to watch. He is listed on the DL (DE)...don't be shocked if he gets rotations at MIKE. Very athletic guy who can play lots of spots...football smart. I expect him to push for a spot, though it may be a PR thing to start. They have depth with Antigha, but they like dressing 4, so he or Horton has a respectable shot...my bet is on Wilkins.

Eric Striker...ok...really really....um...really pumped to see this guy. There is one reason and one reason only he is not in the NFL...Size. Really surprised nobody has rolled the dice on him, but this could be an absolute gem. Any NCAA watchers out there have likely watched some level of Sooners games, and in such know Striker. He is fast and can hit, and is very football smart...to the point that he was working watching recruitment videos for the school because he can shift out the pretenders so fast. As a Sooner the man was everywhere. All LB spots...Safety, mainly playing in the middle. He is actually a bit of a reason I cringe at Sam E (who was awesome outside) inside...because I am hoping he competes to win that inside job at some point this season. If he can work on angles I can even see him as a SAM. Moncrief is a stud there, but Williams backing him is concerning. I fully expect him to pick up the game and the D quickly and be a guy who can rotate all over if needed. he is a bit shorter than ideal, but is a guy I will be watching.

The one contention at LB is they don't have a bulky guy outside of Geter for big formations. I think they are willing to live with that.

There is going to be a Canadian at LB....and that is apparently going to be primarily at WIL. This is probably a better fit for Hurl...and while I think he is likely to win a starting gig there, I am not sure it will last the full season. Chevrier will push him there, as will some others. I can see a 3-4 where both Sam E and Judge are in the middle as well. I think the idea is that Judge will shift and take center while E hops to the edge some or spies.

I had assumed Bond would compete at OT...apparently not the case, though I am sure he will get some reps. No question...best OG in the CFL and it is not even close. It does mean potentially only 2 nationals on the OL...which is a bit shocking. There could be potential that LaBatte moves to center. Murphy has stated that they see LaBatte finishing his career as a C...so yeah. This would likely leave Clark battling Bladek at RG....IMO Bladek wins. Now yeah, Bond may simply play RG...but you want your best OLman on the blind side...or do you? If JSJ can compete for RT then Bond lands on the right to support him.

Nick James...I know he did well...but he needs to show up more game ready. This will be interesting to watch, because with Mrabure gone they no longer have a Canadian DE they can rotate in on a 3-4 to get James in the game unless someone is being converted. That would mean bring 2 Canadian LBs in if you want to play James in a 3-4. He may not have a home....which is a bit surprising to say...but not sure they hold onto him for the 30-35% they play 4 down linemen. Would love him around, but the roster is only so deep...potential ratio casualty. one thing that potentially changes this...if JSJ can step up as OT and give ratio flexibility. I am wondering if they feel Adusei is ready to take the step as the beast to replace him. Adusei often played a little soft for his size in practice, but if he can step up aggression...

WR...we are going to see 2 nationals when Messam is not in. I don't think initially the idea was to look at him as a feature back, but it is looking more and more the case. This, to me, is a failure by staff not to be in a position to start 3 on the OL...even as dominant as Bond is. not saying it can't work...but sure removes flexibility. Bright side is there will be more competition at WR, because they likely need to dress 3 Canadians every game. Again...unless JSJ displaces Coleman....who has played solid at RT. Bagg, Bailey and....Harty likely.

Does Thigpen make it out of camp? He is sitting the first 2 games....he is going to need to shine in camp....without PEDs. Jones is already established as a parkplug...but so is Thigpen...and of course Owens. This is still a young team...so Owens likely sticks. Do they really keep all 3?

Jordan Williams-Lambert also impressed in mini. He will likely be lining up to push B Grant. A Grant will likely push Holley. Expecting some battles there.

secondary...Johnson is actually going to need to fight it out. He is likely to land in a rotational duty. Gainey is going to eyeball the NFL next year and there is interest...they need to land a couple guys on the PR. It was an above average showing for DBs in the mini-camp...unfortunately a couple of the premier DBs and one WR from them are presently not signed, asking for release. Will be looking closely at this for the first few days of camp.

Going to be exciting...the team plays after a week of camp. This means they will have solid footage early. Will be interesting.

QB situation just got interesting...

BJ Daniels is at long last finally signed. Been hyped and sought after as a CFL QB for a few years now.

While some may think that we are only confusing our QB scenario I think this is good for the development of the club headed into camp. If we want the cup that means players thriving under pressure. Our QBs now have loads of pressure on them and camp is still 2 days away. Regardless of who is #1, who is backup and who sticks around, we still have good trade bait with this level of talent this early.

Anyone who thinks it is confusing the situation doesn't understand football or sports in general.

There is also no assurance that Daniels doesn't make the team in a capacity that is not QB. The team is extremely high on Williams, who knows the system and team.

Depop, when I look at training camp schedule it says times are 9:00- 12:30.

Do you know if it is one practice for the day for that duration or are they 2 a days and these are the 2 start times?

It should be right around listed time. There will be a break at some point of like 30 minutes. they are limited to 2.5 hour sessions x 2 and a total of 30 minutes of meetings. It generally goes something like 30 minute meeting (that would be at 830), 1.5-2 hours practice, break, 1 - 1.5 hour on field, meetings, see ya tomorrow.

PS...Marshall is gone...failed medical.

I see the Riders suspended 3 players today
Richardson - this one we knew about… although still unclear if his motivation is to make it back to the NFL as I thought if he was suspended here it would block him in the NFL ?

Hus - whats the story on this one?

E Steele - Ditto - whats up?

Zak Stacy could be an interesting signing if he can return to form and has fully recovered from his broken ankle

Here are some of the Training Camp position battles that I figured will carry the most weight going into the season this summer. Everyone will be watching the QB battles unfold and rightfully so. However, I figure there other positions of prominence that should be getting more attention, we'll see how it all unfolds.

Vaughn has looked good thus far

The new WR to watch is Williams-Lambert. Looking solid...very.

Collaros was better yesterday, Bridge today. Williams yesterday, Watford today.

Stacy has looked solid hitting the holes hard, but too early to say much on RBs.

Ojo has looked bad. Really bad. He likely has a pile of rust...concerning

Butler is having hands down the most stellar camp in the secondary in the short camp thus far...Williams is second. He has looked really good. Johnson has been hit and miss.

Lyles and Cutrerare duking it out. Lyles has the edge. Both are young enough and appear to be doing well enough that they both may stick around in some capacity.

zero concerns at MLB thus far

Geteris winning a DL roster spot thus far.....he is very disruptive.

Owens has been just stunning.

Bagg was "meh" on day one...spectacular today.

Radford might be the surprise of camp. Moved to DB he has actually looked pretty solid.

Bladek is winning more battles than he is losing, but I thought he would look better.

Clark was limping pretty good by the end of the day

Looks like you were right Depop, Ojo released a few days back. Too bad, I was really hoping he would shine in that spot. What will you be watching most intensely on Sunday vs the Esks?

DE...there are 5-6 legit contenders to win 2 spots plus behind Hughes and Jefferson.

The above, IMO, is the one to watch.

DT...Cox may be out. Maxey looks to be the front runner with Cox and Miley battling it out...I could see Cox on the roster and Miley the PR.

RT...Coleman seems to be getting pushed by Harrison...Though Coleman is winning so far. I think at this point the OL is fairly set.

WR...there is, IMO, not a bad import in camp. There are a couple competing to displace existing guys from the 46. Barring tanking in action...and we know that happens. Stoshak was the toast of camp last year and flamed out in action. I don't see how Jordan Williams-Lambert is not on the roster if he shows at all like he is in camp. Kryan Moore is stupid fast and does good things...if it weren't for a guy like Owens having a top end camp I would bank on him making it...likely up tall because he needs to spark over Jones on returns. Shaq evens non-receiving play is excellent and he can squeeze the ball. I could potentially see all 3 on the roster some how...if a couple are interesting in PR time. Carter and Roosevelt are safe..Owens likely as well...that is it for imports. No, they are not going to dump 3 vets, but I could see one going.

DBs...really depends how they want to look at Carter. They are legit looking at him as a regular contributor at CB...IMO a mistake as they have the guys in camp, which is why passing on Ojo was not horrible. The final spot...Carter aside...Harris is the front runner. Williams is probably 2nd, as he is showing very well there...and we know I was not a fan of him at strong LB last year lol, but he is looking solid. Lyles is third. Cutrer is good...perhaps sitting 2nd in ability...but when it comes to pressing like Jones wants, there are too many WR that will just run over him....his size is an obvious issue multiple times a day...great player though. Davie and Johnson (Rudy) are long shots. I can see them keeping 2 for depth...then it depend...3 if they shy on Carter some. Marshall is the wild card. He shows a lot of potential but is not in the first 3...thing is he can play anywhere...very diverse player. Outside of OL or DT...I think he could hold his own pretty much anywhere. He has done some LB and DB, as well as QB (was a pretty good QB in school...converted to CB to chase NFL). I know they really want to find him a home...but that could be several places.

Hurl...see where he lines up. He will see weak side and he will see middle LB. Lots of reps at middle. Judge has looked solid on the weak side...if Hurl wins that then he is going to have Judge on his heals all year. The national LB depth has looked solid...even the new guy, Teitz. Was worried about starting someone outside there....I am not now.

QB,,,Watford and Williams battle for third...Daniels seems odd man out. Watford has looked strongest overall in camp, but I question if it will translate as well in a game...I am guessing not.