Four more join Cats secondary
May 20, 2010 Drew Edwards
The Hamilton Spectator
Let's get the joke out of the way first:
the Ticats did not sign Richie Rich yesterday
hoping he could foot the bill for a new stadium.
Instead Rich, along with fellow new signees
Tony Davis, Derek Douglas and Will Heyward,
will join what is shaping up to be a
good training-camp battle at defensive back.
With the departure of starting corner Bo Smith
(signed with the NFL's New York Jets)
and halfback Chris Thompson (traded to Edmonton),
general manager Bob O'Billovich said t[u]he new quartet
will compete[/u] with newly acquired CFL vets
Will Poole, Jason Shivers and Jerome Dennis
for two starting spots.
"There'll be some opportunity for new guys
to make our football team," O'Billovich said.
The tentative plan is
[b]to move halfback Geoff Tisdale to corner,
playing opposite incumbent starter Jykine Bradley.
That would create two open spots at halfback.
But training camp will tell the tale, O'Billovich said.
"All the American defensive backs are former corners,
but the coaches will be moving them around
during training camp to find the best fit."
This is Davis's second go-round with the club.
Davis (Penn State, Arizona Cardinals) was signed last fall
during the temporary expansion of practice rosters,
and the team liked what they saw
enough to bring him back for a longer look.
Heyward (Texas State) was in training
camp with the B.C. Lions last spring.
"He had a little previous experience in the league
so we're going to give him another shot," O'Billovich said.
Douglas (Tuskegee University, IFL Colorado Ice)
attended the free-agent camp in California this past weekend,
which saw 67 hopefuls work out for Ticat brass,
including O'Billovich, head coach Marcel
Bellefeuille and uber-scout Richard Wade.
"He looked really good in coverage," O'Billovich said.
"He did a nice job of getting in the receivers'
hip pocket and staying with them."
The California camp -- which netted the Ticats
running back DeAndra' Cobb and
defensive end Justin Hickman last season --
may provide an even better haul this year.
"We signed seven guys out of that camp last year
but we might get as many as nine this year,"
O'Billovich said. "It was a good camp."
Finally, the aforementioned Rich
(North Alabama, North Carolina)
is a former high school running back
who moved to corner in college,
and will get a chance as a punt returner as well.
O'Billovich said he's in the final stages
of piecing together the team's 75-man roster
for rookie camp, which is set to open June 3.
A number of players will be signed in the coming days
as O'Billovich makes some hard
choices on who to bring to camp.
"This is the part of it that's not fun," he said.