Rider training camp is progressing well and other than the annual parade of hamstring injuries there’s not a lot to report at this point. So I figured I would take this opportunity to check in on training camps around the league.
BC – Word is Roosevelt Keiser is impressing the coaches with his performance at camp. I think this is great news. Not because I like the Lions or wish them any kind of success… in fact I hate the Lions and just thinking about them makes me want to punch an ostrich (don’t ask). I like this news though because it should mean that when we traded Keiser we got an equally talented player in Amariah Farrow in return. Kudos to Tillman because prying a talented player away form Wally Buono is about as easy as doing calculus with an abacus.
Edmonton – The frustration over not making the playoffs in 2 years apparently came to boiling point at Esks training camp this week when a few players came to fisticuffs (good word) during practice. Torrin Tucker squared off against Justin Cooper while Patrick Kabongo made the genius decision to get into it with Adam Braidwood (who is a trained MMA fighter). Apparently the argument started over coaching… Kabongo could be heard yellling “I hate Maciocia more!” while Braidwood insisted “No I do!”
Calgary – The Stampeders sorry excuse for an offensive line took another hit this week when it was revealed that 3rd overall draft pick Jesse Newman suffered a knee injury that will likely keep him out for the rest of training camp. This latest set back for their O-line led Coach Hufnagel to make a few adjustments. For the remainder of camp Henry Burris will not be participating in passing drills and will instead focus his time on running sprints to prepare him for the season and back-up Dave Dickenson is currently being fitted for a full body bubble-wrap suit just in case he is called into action.
Toronto – Speaking of O-line concerns… Did you realize that the Argos have managed to lose 4 Offensive Tackles this offseason? Not only was it 4 tackles it was 4 very talented tackles. They traded Glen January and Steve Morley to us, lost Jeff Keeping to free agency and Mike Pearson retired. As peculiar as this roster management strategy is, it does explain a couple things. First, their interest in Kerry Joseph… a team with no tackles had better have a mobile QB. Second, the re-signing of Bishop… as good as Joseph is, with no tackles to protect him it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to injury.
Winnipeg – Jovon Johnson is having a very good camp for the Bombers. This comes as no surprise to me as talent was never this issue with Jovon, it was attitude. Let’s just hope Johnson makes as big an impact with the Bombers as other Rider castoffs such as Nate Davis, Dominique Dorsey, Matt O’Meara and Davin Bush did last season.
Montreal – The Als have been busy making roster moves releasing Brashir Levingston and Chijioke Onyenegecha (who has also somehow already managed to be cut from Stamps training camp too, guess his football skills aren’t as awesome as his name). They also signed receiver Jason Armstead today. Armstead’s career has been dropping at a meteoric pace. In just 2 short years, he managed to go from being a highly valued receiver taken 3rd overall in a dispersal draft by an eventual Grey Cup winning team to being offered 2 pay cuts and being traded to and cut from the worst team in the league. Armstead astutely decided that the only way to continue his downward spiral is to join the sinking ship that is the Alouettes.
Also, word is that Tay Cody has yet to report to camp and they haven’t been able to get a hold of him. My guess is that Cody was looking at the Alouettes roster and suddenly realized that he had signed with an aging team, with a rookie head coach and a GM who’s a prick and decided he was better off back in Hamilton.