My last taste of CFL football was watching my beloved Riders lose the Grey Cup on a last second penalty. My last taste of professional football was watching my beloved Vikings fumble/intercept away a very winnable NFC Championship game. Needless to say I was pretty eager to put last year behind me and get a new one underway.
Well this morning I finally got the chance to do so. I was able to get down to Mosaic Stadium to take in the 3rd and final day of Rookie Camp. It got me even more excited for this season.
Here are some random observations:
- Brent Hawkins is by far the best of the group. We’ll see how he fares against our starters but so far I really like what I see and expect him to make our roster.
- The Rider Prophet endorsed Ike Squared seems to have a slightly separated shoulder. Which is too bad because by all accounts he was doing well. Though given the success rate of my endorsement I should probably consider endorsing Dinwiddie.
- Vaalyn Jackson moves very well for a man his size. I’ll be interested to see how he matches up in main camp.
- Willie Evans looks lazy to me. He has shown a couple times some flashes of talent but just doesn’t have the same intensity and hustle as the others.
- Overall the competition looks really good. I also like coach Schepper. He brings an intensity that I think will benefit our D-line.
- St-Pierre is no longer sporting the 2 knee braces he did last year, which is a good sign. It was odd picturing a borderline cyborg as the heir to old man O’Day.
- Carlo Thomas is far and away the best DB in camp. That isn’t a huge surprise given that he dressed for us briefly last year
- Remember when I said that Aaron Waldie had been compared to Weston Dressler? Yeah well I’m not sure who said that but the hype may have been a bit unfounded. The guy couldn’t catch an STD from a dirty prostitute. Odds are good he will be among the cuts tomorrow.
- Cary Koch, Dwayne Eley and Jeremy Gilchrist look like decent prospects.
- Aaron Fairooz looks like a lanky giant supported by 2 pencils. It’s no wonder he his always hurt, there is nothing to the guy. I think the Riders like him but you can’t make the club in the tub.
- As much as it pains me to say it Dinwiddie has looked like the best QB so far. That may change once they see some actual game time because Reesing and Bergquist strike me as guys who perform better in a real game. At least that’s what I’m praying.
The roster will have to be pared down a bit before main camp opens Sunday morning. That’s when things really heat up and the real players are separated from the future Argos.
Speaking of the Argos, they brought in 2 former Riders, Carl Berman and Denatay Heard. Berman was a glorified track star with no tangible football sense or skill... which makes him the ideal Argo prospect. As for Denatay, with the Casino on strike its probably for the best that he found a new team. I can’t see him doing well in a world without games of chance.
Also in Argo land, Gibram Hamdan who was supposed to compete for their starting QB, abruptly retired. I’m guessing it had something to do with realizing how much the Argos suck and not wanting to be a part of it. I would say that Hamdan’s retirement hurts the Argos but given that they are pretty much at rock bottom anyway they really can’t sink any lower than “screwed”… the only think lower than screwed is “Michael Bishop”.
Bold prediction: Bishop is back in double blue by Labour Day.