What a great day Sunday was! The sun was out, no a cloud in the sky, birds were having sex with bees (or so it is to my understanding). And most importantly main camp opened for the Riders! It was great to be back in the stands watching our beloved Riders (and even the less beloved ones) back in action.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it up for the first practice of the day which started at 8 in the morning. I have trouble getting up for work at 8 in the morning and I have incentives such as the fact that they pay me and would likely stop paying me if I stopped coming in at 8. Good luck getting me out of bed that early with no incentives.
We did make it for the second session and here are some random observations (as if I ever have any other kind of observations).
- Durant and Dressler look like they haven’t missed a beat. Both look in all-star form (Dressler in particular)
- Getzlaf also looks to have not missed a beat and by that I mean he showed off his inconsistent hands. When you look at how successful he has been so far in his career despite fighting the ball at times, it makes you wonder just how high his ceiling would be if he became damn-near automatic like Fantuz was.
- Given that I missed the first 20 minutes of the days practice, I naturally missed “healthy” Aaron Fairooz. He yet again succumbed to injury this time less than an hour into the year’s first practice. Since we inexplicably kept him all last year he now counts as a veteran and can’t be cut while injured so it looks like were stuck with him and his toothpick legs occupying our injury list for the foreseeable future. At this point I can’t tell if Fairooz delusionally thinks he can make it in the pros or has just figured out an ingenious way to ensure job security with minimal work on his part.
- Oh how I missed Eddie Johnson! He was just booming punts. He eventually got bored with that and started kicking with his left foot. The other punters were close to his range but nowhere near his hang time. I suggest they think about growing moustaches as that seems to be the key to Johnson’s success.
- FGs is another story for Johnson though. He has one kind of kick… line drive, even on short chip shots. Can’t say I’m overly confident in that.
- Fortunately our Special Teams coach is actually doing what we pay him to do and had the team practicing missed FG coverage. This is a remarkable change in philosophy from our previous ST coach whose plan was assume we will never miss and stand idly dumfounded when it happens… repeatedly.
- It looks like it will be the battle of George Hudson and Marc Parenteau for centre. I get the preference to put a vet there but man would I love a Nick Hutchins or Alex Krausnick-Groh to step up so we can have a long-term solution to that spot as we had in the past.
- Say what you will about Cates but with the effort he is showing I don’t see anyone unseating him at RB anytime soon.
- I watched one series of the bonsai drill with Dinwiddie at the helm… it went interception, sack, incompletion. My mother always said if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all… umm… err… I appreciate the consistent level of play Dinwiddie always brings.
- Kornegay and Graham appear to be the early favourite’s on the corners. With Patrick, Frazier and McKenzie inside this has the makings of a very good secondary.
- Toss in Freeman, Simpson and Lucas (assuming he’s decide to quit sucking this year) at LB and Hawkins, Shologan and Romero up front and all of a sudden you have what could be an awesome defensive unit! I’m pretty pumped about it.
- For now it appears Mullinder/Shomari will man the other DE spot for ratio reasons. I think we could probably do better at that spot but given the other guys on the D-line I think that we’ll be fine if that’s the direction we end up going.
- Efrem Hill looked decent but I still hope he doesn’t make the team because he is forever tainted in my mind by the association with Efrem the retarded rabbit.
- Terrence Nunn continues to impress.
Coach Marshall will have to make his first round of cuts tomorrow. By my count 7 people will have to go home, though expect at least a few of those to stick around town for a while as generally happens. Or maybe Marshall will just take the numbers off their jerseys like he did for the mystery punters (one of whom turned out to be Jake Harfman) and pretend like they aren’t there.