Training camp is just around the corner and thank goodness because this time of year sports is so awful that the results of horse racing actually become interesting. The only time I want to hear the term triple crown again is when I’m ordering a drink.
Anywho as a precursor to training camp I will be doing a breakdown of each position heading into camp. I’ll be looking at our current status, who to watch and outlook for the season.
We’ll start on this holiday Monday with Linebacker. Yes it’s an odd place to start but it has a lot of intrigue because it’s the only position where not a single starter from last year will be returning. Simpson and Lucas have retired (in both cases we significantly improving the team in the process) and Freeman is trying his luck with the Colts (evidently he has a soft spot in his heart for football teams that finish dead last).
Who’s in the mix: Mike McCullough, Chris Graham, Chris Francis, Darren Stone, Jamar Williams, Abraham Kromah, Daniel Sheffield, Shomari Williams, Sam Hurl, Kevin Regimbald-Gagne. Tyron Brackenridge and James Patrick may also be in the mix.
Normally I would talk about our projected starters but it’s such a mystery that it’s tough for me to even take a guess. Thus far it appears all 3 spots are more open as Man in the Bush on a Saturday night.
What we do know is that we seem committed to starting a Canadian a middle linebacker. We haven't done that since we were forced into it by a linebacker named Trevis who apparently defined safe sex as putting padding on the headboard and making sure the various girls didn’t meet. Anyways, it would appear that Shomari Williams is the chosen one there. Now I like Shomari but I’d be lying if I said I had a ton of confidence in this move. I’m sure over time he could develop into a good LB but the fact remains he hasn’t played one snap of pro LB... and middle linebacker is the LB spot where the mental aspect of the position is the most important. The only real other option would be Mike McCullough who is certainly smart and experienced enough to play MLB but lacks the athleticism to excel. If we could somehow fuse McCullough’s brain with Shomari’s body then we’d be set. We could call it Shomike Willcullough. But since I doubt this is an avenue the team is looking into I guess we will have to settle for plain old Shomari.
At the Will spot we have the not so monumental task of replacing Sean Lucas (which quite frankly a block of cheese could do without a drop in production). Brackenridge is one name being given serious consideration with I am in favour of. Patrick also played the role well last year but there are concerns if he could hold up to a full season at LB.
Unlike the first 2 spots where anyone we put in there will be an improvement, at the Sam spot (aka Freeman’s old stomping grounds) anyone we put there will likely be a downgrade. The good news is that it is the easiest position to replace in football. Honestly think back to the last time we didn’t have someone good in that spot. As for who gets it I have absolutely no idea.
Person to keep an eye on: Abraham Kromah
Outlook: Concerning... let’s be honest not a lot about the position screams confidence to me. Hopefully Alex Smith can allay my fears in training camp.