Training camp is now less than a week away and I am getting pumped. That feeling was certainly given a boost when my super nice box that contained only a plastic card and a string that was clearly diverted from being used as draw strings in dollar store sweat pants arrived (aka my season tickets).
While the Riders enter 2017 camp with less questions than they did 2016 (at least until Chris Jones starts cutting people), there are still many intriguing battles to watch as camp opens. Here are some of my top areas to watch.
Multiple talented people will not be making this team because the competition here will be so tight. I assume Carter and Roosevelt are safe, but pretty much every other player will have to be showing their top stuff from day 1 if they want to rise to the top. Guys like Holley, Edwards, Collins and Craig who saw action here last year will have to step it up if they want to beat out the vets that have been brought in.
Prophet's guy to watch: Armanti Edwards.
Jones has stated he wants to start 3 Canadians on the interior of the OL in order to get to 8 starting Cdns. That means the right guard spot is up for grabs. Presumably St John is is the lead horse but guys like Bladek, White and Guy will also have their shot. Also, all Canadians will have to prove that they are a better options that having King play guard and starting 3 imports.
Prophet's guy to watch: Josiah St John
Muamba will be manning the middle but both outside spots are up for grabs. At the Will Linebacker it will be between Sam Eguavoen, who looked great early last year before getting hurt and newcomer Glenn Love, who proved he can do more than play teams last season. Both are solid options and I expect both will see time on D but one will get the lion's share. At the Sam LB spot, I have no clue. Tyler Hunter spent time there. I think Kacy Rodgers would do good there. Maybe some unknown guy steps up.
Prophet's guy to watch: Dillon Grondin (I like him last year and now that we are starting a Cdn MLB he has a big chance to prove he can be the back-up).
I expect Brouilette to start at Safety, though Edem could push him (also an outside shot they both do well in camp and one gets bumped up to LB). Gainey gets one spot. That's all we know. The other 3 spots are more open that opposing receivers were against us early last season. If he's not an LB expect Rodgers to take a spot. I am just praying we can uncover another Justin Cox (you know, without the all the domestic issues). To me, this is the competition to watch... mainly because if we don't find 2-3 quality DBs then we are screwed.
Prophet's guy to watch: Royce Adams
You'll note that everyone's favourite position (QB) was not on my list. Regular readers will know why, but in case you are new here and somehow managed to read this far before giving up on me, here's my view on QBs. Kevin Glenn will absolutely dominate all competing QBs. it won't even be close. The only question is whether Vince Young sucks enough to get cut. Or sucks but gets kept around as a back-up due to a pipe dream that he will develop. Given we currently only have 4 qbs under contract, odds currently look good for the latter.
Agree with your assessments. Don't know much about Royce Adams. Hearing a lot about Bingham from mini-camp which doesn't mean much to me. I'm not sure about 3 Nationals on OL. You'd think among St. John, Bladek, White & Guy, someone will step up. The DB's concern me most & should you move Rodgers or Brouillette up, you have more holes there. Mind you, if Edem plays well, Brouillette has played SAM so that would be a big help. Our defence came along a bit as the year went on so why do I have all these questions on defence? I still don't like our DL & it doesn't look like many newcomers have been brought in. Steele was good under Jones, so there's that. Minter is on his 3rd team in his 3rd year in the league. Gaydosh was highly rated but has been injury prone. I don't care for Leonard & Newsome needs to bring more than 2 sacks @ DE. At LB there are some possibilities but Knox & Foster will be hard to replace. And yes, 100% agreement, the DB's are scary - over half the 13 on the roster are new so fingers crossed. In any case, the overriding concern this year will be QB. I'm with you - all the eggs are in the Glenn basket. We'll see how it goes in pre-season.
Another possibility being tossed around is a combo of Edem and Francis at Sam. Be nice if that worked out but I'm not convinced. I guess if Judge is as good as expected it could work
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