Can you believe that training camp opens in just 4 days? If I had the budget for a choir this is where I would have them sing Alleluia. But all I have the budget for is an imagination choir, so go on... imagine it.
I wanted to address a few of the tidbits that Chris Jones mentioned in last week's Season Preview Conference Call that give insights into the likely roster make-up for 2018.
Jones confirmed that Bond will be playing guard, putting to bed months of speculation of where we planned to play him. It's certainly a move that will impact the ratio but Bond is a proven player both in pass protection and a physical run blocker. Protecting Collaros is the key to our season so we gotta play our best combo along the line. That leaves 2 likely options in terms of the make-up of our interior OL. Labatte-Clark-Bond or Bond-Labatte-Bladek. Obviously I am in favour of the non-Dan Clark option but we will see in camp if Bladek has progressed enough to earn a starting role (fingers crossed).
As for Left Tackle it appears to be a battle between Terran Vaughn and Takoby Cofield (though don't rule out a mid-season Bruce Campbell appearance if that doesn't pan out). St John will be in the tackle mix but I expect him to be a 6th OL and only start in if injuries occur. Obviously there is risk in having new players man the most important spot along the line so I guess we will have to hope we've scouted a good one.
Eguavoen will play middle as previously mentioned (cue the imagination choir again). We will be starting a Canadian at OLB (cue concerned and skeptical looks). The only way I see this working is if Judge is ready to start. Hurl, Bartlett, Grondin, Teitz, Chevrier, Francis, Gagne are all back-ups/rotational players. If one of them is a full-time starter we are in trouble. If Judge is ready to step into a starting role A) it will be a miracle because one of our first round picks will have panned out B) i think a Judge-Eguavoen-Moncrief group could work. We rotate a lot on D so I expect the others to see some playing time but all my hope is on Judge at this point. I hope he doesn't earn the nickname Judge Dread.
John Ojo will be playing wide side corner like he did in Edmonton. That means that Kacy Rogers' spot is still up for grabs and that Jovon Johnson is not a shoe in as wide side was his spot last year. Johnson could still win the boundary corner but I think our preference would be for a young guy to win the spot... that or Duron (cue Prophet shaking his head in a "please no" manner). I think Jones is putting Ojo in a position he feels best suits his skill set (and a place he excelled at previously). The competition for the other CB spot should be hotly contested.
Man I can't wait for football!