Sunday training camps around the CFL opened, Huzah! ... well the almost didn't but then they did and that's the important thing.
The O'Day/Dickenson era is officially underway as 90+ guys are in Saskatoon trying to prove they are worth keeping around for more than a few weeks. It's a very different kind of camp as there really aren't any starting jobs up for grabs. Certainly there's a chance a veteran could get beat out by a young up and comer in a few spots. But I could probably guess our starting 24 right now and get 23 of the right. Despite this there are some interesting battles to watch.
Here's what I will be following closely.
Receiver - This should be the most heavily contested in camp. You have the vets in Roosevelt and a surprisingly healthy Arceneaux. You got the 3 young rookies from last season back for year 2 in Evans, Moore (who I think is in a for a big year) and Cannon (who the team is very high on). Just watching those 5 battle for the starting roles will be fun. Toss the new crop of receivers vying to be the next Moore/Evans/Lambert. Then there is the Canadian side of things where our two big new rookies will have everyone's attention. After what seems like a decade on our practice roster I will be interested to see if Mitch Picton finally gets a chance to step up. Cory Watson is still there but in an ideal world he becomes expendable of suffers an "injury" just before game 1.
O-Line - Cofield and Coleman will man the tackles (and with a chance to play from day 1 I think Cofield will have great year). I can tell you that in some capacity Labatte, Blake, Bladek, Schram, Shepley and Clark (when healthy) will as well. But who the starting 3 are and who the dedicated 6th OL are and up in the air. Looks like Blake-Labatte-Bladek are the starters for now but that could change.
D-line - Five of our 6 man rotation will be Hughes, Johnson, Evans, Leonard, Geter but there is one spot left. Mak Henry is currently in that spot but we have Mafuta, Breton and Dabire in the mix and also could go american there with Edwards or one of the new guys.
QB - Normally the most intriguing part of camp the interest here is pretty minimal (beyond monitoring the Collaros Concussion Count). Collaros will start. Fajardo will back-up the only thing left to decide is whether Isaac Harker can beat out Watford for the 3rd spot. Watford has the edge in terms of experience with it being his 3rd year here. But He's essentially a faster Michael Bishop... strong arm, not strong on the mental aspect of the game. Normally you'd be OK keeping a speedy QB like that around to run your sneaks but Nick Marshall stole that role so if Harker can show any kind of upside in terms of actually being a QB that can do more than run and throw far then you might opt to keep him around and develop him. That said with the amount of hype Harker already has 1 day into main camp I have this sinking feeling he's doomed to flame out gloriously come the pre-season.
DB - Starters are set in Marshall-Gainey-Edem-Purifoy-Butler with Bouka as the depth. But I do believe that if we found another Marshall-type recruit that Butler's spot could be at risk.
We are just 11 days away from preseason action. Get your family time while you still can and start prepping your liver... Rider season is coming.