Friday, April 28, 2017
TO VINCE OR NOT TO VINCE
2 - The quarterback situation may not be at the top of the heap when it comes to pressing issues heading into the 2017 season, but it has to be close. And, judging by what went on at Dodgertown over the past three days, Chris Jones has to be feeling good about the most important position on the team. Kevin Glenn showed enough on Day 1 - a "walk in the park for him" as Jones put it - that he was pretty much shelved in the pass skeleton and 7-and-7 drills for the final two days in order to spread critical reps around to the other four pivots.
In short, it would seem as though this is Kevin Glenn's team right now however the stable behind him shows tremendous promise.
3 - As far as the depth chart goes coming out of camp, CKRM's Luc Mullinder rated them as follows: 1) Kevin Glenn, 2) Bryan Bennett, 3/4) A tie between Vince Young and Jake Heaps and, 5) Brandon Bridge. This assessment is from Luc's trained eye, but comes without the benefit of the analytics and passing stats that Jones and his staff are privy to.
Discuss as you see fit in the Comment section.
4 - Did Vince Young meet or beat expectations in this camp? That's hard to say since it's not clear what the expectations were. He certainly didn't embarrass himself (his passing completion percentage was in the 70's, second-best in camp), and he quickly shook off any rust which accumulated during his two seasons out of the game (his last action was on the Cleveland Browns practice roster in 2014). He was generally smooth, and his mechanics never left him. However the Texas grad gave himself a "C+", which leaves plenty of room for improvement.
That improvement will continue during main training camp in Saskatoon beginning May 28 as Chris Jones immediately stated after Thursday's practice that Young has earned enough to receive a camp invite.
5 - One trained camp observer with an NFL pedigree offered this evaluation of Young on Day 3. "He's shown here he possesses two of the three key ingredients to continue this comeback: physical ability and smarts. The third component is heart and desire. We'll find out over the next couple months where he is with that."
It's clear Young still carries the baggage of his track record of "lack of stick-to-it-iveness".
6 - One popular question from Rider Priders who followed our radio and online coverage from minicamp this week was, "How was Vince to deal with?" The truth is, he was nothing but first class. I don't know what he was like 10 years ago, but right now he's mature, friendly and incredibly professional. He signed every autograph, patiently conducted every interview, and carried out whatever was asked of him.
Daily I grew angrier with all the bad things that've been said about Young over the years, but I've only known him for six weeks. What happened in the past is in the past, and his story still may have a few more chapters left to write.
I've become a huge Vince Young fan.
7 - So how will this Vince Young story progress in Saskatoon? Who knows. I asked the Riders' John Murphy on 620 CKRM's SportsCage if Young will be content to be a back-up and his answer was, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it". It seems this is very much a day-by-day scenario right now.
Frankly - if Vince does open the CFL season as Kevin Glenn's back-up - I can hear the American commentators like Skip Bayliss and Stephen A. Smith already. "He was on the cover of Madden 08 and now he's a depth player in the CFL?"
But he doesn't care what they say. Never has. I can't put myself in Young's mind because we're worlds apart but if a back-up scenario is the opportunity presented, given the demeanour he displayed in Florida, I'd be surprised if he didn't stick around.
8 - Plenty of fans have asked what type of media attention the Vince Young tryout garnered. ESPN never sent a reporter but they got video highlights from the Riders and ran some stories. That's the way ESPN does things now. USA Today sent a reporter and ran a story as well, but it wasn't near the circus we anticipated.
9 - It wasn't hard to notice that this camp drew fewer onlookers than last year's camp at Dodgertown. There were some fans who came down from Regina, but like many of the locals who dropped by, they said they likely wouldn't come again. Fans expected live scrimmages but that just wasn't going to happen due to the small roster size.
The Roughriders weren't interested in putting on a show. They put their work in, conducted regular practices, and came away with what they wanted.
One funny note from Thursday was a pair of guys from Philadelphia who said they came to camp just to boo Vince Young!
10 - I misquoted Chris Jones on Twitter after Thursday's practice saying almost all players from the minicamp will be invited to Saskatoon. After listening back to the tape, Jones said the top three-quarters of the roster will earn invites.
Those decisions should be pretty easy to make after the amount of reps they've been able to review.
I asked Jones how any of these receivers could possibly crack the starting roster given the stable of receivers they already have and he replied, "Just be consistent, and show up when the lights come on."
What a great metaphor for success in life. Thanks Coach!
11 - We're still confused over CFL rules for these minicamps. The Riders felt they complied with regulations by inviting only 35 signed players, yet reports of the Tiger-Cats and Argonauts minicamps this week suggested those teams had 60 players on hand. What's the difference? We're not sure but it was suggested perhaps those clubs split the field in half and separated signed and unsigned players.
12 - The happening place in Vero Beach, FL on a Thursday night was TGIFriday's. That was just fine by me for two reasons: 1) That's about my speed these days and, 2) They were hosting an NFL Draft Party. Fans showed up in their jerseys from the Eagles, Buccaneers, Bears, Packers, Dolphins and Raiders. They had a blast watching Round 1 of the NFL Draft on the gigantic High-Def screen and it was a joy to witness.
It's a concept I've tried to bring to Regina with no success. Maybe in the future.
13 - One TV screen in the back of the joint was airing the Washington-Pittsburgh Stanley Cup Playoff game but there wasn't one person paying any attention other than me. I suppose it's tough to keep your mind on hockey when it's a sweltering 35 degrees Celsius outside.
However with ESPN's decision to axe hundreds of employees this week - including most of the network's NHL reporters - the mountain to notoriety for the NHL in America just got a whole lot higher.
Meanwhile I'm surprised today's Politically Correct crowd hasn't jumped all over Penguins announcer Mike Lange for one of his signature calls, "He beat him like a rented mule!" which he used again during last night's Game 1 against Washington.
I'm shocked the Animal Cruelty advocates haven't come after him for it, and I'm not even joking.
14 - That's not the case in Regina for the WHL's Pats however. Judging by social media posts in the Queen City over the past few days, people are going absolutely bonkers over the Pats. It really seems the city has come alive with signage all over town.
Friday's Game 5 sold out in five minutes and the Brandt Centre will be rocking as the Pats host Lethbridge at 7:00 with the Eastern Conference Final all tied up at 2-2. You can listen to the game on 620 CKRM - or watch on Access and Shaw - if you didn't get a ticket.
Some fans felt Wednesday's 6-2 Pats win tipped the series in their favour.
We shall see.
15 - I'm very much looking forward to Friday. After dropping Luc Mullinder off at the airport in West Palm Beach, I'll be headed down to Miami to catch the Marlins-Pirates MLB game before attending some meetings in the area on Saturday and returning home early Sunday morning.
As I write this, I'm listening to the waves crash up against the shore outside my hotel window and watching the NFL Draft on ESPN.
Life is very good.
TORONTO (April 28, 2017) – An extensive audit process has confirmed that all nine teams were under the Canadian Football League’s (CFL) Salary Expenditure Cap for the 2016 season, the CFL announced today.
The salary cap for the 2016 season was $5.1 million.
The system’s review process includes detailed field audits of all nine clubs. Teams are also required to provide regular updates on compensation levels at the six-game, 12-game and 18-game points of the season.
The salary cap for the 2017 season is $5.15 million.
Under the provisions set by the League’s Board of Governors, teams that exceed the salary cap are fined; in some cases, teams can also lose multiple draft selections.
As no team exceeded the cap in 2016, the order for the 2017 CFL Draft on May 7 is not affected. The draft order for the first round remains (barring trades) in this order:
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers via Toronto
- Saskatchewan Roughriders
- BC Lions via Montreal
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Edmonton Eskimos
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- BC Lions
- Calgary Stampeders
- Ottawa REDBLACKS
Based on additional audit and By-Law governance activities conducted by the League, the following fines have been levied:
The Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club have been fined $31,500 for two By-Law violations which included players attending practice while on the CFL suspension list and violations related to the recruitment of a junior player.
The CFL has also fined Chris Jones $5,000 for meeting with Johnny Manziel’s publicist, which constitutes tampering and is in violation of CFL By-Laws. Based on evidence to date, there is nothing that concludes that Saskatchewan held any workouts involving Mr. Manziel.
The BC Lions Football Club have been fined $2,500 for violating the CFL’s Constitution as it relates to matters concerning the contract of Adam Bighill.
The CFL regular season kicks off Thursday, June 22nd when the Montreal Alouettes host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Montreal. Friday Night Football debuts June 23rd with the rematch of the 104th Grey Cup between Calgary Stampeders and the Ottawa REDBLACKS in the nation’s capital. Opening week continues Saturday when the Edmonton Eskimos visit the BC Lions and concludes Sunday when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats trek down the QEW to visit their rivals the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field.
-- I can't really give a lot of thought on the Saskatchewan Roughriders mini-camp. All I know from listening to Saskatchewan's #1 sports show, besides Rod and Luc hitting a grand slam at Dodgertown with the three days of coverage, was that the Vince Young comeback tour will most likely take him to Riders training camp as he did not disappoint.
As one Rider fan said to me on Wednesday after hearing VY on the Cage, "Is this really going to happen?" I think the answer is yes! There is still a long ways for Young to go before he can be considered the starting QB, but he will be Saskatoon bound in about a month's time.
While Chris Jones gave him as many reps as he could, Young still hasn't played a game in the CFL and it has been a long time since he was under center in a game situation. I don't know if that or the nuances of the Canadian game will be his biggest obstacle moving forward.
From all accounts, he has come in with the right attitude. He seems to have matured from his NFL days which is something he has acknowleged, and he is having fun. Let the debate continue.
One of the most interesting comments came from assistant GM John Murphy while on the Cage. Rod asked Murph "Will Vince Young be content if he's not the starting quarterback?" Murphy said "I hope not". That's a valid question. With the resume Young has. he may feel putting his name to paper and signing a contract guaranteed him the starting spot. We all know that isn't the way it works. Yes, he has said all the right things, and he has shown he is ready to resume his football career north of the border, but how will he react if he is told he is behind Kevin Glenn on the depth chart. I think it's a valid question to ask. What I did like from Young was him giving himself a C+ on his work over the 3 day affair.
It was refreshing to see some humility. I will take it as genuine humility as Young realizes he has a lot of work to do if he is going to become a CFL QB. The job isn't over by a long shot. Let's see how he progresses over the next month as he gets set to spend some time in Saskatoon at Riders camp. He will soon see he is the main attraction.
-- Let's go from the Riders to the Pats. I think it is safe to say what type of atmosphere it will be at the Brandt Centre tonight. It will be insane as it should be. I said earlier this series is going 7 and I stand by that. I think the Pats win in Game 4 was the last time in this series a road team will win a game. It has been the type of series I thought it would be. There are still some concerns on this Pats team, and I have to wonder about the health of everyone, but I think we are back at the Brandt for a Game 7 on Tuesday. Out west, it's a battle there too. I think a lot of people thought Seattle would win going away, but the Kelowna Rockets have said not so fast. It's been great hockey!
-- Zach Sawchenko has said thanks, but no thanks to coming back to Moose Jaw for his 20 year old season as he is opting to go to the University of Alberta. I am not the only hockey person scratching my head on that one. I have heard some stories that have not yet been verified, so I won't throw them out there, but there appears to be a lot of discord in Moose Jaw. As I was told this week, "There has been a lot of hostility there since the Pats swept a home-and-home from them in March. Things went downhill from there. It will be an interesting summer in Moose Jaw as a contender for the Ed Chynoweth Cup next season now has a huge hole to fill.
-- I walked into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, and one of the first people I saw was the legendary Dave "Tiger' Williams.
As Dave looked at some of the hockey players already enshrined in the Hall, I thought to myself that the former Leaf and Canuck had to have already been inducted. He hadn't! How? The selection is long overdue.
One of the great things about the day the SSHOF announces their hall of fame class is that you are reminded about how diverse the Saskatchewan sports community. Including this year's inductees, there are 51 sports represented amongst the 512 including this year's class in the Hall. We are so much more than football and hockey. A trip to the Hall one day would show you that. Congratulations to all those going in this year. Thank you for your efforts.
Moments after seeing Tiger, I went back to the 620 CKRM studios where there was plenty of excitement. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came in to talk agriculture with "The Ayatollah of Canola", Jim Smalley, during his noon-hour show. Regardless of your political affiliation, a chance to meet the Prime Minister is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. No, I did not get a selfie with the PM, but I did get an introduction and a handshake. That's good enough for me. From Tiger to Trudeau in a 90 minute span.....not many could say that.
- UFC 216 will come to Edmonton in September. The first ever appearance of the UFC in the Alberta capital will come on the same night as the Eskimos are hosting the Stampeders. Was this not considered when the booking was made? The UFC and CFL appeal to the same demographic. This will hurt both. The Eskimos should move their game to the afternoon so people can attend both, but why should they re-arrange their schedule just because the UFC is bullying in. It's obviously too late for Dana White and crew to change the dates. It is a head-scratcher though as to why they would book an event at the same time as the Eskimos game. Someone had to have realized that.
- If you didn't get a ticket for the Pats game, head over to the Highland Club for High Impact Wrestling's "Spring Meltdown". It is their version of Wrestlemania, and it's a good time. Sorry Gronkville, I'll be at the Brandt Centre.
That's all I got. Have a great weekend!! GO PATS!!
66 of the 115 players return from the roster of last year’s team, which went 6-2 in Canada West play and finished in first place in the conference standings for the first time in program history. The list of returning players includes Hec Crighton Trophy-winning quarterback Noah Picton, who will be back for his fourth season of U SPORTS eligibility after a record-setting season in 2016 with the Rams.
38 players are new to the program as the Rams bring in 26 players straight from high school, 11 from Canadian Junior Football League teams, and one university transfer. Six of the new recruits hail from the powerhouse Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School program in Regina, while five of the junior players make the crosstown move to the Rams from the Regina Thunder – that number includes Polis Koko and Ryan Warner, who both started their post-secondary playing careers with the Rams before joining the Thunder.
The coaching staff will also bring in nine players to camp on a tryout basis.
“There’s going to be incredible competition at several positions this weekend and all of the coaches are excited to get out there and see what develops,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “Specifically, I expect there to be fierce battles at linebacker and offensive line with the quality of incoming players we have at those positions. It’s going to be a wake-up call for a lot of guys, and I can’t wait to see how some of the top high school and junior recruits match up against our returning players.”
With installation of a new turf surface ongoing at the on-campus practice field, the Rams will utilize Leibel Field for this year’s spring camp. They will practice there on Friday night (7:00 to 9:00), Saturday morning (9:00 to 11:45), and Sunday afternoon (12:00 to 3:00) before concluding camp with a scrimmage on Monday scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
The Regina Thunder Football Club will continue their 2017 roster selection by hosting their annual Spring Camp April 28th to April 30th presented by O&T Farms.
Spring Camp is an invite only camp and one of the final stages of the selection process for our 2017 roster. The Regina Thunder has hosted four off season indoor workouts in Moose Jaw since January to identify participants for this year’s camp. Spring Camp will host approximately 125 players from throughout the province.
Following this weekend’s Spring Camp, the Regina Thunder will host the NCAA Div III Concordia College Cobbers from Moorhead Minnesota as part of the 2017 CanAm Football Exchange presented by AGT Foods & Leak Technology, Monday, May 8th, starting at 5pm at Leibel Field.
The Regina Thunder go into the 2017 season looking to get back on top of the PFC (Prairie Football Conference) and Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) where they were the Canadian Champions in 2013. The 2017 Regular Season starts at home Saturday August 12th vs the Saskatoon Hilltops.
Please see the following “Players to Watch” spotlight on a select few of this year’s new recruits and guest coaches.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
#69 Zakk Fisher – DL (Tackle), (6’4, 250), Riffel Collegiate, Regina, SK
Zakk is a solid DL recruit possessing great size, quick feet and hands. We look forward to Zakk increasing his already solid skill set in the weeks ahead. We anticipate Zakk making an immediate impact on the roster.
#92 Brian Wirachowsky – DL (Tackle), (6’1”, 210), Leboldus High School, Regina, SK
Brian has been a pleasant surprise during the indoor workouts this winter. His impressive football skills and coachable attitude have stood out. We are certain that Brian's football career will benefit both him and the Thunder.
#36 Cole Milford – LB, (6’1”, 220), Holy Rosary High School, Lloydminster, AB
Cole is a very strong, quick athlete that the Thunder feels will excel quickly into their system… Cole was part of a Holy Rosary football team that went undefeated last season and was a team captain. Besides having excellent size Cole also is a very smart, intuitive football player that proved to have a real nose for the ball at indoor camps.
#38 Cody Erdelyan – LB (6’0”, 215), Thom Collegiate, Regina, SK
Cody was a two way player for Thom Collegiate and played on several special teams. Cody has great build to be an inside Linebacker and has really impressed the coaches with his coach ability during the indoor camps… The Thunder Cody to bring some much needed depth to the LB spot and be a contributor on Special Teams his first year with the Thunder.
#30 David Put – DB (6’0”, 175), Sheldon Williams Collegiate, Regina, SK
David had great size, explosiveness, and ball skills that lead him to be selected to the Canada U19 National Team this year. He has the versatility to play anywhere in the secondary which gives him an excellent opportunity to contribute early. We are very excited to see David develop as he is a very hard worker and a competitor.
#8 Mugisha Asharuf – DB (5’11, 150), Dr. Martin LeBoldus Collegiate, Regina, SK
Mugisha has a tall lean frame which gives him an excellent combination of size and speed. He has great range to turn and run with vertical routes and plenty of makeup speed to recover if he gets beat. Mugisha has looked particularly strong in man to man situations during indoor workouts. We are very excited to see him continue to improve as he has the potential to be a shutdown corner.
#52 Jed Bell – OL (6’2”, 295), AE Peacock Collegiate, Moose Jaw, SK
Comes to us from the very successful Moose Jaw Peacock program. Jed is a very bright football player with a great work ethic. We are very excited to watch Jed grow as a player.
#75 Dustin Todd – OL (6’2”, 270), Vanier Collegiate, Moose Jaw, SK
Dustin is a very strong player with great size. Dustin is a very hard worker and has a very versatile skill set and has a bright future with our program.
#59 Matt Hajewich – OL (6’4”, 275), FW Johnson Collegiate, Regina, SK
Matthew has a tremendous frame and athletic ability. He has tremendous potential at the tackle position and we are looking forward to helping him achieve this.
#35 Bryson Simpson – RB, (5’10”, 190) PA Carlton, Prince Albert, SK
Bryson is a player that possesses great size, strength and deceptive speed. His season was cut far too short in 2016, but his dedication to staying fit and rehab will undoubtedly lead him to a strong showing in 2017. He maintains a positive attitude that will serve him well in becoming a future leader with the Regina Thunder. Once healthy, Bryson will make an immediate difference both in the backfield and on special teams.
#40 Brayden Long – RB, (5’11, 185) Miller Collegiate, Regina, SK
Brayden comes to us as an underrated player, but has a great skill set that will help him develop into a quality player. He has quick feet, good hands and vision and has the speed to break away once in space. Long is a very intelligent player with a team first mentality, this will serve him well both in the film room and on the field. I am confident that Brayden will put the time and effort into himself and the program that will allow him to excel.
Offensive Line: Barry Rees, Gene Makowsky
Quarterback: Tate Quest, Deke Junior
Running Back: Jaeden Marwick, Blaine Dufffield
Receiver: Addison Richards, Camille Lagimodiere
Defensive Line: Aaron Wingfield, Jamie Lofthang
Linebacker: Will Putland, Yianni Cabylis
Defensive Back: Tanner Hope, Jimmy Cabylis
Kickers: Dean Kuz
(Reports by U of R Athletics/Braden Konschuh and Regina Thunder Football Club)
Thursday, April 27, 2017
VERO BEACH, FL - Just like that, the Saskatchewan Roughriders 2017 Florida minicamp has come and gone. Here's a brief recap of Thursday's happenings. We'll save the best stuff for today's SportsCage at 4:00 pm on 620 CKRM:
- Thursday's workout was scaled back to a one-a-day session which ran from approximately 8:30a-10:30a ET. One of the biggest reasons for this was players and staff have flights to catch out of Orlando and West Palm Beach this afternoon.
- Due to injuries or various other reasons, the number of players dropped to 27 from the 35 who participated on Days 1 and 2. For instance, defensive back Zavian Bingham was absent because he had to get back for his graduation at Jackson State. Most of the offensive linemen were unable to participate except for veteran Dillon Guy.
"On Day 1 I took 274 reps," Guy recalled Thursday morning. "After that, it was just a blur."
- The top quarterback on Day 3 was Bryan Bennett. This was borne out by the numbers, and coaches' assessments.
- Vince Young graded himself a "C+" for his performance in Minicamp, but says he wouldn't have changed a lot with his physical and preparation over the past six weeks. He said he did a great deal of learning this week, and knocking the rust off which could only come with getting back on the field, against live competition.
- Head Coach & GM Chris Jones told the players at the camp's conclusion that their effort was "outstanding" and told reporters that the top 3/4 of these players will advance to main training camp which begins May 28 in Saskatoon. That includes Vince Young.
- Just like Day 2, veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn was a witness for the pass skeleton sessions on Thursday. Again, this was to spread the reps around with the other four quarterbacks.
- We'll have plenty more info later on tonight.
Regina evened the Eastern Conference final 2-2 and will host Game 5 on Friday.
Braydon Buziak, Jeff de Wit, Dawson Leedahl and Wyatt Sloboshan also scored for the Pats, who got a 24-save outing from Tyler Brown.
Dylan Cozens and Ryan Vandervlis found the back of the net for the Hurricanes. Stuart Skinner stopped 28-of-33 shots in a losing cause.
Regina went 1 for 4 on the power play while Lethbridge failed to score on two chances with the man advantage.
Game 5 Friday is already soldout. It can be heard on 620 CKRM radio, and viewed on the WHL on Shaw and Access 7.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
VERO BEACH, FL - The Saskatchewan Roughriders 2017 Florida minicamp is already two-thirds over. Here's a brief synopsis of Day 2 here at Dodgertown:
- The Riders two-a-day workouts went from 8:30 am ET to around 12:30 pm ET, covering four hours.
- Veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn didn't participate in the pass skeleton sessions, but did throw in the individual periods. He wasn't ailing, or hurt. The 37-year old pivot told us afterwards the coaches wanted to spread the reps around the other four quarterbacks.
- Aside from the absence of Glenn, the quarterback depth chart remained the same as Day 1: Brandon Bridge, Vince Young, Bryan Bennett and Jake Heaps. All are familiar with the CFL game as Bennett spent time with the Blue Bombers last year and Heaps with the Eskimos.
- In the early morning period the ball barely touched the ground, at one point 17 consecutive passes were completed (mostly underneath). The play which broke the sequence up was Vince Young holding onto the football - seeing no one open - and the air horn ending the play. The DBs did a good job mixing things up against the QBs. The completion percentages were high and all QBs performed fairly well.
- CKRM's Luc Mullinder singled out Jake Heaps and Bryan Bennett for their solid play on Wednesday, and their ability to quickly pick up everything that's thrown at them.
- Miami Dolphins 2011 draftee Daniel Thomas, a 6'2", 230 lb running back, participated in the minicamp for the first time after working out in the Play-In Tryout on the weekend. He's a Jerome Messam-type of back, and looked sharp.
- The standout on offense, for me on Day 2, was WR #86 Dezmond Reece (5'10", 172 lbs, Tuskegee). He made several acrobatic grabs, many of them in traffic.
- On defense, linebackers #97 Gary Wilkins (Furman) and #51 Alexandre Gagne (Sherbrooke) stood out. In fact Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones barked out at one point, "97 and 51 can't take all the reps!" The pair was quick to jump in on plays as much as they could, impressing the coaching staff by their eagerness.
- #27 DB Zavian Bingham (Jackson St) had another solid day, picking off Vince Young. The Riders' John Murphy pointed out on Wednesday's SportsCage that Bingham leads all defenders with four interceptions through two days.
- Mouthpiece #21 Regis Ball (Memphis) - younger brother of veteran Argo Marcus Ball - registered his first pick of camp on Wednesday. However he was labouring near the end of Day 2 with an apparent lower body injury. It'll be interesting to see his status on Day 3.
- The Riders' Jeremy O'Day pointed out after the workout that the staff is particularly impressed by the group of defensive backs.
- An interested observer on Day 2 was former Riders Offensive Coordinator Doug Berry who made the drive over from his home in Port Charles, FL to watch the workout and catch up with old friends.
- Day 3 is the final day of the 2017 Minicamp, and the players will hit the field at 8:30 am ET at Dodgertown.
Rider President Craig Reynolds appears on 620 CKRM's SportsCage .. He declined to provide an update on the CFL Commissioner search, saying Rider Chairman Wayne Morksy has far more to do with that.
Kevin Glenn watches on Day 2 ..
The bossman, Chris Jones ..
Former Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas ..
The talk of camp: LB Gary Wilkins ..
An aerial shot courtesy Chad Hudson ..
Doug Berry chats with Chris Jones ..
During a break in the action, Luc chats with Jones ..
John Murphy discusses Vince Young on the Cage ..
The reporters circle Vince Young ..
VY trying his hand at holding. He's never done it before ..
Kevin Glenn mocks the attention paid to Vince Young .
DB #27 Zavian Bingham locks horns with WR #86 Dezmond Reece.
The Hurricanes struck early with a goal 16 seconds in and carried that lead into the second.
Regina got the tying goal from Dawson Leedahl, his 9th, and it was 1-1. Four minutes later, Jadon Joseph stepped out of the penalty box, took the puck and scored on a breakaway to give the Hurricanes the lead back at 2-1.
Lethbridge would add another in the third to make it 3-1 and that was the final score.
The Pats outshot the Hurricanes 29-27 in the loss, the powerplay was oh for three and the penalty kill three for three.
- The Pats are nine for 10 on the penalty kill in the series with a shorthanded goal.
- Sam Steel picked up his first point of the series with an assist.
- The Pats outshot the Hurricanes for the third time in three games in the series.
The Pats will visit the Hurricanes for game four of the series on Wednesday night at the Enmax Centre. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. on 620 CKRM, The WHL on Shaw and Access 7.
(Courtesy Phil Andrews/ReginaPats.com)
|Vince Young (#8) started slow but finished strong on Day 1|
"I thought he did a real nice job,'' Jones said following the club's first day of mini-camp. "For the first time being on a CFL field, and we threw a lot at him ... I thought Vince had a good day.''
The spotlight is squarely upon Young, who's mounting a football comeback with the Roughriders. The 33-year-old, twice a Pro Bowl quarterback in the NFL, hasn't played in a regular-season game since 2011 and has been out of football since 2014.
And Young is attempting to come back playing Canadian football on a longer, wider surface with one less down and one more player on the field. But the six-foot-five, 232-pound former Texas star said his biggest adjustment was delivering the football on time.
"You've got to be on time with your balls, especially when you're going to the wide side of the field,'' he told reporters. "That goes back to your reads and progressions.
"I think that was the (biggest) thing, making sure when you throw those long balls know you can't put a lot of heat on it. You've got to get it out there because it's a long way.''
Young led Texas to 30-2 record over his three seasons as a starter, leading the school to a 41-38 victory over the USC Trojans in the 2006 Rose Bowl, which that year was the NCAA title game.
Young went in the first round, third overall, in the Tennessee Titans. After starting 13 games that season, he was named NFL's offensive rookie of the year.
Tennessee released Young in July of 2011. He had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers and Cleveland before being released by the Browns in May 2014. He retired the following month.
Since then, Young worked at his alma mater while also doing television work for the Longhorn Network.
"I'm just happy to be here, hanging out and laughing with the guys,'' Young said. "A lot of guys gave me a lot of respect and the (defensive backs) were talking noise: 'We're going to pick you off, V.Y.'
"We're having a good time. I love that and I did miss that.''
However, Young feels he has to earn a spot at the Riders' training camp.
"Oh yeah, I've got to work,'' Young said. "And me, I don't mind doing that.
"My energy was good. The things I was doing at home, training and taking notes from coach, things he wanted me to work on actually paid off. Thank God I did them and paid attention.''
DAY 1 NOTEBOOK & OBSERVATIONS
- It was a good Day 1, as far as Day 1's usually go. With the two-a-day workouts stretching from 8:30 am to 12:45 pm, most players took turns dazzling while also committing the occasional gaffe. There were a lot of reps to be had.
- As far as the QB depth chart goes, at the beginning of the session, the order-of-appearance for quarterbacks was: Kevin Glenn, Brandon Bridge, Vince Young, Bryan Bennett and Jake Heaps. The reps were split pretty equally.
- According to Rider Head Coach & GM Chris Jones, Kevin Glenn led all QBs in completion percentage at 80%-plus followed by Vince Young. That's as much as he was willing to divulge about those stats.
- Kevin Glenn was clearly the top pivot on Day 1, which should come as no surprise for a 17-year veteran. Jones called Glenn's performance a "walk in the park". Glenn chuckled at that notion when he appeared live on the SportsCage, but agreed that he had a pretty good day.
- What struck me first about Vince Young was his sheer size and presence. At 6'5", 232 lbs, he's the largest quarterback I've ever seen live. He effortlessly tossed 40- and 50-yard passes and his feet and reflexes are lightning quick.
- For may of the young players, they were somewhat starstruck at taking the same field as an NFL veteran like Vince Young.
- Veteran QB Brandon Bridge didn't have his best day on Day 1, but no one seems too concerned. He's proven enough over his two years in the CFL to earn some credit in that regard. We'll see how he fares on Day 2.
- Jones revealed after the workout that veteran QB G.J. Kinne is no longer with the football club, thus explaining his absence from the minicamp roster.
- The receivers who stood out to me were #10 Antwane Grant (Western Kentucky), #83 Thomas Mayo (Cal-Penn), #6 Jenson Stoshak (Florida Atlantic) and #82 Mitchell Baines (Ottawa). Jones pointed out that Baines drew comparisons to CFL great Jason Clermont. They made several eyepopping grabs and Grant and Mayo became popular targets due to their ability to get open and hold onto the football.
- On defense, rookie DB #27 Zavian Bingham (Jackson St.) was the star of the day. He registered three interceptions and several knockdowns. He told Luc Mullinder on the Riderville.com post-practice livestream that he was ecstatic to have intercepted Vince Young!
- Rookie DB #21 Regis Ball (Memphis) was certainly the most noticeable player on the field, simply because he never stopped yapping from the beginning of the session until after the end. The younger brother of CFL veteran Marcus Ball drew comparisons to Dwight Anderson however when he had a chance at an interception off of a tipped pass, he dropped it.
- Ball delivered a forearm shiver to receiver #15 Frankie Wilms down the sidelines which drew a scolding from the coaches. "I didn't see it," said Kevin Glenn, "But I heard it". Ball responded with, "I'm just doing my job. I only play one way."
If his goal was to get noticed, he was successful.
- I didn't watch much of the linemen 1-on-1's but those who did were raving about the play of #97 Gary Wilkins (Furman). Vince Young noted, "I don't know #97's name, but I'm going to have to learn it." The former Oakland Raider was adept in pass coverage as well.
- DL #96 Greg Millhouse (Campbell) drew plaudits from Chris Jones for his work in 1-on-1's as well.
- There are less than half the number of players in this camp than there were in last year's minicamp. New CFL rules mandate a maximum of 35 players and all have to have been signed to a contract. That's to comply with the CFL rule that signed players can't compete against unsigned players.
- Day 2 workouts begin at 8:30 am ET/6:30 am Sask Time on Wednesday.
- We'll be broadcasting the SportsCage again live at 4;00 pm from Dodgertown on 620 CKRM.
|Vince Young on the SportsCage. The podcast is at www.sportscage.ca|
"I'm just happy to be playing football," Young said after the first day of Roughriders camp at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida.
Young, 33, hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011, but he's hoping to earn an invitation to the team's preseason camp. He has been learning the Roughriders' playbook and studying the CFL's style of play.
"It's all about bringing it from the film room to the football field," he said.
After practice Tuesday, the former Texas star, Rose Bowl hero and two-time Pro Bowler with the Tennessee Titans said he felt great and would be ready for the final two days of minicamp.
"I'm just happy to be out here competing and learning," he said. "Today I'm going to go in and study, see what I did wrong, things I did good and what I can get better at ... It's all about getting back into the rhythm of things."
Riders head coach and general manager Chris Jones says it's an open competition for starting quarterback, and Young is one of five quarterbacks in camp.
"If Coach asks you to do something, you get your butt out there and do it," Young said.
Tuesday, as players from Division II and III colleges got their reps in, Young got most of the media attention. The third overall draft pick in 2006 effortlessly tossed 50-yard spirals.
"He's a great guy," receiver Jenson Stoshak, out of Florida Atlantic, said of Young. "I'm having a blast out here."
Young last attempted a comeback in 2014, a brief offseason stint with the Cleveland Browns. He signed following a minicamp tryout but was cut days after the Browns drafted Johnny Manziel. Before that, Young was cut by the Green Bay Packers in the preseason in 2013.