Friday, July 3, 2015
MCCALLUM READY FOR RETURN TO THE RIDERS
The Roughriders held their final workout of the week on Friday as they prepare for Sunday's home game against the Toronto Argonauts (1:30 pm, TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network).
Displaying the calm, easy stroke which will earn him a place in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame one day, veteran kicker Paul McCallum was back kicking field goals in Green & White at Mosaic Stadium for the first time since 2005.
"It's different, but it's good," the 45-year old McCallum smiled. "Unexpected, obviously, the way things happened in Vancouver, but I'm happy to be playing and I couldn't come back to a better team."
McCallum asked for his release from the B.C. Lions coming out of training camp when it was clear he wouldn't be part of the team's plans. The 22-year vet stayed in shape and kicked once per week while waiting for his next opportunity. It came on Wednesday when the Riders de-activated Chris Milo.
"You know what? Paul did good," reported Riders head coach Corey Chamblin. "I think he was 100% there. I was pretty excited to see him hit all of them but I'm not sure what the actual distance was he got to. A lotta guys showed confidence with him lining up there and it was one of those things (the signing) I'm real glad went through."
Rider Special Teams Coach Bob Dyce expects a seamless transition for McCallum to work with long-snapper Jorgen Hus and holder Weston Dressler.
"That was one of my first questions for him," admitted Dyce on Friday. "He asked about our holder and our snapper and I said Weston's about as good as you'll get. Jorgen is outstanding. He's a perfectionist. It was just a matter of them getting a few reps together to get the exact cadence and timing down so it becomes a fluid motion and they all work together as one."
Asked by reporters if a 45-year old kicker can still be effective, McCallum said, "Watch me."
The Riders will field a much different roster from last Saturday's 30-26 home loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Some of that is due to injuries while other players will move in and out due to performance.
"We've been rotating some things, even on the offense," Chamblin said after the workout. "Today we'll sit down and finalize the roster for the most part. We're just trying to find the right mix of guys."