SASKATOON -- We had to wait 10 days of Roughrider Training Camp for our first fight and on Tuesday we had plenty to choose from!
There were at least three fights/skirmishes in the team period, the last of which caused Rider Coach & GM Chris Jones to call the team together for a conference.
It seemed hardly to be the players' fault. The testosterone was flowing after a series of battle drills to open the practice - particularly the Pit Drill - and it got carried away from there. One coach even yelled, "You gonna take that?" to one player who received a cheap shot. Annnnnd, away they went.
It was tough to see at times who was at the bottom of the piles but I for sure noticed DT Markus White de-cleating OG Andrew Jones near the sidelines well after one play. Receiver John Chiles and DB Johnny Cox were identified in another.
Tuesday was a volatile day at Rider camp in Saskatoon. And, dare I say, it was the best day of camp.
It was pointed out to me by a coach afterwards that it was the first day which the offense has won.
And, interestingly, as Rider alum Cleveland Vann pointed out, "Imagine" by the Beatles was playing over the SMF Field sound system. Here's Cleveland with his buddy Mike Lee who came up for the day.
More on the SportsCage today at 4:00 pm on 620 CKRM.
(Interested observers at camp on Tuesday: Rider greats Ted Urness and Wayne Shaw of Saskatoon)
** TUESDAY NOTES **
- My notes went absent before Tuesday's SportsCage which made reporting on the day's happenings difficult. However they turned up in my hotel room later in the evening. I've got notes of paper everywhere through ten days of training camp so maybe it's time to clean up.
- There are A LOT of injuries and players not participating at this point in training camp so take the position groupings for what they are.
But, your first string receiver group may look a little like this: CHAMBERS-COLLINS-BAGG-ROOSEVELT-CHILES with, of course, Durant at Quarterback.
At the start of Tuesday's team periods, Brett Smith was leading the second team offense and the receiver group consisted of: HAIDARA-DENMARK-DEMSKI-HODGE-LANKFORD.
A variation of the third group included KAWAMOTO-LAWRENCE-STANDFORD-AULTMAN-COBB with B.J. Coleman pulling the trigger.
- One camp observer referred to new quarterback Philip Sims as "stiff". However the former Arizona Cardinals pivot gets a pass because it was only his second day of training camp with the team and admitted to being totally wide-eyed about the CFL game.
Also there's no way Sims is 6'4", which he was listed at in Phoenix. I stood beside him in interviews and I'm taller than him.
- Virtually every receiver got a look on punt returns on Tuesday. Some were unable to hang onto the ball, which won't help their causes.
- 5'8" receiver Devrin Young doesn't fit the prototype of receiver Chris Jones wants but it may not matter. The Tennessee product pulled a hamstring on Tuesday and may not be long for here.
- We've mentioned many times the furious pace of practice so you'll have to forgive me if I got some of these names on defense wrong because they're running on and off the field at a headspinning speed.
However your first stringers on defense due to all the injuries could look like this:
The following is the Day 10 report from the 2016 Roughrider Training Camp presented by Coors Light, courtesy Riders PR:
International wide receiver Damarr Aultman (5.11/208 – Maine)
International defensive back Marquis Drayton (6.01/210 – Bethune Cookman)
International defensive back Johnathan Shuler
Did not participate:
Tim Agbaje (day-to-day)
Dylan Ainsworth (day-to-day)
Justin Capicciotti (day-to-day)
Johnny Dixon (day-to-day)
Matt Knight (day-to-day)
Jeff Knox Jr. (day-to-day)
Brendon LaBatte (day-to-day)
Graig Newman (day-to-day)
Eric Norwood (injured)
Alex Ogbongbemiga (day-to-day)
Matt Vonk (6 game injured list)
Matt Walter (day-to-day)
Players and coaches will be back at SMF Field at Gordie Howe Park for practice on Wednesday. Wednesday’s Day 11 workout will run from 9AM to approximately 11:00AM.