Tuesday, April 25, 2017
ARGOS DAY 1 MINICAMP REPORT
BRADENTON, FL – The Toronto Argonauts took the field for the first time in 2017 on Tuesday afternoon, opening a three-day mini-camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Welcoming a combination of 60 players, both CFL rookies and veterans currently under contract with the club, newly hired head coach Marc Trestman and his coaching staff held their first of three on-field practice sessions.
Trestman, Popp Era Officially Underway
Tuesday’s session saw Trestman got his first opportunity to work with a new Argonauts coaching staff that includes a number of seasoned veterans in the coaching ranks, and individuals that are great teachers and possess the ability to push players to their greatest extent.
“I really love the staff. We have a really diverse age group which is really important that we have coaches that are going to be relatable to each player in different ways,” said Trestman. “You have to be a great teacher at the professional level. These are guys that can lead and show direction to every one of our players, not only on the field but off the field as well.”
Trestman and his staff held a 135-minute practice session on Tuesday afternoon, that included a 35-minute walkthrough period and 85 minutes of live practice. The session featured individual drills, tempo and scheme installation, all of which had a strong focus on teaching and learning the new systems that will make up the ‘new era’ of Argos Football.
“These practices are more listening exercises, and for checking out player demeanor throughout the practice to see if they can take direction,” commented Trestman. “These camps teach the elements of our day that will structure our locker room and the culture of our locker room.”
When the final whistle sounded to end the first day of the Argonauts 2017 mini-camp, head coach Marc Trestman was pleased with the progress made on-field and in meeting rooms today.
“First days are always awesome. Everybody is excited with a lot of energy,” continued Trestman. “Coaches are ready to get back on the field, players are excited to meet their coaches and get going, showing they deserve to be a part of this football team. Overall it was a really great day.”
S.J. Reunited in Double Blue
Newly acquired receiver S.J. Green donned Double Blue for the first time in his 11-year career on Tuesday. Green, who was acquired by the Argos via trade with the Montreal Alouettes last week Wednesday, saw his 2016 season cut short after suffering a significant knee injury that sidelined him after Week 2 vs. the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
Making his way back and easing himself back into the rhythm of things, the CFL veteran took part in a number of that team’s on-field drills, including walkthrough and individual drills.
“It felt great to get out here and run around. I felt like a kid in a candy store,” said the CFL veteran. “I haven’t had the chance to run around with my teammates in about eight or nine months, so to be able to get out here today and with a new group of guys was very special.”
With the trade, the Tampa, Florida native reunites with familiar faces in General Manager Jim Popp, Head Coach Marc Trestman, and running back Brandon Whitaker, all of whom have provided him a level of comfort in his new environment.
“I’m anxious to get back out there. Being in a comfort zone, a place that I’m comfortable in, around guys that I’ve won championships with and grinded with before is a comfortable feeling,” mentioned Green. “It’s something that I feel will help carry me into this season with this new team.”
In addition to his reunion with his former Montreal colleagues, he was “ecstatic” about the opportunity to play in Toronto and work alongside another future Hall of Famer, Argos QB Ricky Ray, after previously playing with recently-inducted Hall of Famer Anthony Calvillo.
“To have the opportunity to play with another hall of fame caliber quarterback,” exclaimed Green. “This opportunity is a blessing and a humbling experience and I’m looking forward to working with and having a lot of success also.”
Ray Confident and Healthy
Announced as the Argonauts starting quarterback during Marc Trestman’s initial press conference in February, Ricky Ray officially got his first taste of the new leadership. The veteran quarterback made note of the process at hand with three-day mini-camp, referring to it as laying the “foundation.”
“It’s been great so far. We’re trying to lay the foundation for what we expect out of each other and the coaches,” said Ray. “It’s good to get out here and get a head start on what we’re going to be doing at training camp.”
Ray, who had offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder following the 2014 season, feels the best he’s felt since suffering the injury.
“I’m still improving with my arm which has been a real positive,” commented Ray. “I feel like all offseason it’s continued to get better which gave me a lot of confidence coming into this camp.”
(Courtesy Argonauts PR Staff)