SASKATOON - Notes from Day 2 of Saskatchewan Roughriders 2017 Training Camp presented by Coors Light:
Social media lit up with all kinds of opinions whether or not Cox should be allowed to play in the CFL again at all, let alone with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. That's because CFL Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge issued a statement this spring that Cox would be banned from the league due to its policy against domestic abuse.
However as we all know, Orridge has stepped down since and many are wondering if the edict is still in place. When you add to the fact that Cox was found "not guilty", can the order still be enforced?
Near as many of us can tell, Orridge was to remain in office until June 1 so the entire situation remains up in the air as of this writing.
A fine mess for all involved.
2 - The Saskatchewan Roughriders face a conundrum too. Since Cox was found not guilty, how could they legally bar his return to the club if the Orridge decree is tossed out? It's not a secret that the Riders feel Cox is one of the best defensive backs in the country, but they face the potential of a massive backlash from the public if he's re-signed.
Tuesday should be an interesting day in Riderville.
|One of my favourites: LB Dillon Grondin|
To my surprise, the offense won the final reps competition tally by just one play!
4 - The club's release of quarterback Maty Mauk Monday afternoon hardly came as a shock to anyone, other than it came so early in camp. Mauk seemed a distant fifth on the depth chart and my guess is the hierarchy looks like this: 1) Kevin Glenn, 2) Bryan Bennett, 3A) Vince Young and 3B) Brandon Bridge.
5 - The Riders were in pads for the first time on Monday and that led to a very spirited affair. Tempers flared and defensive end Willie Jefferson came after fullback Spencer Moore but the spat flamed out as quickly as it arose. There was no need to separate them, but it was evidence enough that emotions were elevated on Day 2.
6 - Rookie defensive back Mark Roberts led to his camp-leading interception total and I had him marked down for one pick while Luc Mullinder counted two.
7 - The running back battle is turning out to be an interesting one, as promised. #29 Kienan LaFrance was running with the 1's while fellow Canadian Greg Morris ripped off a few long runs. Imports Daniel Thomas and Cameron Marshall got a lot of reps too, and showed well.
8 - The club seems to be experimenting with their veteran Canadians, auditioning them at starting spots to see if they'll be an option on opening day. Jeff Hecht was the #1 safety, followed closely by Mike Edem. Tevaughn Campbell continues to do good work on the corner while Kevin Francis was in the top linebacker group along with Henoc Muamba. All have Canadian passports.
9 - The Riders introduced some tightend sets and utilized the talents of Dariusz Bladek, Matt Vonk and Eddie Meredith at that position. They showed twin tightends in training camp last year - much to my delight - but early injuries in the regular season forced that game plan to be tossed into the "G-File". The depth on the offensive line has been augmented in the months leading up to camp, with 17 bodies on the roster. If I recall correctly, there were only 11 offensive linemen in camp last year.
10 - Which got me to thinking; here's a breakdown of the numbers by position in camp: OL (17), REC (17), QB (5, until Monday night), RB (9), LB (8), DL (16), DB (15), LS (1), K (3).
11 - Rookie LB Alexander Gagne is long-snapping due to the absence of Jorgen Hus. Gagne is an undrafted Canadian who showed very well in the Florida minicamp.
12 - Absent from the workout were Hus, punter Josh Bartel and defensive tackle Mak Henry. Chris Jones said after the workout that if any players weren't on the field, it's because they weren't able to perform and they were therefore left in the locker room. Lineman Peter Dyakowski isn't in camp yet but Jones said he was enroute from Toronto on Monday.
13 - There really were no game balls to be handed out on Day 2, as no one really jumped off the page. It was just that kind of day. However veterans Kevin Glenn and Rob Bagg are playing consistently at a level far above everyone else. They could get game balls every day.
Rookie receiver #72 Jenson Stoshak saw a lot of work with the top receiver group which means the coaches are liking what they're seeing. The Florida product was a standout at the minicamp in Vero Beach.
But I was happy to hear Chris Jones use the same term for Picton that I did in the Monday Morning Goalie column: "smooth".
15 - From what I could see, the first group on the defensive line consisted of: JEFFERSON-MRABURE-MILHOUSE-LEONARD followed by REAVES-STEELE-MINTER-NEWSOME. However those names will rotate in and out regularly.
THAT'S IT FOR NOW! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO