Saturday, 2 June 2012

Main Camp Opens Tomorrow

While rookie camp got underway on Thursday, main camp will finally open tomorrow. For the first time since last season's East Division Final loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, every member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be together on the field. Since the team has undergone so many changes in the off-season – by now everyone knows what they are and there is no reason to go over it all again – training camp this season will be vitally important.

There are a lot of things about camp that I find interesting. For starters, there is the positional battles. While many of the starters are set, it is still fun to see players batlle it out for those unclaimed positions. Who takes Simeon Rottier's place at guard? Who takes over for Justin Medlock at kicker? Who tries to follow in the footsteps of Marcus Thigpen? All of those things, and more, will be decided over the next couple of weeks.

It is also a chance to see some new, but familiar faces. I am very curious to see how Henry Burris performs. I have firmly against the trade that brought Burris to Hamilton, but as time has gone on, I've soften my stance. I am still concerned that his season in Calgary last year was a sign of things to come, but in seeing him interviewed, I can sense a genuine desire to succeed. Perhaps his benching in Calgary and subsequent trade to Hamilton is exactly what he needed.

I think everyone is excited to see how the team's receiving corps comes together and I am no different. As I have mentioned before, I think this group is among the best, if not the best, group in the entire league, and that was before the team signed Sam Giguère. While I look forward to seeing Giguère and Andy Fantuz put on Tiger-Cat colours, the player I am most excited to see is Terence Jeffers-Harris. In most articles I have read over the off-season that touch on Hamilton's receivers, Harris' name is rarely ever mentioned. I think he has a shot to notch his first 1,000-yard season and maybe even be the team's leading receiver.

I'm also really excited to see the secondary. A year of dealing with the struggles that often accompany young players could pay off big time this year. Aside from Bo Smith and Ryan Hinds, no player has been in Hamilton longer than one season, so if all those mistakes that were made last year can be corrected this year, the sky is the limit for the back five. There is so much talent in the secondary that if the team finds the right mix of players, I feel safe in saying that this could be the best unit the league.

Anyway, those are just a few of things that excite me about the team opening camp tomorrow. I hope to get down to a couple of practices to see things in person. This has the makings of a very exciting season, and it all gets started tomorrow at McMaster.

No comments:

Post a Comment