Sunday, 3 June 2012

Notes from Day One of Ti-Cats Training Camp

I went to McMaster this afternoon to check out the team's second practice and here are some of the things I saw:
  • First thing I notice was Carlos Thomas seems to be getting a look at linebacker. It is only day one, so nothing is set in stone, but he worked out with the linebacking group during individual drills.
  • The team is even more loaded at receiver than I first thought. There are the guys we know – Dave Stala, Andy Fantuz, Sam Giguère, Chris Williams, Aaron Kelly, Bakari Grant and Terence Jeffers-Harris – but both Chris Duvalt and Onrea Jones looked very impressive. It is an embarrassment of riches at the receiver position.
  • Staying at receiver, all that stuff you've heard about how fast Giguère is is no joke. The guy can flat-out fly. But it's not just that; his route running is impeccable. When DBs try to jam him, he gets off the jam and makes precise cuts; when they play off him, he just beats them with his speed. The guy looks downright unstoppable.
  • All the quarterbacks look pretty good, but I was really impressed by some of the stuff I saw out of Tate Forcier. He was far from perfect, but he made a few really nice throws.
  • Marwan Hage was in pads and took part in some areas of practice, but he sat out once the linemen started banging. I saw Tim O'Neill at centre with what could be dubbed the "first-team offense" (though it is way too soon to be applying those labels).
  • Punter Josh Bartel can really boot the ball. Nice hangtime and excellent distance.
  • There are a lot of players in the mix at kick returner. Obviously nothing was going to get decided on the first day, but there looked to be at least half dozen guys fielding punts when they worked on special teams at the tail end of practice.
  • Saw no shotgun today from the offense. Every snap that I saw was taken from under centre.
  • Casey Creehan has a mouth on him like a sailor and is louder than any coach I have ever heard. I would not be surprised if fans will be able to hear him during games. Yes, he's that loud.
I hope to get out to a few more practices during the week to see how the team progresses. It won't be an everyday thing, but my goal is to get out there at least once or twice a week.

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