- Free Agency
WINNIPEG — Following their loss to the Alouettes on Thursday, the Bombers finished off their weekend of practice back at home in Winnipeg.
Linebacker John Surla has been getting some special attention since joining the Bombers. Thanks to an injury to starting longsnapper Chris Cvetkovic, Surla travelled to Montreal and took some reps.
The second part of the John Surla documentary – Road to the Show – will continue on CFL.ca on June 27.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont — The storyline throughout training camp continues to be the Argos’ quarterbacks. With the first pre-season now in the books, argonauts.ca looks at how each pivot performed in their 2011 debut.
Last year’s starter, Cleo Lemon, started the game and seemed on-point in the first half, completing 11 of 14 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. With the help of a solid running game, Lemon moved the ball well using play action to help open up space. His most impressive drive came midway through second quarter when Lemon marched his team 97-yards, capping the series off with a 1-yard Chad Kackert touchdown plunge.
Danny Brannagan relieved Lemon for two short drives at the end of the half, completing 2 of 4 passes for 16 yards.
Dalton Bell started the second half and immediately increased the Argos’ lead as he headed up a 63-yard drive capped off by a 22-yard Grant Shaw field goal. He finished with 189 yards and 1 touchdown on 9 of 15 passes. His lone touchdown pass came in the third quarter hitting Jerome Hewitt for a 16-yard touchdown. The 71-yard drive was setup by a 44-yard catch and run by James Robinson.
B.J. Hall entered the game with just under five minutes left and, like Brannagan, completed 2 of 4 passes for 24 yards. Hall impressed with his feet, though. The rookie rushed twice for 20 yards.
Steven Jyles didn’t dress for the game.
MONTREAL — With the Montreal Alouettes’ 2011 training camp slowly nearing its end, players and coaches can now be found gradually putting themselves into more and more of a game mode for the upcoming season. Proof of this was evident over the last two days of camp, given the amount of time allocated to special teams.
The Montreal formation practised all sorts of kicking and coverage plays, in addition to the usual work done on offence and defence.
“Marc (Trestman) has given us a lot of time to focus on special teams. He’s always stressed the fact that this facet of the game represents a third of the play in the CFL, and thus allows us to practice it accordingly,” explained Special Teams Coordinator Andy Bischoff, following the Alouettes’ Sunday practice.
“Although we always meet for 45 minutes a day to discuss special teams, today we also had time to practise a number of special situations, like short-range kicking, and other things that could potentially be the difference-maker between winning a game or not,” continued Bischoff.
The arrival of two new kickers can also explain the amount of time being dedicated to special teams.
“Sean (Whyte) had a good day today. He made six field goals in as many attempts, and was also excellent on kick-offs. He seems to be getting more comfortable with Ricky Santos holding the ball for him, and we’ve been making him kick a lot because we want the chemistry to be there for game day,” added Bischoff.
Already the end
Training camp ends Monday with one final practice scheduled to take place at Coulter Field at Bishop’s University from 8:15 a.m. until 10:45 a.m.
The Alouettes will then travel to Hamilton, where they will take on the Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynn Stadium Wednesday evening, in what will be their final pre-season game of the off-season. Scheduled to kick-off at 7:00 p.m., the game will be broadcast live on RDS, TSN, CKAC, and CJAD.
HAMILTON — While a win against their rivals would have been nice, what Tiger-Cats coaches were looking for most during their 31-12 loss to the Argonauts was progress from some of their younger players.
“Our first priority was to play these young players and play the young quarterback,” head coach Marcel Bellefeulle said. “We played a lot of young guys and got a chance to evaluate those guys.”
Bellefeuille commented before the game that one of the main focuses of the first pre-season game would be about pivot, Jason Boltus and indeed it was.
Boltus was solid in his first extended CFL playing time, completing 27 of 35 passes for 281 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“I thought overall it was a pretty good game,” Boltus said. “Going through the progressions and the reads I felt pretty good.”
“He did some positive things, he stood in, he got the ball out, he saw the field and took off and ran a few times, which I thought was real good,” Bellefeuille said. “He ran a no-huddle offence for a large part of the second half.”
The Ticats host the Alouettes on Wednesday.