- Free Agency
WINNIPEG — The Bombers continued to practice today, in preparation for their Thursday night matchup against the visiting Toronto Argonauts.
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. — Tuesday was the final day of full practice for the Argos before heading to Winnipeg, and the intensity was turned up a couple of notches. GM & Head Coach Jim Barker let it be known early on that mistakes were not going to be tolerated at this juncture, and both the offensive and defensive units responded with a high-intensity, fast-paced two-hour session.
During the first set of skelly drills, the deep ball was working very effectively for #1 QB Cleo Lemon. Last year’s starter threw a 35-yard strike to #87 WR DJ Boldin, who’s superb route-running and great hands have made him a legitimate deep threat option. #16 WR Brandon Rideau dropped an early pass from Lemon, but after hearing about it from Coach Barker, the tall wideout was catching passes all over the field.
Both #32 RB/SB Andre Durie and #2 WR/KR Chad Owens have been models of consistency for the duration of camp, and it was more of the same on Tuesday morning. The two have game-breaking speed and things seem to happen when they have the ball in their hands. There is no question Durie and Owens will be counted on to play huge roles in the Argos’ offence this year.
It is a down-to-the-wire battle for spots in the secondary, so it’s no surprise that the latter part of practice was dominated by that unit. Two players in particular, #17 DB Michael Grant and #15 DB Dee Webb, had standout practices. Receivers could get little separation off the line and with their closing speed, Grant and Webb were very hard to escape.
For the second straight day, newcomer #97 DT Claude Wroten stayed after practice to improve on his footwork. #71 WR Djems Kouame and #19 QB BJ Hall used a crossing route drill to work on their timing.
The Argos will run a walk-thru on Wednesday in preparation for their exhibition contest on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. ET in Winnipeg at Canad Inns Stadium. The Argos will host a Viewing Party at Jack Astor’s , 133 John St., in downtown Toronto on Friday, July 1. All fans are welcome to attend and cheer the Double Blue on to victory in the regular season opener against Calgary.
MONTREAL — The Montreal Alouettes’ 2011 training camp came to an end Monday morning under a brilliant Sherbrooke sun at Coulter Field on the campus of Bishop’s University. The Alouettes, who have been training hard since camp opened on June 5, are now in the final stretch before the debut of the 2011 season.
Marc Trestman’s men held practices during 14 of their 16 days in the Eastern Townships, and back-to-back practices within a single day were scheduled more often than not. The players appeared to welcome the closing of camp, applauding when the morning’s final workout came to an end.
“It was a good camp and we were able to accomplish a lot of different things. I told the players that the coaching staff was pleased with the way they carried themselves over these past two weeks,” said Trestman.
Nevertheless, the players recognize the fact that a lot of work remains to be done.
The Alouettes will play their final pre-season game of the off-season Wednesday, against the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on RDS, TSN, CKAC, and CJAD. With a number of starting spots still up for grabs, the game could well determine the future of more than a handful of players currently on the Alouettes’ roster.
Following Wednesday’s encounter, the team will then return to Montreal to begin preparing for their regular season opener, scheduled to kick-off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, when the BC Lions visit Percival Molson Stadium.
HAMILTON — When the Montreal Alouettes come rolling into Ivor Wynne Stadium on Wednesday, there will be a plethora of veteran Ticats who will take the field for the first time in 2011.
“More then half our starters haven’t played a down yet, so I want to make sure they get their time and get back into game-mode,” head coach Marcel Bellefeuille said after a light walk through practice at Ivor Wynne on Tuesday. “Will give all the vets pretty much a half and in the second half, we have a number of players we need to look at still.”
Even though the 2011 regular season is right around the corner, there are still many decisions to be made in shaping the Ticats roster.
“We want to make sure that we use the second half to evaluate the younger players, there is still a number of battles going on and decisions to be made, so the second half will be crucial to that,” Bellefeuille said. “There are a few positions where we’re potentially considering going with rookies, but that depends on their performance.”