RICHMOND, VA — The Ottawa REDBLACKS concluded their inaugural three day mini-camp on Thursday at the Washington Redskins Bon Secours Training Centre and positive reviews were given from the team’s quarterback, Henry Burris.
“It went great – I mean we got a lot of things accomplished here in a couple of days, said Burris. He went on to mention, “this (camp) is a vital part for us preparing for that time (training camp).”
For a typical CFL veteran it may feel like going through the motions, but not for the REDBLACKS pivot. Entering his 16th season and on a new expansion team, he knows how important it is to be ahead of the learning curve with a new playbook on his hands and new teammates.
“To stay ahead of that learning curve is very important especially for a quarterback, who of anybody needs to be able to communicate that as far as the offence to the rest of the guys (teammates) especially when you step into the huddle,” said the 2013 CFL passing yards leader.
The mini-camp in Virginia was more than just getting back into football shape and learning the nuances to the new systems, it was a chance for Burris and his teammates to get to know each other and build relationships.
“I mean we had good time getting to know about all the new guys that are coming in, and also the guys we played against across the league the number of years I’ve been in,” Burris said.
“Of course not many have been playing as long as I have, but I’m thankful to be playing,” he added.
The buzz and excitement is starting to build, especially during the mini-camp. Having the coaching staff, as well as the players all together at once can only mean training camp isn’t too far around the corner.
With first impressions always important in any person’s life, when Burris was asked what impressed him the most he pointed out team speed and his teammates.
“I’ll tell you, it’s the talent we have. I mean the team speed, but also on top of that just great guys,” Burris said.
“It didn’t’ seem like we had a lot of egos on this team and that’s something you look for, you hope everybody has that winning attitude and they’re ready to have a good time doing it, as far as working our tails off and that’s what I saw across the board,” he added.
After 15 seasons of playing professional football and the toll it takes on any players body, let alone a quarterbacks body, Burris will be finding time between the end of mini-camp and the start of training camp to prep his body and mind for another CFL season.
“That’s what I’m excited about and also preparing the body physically, mentally and getting ready for training camp,” Burris said.
Burris can definitely feel the excitement and believes it’ll grow once he transitions his life to Ottawa and sees firsthand the REDBLACKS fan base.
“I’m excited to get out there (Ottawa) with the fans and starting to get to know the people of the city and each and every community and building the excitement and helping out as far as getting ready for the season to come, said a smiling Burris.