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April 12, 2017

Checking Down: Mini-camp season arrives

Montreal Alouettes

TORONTO — Football is officially back as mini-camp season kicks off in Florida.

Meanwhile, the busy CFL off-season continues as the dust settles on the dismissal of Ed Hervey in Edmonton.

What’s the latest around the league? We take a look in this week’s Checking Down:

Jump to team:

BC | Calgary | Edmonton | Saskatchewan | Winnipeg | Hamilton | Toronto | Ottawa | Montreal

BC LIONS

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Jonathon Jennings is just one player on an impressive list of those uncovered at free agent camps (The Canadian Press)

– April is an important month for the BC Lions, who set out to find diamonds in the rough such as Jonathon Jennings, Bryan Burnham and Solomon Elimimian at U.S. free agent camps (Matt Baker, BCLions.com).

– The BC Lions and national offensive lineman David Foucault have agreed to a contract through 2019, the team has announced (CFL.ca).

– One candidate for Adam Bighill’s old spot at WILL could be Micah Awe, who Lions’ personnel people are reportedly very high on (Mike Beamish, Vancouver Province).

EDMONTON ESKIMOS

THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Eskimos shocked the country last Friday when they dismissed GM Ed Hervey (The Canadian Press)

– Eskimos receiver Nate Coehoorn has retired following a six-year CFL career (CFL.ca).

– As the Esks’ GM search gets under way, the team may talk with other team employees but must first get written permission from the team and the Commissioner (Morley Scott, CHED).

– While Ed Hervey’s dismissal was a shock, it also signals a clear mandate from Esks’ management (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

– With the top of the CFL running back mountain currently vacant, can John White become the next great running back this side of the border? (Jeff Krever, CFL.ca).

CALGARY STAMPEDERS

THE CANADIAN PRESS

At 27, Bo Levi Mitchell is already becoming one of the longest-tenured CFL quarterbacks (The Canadian Press)

– With 48 starts next to his name the last three seasons, 27-year-old Bo Levi Mitchell has become one of the longest-serving starters in the league (Stampeders.com).

– Kamar Jorden never had camps to aid his development in football growing up, so he’s hoping his new camp can provide new opportunities for the next generation of football players (Stampeders.com).

SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS

Matt Smith/CFL.ca

Chris Jones will lead his second mini-camp as Riders coach late in April for rookies and QBs (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

– The Roughriders have revealed they will kick off their annual mini-camp on April 25 in Vero Beach, Fla., with first-year players and quarterbacks in attendance (Riderville.com).

– Back in the CFL with a chance to start, Riders running back Cameron Marshall is hoping to restart his career (Ian Hamilton, Riderville.com).

– Former NFL running back Daniel Thomas is another name in the Riders’ running back competition, the 29-year-old looking to prove the doubters wrong in 2017 (Ian Hamilton, Riderville.com).

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

Johany Jutras/CFL

The last time the Bombers picked first they selected Henoc Muamba with the No. 1 pick (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

– The Blue Bombers have signed two new internationals, including quarterback Myles Carr out of Texas AM-Kingsville (BlueBombers.com).

– After the departure of Bob Wylie, the Bombers have announced Marty Costello will be their next offensive line coach (BlueBombers.com).

– With the Bombers slated to pick first overall, who will join the list of all-time CFL top picks? (Ed Tait, BlueBombers.com)

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

The Canadian Press

Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros says he’s never been scared of the thought of competition (The Canadian Press)

– Ticats quarterback Zach Collaros says he isn’t bothered by talk about Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel (Drew Edwards, 3 Down Nation).

– Former Ticat Leo Ezrins, who won a Grey Cup with the team in 1986, will be inducted into the Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame (CFL.ca).

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca

Argos safety Jermaine Gabriel had a forgettable 2016 season, which is why he isn’t looking back (Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca)

– The Argos have reportedly added Steve Walsh to their coaching staff as an assistant (Wells Dusenbury, Sun Sentinal).

– For Argos safety Jermaine Gabriel last season, it was at the point where things could only get better — then the bottom fell out from under him (Chris O’Leary, CFL.ca).

OTTAWA REDBLACKS

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Henry Burris’ transition to television is under way, where the CFL great is once again a rookie (The Canadian Press)

– One of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, Henry Burris is adjusting to life as a rookie television co-host (Tim Baines, Ottawa Citizen).

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

Montreal Alouettes

Darian Durant commanded the Alouettes’ huddle for the first time on Monday in Florida (Montreal Alouettes)

– The Alouettes kicked off their mini-camp on Monday in Vero Beach, Fla., led by their new veteran leader in Darian Durant (CFL.ca).

– Once told he may never play football again, S.J. Green has nearly completed his comeback from a devastating season-ending knee injury (CFL.ca).