To be honest, I thought the live practise today went exactly the way it should have gone considering all the different moving parts that exist right now for the 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders. Things were very slow and uncertain at times, with plenty of plays being left out there on the field, and a smattering of substitution lapses amongst the personnel groupings on both sides of the ball. One could tell right from when the team got moving with their stretch period that the guys had a lot on their minds, because it was oddly quiet for the first day out.
If there was a word of the day today, it would have been ‘LEARNING’ and that’s perfectly fine, it’s what this team is going to need to do, and quickly. There’s so many new faces and different positions that need to be addressed, that this team was never going to fire out of the gate and look like unstoppable on DAY 1. As long as the coaching staff doesn’t allow the guys to be satisfied with the seemingly slow start, and the veterans in the individual position groups demand improvement on every rep from the new guys and themselves, things will start to fall into place fairly quickly.
The greatest tool the guys have right now, is the fact that they’ve got a whole practise worth of film to analyze and correct the things that need to be corrected. I can’t tell you guys enough about how important mental repetition and visualization is in professional football. The guys have to learn quickly, because installation doesn’t stall because guys need to figure things out. The old adage goes, “If you can’t get it, then we gotta find someone that will.”
Day 2 will be better, it has to be, and one of Coach Chamblins many strengths is the way he is able to get guys going during challenging spots.
Here’s some things of note regarding todays events:
Doubles took a ton of reps, more than I’ve seen him take in a camp, it was great. With an entirely new way of doing things, the Franchise needs to see every possible scenario, check down, audible and protection scheme that he has at his disposal.
While we’re on the offense, I felt like people expected a lot more fireworks today, and that wasn’t a fair ask. The WRs, RBs, and QBs are going to take a couple days to really get in sync with each other. Tonight’s film session will be encouraging for them. It will excite them to see the potential that some of the plays the missed actually had. It is clear that this is going to be a fun offense to watch. Just be patient Ridernation, because it will be explosive when they get on the same page. I guarantee it.
I really liked the way the two new OT’s (68-Michael Phillips and 59-Randy Richards) went about their business. Phillips looked explosive while run blocking but also stayed on his track and showed good footwork. Athletic guy too. Randy Richards showed some sound pass pro technique. He’s quick with his arms and hands, punching and reloading nicely so as not to give defenders things to wrestle with. Did well against John Chick a couple of times during team and 1 on 1 pass rush drills.
Speaking of OT’s, Levy Adcock seems to have shed some pounds and I think that will work well in his favour. He really impressed a lot of people last year, so hopefully he can build on that.
Angus Reid is an amazing addition to camp this year! He’s going to be huge in the development of Dan Clark at Centre. Reid had the same type of size and arm length when he played as Dan does now, and the two are probably on the same shelf when it comes to athleticism. There’s nobody better to teach Clark how to use his physical attributes while anchoring the Oline and typically playing against guys that are bigger than him.
#13 Clark who is listed as a DB looked legit. Really impressive athletically and looks like he could be used in a number of places on in that defensive backfield. Another newcomer that caught my attention was Drew Doughty from Utah State. He’s a bit bigger than Brian Peters was but definitely didn’t look out of place when he was lining up at the LB spot.
I have a feeling Nate Webster is going to have a great camp. He was being rotated in with the 1s and 2s this afternoon, and looked like he did a lot more during his reps than Keenan McDougall did while out there.
Dylan Ainsworth also had a good day. I think Mike Sinclair is going to do wonders for #90 because he’s so good with his hands as he demonstrated a few times during 1 on 1 pass rush. You can tell he’s beginning to get it during team competition as well. He adjusted to the read option nicely today, and without the hesitation of a 1st year guy. His play forced a couple of early throws. If he can put together a consistent camp, he may be in line for 15-20 reps pre game. In talking with Coach Dyce a couple of weeks ago about him, he is going to be expected to be a leader on special teams this year as well. Lots of opportunity on the horizon for the Western Alum
Those new coverage rules? Didn’t seem like a problem to our first string DBs. Actually if there was a group that had the best day it was probably them. Their enthusiasm really picks up the rest of that defense, and they’ll need to be vocal all year.
That’s really all I can tell you for today folks. It’s tough to gauge performance when the pads aren’t on. But that will come.
We’ll start zeroing in on specific position groups tomorrow, I haven’t decided on who quite yet, but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.
I’ll get to all your questions that you sent me via twitter (@lucmull95) and post the answers tomorrow AM.
Thanks for visiting #Properspective