· Do you think that Taj Smith could possibly be on the way out if some rookie receivers (Hardin/Wilson) impress?
o When making decisions, it’s never a question of “if this guy plays well, then we’ll cut so-and-so.” Every receiver in that group needs to perform well, not just #88. Taj definitely has some competition this year, but I wouldn’t say he’s more at risk to get released than any other player in that group. Eventually we’ll see signs that the coaches are definitely leaning towards specific personnel, but right now, the focus has to be on everyone getting the playbook down
· Who starts at RB?
o Again, too early to say, but this MAY be a group that is decided with the ratio in mind. We could see a 1a & 1b type of deal coming out of the backfield this year, and there will definitely be more than enough snaps to go around. I hate to say that Messam is ratio-friendly because I feel like I’m taking away from the fact that he is a great player regardless of passport. It’s going to be interesting to see how they decide to use Stephen Miller who is a very shifty RB whose skillset gives Chapdelaine and Doubles a lot of options. Terrence Cobb may catch some eyes during camp as well if given a chance.
· How did the vet DBs handle the new “no contact after 5 yards rule?”
o That question is better saved for the first time we see an opponent with a different jersey and CFL referees, who are wildly inconsistent. The 1st unit DBs looked good today but we’ll take a closer look at passing drills to see if there’s any sort of drop off.
· Who do you like in the battle for the Centre position?
o I’m inclined to go with Dan Clark. He played particularly well last season when pressed into Centre duties for Dom Picard, and looked very comfortable today working with the first group. That’s a battle that will be fun to watch all camp.
· Who’s standing out in the battle for Brian Peters old spot?
o Way too early. There are going to be a few guys that get an opportunity to compete at that spot. Hopefully someone starts separating themselves within this first week, however the exhibition games are going to be a huge factor for this topic.
· Who looks like a breakout star this year?
o I’ll tell you who I’m anxious to see in live action…I think Nic Demski has a chance to be special here if he can stay healthy. I called him the potential the DeSean Jackson of the CIS. We all know he's fast during 40 yard tests, but he looks even quicker during game play. He sees the field really well and Manitoba found all sorts of ways to get him the ball and he proved that he's a threat during any phase of the game. He can come out of the backfield, line up wide, play in the slot, and really have an impact on the return game. I don't think he got enough credit from TSN draft guys when they talked about him when it came to the details. He's very polished player that is tough. He isn't afraid to catch the rock over the middle when he knows he'll get hit and protects the ball well in traffic. He also doesn't get too cute. He makes huge plays but doesn't look to overextend himself and make too many cuts. He understands that he needs to get North-South immediately after a cut. Some guys with that sort of ability make too many cuts and it allows for defenders to rally to them. Hopefully he gets a chance to show the full range of his talents this camp