Well our last day here in Kamloops has arrived but before we head home we have a couple last blogs to do for you. We plan on watching the defense closely today so that we can break down our observations for you as we did with the offense last night:
We’ll start pour updates this morning shortly. The players are warming up.
8:50am: Anton McKenzie is taking part in practice for the first time this camp after nursing a “hamstring injury” and perhaps shedding a few pounds.
8:58am: Offense and defense have broken off into groups and are working on routes, blocking schemes and coverages. Non contact. This fan needs to see some hitting…soon!
9:17am: zzzzz…oh sorry…More walk throughs and game scheming I would guess. On a good note, all the QB’s have good zip on the ball today.
9:28am: Wide awake now! Full contact scimmage!
9:31am: I’m becoming a VERY big Andrew Harris fan. Great running in this scrimmage.
9:31am: full contact scrimmage over in favour of some receiver and secondary drills. Haley and McKenzie have been getting startin reps at linebacker. Yes fans the 4-2 defense is back.
9:45am: Anton McKenzie with some nice coverage almost picks off Parrish.
9:47am: On to some full contact running drills. Yonus Davis and Toddrick Pendland getting some looks. Neither looks as good as Harris.
9:54am: With Paris Jackson once again sitting out the session, Steven Black is once again getting reps with the starters and looks good.
10:00am: Tempers flare again as Rasouli and Gibbs have a skirmish. Rasouli still hot under the collar. It’s been a tough week for Mr. Gibbs, who may want to stop engaging with the O-line after dropping weight this year. Gibbs sent off the field to chat with Quick Parker.
10:03am: QB’s working on footworks and checking off receivers, kick return team getting in some work while the offensive line working off on another field on engaging drills.
10:04am: Walker, Davis, Pendland and Robert Jordan are getting return reps.
10:06am: Was just informed by a source that says Sask QB Darian Durant broke his thumb on his throwing hand. I shed a tear, but it turns out it was an inaccurate report.
10:18am: Tad Crawford picks off Printers on a deep attempt to Arceneaux. It was a bit of a duck.
10:25am: Mike Benevides is not happy with the defense during this scrimmage session. Montrell Craft and McKenzie hear his wrath.
10:42: That’s a wrap for the morning session. Standouts today, Crawford, Haley, Harris, Messam, Black, Printers, Lulay. Armstrong had a better session. Both kickers punted well.
We’ll see you at 4:00pm for our final blog from camp!
After the first four days of BC Lions training camp, there is a lot of positives to take from the sessions. It’s also obvious that there is much work to do between now and July 4th, when the the club opens the 2010 season in Edmonton.
The club has found some nice talent in some areas of need, but there are certainly some concerns. In this report we’ll take a quick look at the key positions on offense so far. This is from our observations and restricted access. It should be noted that the Lions have restricted fans to the stands for the first time in several years, so we are a good distance away depending on where the drills are. For instance, the offensive line is often taken to a separate field that does not provide for a good view from the stands.
These observations are from four days and seven sessions of training camp.
Casey Printers started camp looking sharp and confident. But the last day and a half has seen a step backwards. He often scrambles for a big gain, but it means little when no one is allowed to hit you. Printers has shown visible signs of frustration at times, but as the club’s new leader he needs to get back on the saddle and onto the next play and rally the troops when things aren’t going right. He’s had good velocity on the ball and good accuracy for the most part. He looks quick and agile and judging on the pressure the defensive line has gotten on him in practice he’ll need those skills, especially early on as the offensive line takes time to gel into a unit. The backups haven’t shown as much. Jarious Jackson’s velocity looks a bit off. He was shut down from throwing in one session, possibility a maintenance day on his shoulder. Travis Lulay has also struggled with his accuracy. Both have had good sessions, but the consistency is not there. Fourth arm Kyle Parrish is getting reps, but he’s done nothing to suggest he’ll be moving up in the QB pecking order.
One of the biggest questions heading into camp was the status of the offensive line, and from what we can see it remains a question. The Lions sent Jason Jimenez packing and are moving Sherko Haji-Rasouli on the right side, and last year’s practice roster tackle Dumane Duckett will is lining up on the left. In between the tackles are Daren Heerspink, Jon Hameister-Ries and pre-camp newly appointed centre Dean Valli.
The unit is going to take some time to gel, and that is pretty evident on a lot of the drills so far. The club’s mandate has been to be a more physical club this season, and judging by the skirmishes we’ve seen this week, that aspect is certainly evident. But there are concerns, particularly at the tackles and many drills seem to see defensive ends in the backfield quickly. None of the players the Lions have brought in have looked particularly impressive or a threat to supplant the starters listed above, and that has to be a concern if the current lineup proves not good enough. Dane Randolph and Jovan Olafioye have not impressed to date, but have been working exclusively with the backup unit, as the team is obviously hoping to give the chosen starters that gel time we spoke of earlier. Angus Reid is competing hard in a new backup role, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him starting again at some point as Valli continues to evolve in the position. Justin Sorensen seems to have take the more physical plea from Wally to heart and has been very physical at camp, including the domination of Jeremy Gibbs in a heated exchange that saw “Walby Junior” land two heavy punches before teammates could separate them.
The Lions have brought in some nice talent here and it compliments what they already had. That said, Jamal Robertson has separated himself from the pack, and as things stand will be the starting running back on July 4th. It’s who will back him up that becomes interesting. Jamall Lee is lining up at fullback in camp along with the large and quick Jerome Messam. Imports Yonus Davis and Toddrick Pendland have both had some success, but the player pushing Robertson the most is junior star Andrew Harris, who didn’t look out of place at camp last year. Harris has been consistently good and is getting lots of reps and he’s also seen some time on kick returns. The offense has some new looks this year and the possibilities are encouraging for anyone thinking the Lions may be abandoning the running game this year.
The Lions have brought in some nice talent here. Almost every receiver has had their moments, and a few have had some they should have caught. Newcomer Tony Washington has been very impressive, pretty much catching everything thrown his way. Kerry Reed has shown some nice speed, as has Darius Passmore and Steven Black. Matt Chapdelaine has proven he belongs in camp and has had a fairly solid four days, which will hopefully give the kid a break from some fans thinking he’s getting a free ride. Last year’s practice roster Terence Scott was injured early in camp and much to this fans dismay hasn’t been a factor. Nate Binder and Akeem Foster have had a tough time getting noticed.
Amongst the veterans, you can be assured that Emmanuel Arceneaux has come back to improve on his great rookie campaign. He’s easily been the class of the receivers thus far and looks to be headed for a dominant season. On the other end of the spectrum, Derick Armstrong has been a disappointment in the sessions we’ve seen. Too many drops for what you’re used to seeing from Armstrong who is usually pretty sure-handed. Paris Jackson was looking strong before an injury which has kept him out of two sessions as of this post. O’Neil Wilson has had a nice camp and Geroy is looking as gifted as ever. He even got a rude awakening at camp by Tad Crawford who caught him over the middle in the air. It will be tough for a rookie import to crack this receiving core, but if you’re looking for an early candidate for a surprise cut, Armstrong needs to show more.
What’s the outlook?
The Lions look to have added some nice packages to the offense and it looks like there is a lot of speed to choose from. The offensive line is going to be a key, and with a few new twists to the offense thrown into the mix the Lions may need a few weeks to gel and hope the defence can give them the luxury to do so. The recievers and running backs look solid and if Casey Printers and the offensive line can get cohesive the Lions could have a lot of weapons at their disposal.
Next time, we’ll look at the defence and special teams.
Its been a drizzly wet day in Kamloops and the Lions decided that one practice would be the order of the day.
So, we got to sleep in and go for breakfast this morning while the players were in meetings and did film work.
We’re back for the afternoon and will likely see some more rain here before the session is out. Our updates will begin shortly, following the players warmups, around 4:30pm.
4:22pm: Offense is working on some undefended passing routes with a scout team. Likely running through plays to be used Sunday in Regina.
4:45pm: Both sides of the ball continuing to walk through plays. Assuming/hoping eventually we’ll see some scrimmage action.
4:48pm: O’Neil Wilson is quietly having a nice camp. There are some good receivers here. Reed, Washington, Black have all had their moments. Some scrimmage coming up!
4:58pm: Black in for Paris Jackson who is sitting out this session again (precautionary) Team is working on short yardage offense. Black promptly drops a pass in the endzone that should have been caught.
5:00pm: Lyle Green can’t handle a short dump pass. Slippery ball, poor throws and drops are dominating this session. Sloppy.
5:01pm: Problem solved. Throw the ball to Arceneaux. Touchdown.
5:07pm: Printers and the first team O-line getting in some running plays. All the RB’s getting touches. Messam has a strong run bouncing it to the outside. Big fullback with decent speed.
5:13pm: Messam absolutely undresses LaRose with a beautiful stutter step in the open field.
5:15pm: Some concern for Pittman as he gets up slowly attended to by the trainer after a run stop. Pittman missed a couple sessions already with a concussion. This looks an arm or shoulder issue.
5:23pm: Not sure what to make of the lack of work for Jamal Lee so far. Harris on the other hand is getting a lot of work. Perhaps an indication of the lineup for Sunday. Lee is also at fullback.
5:37pm: Team is working on the punt coverage and now moves on for some field goal work. Kicking from the 38 yard line. Both Whyte and McCallum look good.
5:54pm: Team is conducting a brief scrimmage.
6:00pm Its only my uninformed opinion, but I’m guessing by the way Jarious Jackson has been throwing the ball this week, his shoulder is still giving him some discomfort. Derrick Armstrong drops another pass. He has not impressed this week, several rookies look better.
6:03pm: Book it: Your starting running back is Jamal Robertson.
6:06pm: some concern about the backup QB’s. None have looked sharp. If these drills were “live” we may have a couple injured as well.
6:10pm: Practice called.
Standouts today: Jamal Robertson, James Yurichuk, Harris.
Sitting out: Bolden, McKenzie, Jackson, R. Jones, Elimimian.
Photos from the afternoon session of BC Lions training camp on June 8th, 2010 in Kamloops, BC
A recap of our live blog of the session can be found here.
Here are the photos from the June 8th morning session of BC Lions training camp in Kamloops, BC. The morning live blog recap is here.
Welcome back! Its sunny and warm here in Kamloops with a slight breeze. We’ll get going at 4:00 in what we hope will be another physical practice.
3:55pm: The players are making their way onto the field. McCallum and Whyte getting on some field goals.
4:00pm: more positional work before stretching and warmups.
4:12pm: Warmups have begun. Excited yet? Stretching, stretching!
4:24pm: Team finishes warmup breaks off into positional groups, watching the defensive line. Goal line tacking drills as players are cycling through tacking the “dummy”. No not me…
4:35pm: would love to give you exciting news right now, but frankly not much is happening. Positional walk through drills are necessary buy not a lot of fun for the fans.
4:58pm: Finally some semi scrimmage drills. Here we go. Printers hit Robertson out of the backfield then goes over the middle to black. Robertson has a nice run. Offence is looking sharp.
5:02pm: Andrew Harris with another nice run. Defensive lineman Steven Williams is not practicing. Looks like a “lower body issue”. Other players out: Bolden, Jones, Elimimian. Jarious Jackson is passing this afternoon after not doing so this morning.
5:03pm: Paris Jackson looks done for the day with ice on his right leg. Did not see what happened.
5:04pm: As was evident this morning, Jamal Robertson is laying claim to the starting running back spot, looks quick and powerful.
5:09pm Paris is back on the field, walking but no helmet. Shutting it down is likely precautionary.
5:16pm: Printers goes deep to the best receiver in camp so far. Emmanuel Arceneaux. Touchdown, and Mannie dunks the ball over the uprights.
5:24pm: More special teams work, on kickoffs, not full speed and little contact, so impossible to judge who has the leg up as returners but they are the same as this morning. Walker, Pendland, Passmore and Davis.
5:30pm: Trestin George doing his best Geroy Simon superman pose on the sidelines. Field goal took some reps, and now a non contact scrimmage.
5:32pm: Tad Crawford continues his strong camp and picks off Printers in the endzone. Tony Washington, one of the most consistent receivers in camp hurts his knee on the next play and limps off.
5:49pm: Washington shakes it off for a great concentration catch for a TD in the endzone. The offence looks the sharpest its been all camp.
5:53pm: Jamal Robertson could be very effective catching passes out of the backfield. Very powerful runner.
6:07pm: Practice is done. Standouts: Washington, Arceneaux, Henderson, Crawford, Robertson, Yurichuk. Offense had a better day today, but lots of work to be done.
For those coming to camp the morning practice for June 9th has been cancelled.
We’ll have more tonight on our first three days at camp and of course photos from the day.
Good morning Bc Lions fans, and welcome to the morning session live blog for June 8th, day 3 of training camp.
8:50am: We spared you the warmup details today so let’s get to it. Receivers are running routes as the QB’s are cycling through and hitting targets. Defensive line is working with Stubler, offensive line with Dorazio as Washington and Miles work with the secondary.
9:11am: Offensive line is working on blocking schemes, both running and passing. Secondary is working on coverages with the backups making up the offense.
9:21am: Here we go! Scrimmage time! Rich Stubler tells the defensive players on the sideline to “Keep ypour helmets in your hands get them off the ground!”
9:28am: The “physical” is back at practice as Aaron Hunt pops Toddrick Pendland, and Dante Marsh says hello to Reed. Offense is producing on short stuff, stuggling on mid to long range passes. Printers and Lulay getting reps, as Jarious Jackson may be taking a maintenance day on his shoulder.
9:47am: Lulay and Parrish are working on some passing routes being defended by the secondary. Printers and Jackson working with the running backs and the offensive line, being defended by the defensive line and linebackers.
10:02am: some kick return work coming up. Stubler takes the defensive line away for some work, Dorazio the same with the offensive line. Pendland, Davis, Passmore and Walker are the returners.
10:04am: No returns yet, just reviewing blocking assignments.
10:20am: Printer picked off by Dante Marsh in scrimmage. Defence is looking strong and fast.
10:24am: Its becoming clear that Jamal Robertson is your likely starting running back. At this point Pendland would be two in my opinion with Lee and Messam your fullbacks.
10:25am: Stubler is entertaining with his old school approach. He once again reminds the players your helmet does not touch the ground.
10:28am: Chapdelaine with a nice catch and protects the ball as Crawford tries to knock it out. Kickoff return work next. Davis, Passmore, Walker and Pendland back to receive.
10:44am: After some light assignment work on kickoffs practice is called for the session. Standouts, the defensive line, Marsh, Arceneaux, Henderson, Harper, Robertson. Pictures to follow tonight. See you at 4:00pm!
The afternoon session of June 7th was less physical than the first three of camp, and that was understandable with three fights in the first three sessions, the coaches decided to throttle the boys back a bit with less contact drills, more focus on systems, and a pad-less scrimmage to close things out.
There weren’t really any standouts in the afternoon, as the drills weren’t really telling as far as evaluating talent. But we can tell you this, Emmanuel Arcenaux is going to have a huge year.
Here is our live blog of the afternoon’s proceedings, and of course a gallery of photos.
The morning session on June 7th produced some physical football on day two of training camp. Big hits, and a some heavyweight punches by Justin Sorensen on Jeremy Gibbs showed the intensity on the field was reaching new levels.
Here are some photos of the morning session, and you can review our live blog of the session here.
Welcome to the live blog of the June 7th afternoon session of BC Lions training camp in Kamloops, BC! Keep checking back here for live updates.
The morning session was a physical one and it will be interesting to see how the coaches handle this practice.
4:00pm: The team has taken the field and are working on group drills prior to warming up.
4:19pm: The team is just going through stretching. Drills to start soon. Perfect weather for football. Warm but not hot, nice breeze.
4:34pm: More positional drills, working our way up to scrimmage mode. Much “lighter” practice than the first three sessions so far.
4:36pm: Enough about Matt Chapdelaine not deserving to be here. He has the tools and hasn’t looked out of place at all. Took a big hit yesterday too.
4:47pm: The offensive line has joined the rest of the offence and the unit is running plays. Jarious Jackson at the controls as first and second teamers rotate in and out.
4:59pm: Team working on running plays, Jamal Robertson getting most of the touches. Travis Lulay getting some work.
5:02pm: Now the intensity is picking up. Heavy weight champ Sorensen getting “challenged” by Arakgi.
5:05pm: Carlton Medder doing a nice job on consecutive plays keeping Keron Williams toi the outside.
5:08pm: Rasouli and Gesse exchange words after banging heads on two plays. Rasouli asserts his dominance of the rookie. Lulay picked off by Korey Banks.
5:11pm: Travis Lulay is struggling and he’s got the starting receivers to work with.
5:14pm: Kyle Parrish getting some reps now with the rookies…and that’s the end of that. Printers and the starters back in.
Notes: Domini Pittman, Richard Jones, Elimimiam and Dominic Bolden sitting out practice as well as McKenzie again.
5:46pm: After some field goal practice Coach Buono tells the players to remove their pads for no contact scrimmage.
5:47pm: Emmanuel Arceneaux is going to be a beast this season. Take it to the bank. BEAST!
5:54pm: The first offense is struggling with the passing game. Printers finally connects with Jackson across the middle for a nice gain. Play action results in another nice gain to Washington, who like he has all camp makes the catch. Printers finally connects deep with Passmore.
6:00pm the second teamers getting some reps to close out practice. Rain beginning to fall in Kamloops.
Practice called. A much less physical session, likely Due to the coiaches sensing the need to throttle things back a bit. Tough to get a read on things with the lack of hitting this afternoon.
Photos of both sessions coming tonight.