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Riders Camp Highlights: Day one starts with surprise announcement

While the northeast wind may have brought a scent of manure from the U of S barns across the street, the wind cleared out the smoke that had moved in Saturday. 

SASKATOON — On day one of the Saskatchewan Roughriders main training camp in Saskatoon, the session started with the surprise announcement of the release of American Defensive Back Jalon Edwards-Cooper. Edwards-Cooper was signed in free agency by the Green and White after spending the last three seasons with the B.C. Lions.

After the announcement, the team headed out to the field with enthusiasm and optimism apparent. 

The team started the session with special teams fundamentals work. From fielding to blocking to preparing for extra-point attempts, the team quickly worked their way through structured drills. 

A whistle blast came next and the groups broke into walk-through. No surprise on the first offensive play where Trevor Harris handed the ball off to A.J. Ouellette. (A precursor to the season?) After a noticeably more up-tempo session, as compared to last week’s rookie camp, the whistle sounded again. 

Next it was on to the team warm-up with Strength and Conditioning Coach Dan Farthing leading the team from near mid-field. 

Following the stretch, team broke it down at centre field with Defensive Lineman Anthony Lanier II being the vocal leader in the middle of the pack. 

The group then broke into positional groups for various individual drills. 

Following the positional session, the team was broken down into groups for special teams blocking instruction. After the tutorial concluded the punters hit the field for some live punt cover reps.

Following another whistle blast the offence and defence went through another walk-through drill where it was interesting to see who lined up where. Getting first reps at LT was Trevor Reid, while on the Defensive Line Micah Johson, Anthony Lanier II, Malik Carney and Brian Cox Jr. took the first spots. 

Also of note, OL Ryan Sceviour was taking reps at centre behind Peter Godber. 

Following the teams period, break was called with players taking to the sidelines to refuel for the second half of the workout. 

Next after the break was another walk-through period with the offence and defence breaking into their groups for more playbook install. Of note coming out of the break, Mitch Picton was taking first team reps as the wide side wide receiver. 

Following the walk-through the team gathered at midfield for a midsession stretching drill.

After the stretching it was back into individual position drills. 

Following the drills it was time for offence versus defence. That was after a meeting at centre field where Coach Mace addressed the team. Play-By-Play:

  • Trevor Harris complete to Samuel Emilus on first down for 8 yards. 
  • Pass to KeeSean Johnson for a first down on the next play.
  • Hand off to A.J. Oulette for a medium gain. 
  • Pass to the flat to Shawn Bane Junior for a first down. 
  • Another first down carry to A.J. Oulette for a medium gain. 
  • Harris over the middle to Kian Schaeffer-Baker for a first down. 
  • RESET the offence back at their own 50 Jack Coan takes over at Quarterback with a screen pass to Frankie Hickson for a gain of 2 yards. 
  • On second and long Coan is complete to Dohnte Meyers. 
  • Next pass off the receiver's hands and into the arms of Holton Hill who returned it to the end zone. TD Dance gets round of applause from the crowd. 
  • The teams switch ends with Antonio Pipkin now in under centre. First play is a hand-off to Oulette who rumbles for a first down. 
  • Harris back in at quarterback. Oulette gets the ball. Stopped at the line by Micah Johnson.
  • After a procedure penalty, another handoff to Oulette who spun his way into the second level for the offence.
  • Next play, Frankie Hickson gets a handoff from Harris he’s met in the backfield by Brian Cox Jr. 
  • Mason Fine in at quarterback, his hand off is to Hickson who can’t find a hole. 
  • Fine’s pass is complete on the far side to Jake Parker.
  • Shea Patterson in at quarterback and hands the ball off to Jerrion Ealy on first down. 
  • Patterson completed over the middle to Samuel Emilus for a first down to the defence’s 45 yard-line. 
  • Antonio Pipkin in to work and hands the ball off to C.J. Avery who runs on the right side. Not much room. 
  • Pipkin hands the ball to the big FB Clint Ratkovich for a burst on the right hand side. 

Whistle sounds and the session comes to an end with the teams breaking into one-on-one battles. Lineman faced off against one another while it was seven-on-seven for the defensive backs and receivers. 

Following the one-on-one drills where Brian Cox Jr. made the most of his opportunities. The team broke into a special teams cover session. There was a definite infusion of intensity and battle in the drills as players attempted to impose their blocking the length of the field. 

After the session it was back into teams. The play-by-play breakdown:

  • Pass by Harris to the far flat to Shane Bane Jr. for a first down. 
  • Handoff to A.J. Oulette for small gain. 
  • Harris pass to Kian Schaeffer-Baker batted down by Nick Nelson and Deontai Williams. 
  • Harris full roll pass complete to Dhel Duncan-Busby for a first down. 
  • Shea Patterson comes in to 1uarterback. Pass falls short of the mark almost intercepted by Holton Hill. (Already has an interception in previous teams period)
  • Patterson guns a pass complete over the middle to Dohnte Meyers. First Down. 
  • Jack Coan comes into quarterback. His hand off on first down to C.J. Avery is strung out nicely by the defensive line. Lake Korte-Moore does a nice job of holding the edge. 
  • Pass by Coach is complete on the far side to Ajou Ajou for a first down. 
  • Harris back in at quarterback. Kian Schaeffer-Baker makes a beautiful sideline reception and lets the team know about it. 
  • Harris checks down to KeeSean Johnson for close to a first down. 
  • Harris on a roll to his left finds Shawn Bane Jr. coming across the middle for a first down. 
  • Harris throws long on the near sideline almost intercepted by Rodney Clemons who dove in front of the intended receiver Ajou Ajou. 
  • Antonio Pipkin comes in to Quarterback the offence. Hands the ball off on first down. 
  • Pass is complete to Ajou Ajou.
  • Mason Fine comes into quarterback and find Oulette on a screen out of the backfield. 
  • Fines pass on the far side flat is broken up by Rodeny Clemons. 

End of session.

Today’s Weather:

It was another beautiful day for football in Saskatoon, and while the northeast wind may have brought a trace scent of manure from the University of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture barns across the street, the wind was able to clear out the smoke that had moved in yesterday. 

The forecast was for sunshine with temperatures creeping towards 20 degrees. 

Not on the field:

  • DB – Jalon Edwards-Cooper – RELEASED
  • OL – Brandon Council – SUSPENDED
  • OL – Jerald Hawkins – SUSPENDED
  • OL – Jonathan Hubbard – SUSPENDED
  • OL – Sadarius Hutcherson – SUSPENDED
  • REC – Dazz Newsome – SUSPENDED
  • REC – Brayden Lenius – DID NOT PARTICIPATE
  • REC – Braydon Johnson – DID NOT PARTICIPATE
  • DB – Amari Henderson – DID NOT PARTICIPATE

Break-out Play of the Day:

Trevor Harris in the seven-on-seven period looked poised and patient allowing his receivers to work into open spots. That patience paid off as he spotted Dhonte Meyers wide open on the weak side and after a nifty cutback the receiver was off to the end zone.