5 Quick Hits on Day 4 of Blue Bombers training camp:
1. NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS?: Bombers all-star RB Andrew Harris was back at practice today, but did not participate in any drills. Harris left practice early on Monday and did not return and afterward Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said only: “He had an appointment he had to get to.”
There wasn’t much of an update on his status today, but O’Shea indicated that Harris could be playing the spectator for awhile.
“We don’t need Andrew to practice right now,” O’Shea said. “We need to get the reps for the young guys who are going to be with us in that capacity all year long and evaluate those positions. I would say this: Andrew is probably going to take it easy for the next couple weeks and then he’ll be ready to go when I ask him to be, right?
“If I asked him to practise today he would have practised today. If I ask him to practise tomorrow, he’ll practise tomorrow. But I’m not going to ask him to practice for a little bit because we need to figure out who is behind him and what they’re doing.”
With Johnny Augustine also nursing an injury, that meant both Brady Oliveira and Kyle Borsa continued to get a ton of reps at running back with the offence. Also not practising on Tuesday was C Michael Couture and LB Jesse Briggs. With Couture taking a day, Tui Eli was taking most of the snaps with the starting OL.
2. SPECIAL ATTENTION: A good portion of the early part of practice was again focussed on special teams. Even before the session the specialists were out on the field working on their craft.
Of note: Mike Benson is locked in as the long-snapper, but veteran linebacker Shayne Gauthier was also working on that skill. QB Sean McGuire was the holder for the latter part of 2019, but also taking reps as holders were WR/KR Charles Nelson and QB Dalton Sneed.
Also, prior to practice a number of players were catching punts launched by the Jugs machine, led by incumbent returner Janarion Grant and also including Blake Jackson, Kelvin McKnight, Montay Crockett, Davon Grayson and Quadree Henderson — all receivers — RB Kyle Borsa and DBs Clifton Duck, Christian Angulo and Demerio Houston.
3. FURTHER TO THE ABOVE: Lots of fans have been asking about how kicker Marc Liegghio looks. ‘Legs’ met with the media on Sunday — that story is here — and continues to crank up his work rate this week. He worked extensively on punting, particularly positional punting, on Monday and, while working with the long-snappers and holders early on Tuesday, was consistently and easily hitting 40-yard field goals with plenty of room to spare.
4. WELCOME ABOARD: The Bombers added a new import RB on Tuesday in Devonte Williams. He was an All-Southland Conference punt returner in 2018 at Southeastern Louisiana and, prior to that, played two seasons at Indiana where he ranked sixth on the Hoosiers all-time kickoff return yards list.
The Bombers have one guest coach in training camp — Andy Williams from the St. Paul’s Crusaders.
5. BRING IT: The Bombers have working on slowly building the pace of camp through the first four days to help avoid injuries and allow the newcomers to get up to speed with no rookie camp this year. That should change on Wednesday when more one-on-one sessions are planned and the players will be in pads.
“We never question what the coaches ore the guys prepare for us,” said receiver Darvin Adams. “The guys are putting us in the best position to try and keep us injury free, just trying to keep us as healthy as possible where we can compete at a high level. Guys are here to take care of their family, so you don’t want guys getting hurt, you want guys to be able to compete to get a good look on film. Whatever they have us doing, they’re doing it in the right way.
“… We’ll see (Wednesday), offence and defence, where everybody is.”
Added O’Shea on the padded practice coming: “Everybody looks good without pads on. It is a contact sport and you’ve got to see how they handle that.”