5 Quick Hits on Day 10 of Blue Bombers training camp:
1. HOT — SCORCHING HOT — TICKET: Single-game tickets for the Canadian Football League season opener at IG Field on August 5th went on sale to the general public Monday morning and the response was, well, more than a little enthusiastic.
Single game tickets are on sale now!
— Winnipeg Blue Bombers (@Wpg_BlueBombers) July 19, 2021
Single-game tickets were first made available to season-ticket holders last Friday and Bombers President and CEO Wade Miller said the club sold 1,000 tickets in the first 10 minutes for the 2019 Grey Cup rematch against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
For more info, click here.
2. DEEP CUTS THE KNIFE: The Bombers made their first significant chunk of cuts on Monday with the release of 10 players, all imports. That group includes:
-QB Dalton Sneed
-DBs Clifton Duck and Raekwon Williams
-WRs Alonzo Russell, Sr. and C.J. Worton
-DL Justin Alexandre and David Kenney
-LBs Khaylan Kearse-Thomas and Otha Peters
-OL Kevin Lawrence
3. HEADS UP: Blue Bombers receiver Rasheed Bailey is a walking, talking, hype machine. He doesn’t just spit out everyday clichés, he speaks with the passion and fervour of a minister delivering a Sunday sermon.
And when Bailey was asked about the Bombers offence — specifically what it will look like this year under new offensive coordinator Buck Pierce — he made some big promises.
“You guys are going to see what we’re going to be doing this year and it’s going to be special,” said Bailey. “We’re going to do some things that are different, we’re going to keep some things the same. But, overall, we’re going to push the ball down the field and we’re going to have some fun.”
Asked later about QB Zach Collaros, Bailey kept right on hyping.
“The way it’s looking right now… I’m just going to tell everybody this right now… they better watch out for what we’re about to do this year,” he said. “That’s just me speaking from a confidence standpoint and from everyday that we’ve been here we’re building something special. Just building from the Grey Cup and the connection we all have right now and are gathering right now as we speak… it’s gong to be a special year this year.
“If we all stay healthy and do what we’re supposed to do and take care of our bodies, there’s a lot of talent on this offence and a lot of players that can make some plays, including myself.”
4. TOUGH NEWS/SOLDIER ON: News broke Monday morning about the loss of DB Mercy Maston for the season with an Achilles injury. A detailed story on that news — and the trade with Toronto for veteran DB Alden Darby — is below:
Veteran DB and former Edmonton teammate Josh Johnson wore Maston’s jersey #7 during practice Monday and it was Bailey who Maston was covering on the play in which he suffered the injury on Sunday. A day later Bailey offered this:
“It almost breaks my heart because I know how much work we put into this game. I know how much work we put in, I know how much work I put in and how devastated I would be. My heart goes out to him. He was guarding me on that play. It’s a hard pill to swallow because I know how much work he’s put in. This season will be dedicated to my boy. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to try and make him feel better in this situation, but this is football and things like this happen. But I promised that boy this season is going to be definitely dedicated to that guy. The work that I’m going to put in and the work that we’ve all been putting in, it’s going to show up and it’s going to mean something.
“This season is definitely for my dawg.”
5. FYI/RANDOM OBSERVATIONS: Monday’s practice session was shortened and much of the time was spent on special teams… No sense yet of who might replace Maston in the secondary, but expect the parts to be moved around a lot… Here’s a couple of clips from QB Zach Collaros. First, his thoughts on the offence. “I don’t know if things will be that different. I tell the guys to be ready on every play because every offence, especially ours, has something built in where you can strike the defence downfield. It’s my job as well as the coaching staff’s job to get us all prepared to know the certain looks we can expose a defence with and really strike them. We’ve got some looks in camp where we’ve been able to strike the football downfield, but we’re not going to be reliant on just throwing the ball up.”… And, second, more praise for receiver Kenny Lawler, who has been one of the standouts in camp. “I told him last year when I met him I had to Google him because I knew the name, it was a familiar name that I knew from college football. I watched a five or six-minute highlight tape (from his days at Cal) of Jared Goff just throwing him back-shoulder fades and him catching if over and over again. I told him last year, ‘Hey, if you get a one-on-one I’m coming to you’ and he’s just shown that plus more in this camp. Obviously he’s got athletic ability, his range as a receiver, his hands are fantastic. Buck’s doing a great job of moving these guys around to different positions so we don’t become just one-dimensional and he’s done a great job of learning where he’s supposed to be and getting to the right depth and all those things that make a good receiver great.”