May 24, 2023

Quick Hits | Training Camp – Day 11

Notes and quotes from Wednesday and Day 11 of Blue Bombers training camp…

OUCH UPDATE: Receiver Dalton Schoen was back at his post at practice today, one day after sitting out a session. The list of those not practising is long, although it’s still to be determined who will make the trip to Edmonton for Saturday’s preseason game and who will be left behind in Winnipeg.

Among those not participating on Wednesday were LB Adam Bighill, DT Cam Lawson, CB Winston Rose, LB Kyrie Wilson, DE Thiadric Hanson, RB/rec Greg McCrae, RB Jonathan Rosery, DE Jackson Jeffcoat, OL Tui Eli, RB Brady Oliveira, DB Nick Hallett and CB Desmond Lawrence.

PRAISE FOR THE GOAT: Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea has always been appreciative of the players who have rose to prominence and worked their way up through the depth chart. He gushed about veteran FB Mike Miller when asked about him on Wednesday.

Here’s the coach when asked by Jeff Hamilton of The Free Press why Miller — the CFL’s all-time leader in special-teams tackles — has been so successful for so long.:

“It’s the type of guy he is,” O’Shea said. “He’s obviously talented in terms of his athleticism and whatever you’re going to measure is not going to make a difference. You put him in any sport and he will find a way to be successful in that sport. He can do a lot of different things. Then the way he’s made up physically, there’s something about that, too, that just allows him no matter his weight and size, he’s really stout for his size. Looking at him and the way he plays, when there’s contact to be had he’s really, really stout through the core. Smart, loves the game, does it for the right reasons. He’s just really good. Really good and he has been for a long time.

“The story is, undrafted, and we’re talking to Jeff Cummins (the head coach at Acadia University and a guest coach at Blue Bombers camp) who is coaching him and he says ‘I don’t know where or how or what, but that guy is going to play special teams in the CFL.’ You put on the film and he’s a safety, but he’s running down on kickoff and he’s just annihilating everybody and making plays. And it didn’t stop when he got here.

“More than anything else – and he has all these other attributes – it’s the type of man he is. It’s just he’s wired that way.”

THERE’S JOHNNY: We spoke to RB Johnny Augustine on Tuesday as he was one of the last players to leave the field about fighting and scratching his way for a roster spot.

Augustine earned praise from O’Shea a day later when asked about his work on special teams — he hadn’t played on any specials during his days at the University of Guelph — and learning to accept his role on the squad.

“We appreciated him quite early on for what he could do as a tailback physically, but Johnny has always been that type of guy that just trusts in his ability and he trusts in the coaches and the team,” O’Shea said. “And the type of guy Johnny is, he’s going to take his role and whatever he’s given he’s going to make the most of. We don’t stock our room full of complainers. He’s not going to complain at all. He’s going to be ready. Those two things are very important for a guy who’s taking less reps than another guy.”

NEXT: The Blue Bombers final practice session of the week before the club flies to Edmonton on Friday goes Thursday at IG Field from 10:45 a.m. -12:40 p.m. Practice is open to the public.