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May 25, 2024

Quick Hits | Training Camp — Day 14

Terry Wilson -- photos by Cameron Bartlett

Notes and quotes from Blue Bombers training camp…

The Blue Bombers have officially scratched just 18 Xs through the days on their rookie camp/training camp calendar. So, in that respect, the less-than-three weeks timespan has flown by in an instant.

And yet for quarterback prospect Terry Wilson, it already feels a whole semester of learning the nuances of the three-down game.

“Man… I would say it’s night and day for me right now compared to the start of rookie camp,” Wilson told bluebombers.com at the end of another chilly practice session Saturday at Princess Auto Stadium. “It took a lot of time to prepare and just lock in and dial in and make sure I’m knowing what to do out there on the field. I’m still learning. It’s the little things — knowing where the receivers are supposed to be on the ball and who’s supposed to be off the ball, it’s my cadences and feeling more comfortable. I’m still progressing and trying to pick up the little details that I need to hone in.”

But, again, night and day from rookie camp to now.

“I can tell the difference in just being on time with my throws and with the comfort level. It feels good when you see your craft progressing and it makes you want to dive in and learn even more to keep seeing that growth.”

Wilson in Monday’s preseason action in Regina against Saskatchewan

Wilson completed 10-of-15 passes for 115 yards and a TD to Kevens Clercius in last Monday’s preseason game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and on Saturday saw Eric Barriere — the QB he was competing with for the third-string job behind Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler — released by the club while another new pivot in Darren Grainger was brought in for a look-see.

Said Wilson on that: “As tough as this business is, you have to already have in your mind that we’re here to compete and earn a spot — it’s not given to us, you have to earn it. It’s tough to lose Eric because we were building a relationship, but this just comes along with the game. You’ve always got to be ready and prepared for everything.”

His 18 days of camp have already taught him a few things, namely the CFL game moves at a faster pace than down south. The other noticeable difference for him is the importance of first-down production.

“That’s the biggest thing to adjust to: being more aggressive while not pressing too much,” he said. “It’s that and having that time clock in my mind.

“I’m having fun. I’m loving every day. I wake up and am around a good group of guys. Plus, I’ve been saying this since Day 1 — getting to learn from Zach and Strev has been a huge help for me. I’m just thrilled to be here. I’ve heard we have the best fans in the CFL so I’m excited to see that, too.”

Blue Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea on Wilson: “He’s got some poise and professionalism. I said it before, but watching him work post-practice, it looks like he has a plan. He goes out post-practice and he wants a certain amount of throws, a certain type of throws and he gets a guy to come out and run some routes and he gets his work in and gets going. He stands tall in the pocket and I liked the way he played against Sask.”

Comings/goings: The Blue Bombers added QB Darren Grainger (6-4, 225; Georgia State) and two D-linemen in Taylor Upshaw (6-5, 240; Arizona) and Devin Adams (6-2, 290, Peru State) while releasing Barriere, as mentioned above, as well as DL Jabari Ellis and DB Anthony Witherstone.

Grainger, FYI, threw for 257 yards and three TDs and ran for two more in Georgia State’s win over Utah State in the most recent Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

O’Shea on Grainger: “Danny (McManus, Assistant GM/Director of U.S. Scouting) and Buck (Pierce, offensive coordinator) like him and when I watch his film he’s a big, strong guy, he runs very well and he looks taller than old style CFL mobile quarterbacks. He’s got that kind of mobility, good arm strength, rushed for a bunch of touchdowns, threw for a bunch and wasn’t afraid to push the ball downfield. He’s pretty pleasing to watch athletically.”

Check out Grainger’s college highlight tape:

Quotable:  “You want a guy that when the s–t hits the fan he can go in and win the game. Other than that, you want them to keep learning, support their guys and know and understand their role and thrive in their role.” — O’Shea on the role of the third-string QB.

“Canadiana”: The Blue Bombers spent a portion of Saturday afternoon’s practice working on the end-of-game punt-in/punt-out scenario that is so unique to the Canadian game.

“We go through it all, talk about all the scenarios,” said O’Shea. “When the roster’s set, that team doesn’t usually have a lot of new to the CFL guys on it. You try to keep it with guys who have been in that play before. No matter where they’ve been at, if they’ve been in that play before, it helps.”

Asked if he sees ‘What the…?!’ looks on newcomers who have never seen that kind of play before, O’Shea grinned:

“You can hear it — they have no clue what’s going on. It’s Canadiana. It’s perfect. Don’t mess with it.”

Next: The Blue Bombers are back at it Sunday morning at Princess Auto Stadium from 8:30- 11:40.