Quick Hits | TC July 25, 2021

5 Quick Hits on Day 16 of Blue Bombers training camp:

1. OUCH REPORT: A tough scene near the end of practice on Sunday when WR/KR Blake Jackson dropped to the turf while in motion toward the backfield in the offensive period. He had to be helped off the field and was then taken back to IG Field on a cart.
Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea did not have an injury update on Jackson immediately after practice.
A converted D-III quarterback who spent some time with the Cleveland Browns, Jackson is certainly in the mix for a roster spot.
We did write a feature on him earlier in camp and that story is here:

“It’s been quite the road” | Jackson pursues pro dreams as receiver

The Bombers return all their starting receivers from the 2019 Grey Cup in Darvin Adams, Kenny Lawler, Nic Demski, Drew Wolitarsky and Rasheed Bailey, but with Adams and Bailey not participating over the last couple of days many of the new faces in camp, Jackson among them, have been getting a lot of work with the starting offence. A couple of those newcomers continuing to stand out, aside from Jackson, are Carlton Agudosi and Kelvin McKnight.

2. HOME AGAINThe Bombers will not practice on Monday and when they return on Tuesday the session will be held at IG Field and not the Winnipeg Soccer Federation soccer complex adjacent to the stadium. The club had been out of their home for the start of training camp with the Canadian Premier League’s ‘Kickoff’ event being staged there. Now that that portion of the CPL schedule is complete the football lines will be painted back on the turf.
“It’s certainly going to be nice,” said O’Shea of the return to their field. “The transition times will be a little smoother for the players. I think they’re excited. I mean, you see players going back and forth to lunch and they’re videotaping the stadium because it’s a beautiful building and a great place to play. It’s always nice to be in your home. Hopefully the CPL soccer event was a success and now they’re gone so we can get our field lined and get back into our normal surroundings.”
Practices will remain closed to the public because of health protocols.

3. FYI: Another solid day for the kickers with both Marc Liegghio and Tyler Crapigna ending that part of the practice session each nailing 48-yard field goals… O’Shea was asked again on Sunday about scrimmages, as some other CFL teams have had intra-squad games. “Every time we run a competitive period it’s a scrimmage,” he said. “We’ve had officials at practice, we’ll have officials again later this week. We run scenarios or that kind of understanding in the huddle. What’s missing is the transition to special team in between, but we’ll take care of that. It doesn’t have to be a full game-like deal.”… Here’s O’Shea when asked about having a veteran squad but reaching the point now in camp where a newcomer might be able to steal a job away from an established player: “I mean, I guess it’s always possible. I do believe we take those evaluations seriously. We still have several reps left. We’ve got (July) 27, 28, 29 to practice (before Week 1 preparations begin) and that’s why I wanted the guys to get a little big of a mental break from the field and a physical break so that the next three days of practice they can show us again what they’re made of.”… WR/KR Janarion Grant on what he could bring to the offence: “I can bring a lot of things… sweeps, catching the ball. I know I’m just labelled as a special-teams guy, but I know with my arsenal I’m a wide receiver first and then special teams. But all together I love everything.”

4. HIGH MOTOR: O’Shea was asked about DT Ezekiel Rose, one of the talented import defensive tackles trying to land a spot behind starter Steven Richardson. Rose finished up his college career at West Virginia after spending time at East Mississippi Community College where that team was featured in the Netflix series ‘Last Chance U.’ Rose’s story, FYI, wasn’t one of those told during the show.
What has been noticeable is how the big man — listed at 6-2, 276 — gets up and down the field.
“He can run all day. Zeke, for a man his size, he’s right in the running there with Jermarcus Hardrick, Geoff Gray and Jonathan Kongbo as the first big man down the field the farthest. I would put him up there with those three guys who help drive practice from a big man standpoint. Besides that, Zeke is a super-likeable guy and it’s phenomenal to watch him as an athlete how effortless it is for him to run/ sprint 40 yards after a ball after an incomplete pass (the defence is trained to scoop up any loose ball) downfield and then get right back in the huddle. That’s the thing that catches your eye right away.”

5. SMART DUDE: Bombers OL Geoff Gray used his time away from the game in 2020 to complete his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. We’ll let him explain his field of work: “What I work on is computer simulation for multi-fitted flow problems. So, what I’m looking at is an airlift pump which is used industrial applications. Basically it’s looking at you have a column of water and you inject air in the bottom and that creates a buoyant effect which creates motion. It’s studying that and looking at the physics that are occurring in that.”

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