Defensive Line – a pre-camp look

Guelph continues to use a four man front made up of two tackles and two ends.  The two DE positions differ, so too the tackles.  Teams typically have a strongside DE and weakside DE.  The strongside weakside DE is typically a little heavier, sturdier against the run while the weakside strongside end is usually smaller & faster, more likely to be pressuring the QB in pass situations.  Last season Grant MacDonald got most of the snaps at weakside DE.  And Mike Millar most of the snaps a strongside DE.

With our defensive tackles one usually lines up over the other teams guard (1 technique) and the other over an OT (3 technique).  Scott Eggleton was primarily a 1-technique and Kalvin Seilis played mostly 3-technique (he also played DE).  Cam Thorn can play both 1 & 3-technique.

Position              Starter                          #2                               Depth

DE                       Mike Millar                  Brian Crosby             freshmen

DT -1                 Graham Jewson          Garrett Waud            freshmen

DT -3                  Cam Thorn                  (Kalvin Seilis)            freshmen

DE                       Kalvin Seilis                 Jeff Finley                 Hunter Principi?

Comments: Three of my four projected starters already have significant playing experience.  In fact, Millar, Thorn and Seilis are the past three Gryphon Rookie-of-Year players.  Jewson got some back-up snaps as a freshman last season.  Waud did not play as a freshman but was one of the most improved players over the offseason and a standout in the spring.  As you can see we don’t have a lot of depth on the D-Line and will be counting on a least a couple of incoming freshmen to provide depth in their first seasons.  At this point I’ve not heard anyone say that the return of promising freshman Hunter Principi is certain.  Principi dressed in most games as a freshman and got some snaps as a back-up.

Mike Millar (6’1″ 230, Lakeshore Catholic/Niag Spears) – entering his 4th season, played in the East-West bowl. Earned a starting spot as a freshman. Converted LB who looks better with every game he plays a DE.

Cam Thorn (6’5″ 295, Barrie Eastview/Huronia Stallions) – entering his third season.  With experience under his belt I’ve predicted that Thorn will take his game to another level with a breakout season.

Kalvin Seilis (6’5″ 250, Huron Heights) – transferred from Eastern Michigan, entering his second season as a Gryphon. Was part of the regular DL rotation in his first year – looked more like a veteran than a freshman. Played at both DT & DE.

Graham Jewson (6’2″ 255, Barrie Eastview) – entering his second season.  A captain and award winner in multiple sports at Eastview. Dressed for most games as a freshman, saw action in several games.  Should see a lot more action in 2011.

Garrett Waud (6′ 270, Brantford Collegiate) – did not play as a freshman. An unheralded recruit who distinguished himself with hard work.  Waud got noticably bigger and stronger and stood out as one of the most pleasant surprises of the spring camp.

Brian Crosby (6’1″ 220, Mississauga Erindale) – did not play as a freshman. Defensive Scout Team Player-of-Year. Recruited as a LB, converted to DE in the Spring – coaches were very pleased with his transition to new position.

Jeff Finley (6’2″ 240, St Kitt’s Sir Winston Churchill/Niag Spears) – did not play as a freshman.  Injured his elbow in exhibition game vs Concordia. In the 2010 OVFL season Finley had the best game I have ever seen at that level  for a DL – 14 or 15 tackles IIRC. At Churchill Finley was coached by former Gryphon Peter Partridge, 1997 winner of the  Wildman Trophy.

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2 Responses to Defensive Line – a pre-camp look

  1. BigBoy says:

    Your Rush(strongside) DE is generallly the faster, lighter, pass rusher, and the Quick(weakside) DE is the heavier, run stopper DE. This is because defences usually have their ‘bubble’ to the weak side of the field, and offences love to the the Off-Tackle toward this. Mixed it up backwards.

    • Good point. I read too many NCAA blogs. In the U.S. game the Strongside is defined by by the presence of a tight end. Tight ends are not a factor in the CIS/CFL game. The definition of a weakside and strongside linebacker [WILL & SAM] is also pretty much reversed in the CIS vs the NCAA.

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