Scrimmage report from the Mustang blog

UWO logoOver at the Mustangs’ Training Camp Blog there is something of a report with respect to Sunday’s joint practice & combined scrimmage. I’ve excerpted some of the highlights most relevant to Gryphon fans.

Find the full story here. BTW the article confirms that UWO’s roster numbers were even larger than I reported.

Sunday, August 18, 2013
Tension was high and tempers flared early as the Guelph Gryphons visited TD Stadium to take on the Mustangs in positional drills and a controlled scrimmage.

Players worked tirelessly to impress their coaches and send a message to an OUA rival, all under 30-degree heat.

The day began with receivers competing in one-on-one drills with opposing defensive backs.  The real competition, however, was in the trenches where the linemen, running backs and linebackers locked horns.

As the pass rush drills continued to develop, players from both sides became increasingly competitive, trash talking opponents and supporting teammates.

Starting linebacker Pawel Kruba was one of the most vocal players on the Mustang side.

Competition became heated after one of Kruba’s pass rushes led to an exchange of shoves with a Guelph lineman, which quickly escalated into a busy scrum between Western’s defense and Guelph’s O-line.

Simultaneously, Western’s O-line and Guelph’s defence exchanged blows on the other side of the field following a similar pass rush incident.  One Guelph player was ejected following the altercation.

Kruba says it’s all just part of the game.

“It’s been an aggressive camp. Anytime you get to take on someone else things are more competitive.  Guys are trying to finish. We’re trying to look good; they’re trying to look good. It’s just what it is,” he said.

Once tempers cooled, the teams finished the positional drills and began the controlled scrimmage.

The teams alternated possessions beginning at the 50-yard line.  Both coaches gave backups and tryout walk-ons the majority of the reps, giving the aspiring Mustangs a chance to separate themselves from the rest of the pack.

With over 140 players in camp fighting for a spot on the 47-man roster, significant cuts are expected within the next 48 hours.

Monday, August 19, 2013
A day after a highly competitive afternoon of drills and scrimmages with the Guelph Gryphons, it was back to business as usual for the Mustangs on Monday.

…  An estimated 20 players were cut from the tryout roster following yesterday’s scrimmage, but coach Marshall and his staff have a long way to go to narrow the remaining 105 down to 47 for Sunday’s opener against Toronto.    Despite having another 50+ players to release or move to the practice roster, Marshall says he already knows who will be dressing in the season opener.     

“Starting tomorrow you’re going to notice who’s getting the more consistent reps,” said Marshall.  “We’re preparing for Toronto now.  It will be pretty clear who’s going to be on the 47 man roster.”   Despite cutting down the roster significantly within the next week, Marshall hopes to keep many more players involved with the team for years to come.   

“We’ve traditionally been a big roster.  My feeling is that you keep a lot of players and then let them develop, especially when they’re only 17 or 18 and have a lot of potential to be special by the time they’re 21 or 22.”   One of the positions to focus on this season will be the offensive line.

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