♦ The Mercury’s Rob Massey was in Alumni Stadium for the opening practice of the season and has a story about – Football Gryphons back on field and at class. Most interesting items in the story – 1) Jazz Lindsey stayed in Guelph during the off-season, put in enough work and showed enough leadership to be regain his status as starter; 2) the D-Line has lost three starters – Jeff Finley, Ian Marouf & Jordan Thompson; 3) there are lots of changes to the playbooks on both offense and defense.
♦ Lots of photos of Day 1 are posted on the usual Facebook pages. Nice to see Director of Athletics Tom Kendall checking out the practice. As per usual there are a large number of guest coaches, some are a new others are regulars. Last season’s QB coach John Engel is back for training camp, perhaps he’ll continue to have a role in the spotters’ booth on Saturday’s. Former CFLer Mike Samples is helping Brian Cluff again. Recent alumnus Curtis Rukavina is helping out.
♦ Besides the losses on D-Line, 2012 TE recruit Martin Popiel and 2013 RB recruit Bryson Dobush are not back. Those are not surprises. I think the loss of Dobush probably played a role in the Gryphons’ late signing of the speedy Daniel Palmer-Salmon. So to, the addition of former CJFL player Jason South who adds some size and depth to the TE & DE positions.
♦ Linebacker John Rush was in pads and participating in practice. That is a key for 2014 success especially with another leader lost in Jeff Finley. Every one had always said Rush would be 100% in time for the season but you never know, so very good to see him out there in a black jersey.
♦ I should be at the Day 2 practice by 10 a.m. so I will have a little more extensive report ready tonight or tomorrow morning. One thing I won’t see is the coaches get soaked in the ALS Ice Bucket challenge but the video is fun to watch.