♦ The latest story in the Mercury – Guelph Gryphons welcome OUA veteran Djordje Gavrilovic.
“Everybody’s got those nerves and I thought it was going to be tough,” Gavrilovic said following the four-hour on-field session on the second day of the Gryphs’ training camp at Alumni Stadium Tuesday. “I spoke with (defensive co-ordinator Kevin) MacNeill and we went over how I would approach it, but it’s very easy to come to a team that accepts you as well as this team has. I haven’t had a single issue, not even been close. It’s been more like the best experience in terms of a big change. Even the guys on offence have treated me like gold. I can’t complain about anything.”
♦ I spent five hours at the stadium today but only watched one hour of the on-field practice. I won’t be back tomorrow. In fact, I may not watch the team again until Sunday’s game in Montreal. I do know that Randy Dimitroff is heading to practice tomorrow. This will begin the annual process of assigning nicknames to all the incoming freshmen and other new additions. I can’t wait to hear some of them. 🙂
Some quick thoughts …
♦ Daniel Ferraro hammered some of the highest, deepest punts I’ve ever seen him unleash. And he did it more than a few times. If he can combine that type of punt with the directional punts he does so well, and do it consistently, it would be great. I was also amazed how consistently he, and brother Gabriel Ferraro, executed some of their specialty kick-offs. [I’d describe what they were doing in more detail but that would only be to the benefit of our opponents.]
♦ Also, late in the practice there were 10 or 12 players working on long snapping. Many were just beginners. They were all working under the eyes of OL Coach Mike MacDonald and current LS Dan MacDonald. I think players have picked up on how much the skill of long snapping can help their CFL prospects after the success of Jake Reinhart and Cam Thorn. BTW back in the spring Dan MacDonald participated in the combine at the East-West Bowl. MacDonald was the best LS at the event and caught the eye of at least three CFL teams. Hopefully MacDonald, who missed or was limited in several games last season, will be healthy this year.
♦ One player I haven’t seen in camp is veteran linebacker Vince Lonsdale. Last winter I thought Lonsdale planned on returning, but he graduated in the spring, and may have reconsidered. I also haven’t noticed big DB Kevin Griffiths. He missed much of last season with a shoulder injury and re-injured it early in Florida Winter Camp. I think shoulder surgery was a possibility. Speaking of shoulder surgery, graduated Centre Cody O’Neill is another former player helping out at camp. He is working with OL Coach MacDonald and Asst OL Coach Zack Pollari.
♦ A couple of issues of concern, but only minor concern at this point … I saw multiple dropped passes in the hour I watched. A couple would have been for big gains. Also, there was some inconsistency in the snaps from centre in the latter portion of practice. I recall seeing a lot of that two years ago and even in the exhibition game in Saskatoon. But come the regular season everything was good. Hopefully that will be the case again.
♦ On a more positive note … for the second day in a row I saw our run game making some big plays. Today most of them came from Johnny Augustine and Rob Carnegie. [Farquharson and Swift were resting in the hour of practice I saw.] The balance of the RB reps were going to redshirt freshman Brandon Gordon and freshman Daniel Palmer-Salmon.
♦ Today I managed to figure out the jersey numbers of almost all the receivers. I figured I needed to do it after I saw several “unknown receivers” drop passes. Alex Charette was his reliable self. I heard one coach say “we really need A’dre Fraser to stay healthy this year”. I saw Fraser and Lucas Spagnuolo each make a nice grab and pick up major YAC. In my opinion that pair will be critical to stretching the field and making big plays for the Gryphons.
♦ Overall, the defense has looked very good. More often than not making life difficult for the offense. I think we will continue to be solid along the D-Line. Our young LBs are now experienced and this year’s recruiting class will add to the depth of talent. The DBs as a group have looked good to me and I’ve heard some very positive feedback from other observers. The two Team Canada DBs – Nick Parisotto and Royce Metchie – are studs. Physically they are both ready to play. They will only be limited by the learning curve as they pick up the systems.
♦ An older gentleman sitting in front of me in the stands overheard someone call me “Peter”. He spoke to me and we introduced ourselves. It was my pleasure to meet retired professor Dan Yarmey. Yarmey was a long-time professor of psychology at UofG. One of his areas of expertise was sports psychology. In the past he worked with several of the school’s varsity teams and coached high school football in Guelph. He is also the author of Enhancing Performance: Mental Training for Coaches, Athletes and Parents.