The Gryphons kicked off a 3-day mini camp last night. These are the first of their 20 off-season practices. Usually they start earlier but Coach MacNeill wanted to wait until they had the new offensive coordinator in place.
It was a cold night to start “Spring” football practices. With temperatures dropping to -9 C as the sun was setting and a breeze blowing down the field from north to south, it was real “playoff” weather. No doubt Coach MacNeill regretted having shaved off his beard.
Prior to this the Gryphons had been limited to workouts, team runs, speed & agility training and small group skill sessions. Last night they conducted a normal football practice in full pads. However, the contact was still limited.
Veteran James Roberts and first-year Zach Buchan handled all the work at the Quarterback position. I wasn’t able to pick him out but former QB Theo Landers was working as a defensive back. Apparently, he has showed some real talent and a physical side in off-season work with the DB unit.
The O-Line unit was short-handed with only 8 players in pads. Nikko Morito-Barber was in street clothes and a couple of 2017 recruits were observing the practice.
On the defensive side, Coach Cluff was getting assistance from a couple of alumni/CFL vets in Heron Tait and Cam Walker.
I noticed that some of the Gryphons invited to the CFL Combines were there but in different modes. Johnny Augustine was in pads and fully participating while Matt Delmas was in street clothes.
There are 4-hour power practices scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Here are some photos from Friday night. The first 5 photos are courtesy of Jerry Ashford, father of OL recruit Braedon Ashford.
* * *
One disappointing note: there did not appear to be much progress on the exterior of the Football Pavillion.
I noted a month ago, … one of the holdups, perhaps the major one, is the glass. Between the office windows, the skylights and the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the field, that is a lot of glass.
As you can see from the photo below there is still no sign of the glass. It could be May or June before the building is complete.