Wally Buono gave his players the morning off Saturday and the result was a spirited afternoon session that saw a fast tempo and some heated tempers to close out the day at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops, BC. There was a good crowd on hand in the stands to watch the practice, several who had driven up from the lower mainland to check out the 2011 hopefuls
Geroy Simon, Eric Taylor and Stanley Franks Michael Carter, Joe Henderson, Stanley Franks, Shawn Gore were on the field but not in pads and not practicing.
Davis Sanchez was back practicing.
Cornerback Dante Marsh left practice on a cart after an apparent hamstring injury. The veteran corner went down defending an offensive play and immediately grabbed the back of his leg. Marsh pulled off his helmet and threw it 15 yards down field and was in obvious pain. He left with an ice bag wrapped around the leg and on a golf cart. He did not return, and according to Lowell Ullrich of the Province will -be re-evaluated in the morning.
The first team offensive line remained unchanged from our previous practice. From left to right, the starting five were Ben Archibald, Jon Hameister-Ries, Angus Reid, Dean Valli and Jovan Olafioye. The line opened some nice holes for the backs during live reps and looks to be gelling nicely. One item of note here, it seems as though Jesse Newman who is listed on the depth chart as the starting right guard has been leapfrogged by Valli, barring an issue we don’t know about regarding Newman.
With Eric Taylor watching, Khalif Mitchell assumed the majority of the starting reps at nose tackle, with Keron Williams and Aaron Hunt on the ends.
Travis Lulay continues to be sharp. The pecking order hasn’t changed behind him with Jarious Jackson and Mike Reilly assuming the 2nd and 3rd reps. Tough to give any assessment on Matt Johnson and Corey Leonard at this point with minimal reps.
Jamal Robertson is the starter right now and that hasn’t changed. Andrew Harris continues to impress and how no effects from an off-season torn pectoral muscle. Newcomer Tim Brown is making a case to stick around.
The two main returners to date seem to me Kierrie Johnson and Michael Smith. Both have had some success to date and both have very good top end speed and shifty moves. The real test will come in Calgary next week.
Practice ended with Korey Banks laying a hard lick on receiver Calvin Simon. That brought the offence and defence together and a tempers flared. From the crowd came the words of wisdom “It’s over, it’s over, we a damn team!” And with that practice was done.
You’re Twitter Questions:
@j_rower asks: “@BCLionsDen, How does Kamau Peterson look? Could he have as good a season as he had in the past?”
Kamau doesn’t look out of place and is getting up to camp speed. He is seeing a lot of first team reps and is running good routes and catching balls thrown his way. Can he be as effective as in the past? That will depend in large part his health and on the return of Paris Jackson who doesn’t seem to be feeling many effects from his injured knee as he works out by himself. That said Kamau is a great addition who brings Canadian depth and a wealth of experience to the room.
@98celtic asks: “@BCLionsDen, Is Stephen Black looking like he will have a breakout year??? Go #82 and Lions!”
Steven Black made some clutch catches last year and by the end of the season was a starter in the offence. So far in camp he looks like he has the chance to take that to another level and I think he has the chance to.
@Markfrancis23 asks: “@BCLionsDen, how is Chris Hodgson doing? I’ve known him since he was a kid…athletic freak…say hello for me.”
You’re right about Hodgson being an athletic freak. I can tell you this the guys arms are huge! Right now Hodgson is a bit of a project. I haven’t been able to keep that close a watch on him, but here is a video the BC Lions did on him if you haven’t seen it: http://www.bclions.com/article/getting-to-know-chris-hodgson
At KieranM37 asks: “@BCLionsDen who’s who in the secondary? Hyland getting the most reps at S? Banks back at HB?”
David Hyland is currently second in the depth chart at halfback behind Stanley Franks. I haven’t seen him playing any safety and the Lions are currently trying to Canadians in J.R. LaRose and Jason Arakgi at that spot. Korey Banks is still lining up at nickleback and will do so often as the Lions for with a 3-4 defence on many downs. Banks had a solid year last year and the team will look for more of the same. The rest of the secondary is a little banged up. Stanley Franks, Ryan Phillips and Davis Sanchez all have minor ailments, and as we alluded to above Dante Marsh left practice today.