The Huskies completed day 3 of training camp earlier today, with the players dressed out in helmets and shoulder pads. Camp got off to a bit of a slow start due to Saturday’s miserable weather, but the coaching staff is generally pleased with what they’ve seen so far. Head Coach Brian Towriss spoke with Huskie Outsider as he left the team huddle at the end of practice. “We made some progress today, for sure,” BT confirmed. “Saturday was a tough day, pouring rain; we didn’t get as much done as we would have liked. Then we came out here yesterday, and we had lots in but not as many reps as we would have normally had so things were a little slow. But the last two practices have been great – the kids are working hard. Now that we’re getting more offence in, you typically see more mistakes, but the guys are doing a good job and we haven’t had many busts.” The Dogs only practice once today, which is contrary to several consecutive two-a-days that they endured in previous training camps. “Because we have 3 weeks, we’re taking the load off them a little bit. We used to have only eleven or twelve days from the start of camp until we played a league game; we’re playing the non-conference game on Friday, but we don’t need to have 4 different punt returns and all that kind of stuff for this week,” Towriss noted. “We want to save their legs, because three weeks (the duration of camp and preparations for the Canada West conference season opener) is a long time too. Normally this would have been a double practice day again, but we want to get them rested. We’ll go twice tomorrow, twice on Wednesday, and then back off and be ready to play on Friday. We’ll turn it up from a physical perspective tomorrow, do 4 or 5 live plays, and then nothing again until Friday.”
Before the first practice takes place, the team goes through their physical testing, which took place on Friday morning. The tests are a great way to judge the off-season training done by the team. “The testing went well,” Coach Towriss exclaimed. “Everybody is fit, and we’re strong. We put a laser on the 40 (yard sprint), as opposed to the hand held timing that normally takes place, so the guys were shaking their head that their times were a little slower than they expected, but we use the 40 as a comparison between players. What we really wanted to see was our strength and conditioning, and everybody was pretty fit.” It should be noted that the rumour on the sidelines was that offensive guard Mat Leung set a new team record with an eye popping 42 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press. “Players are not going to break down because they’re not fit,” BT insisted. “There are a couple of guys who are still nursing off-season stuff and aren’t back 100%, but for the most part everybody is ready to go.”
Through Sunday’s afternoon practice, the following players were taking first team reps: Drew Burko at quarterback, RB Tyler Chow behind an offensive line of Evan Johnson and Ryan Breadner at tackle, Mat Leung and Drew Digout at guard, with Matt Czerniak at center. The receiving corps saw Julan Lynch and Brydon Ozmun at wideout, with John Trumpy, Mitch Hillis, and Tevin Godfrey at slotback. On defence, the interior of the DLine consisted of Brayden Twaryski and Donavan Dale with Tristan Koronkiewicz and Preston McIntyre both manning the edge. At linebacker were fifth year veterans Dane Bishop and Geoff Hughes. The defensive secondary should see the biggest change in personnel from 2014; at this point, the first unit consists of Taylor Rehn and Chris Friesen at cornerback, Spencer Krieger and Vince Greco at halfback, and Brooks Falloon at safety. Considering that Krieger and Rehn missed most of last season with injury, Friesen is the only true returning starter to this unit. The speedy Dylan Kemp will once again be a fixture at the rover position. This is a very veteran group on both sides of the ball, and as such BT was asked how set the first teams are. “I think we’re pretty clear for the most part – certainly not only with our starters, but also with our personnel packages – for most spots other than the secondary,” Towriss explained. “I think the personnel packages are clearing themselves up pretty quick, but there are lots of good battles going on in the secondary.”
Huskie Outsider will continue to provide coverage of training camp throughout the week. Followers can expect one or two episodes of “Outsider Radio” this week, as well as a couple of editions of “Three Downs.” We also hope to catch up with more of the coaches and players each day.