Thoughts on the Ticats training camp sked

The Ticats released their training camp schedule over the weekend and a couple of things stand out.

First, the team is not holding a rookie camp again this year. Teams are permitted to bring in first-year players (and quarterbacks) starting Wednesday but the Ticats have chosen to begin their on-field sessions on Sunday, when main camps open. I think there are two reasons: one, the Ticats just had a rookie camp at the end of April and while there will be some new faces, most first-year players have already been introduced to the team’s systems and culture. Two, this team doesn’t have a ton of rookies and getting together enough bodies for three days of on-field workouts could be tough.

From a player’s perspective, making a CFL team is hard enough without adding an extra three days of camp. Remember, first year players who get injured are in imminent danger of being released: the team has to look after their medical expenses but otherwise owes them nothing. And they’ll want to use the roster spot. So not having to get through mini-camp makes it just a tiny bit easier.

As he has in the previous seasons, head coach Kent Austin is trying to find a balance between getting the work in and protecting his players from fatigue and injury. Instead of the traditional “two-a-days” – one practice in the morning, another in the afternoon – Austin has again opted for the “power practice,” essentially two practices back-to-back with a short nutritional break in between. Modern thinking holds that having one long practice then having the remainder of the day to recover is more beneficial than splitting up the rest time. It also leaves more room for film study and meetings as players don’t need to get dressed and taped for practice twice (or get cleaned up afterward.)

There are seven power practices out of 15 days of on-field work (not including two walkthrough days and two pre-season games) and never more than two in a row. In previous years, Austin has cut some of the power practices to a single session because of the number of injuries or concerns about fatigue.

After the first round of cuts following the first pre-season game, the practices are two-and-a-half hours long, just 30 minutes longer than they are during the regular season. Again, less players and fatigue are a factor.

There are 12 practices before the first pre-season game against the Argonauts on June 11 but just three more before the match up with the Redblacks. Traditionally, we’ve seen a lot rookies in the first game and more vets in the second and given the scheduling, that’s likely to be the case again this year.

All practices are Ron Joyce Field and are open to the public. Needless to say, I’ll be there most days (OK, probably every day) and please feel free to come say hello… I’ll be the guy with grumpy Santa beard, likely staring at his phone…

SUNDAY, MAY 29
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

MONDAY, MAY 30
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TUESDAY, MAY 31
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1
Practice:
8:30 a.m.11 a.m.

THURSDAY, JUNE 2
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

FRIDAY, JUNE 3
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

SATURDAY, JUNE 4
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

MONDAY, JUNE 6
Practice:
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

TUESDAY, JUNE 7
Practice: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8
Practice: 
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

THURSDAY, JUNE 9
Practice:
9:30 a.m. to noon

FRIDAY, JUNE 10
Walkthrough:
11 a.m. at Ron Joyce Stadium.

SATURDAY, JUNE 11
4 p.m.
– Preseason Game #1 at Toronto Argonauts – BMO Field
TV: TBA | Radio: TSN Radio 1150

SUNDAY, JUNE 12
No Practice

MONDAY, JUNE 13
Practice:
9:30 a.m.to noon

TUESDAY, JUNE 14
Practice: 9:30 a.m. to noon

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15
Practice:
9:30 a.m. to noon

THURSDAY, JUNE 16
Walkthrough:
11:30 a.m. at Tim Hortons Field.

FRIDAY, JUNE 17
7:30 p.m.
– Preseason Game #2 vs. Ottawa Redblacks – Tim Hortons Field
TV: TBA | Radio: TSN Radio 1150

SATURDAY, JUNE 18
No Practice

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