The Ticats made their first round of cuts this morning and there were a couple of mild surprises among them.
Running back Michael Ford played six games last season with Hamilton while defensive tackle Zach Anderson was a free agent pick up after playing 40 games in three seasons with Winnipeg, including 29 starts.
But the Ticats need versatility from their running backs, the ability to run the ball, catch passes out of the backfield and protect the quarterback. Ford isn’t as polished a receiver as some of the other backs in camp and both Ross Schuerman and Da’Rel Scott have looked good behind C.J. Gable, who will be the starter if he can stay healthy.
Defensive end Antonio Coleman has been trying to battle back from a knee injury suffered last season but the Ticats may look to keep Delano Johnson or Terry Redden as the back up to starters John Chick and Adrian Tracy because they can both play inside as well as outside.
Patrick Robertson is first casualty in a deep receiver group and offensive lineman Brandon Washington was the fifth American offensive tackle on the depth chart while the Ticats are unlikely to keep more than three.
I’ve got the Ticats at 71 players not including non-counters (such as draft picks) and the team needs to be down to 65 by midnight tonight. There are some injuries, however, and that could impact the roster math.
Speaking of injuries, quarterback Jeff Mathews is back at practice today but there’s no sign of Jacory Harris.
There is no sign of Canadian receiver Andy Fantuz at practice today while centre Mike Filer and defensive tackle Ted Laurent are also still out (Filer is on the field but not doing team work.) Defensive back Demond Washington, hurt in Tuesday’s practice, is on crutches with a knee brace.
Another defensive back, Cleshawn Page, is also still out, as is defensive lineman Delano Johnson.
With all those defensive backs down, Quinton Pointer was taking reps at the boundary corner with the first team with Chris Davis on the field side with the first team.
On the plus side, kicker Cody Mandell is back.