The Ticats released a kicker on Saturday, giving Craig Peterson his walking papers.
Peterson was one of eight kickers the team brought to mini-camp in April and among the trio that started main camp. With his release, just Sergio Castillo and Andrew Hawkins remain… at least for now. The Ticats may wait to see how how next week goes, including the first pre-season game, before making any more moves in the kicking game.
“It’s more one-on-one now and we can get set up more competitive scenarios where each guy is in and out, one after the other,” head coach Kent Austin said after Saturday’s practice. “Really it’s going to come down to how they perform in the game.”
Austin said there have been discussions with former Ticats kicker Brett Maher but it doesn’t sound like that’s a solution.
“There have been. He’s waiting,” Austin said. “We’d be willing to talk to Brett, for sure. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
I asked Austin to clarify whether that meant it wasn’t going to happen soon or at all.
“I said ‘I don’t think that’s going to happen.’”
Both Castillo and Hawkins had an excellent punting session on Saturday but struggled, to varying degrees, on field goals. Castillo went 8-for-11 (72.7 per cent) with misses from 40, 46 and 49 (he did make a 53-yarder, however.) Hawkins went 5-for-11 (45.4 per cent) with misses from 40, 40,42, 43, 49, and 53.
• On the injury front, it’s the secondary that seems the most impacted early in camp. Starting halfback Abdul Kanneh and safety Courtney Stephen missed practice while Emanuel Davis has been put on the suspended list, an indication that he could be out for a bit. Fellow defensive backs Keon Lyn, Chris Davis and Ethan Davis are also sitting out. Other notables on the sidelines: receivers Junior Collins and Jalen Saunders and Canadian linebacker Nick Shortill. Another national defender, Mitch Barnett, went down in one of the team sessions with what looks to be a knee injury.
• The team released receiver Gavin Lutman, who was also injured last week.
• added to the roster were offensive lineman Kona Schwenke, and defensive backs Mariel Cooper and Solomon St. Pierre.
Schwenke is a tackle, a spot where the Ticats are looking for a starter on the right side and a back up (at least.) He bounced around the practice roster of four NFL teams before tearing his ACL in a pre-season game with the Seahawks in August of 2015. He was a defensive tackle at Notre Dame before being converted to the offensive line.
Cooper, 24, spent time with the NFL’s Washington Redskins in 2016 after playing for the Citadel and South Carolina State in college.
Solomon St. Pierre attended NFL mini-camps with the Minnesota Vikings and San Diego Chargers in 2016. The 5-11, 178-pound native of Wagner, San Diego, played four seasons with the University of Sioux Falls. St. Pierre posted 518 total kick/punt return yards which ranks first all-time at USF and is one of the league and nation’s top career totals.