The Ticats took to the field for their first official practice of the regular season on Wednesday – it was a nice day for it – and here are some things worth knowing:
1. Head coach Kent Austin confirmed that offensive coordinator Stefan Ptaszek will call the plays this season. It’s not unusual for the OC to be the play-caller, obviously, but Austin handled it last season after Ptaszek joined the Ticats staff so late. I wrote about Ptaszek’s evolution during mini-camp and this is the next logical step. It will also allow Austin to focus on the other elements of his head coach duties – replays, challenges, timeouts, gambles and so on.
2. Defensive back Abdul Kanneh missed practice and Austin reiterated he’s “doubtful” for Sunday’s game and fellow veteran Emanuel Davis has already been ruled out. The secondary featured first-year players Richard Leonard, Justin Rogers, Keon Lyn and Will Hill as well as Chris Davis (who started four games last year) Demond Washington (who tore a knee ligament in training camp last season) and Courtney Stephen. Davis and Stephen started in the East Semi-Final last year but the others are new.
3. Speaking of the secondary, the Ticats have signed former Argos defensive back Aaron Berry to the practice roster. Berry, 28, appeared in 13 games with 12 starts for the Toronto Argonauts in 2016, registering 38 defensive tackles and one special teams tackle. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder played 20 games for the Detroit Lions (2010-11), New York Jets (2012) and Cleveland Browns (2014), registering 37 combined tackles, 12 passes defended and one interception.
4. Canadian defensive tackle Mike Atkinson was back at practice after missing the last week or so of training camp, giving the Ticats the option of starting two Canadian defensive tackles (along with Ted Laurent) if they want to.
5. Canadian defensive back Craig Butler did not practice and I’ll be very surprised if he plays Sunday.
6. Quarterback Zach Collaros is interested in trying his namesake sandwich, the “Zach Collaros Peameal Bacon Stacker” on offer from Hamilton food truck Dora’s Express after seeing reference to it on Twitter.
“I love peameal bacon – I’d never it tried before I came to Canada,” Collaros said. “So this is definitely something I would eat.”
— Steve Clark (@SteveClarkMedia) June 21, 2017