For those of us who enjoy all brands of football, Wednesday was a big day.
The NFL season ended in February. Since then, we've been waiting for the first look at the Toronto Argonauts at minicamp to get our football fix and on Wednesday, we got our chance.
Tuesday's heavy rain moved practice from Erindale to Thomas Aquinas Secondary School in Oakville. Rookies and QBs reported, though there were some familiar faces among the so-called newcomers. DB Jalil Carter, who started at corner in last year's Grey Cup win, joined DL Donte Paige-Moss and WR Quincy Hurst as returnees who were eligible to practice due to their limited game action a year ago.
There were five QBs in red shirts on Wednesday. Veterans Ricky Ray, Trevor Harris and Zach Collaros were joined by newcomer Mitchell Gale and Burlington native Will Finch from Western -- this year's CIS QB. Finch went to the Ticats camp last year, giving him two pro camps before his 20th birthday.
Most eyes were trained on a couple of wide receivers, with NFL lineage who were both top ten picks in their draft year. Mike Williams was the tenth pick of the Detroit Lions in 2005, Reggie Williams was the ninth pick in the draft the year before, going to Jacksonville. Both have height (Reggie is 6'4, Mike is an inch taller) and good hands, and they each look to be in good shape. It appeared, at one point, that Mike Williams may have tweaked something in his leg after being pressed in a drill. After taking a knee for a bit of a break, he finished the practice without missing a snap. If one or both Williams' make the club, it will add much needed size to the receiving corps.
There were no contact drills at all on Day One.
One way that a rookie can catch the eye of the coaching staff is by standing out on special teams. Perhaps the most interesting thing on the first day of any CFL camp is watching the American rookies try to get used to the no yards rule. Special Teams Coordinator Mike O'Shea ran some drills on Wednesday and it was evident not every player read the rule book before heading north.
Thursday it's back to Erindale for a 2:15pm ET practice.