5 Quick Hits from Wednesday — Day 2 of the Blue Bombers practice week leading up to Saturday’s date with the Argos at BMO Field in Toronto:
1. LOOKING OUT FOR #1: Another day of practice, another day of veteran receiver Darvin Adams working with the starting offence and flashing his familiar skills.
Whether Adams is in the lineup won’t be officially confirmed until the depth chart is unveiled on Friday, but his potential return could mean a boost to the offence. Here’s Bombers offensive coordinator Buck Pierce when asked what Adams brings to the offence:
“Obvious things. His ability to run routes, just having him on the field and the leadership aspect of it. We talk a lot about communication and for a guy to have been around the building as long as he has, and been around myself as long as he has we have a good relationship and good communication. There doesn’t have to be a lot of words exchanged for us to understand what we want done and that’s very valuable at this level.
“We’ll see where he’s at, but it’s just exciting to have him back out there in a jersey running around.”
Added Zach Collaros: “Darvin just brings a certain calmness to the huddle, to the group, just like Andrew (Harris) would. He’s a veteran. He’s seen every single (defensive) look in this league. He knows how to win versus man, knows when to properly get into a zone and the timing of certain concepts. He’s definitely an easy guy to work with, but I think it’s his presence is what is missing when he’s not out there.”
2. HARRIS WATCH: We Tweeted this out during practice, but it obviously bears repeating: Andrew Harris was the busiest he’s been this season during Wednesday’s session — a clear indication he is getting closer to a return.
Andrew Harris getting a lot of work today vs the starting @Wpg_BlueBombers D. Still Brady Oliveira with the 1s, but this is the heaviest workload Harris has had in a long time
— Ed Tait (@EdTaitWFC) August 18, 2021
Harris, who was injured early in training camp, still wasn’t working with the starting offence on Wednesday, but is workload could continue to jump. Thursday’s practice, for the record, is closed to the media.
“I enjoyed watching him,” said Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea of Harris’ increased workload. “I’m sure the entire team enjoyed watching him out there.”
3. FOLLOW THE LEADER(S): The Bombers have got some superb work from their defence through the first two weeks and the new faces in the secondary — Deatrick Nichols, DeAundre Alford and Josh Miller — have been quick studies.
“Very impressed with them,” said Bombers defensive back coach Jordan Younger of the new troops. “We have good veteran leadership in the group coming from guys like Brandon Alexander and Nick Taylor. They set the tone for the group, give the guys the standard, and they’ve bought in. They do the work on the field, they do the work off the field. They do the film study together and they spend a lot of time with each other as a unit just trying to go over all the situations. Fortunately through the first two games, it shows.”
4. ARBUCKLE FOR THE ARGOS: Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie announced Wednesday that Nick Arbuckle will start this week for the Argos. McLeod Bethel-Thompson started the first two games, but was replaced in last week’s loss to the Bombers.
Here’s Younger on what Arbuckle brings to the Argos:
“His understanding of what Ryan Dinwiddie’s system (they worked together in Calgary), the plays he wants to run, the timing and all that. He gets rid of the ball very quickly, very efficient at quarterback. That tells me he reads coverages very well and it speaks to his football IQ and his football intelligence as far as understanding the way defences move.
“So, when you line up against a guy like that you have to be really sharp and because he gets the ball out so quickly you have to tackle well.”
5. BACK TO BACK: The Bombers will complete their first ‘doubleheader’ of the season this Saturday in Toronto. That will be followed by back-to-backs with Saskatchewan, Edmonton and B.C.
“It’s definitely different than a normal year,” said Collaros. “It feels like every team we play back to back this year. I’m not sure if every other team in the league has a similar schedule, but ours certainly feels that way.
“You gain some familiarity with personnel on the other side and you’re looking across at the same people, so you there’s a bit of an advantage there – not just for us, but for them as well. We kinda have a feel for what they were trying to do in Game 1 and now we’ll make our adjustments, they’ll make their adjustments and we’ll see how it all plays out.”
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