Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Final exams for would be CFLers

The first week of pre-season games is in the books, the results of no particular consequence in the larger picture that of evaluating talent and assessing which player fills what need.

For a good number of would be CFL players this year, last week was most likely their last chance to impress the coaches,  the second week of the pre season schedule, which starts tonight, is more of a tune up session for the regular roster players, secure in their place on the teams of the league.

One or two players on the bubble may get a final chance to sway the judges, hopeful that they show something that places them on the regular season roster, or at least a shot for placement on the practice roster, for some however, their time in camp will be almost up when the final whistle blows on Friday night.

Training camps are by definition a weeding out process, hopefuls arrive in early June with lofty dreams and ambitions, but once the two a days, film sessions and pre-season games are done, many of those who chased their shot will be heading home, their football for the most part limited to what shows up on a television each week.

Last week's games featured few of the recognizable names of Canadian Football, starting QB's and Running backs stood on the sidelines to watch and evaluate, thinking back perhaps to their first camps in their professional career.

This week they will shake off some of their off season playing game rust, real time game time against an opponent from another CFL city, the games again won't be much of a barometer as to what is to come in the 2011 season, but providing a glimpse of what kind of game plan their team may offer as the season goes by.

By this time next week, the rosters will be set for 2011, the kickoff to the season arriving on June 30th,  players both returning and newly arrived with but one goal in mind, to still have a game to play on the final weekend of November.

Hoisting up the Grey Cup in Vancouver on a late fall evening, that's what makes the gruelling pace of training camp and a lengthy CFL season worth all the effort, the preparation of this past month lays the foundation for what each and every CFL coach hopes will be the road to Vancouver.

For some that road will come to an end before the Canada Day weekend kick off, for others it marks just the beginning of the journey.

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