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TD Place: Ottawa Redblacks , Are you ready for some football? Ottawa Redblacks open training camp

May 20th, 2018 | by Richard Paul
TD Place: Ottawa Redblacks , Are you ready for some football? Ottawa Redblacks open training camp
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Are you ready for some football? Ottawa Redblacks open training camp

Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli is excited to be healthy for the start of training camp. TONY CALDWELL / SUNMEDIA

It was just Day 1 of training camp for the Ottawa Redblacks, but there was already plenty of enthusiasm and optimism in the stadium at TD Place on Sunday.

Receiver Brad Sinopoli, who had off-season shoulder surgery, was flying around, doing what he does — making catches. On the other side of the ball, linebacker Kyries Hebert, 37, was buzzing around, one of the keys to a defence that hopes to step up its game in 2018.

Sinopoli said he hasn’t been thinking much about the injury, just focusing on preparation for camp and the Canadian Football League season.

“It’s always hard leading up to training camp to simulate what it’s going to be like,” said Sinopoli. “But I’ve felt great for the past month coming in here. It’s where you kind of take that turn and start doing stuff full speed and you’re catching and there are no limitations. Honestly, I wasn’t thinking about it out there today. I felt good.”

Hebert, who played for the Ottawa Renegades from 2004-05 and was signed as a free agent after six years with the Montreal Alouettes, was front and centre on Sunday.

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“Come out here and be excited,” said Hebert. “That’s been my role for probably the last decade. Leadership isn’t about chatting the guys up, it’s about leading by example — doing the extra work, making sure we’re hustling. I’m doing things like I’m trying to make the team as a rookie. The same way I worked then, I do now.”

For coach Rick Campbell, carrying over the energy the players had on Sunday is important. award_nominees

“It’s always enthusiastic on Day 1, guys are itching to get out here,” he said. “I was reminding them that it was a good day, but the key is to do that day in and day out. It was a great start, but it’s just the beginning. We can’t be a one-hit wonder on Day 1.”

RISING TO THE DEFENCE: An early observation — the defence is going out of its way at practice to punch the ball out of the hands of offensive players and if the ball hits the ground, they chase it down. It’s all part of an effort to create more turnovers during the regular season. Last season, the Redblacks turned the ball over 34 times, while creating just 22 of their own (a league worst). They were last in the CFL with just six forced fumbles, while making just 11 interceptions (second-worst).achetez-en-gros-bleu-cheerleading-uniforme-en-ligne-des-guy-cheerleader-costume-l-d18fc63fb5142ce5

Said Campbell: “Turnovers and penalties … if you finish at the top in those categories, your odds of winning are pretty good. It’s a point of emphasis for our defence to get the ball out and create turnovers. The flip side of that is our offensive guys need to make sure they hold onto the ball. We’re hoping that works on both sides — securing the ball on offence and getting it out on defence.”166837147

Hebert says it’s important that what happens in practice carries over into games.

“Every practice matters, every play matters,” he said.Cheerleader-Abuse-Bzombie-cheerleader-costume-ideas3

THE END AROUND: Receiver Dominique Rhymes has switched his No. 89 for No. 15 … Offensive lineman Nolan MacMillan was at practice, but didn’t have the shoulder pads on. His place, at right guard, was taken by Jon Gott. Alex Mateas was at centre. SirVincent Rogers participated in most of practice, but wasn’t fully active. Said Campbell: “We’ll see how it goes, but I anticipate both those guys being ready to play for the regular season. We’re just making sure we’re cautious and making sure they’re healed. All signs point to those guys being ready to go, we’ll just make sure we’re smart about it.” … Defensive back Loucheiz Purifoy was not at practice Sunday — for personal reasons. He’s expected back as early as Monday … Second-year defensive back Corey Tindal was taking some second-team reps … Receiver Chance Allen made a terrific diving catch in 1-on-1s … Monday’s practice is scheduled for 8:30-11:55 a.m.CWJTYVNZPVTOIVQ.20160516181944

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