As the Saskatchewan Roughriders move past its 12th day of training camp, the coaching staff is looking at ways of throwing different challenges at its players to be best prepared for the season.
On Friday, that challenge came in the form of a rainfall, the first one of this year’s camp.
“We scheduled the pool, but it was actually kind of crazy how the weather was,” head coach Chris Jones said after a wet and cold practice.
“I kept looking at the weather radar and it gave us just a little sliver of clearer weather for a little bit longer. We got in some good work today.”
If anything, the potential for rain helped the coaching staff as they demanded a faster tempo and rotated drills to get out of the rain in good time.
It gave Jones another perspective to evaluate his players, especially when coaches keep a running score between the offence and defence.
“First time we’ve had rain, some errant throws because of the rain, but it’s the first day we’ve won offensively in about three or four days,” Jones said.
“It’s good to be able to do that with it raining.”
It also serves as good practice for situations you can’t duplicate.
“Now we’ve done it, regardless if it’s in season or preseason, we’ve been through it,” Jones said. “It’s an opportunity for us to go out and have to execute under the conditions.”
Zach Collaros didn’t show any signs of struggle during his time on the field Friday, at least not physically.
“It’s the 12th day of camp, you wake up, it’s cold outside, it’s raining. Mentally, you have to test yourself and be ready to go,” he said.
Moving past his second week of camp with no time under centre in the team’s first game, Collaros is feeling more at home with each passing day.
“Anytime there’s any kind of continuity, you build chemistry,” he said of his comfort level going into the weekend.
“As a quarterback, just being in the playbook and seeing the same concepts over and over, it helps all of us out. I think we’ve all made good strides.”
After the annual green and white scrimmage (1 p.m. at SMF Field) on Saturday, the team will head to Humboldt to visit with fans on Sunday.
Before retreating from the heavy rain into the team’s dressing room, Collaros touched on what the trip means to a newcomer to Saskatchewan like himself.
“There’s really nothing that we can do to ease their pain, but just to try and help out and put a smile on a couple kids’ faces,” Collaros said. “You can’t feel their pain, but kind of seeing what they’ve gone through, I think it puts things into perspective and makes you remember what’s important in your life.”
It seems like Josiah St. John’s injury problems are going to once again prevent him from practicing with his teammates. A day after falling to the ground in pain during his first participation of training camp, the saga of the Roughriders beleaguered 2016 first overall draft pick continued Friday. Jones said, “I wouldn’t expect St. John back for a while” when asked about his timeline for a return.
Chad Owens went down awkwardly in practice attempting to bring in a deep throw. He stayed down for a few minutes before walking away under his own power. There was no update on his condition after practice.
The annual green and white scrimmage takes place at SMF Field on Saturday. Be sure to get there well ahead of the 3 p.m. start time. Pre-game festivities begin at 1 p.m.
The Roughriders will be in Humboldt for a walk through starting at noon. Fans will get a chance to visit with their favourite players during a barbecue afterwards.