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Blue Bomber’s 2021 Training Camp Offensive Preview

Training camps have opened across the CFL and its time to see how the Blue Bombers stack up on offense.

  • * Denotes American player
  • ** Denotes Global player

Offensive Line

The Bomber’s offensive line has been top in the CFL for a few seasons now and it goes into the 2021 campaign unchanged for the most part. The core group was a huge part of the 2019 Grey Cup win. This group can dominate both the run and passing game.

Starters:

Stanley Bryant (LT)*: The 6’5, 306lbs East Carolina product is heading into his 11th CFL season. Bryant has been apart of the Blue Bomber’s roster since 2015. Bryant is a five-time CFL All-Star and has not missed a single start since joining the club.

Drew Desjarlais (LG): The 4th overall pick in the 2019 CFL Draft is going into his second season. The 6’2, 313lbs guard played four season at the University of Windsor. He played 18 games in the 2019 season including all three playoff games.

Michael Couture (C): The Simon Fraser product played 36 games in University before being drafted by the Blue Bombers in 2016. The 6’4, 303lbs Centre has dress for every game since joining the club. Couture became the starting C in 2019 and should be a vital part of the O-line going into 2021

Pat Neufeld (RG): After spending four years at the University of Saskatewhan, Neufeld was drafted in 2010 by the Roughriders. He was then traded to the Blue Bombers in 2013 and has been here ever since. The 6’6, 313lbs guard is going into his 9th CFL season and will add more veteran leadership in the offence.

Jermarcus Hardrick (RT)*: Around Winnipeg Hardrick is better known as “Yoshi” and is the founder of the iconic Hardrick Hop that has become the go to celebration at IG Field. Hardrick spent two season at Nebraska before heading North in 2014. He joined the Blue Bombers in 2016 and the the 6’5 313lbs RT will look to help Harris go for a fourth straight rushing title.

In The Mix:

Kevin Lawrence (LT)* : The 23-year-old Rhode Island product had a 23 games in his Junior and Senior year. Standing 6’4 and 310lbs, this young player has an uphill battle to crack this lineup

Tyler Johnson(LT)*: He play at Tulane University and played four seasons before moving to the University of Louisiana-Monroe. He played in 31 games at the college level and is making his pro-debut this season.

Terry Poole (LT)*: After being drafter by the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, he spent some time with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans. He also had brief stints with the San Diego Fleet (AAF) and Houston Roughnecks (XFL).

Chris Kolankowski (LG): After spending 2017 and 2018 in Toronto, he signed with the Bombers this past Spring. The 6’2, York product could add more Canadian depth.

Asotui Eli (C): The Canadian born, University of Hawai’i was drafted by the team in 2019. He only dressed for 5 games and made brief appearances. Going forward could see the field more being behind Couture on the depth chart.

Geoff Gray (RG): After a brief stint in the NFL, the University of Manitoba product joined the team in 2018. He has dressed for 14 games over two seasons and started 12 games while Pat Neufeld was injured. Gray should be back up RG to the more experienced Neufeld but provides the Canadian depth at the position.

Tomoya Machino (RG)**: The University of Kyoto product stands 6’5 and 299lbs. As a Global player could find his way on the roster but still needs to prove he fits into this squad.

Nolan Ulizio (RT)*: He spent four season at Michigan and played in 17 games but was a starter in only in 5 of them. In his senior year, he went to the University of Pittsburgh where he started all 13 games.

Dino Boyd (RT)*: He spent time at both Rhode Island and Cincinnati during his college playing days. He had brief NFL stints with the Chiefs and the Jets before signing in Winnipeg just before camp.

Quarterbacks

There won’t be any questions about who the starter will be. Collaros earned the sport back in 2019 with his 4-0 record. The question will be who is holding the clipboard this summer. McGuire seems to have the back-up spot for now but a hungry Sneed or Brown could easily take the job.

Starter:

Zach Collaros*: The University of Cincinnati product entered the CFL in 2012 with the Toronto Argonauts. He spent time with Hamilton and Saskatchewan as well before being traded to the Blue Bombers in October of 2019. He went 4-0 as a starter for Winnipeg and lead the Bombers to their first Grey Cup in 29 years.

In The Mix:

Sean McGuire*: During his time at University of Western Illinois he had 72 passing touchdowns and 9,819 passing yards which mae him the school’s all-time passing-leader. He join the Blue Bombers in 2019 and was the 3rd string QB. With (Strev) in the NFL, its McGuire’s time to move up the chart.

Dalton Sneed*: Played two seasons at Montana and he threw for 6,159 passing yards. He also threw 47 touchdown passes. He enters camp fighting for the 3rd string spot.

Dru Brown*: In 2019 he played 7 games at Oklahoma State University and threw for 810 yards. He also had 7 touchdowns with 1 interception. He too fights for the 3rd string spot.

Running Backs

Starters:

Same as quarterback, it isn’t a great mystery who will get the starter job in the back field. The only questions that comes to mind does Harris have the ability to still get 30 plus touches a game? Augustine, Oliveira and Borsa all have the chance to get some series touches this summer.

Andrew Harris (HB): The reigning Grey Cup Most Outstanding Canadian and Player will be in the backfield to start 2021 if he stays healthy. Harris has lead the league in rushing for 3 straight seasons and could easily go for four with the offensive line he has in front of him. In 2019 Harris rushed for 1380 yards and got 529 receiving yards. Harris rushed for 134 yards in the 2019 Grey Cup and got two touchdowns. One was on the ground and one was through the air.

Mike Miller (FB): Miller is more of a ST guy but will occasionally join the offence. He has 1 rush for 10 yards in 2019 regular season and had 1 rush for 6 yards in the West Finals against Saskatchewan.

In The Mix:

Johnny Augustine (HB): Has played two seasons from the Blue Bombers and has 45 carries for 293 yards. The University of Guelph product also had 7 receptions for 93 yards. Augustine is fighting for the backup RB position.

Brady Oliveira (HB): Has yet to get any game stats in his one season and only dressed for 2 games in 2019. At the University of North Dakota he played 42 games. While there he recorded 2,822 rushing yards and picked up 22 touchdowns.

Kyle Borsa (HB): The Blue Bombers drafted Borsa in the 5th round of the 2021 CFL draft. The former Regina Ram picked up the back posted 2,195 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns. He too fights for the backup RB position but most likely it would go to Augustine or Oliveira if they stay healthy.

Devonte Williams (HB)*: Williams rushed for 892 yards during the 2018 and 2019 seasons at Southeastern Louisiana. He also was a dual threat as he picked up 720 receiving yards and also spent some time as a returner. The only American RB in camp right now bit could be used in the return game.

Receivers

One of the Blue Bombers strengths is having extra Canadian talent on the offensive. Not only Harris in the back field but they have two Canadian starters in the receiving core as well in Demski and Wolitarky. The addition of Cam Meredith gives more American depth as well behind Adams, Lawler and Bailey.

Starters:

Darvin Adams (WR)*: Adams is going into his 8th CFL season and 6th with the Blue Bombers. He has 4487 career receiving yards and 36 touchdowns. He has been used as the deep threat in the past and with Collaros behind center that would certainly continue to be the case.

Rasheed Bailey (SB)*: 2019 was his only season in the CFL so fair and he played in 5 games. He caught 19 passes for 206 yards and never made it into the end zone. He showed signs of speed and would be a perfect fit in the Slot position and given the waggle.

Nic Demski (SB): Demski is going into his 6th CFL season and 3rd with the Blue Bombers. After spending 3 season with the Roughriders, the Manitoba grown talent came home. He has 1822 career receiving yards and 9 receiving touchdowns. He has been used in the run game as well and could be a dangerous weapon for OC Buck Pierce.

Kenny Lawler (SB)*: Lawler played 16 regular season games in 2019 and was the Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Rookie. He had 637 receiving yard and caught 6 touchdown passes. His best game was on September 29th against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats where he went 10 for 10 with 144 yards.

Drew Wolitarsky (WR): The Blue Bombers selected Wolitarsky in the 2017 in the CFL supplemental draft. Born in Santa Clara, California, Wolitarsky was given National status due to his mother’s nationality being Canadian. He has since spent 3 seasons in Winnipeg and has 1026 receiving yards. He has 9 receiving touchdowns. Two of which he got in the first game of 2019 against the B.C. Lions.

In The Mix

Cameron Meredith (WR) *: Meredith comes to camp with some NFL experience. He played 25 games for the Chicago Bears and 6 for the New Orleans Saints. Meredith had some injury problems that kept him out of the lineup but when he was on the field, he put up solid numbers. Over his 3 NFL seasons he had 1,122 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns.

Mekale Mckay (WR)*: He has bounced around from several NFL practice rosters and played for the San Antonio Commanders of the AAF. Most recently he played with the New York Guardians of the XFL where he had 12 catches for 184 in 5 games.

Deontez Alexander (SB)*: Alexander had two brief stints with the Detroit Lions in 2018 and 2019. He attend the Division III school, Franklin College. He played 21 games and recorded over 2,100 receiving yards and hit the end zone 33 times.

Charles Nelson (SB)*: Nelson has played in 5 games over the last two seasons with the Bombers. He made 4 receptions for 39 yards. He has mostly been used in the return game where he had 23 punt returns for 238 yards and 15 kickoff returns for 325 yards.

Carlton Agudosi (WR): Agudosi played 45 games at Rutgers where he picked up 513 yards and 2 touchdowns. He spent some time with the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles

Defensive preview will be out shortly.

I cover the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for CFL News Hub and Manitoba Harness Racing for USHWA Canada.

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