5 positional groups to keep an eye on for Saturday

CFL

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They say when you finish the combine you’ll never have to run another 40-yard dash in your life. While that might be true in the traditional sense, there is no training camp in sports quite as expedient as the Canadian football League.

CFL training camps are a time to sift through rosters of players acquired over long, cold months of evolution, and arguably the place where tone is set for what could be a historic – or horrific – season. Across the CFL hope abounds as the trees pop showing off their true colours just as each of the nine teams soon will.

This Saturday is a reticular kind of preseason madness with four games to be played in a single day. The struggle in a nine team league of course is to make two preseason games for everyone line up so that equal footing can be accomplished for Week 1. What that means this week is fans can expect to have their timelines blowing up with endless highlights and CFL+ content.

Here are my five positional groups to keep an eye on for a Super Saturday of preseason action.

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FIND YOUR PASSION

ARGOS QUARTERBACKS

With no shortage of discussion around the most intriguing positional group this preseason, the Argos will finally get a chance to take the field and answer some questions about their preseason plans. The great part about preseason games is there is no more coach speak or hiding behind cliches. You simply watch the games, read between the lines and get some facts to digest and move forward with.

The Argos have a Grey Cup ready roster, but at the games most important position how they start their first on-field test should be quite an education on big picture outlook for the season.

GAME TWO LINEBACKERS

Edmonton has the top overall pick in Joel Dublanko with a host of other interesting pieces looking to find their fit in green and gold. Meanwhile the Riders started out well defensively against rivals from down the road in Winnipeg.

2024 first overall pick Joel Dublanko could see his first CFL action on Saturday for the Elks (GoElks..com)

Game two of the four match slate could be some serious teaching tape for young linebackers around the country looking to see what it takes to send a message in a CFL preseason by filling gaps and making open field tackles.

REDBLACKS RECEIVERS

With Dominique Rhymes in the fray once again in Ottawa, the REDBLACKS immediately upgraded their potential downfield passing game. Rhymes had plenty of success at Tim Horton’s Field for the BC Lions last year and will begin his REDBLACKS reunion in Hamilton with sights set on setting a clear message of intention to be the CFL’s leading receiver this year. Unless of course he doesn’t play the road preseason game as tends to happen far too often at which time you can disregard far too much of this.

Rhymes aside, there are great depth battles especially at National receiver and if the big game names don’t suit up they’ll get more than enough targets to prove their worth.

STAMPEDERS DEFENSIVE BACKS

The Stampeders are at home which should mean most of the names of note are present and accounted for. With Demerio Houston and first round pick Benjamin Labrosse in the mix I’m excited to see what a refreshed group of red and white ball hawks can do to confuse BC’s passing game, even with your typically basic preseason schemes.

LIONS TEAM-WIDE VIBES

The BC Lions feel primed to win the Grey Cup. The BC Lions are hosting the Grey Cup. The BC Lions will have to play a few dozen more games before they can make it to that Grey Cup, but this is the chance to establish yourself as a team worthy of respect.

“Marshall, it’s just preseason Week 1”. I get it, but anyone who has played, covered or just watched football for long enough knows that despite coaches saying it’s just about evaluation, every member of every team in action on Saturday will leave their respective stadiums either feeling buoyant and excited for what’s ahead thanks to their preseason success, or concerned about how the journey started.

BC is on the road in Calgary, but they know it’s time to turn the page of post-season loses in Winnipeg and find a way to break through. That starts Saturday.

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