Chamblin happy to be on-field and coaching
One of the key additions to the Argonauts staff during the offseason was defensive coordinator Corey Chamblin, who arrives in Toronto with nine years of CFL experience as a coordinator, positional coach and, most recently, a head coach in Saskatchewan from 2013-15. Getting back on the field for the first time since 2015 and now his first time with the Argonauts, was a good feeling for the experienced coach.
“It feels great to be in Double Blue. There’s a lot of rich history with the team,” exclaimed Chamblin. “I have always admired the city and the team. I’m excited to be here with the coaching staff and the players that we have.”
Over the last two days, the 39-year old has had the opportunity to get to know the defensive staff and players better while implementing his proven defensive scheme and teaching its intricacies. With an understanding that mini camp is just the initial stage in the implementation of his defensive blueprint, Chamblin stressed the importance of being assignment sound and working on the fundamentals.
“Right now for us it’s just making sure that we’re disciplined [in] where our eyes, hands and feet go, and learning how to finish,” said Chamblin. “Those are the things that the coaches have talked about, our ball security and our finishing, so we’ve just reiterated that.”
After just the second day of meetings and on-field work, Chamblin left Tuesday’s session pleased with how his group responded to his teaching.
“The energy has been great. They are professional players,” commented Chamblin. “We have some young players that are bringing that professionalism and I’m really pleased with the way that they are handling and understanding things.”
Lemon prepared to be a leader on defence
After being traded to the Toronto Argonauts last July, 2016 East Division All-Star and East Division sack leader Shawn Lemon decided to call Toronto home for the 2016 offseason. The Akron product spent the offseason training in Toronto and taking part in community initiatives with the club, but on Tuesday he was beyond excited to get back to work in preparation for the season ahead.
“[I’m] even more excited now that we are able to get things started than before,” said Lemon. “We came out and did some good work today with Coach Kerry Locklin. What he brings to the table for us up front has definitely helped us out a lot so far.”
Entering his seventh CFL season in 2017, Lemon has taken the veterans approach of being a player’s coach by taking a new group of defensive lineman under his wing to teach them the nuances of the Canadian game.
“I’ve just taken them under my wing as far as letting them know that it’s a different game than the states and what to get familiar with,” explained Lemon. “Just getting the familiar with CFL football.”
From a personal standpoint, Lemon has taken full advantage of the team’s mini camp to not only get himself re-acclimated with field work but also being in the classroom, especially with a new staff and fresh faces in the locker room.
“It’s been good to just get adjusted with our new coaching staff,” mentioned Lemon. “Getting familiar with the playbook and learning some of the terminology and meeting some of my new teammates as well.”
Venable instantly comfortable with new team
Argonauts linebacker Winston Venable, acquired by the club via free agency in February, arrived in Toronto after spending the last four seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. Ecstatic to be in Double Blue in 2017, Venable is excited about his reunion with familiar faces from Montreal as it’s provided comfort through in his transition.
“It feels really good meeting new teammates and some of my former teammates that are here now,“ expressed Venable. “Just having them around creates a little more comfortability. With Coach Trestman and Jim Popp here too, it’s a good feeling.”
Although the Boise State product has found instant comfort in his initial days with the Boatmen, he knows there is still a lot of learning to do personally and as a team.
“I’m really just trying to learn myself at this point; trying to find my place and learn,” Venable said of himself. “I’m starting to learn a little bit about how coach Chamblin works.”
Mini camp is “a base understanding of what things are going to look like going into training camp,” he continued. “I think more than anything just building that chemistry with your teammates as teams with the best chemistry end up being championship teams.”
Argos 2017 Mini-Camp Practice & Media Schedule:
THURSDAY, APRIL 27
Practice: 9:30 a.m. to 11:45am
Media Availability: 11:55 a.m. (approximately) Head Coach Marc Trestman and/or GM Jim Popp, and select players will be available to the media following practice.