Popp Impressed with Talent
Over the last three days, Argos GM Jim Popp got his first opportunity to evaluate the prospective talent currently on the Argonauts roster. Popp, who was hired by club on February 28, has spent the last month and a half getting familiar with the personnel that he has at hand.
“I’ve seen a group of men that seem to get along well, they are buying into what we are trying to teach. Coach Trestman has a great message for them and I’m feeling good about it.”
Having over 25 years of experience as a general manager and multiple titles under his belt, Popp understands that building a championship caliber team is an on-going process.
“The guys that can handle it all and transition it to the field, are the ones that are going to make it,” he said.
Working closely with his Football Operations and coaching staff to address the needs of the team, Popp was left satisfied with the progress that he saw from players over the last three days. However, he did note that the process of talent acquisition will be ongoing.
“[Mini-camp] gives us an idea of what we have and where we need to fill some holes,” explained Popp. “We have a good idea of that without even looking at players out here, but this [mini-camp] answers some questions where maybe we have a chance to change the ratio. This will be a process between now, the draft, rookie camp, training camp and even maybe into the season.”
Newcomers Wilder Jr. & Brooks Get Their Feet Wet
Newcomers RB James Wilder Jr. and DB Cariel Brooks were happy to get the opportunity to play football again over the last three days. Both previously spent time in the NFL over the last two seasons before being added by the Argonauts this offseason.
“I loved it. It was a great first experience to compete and meet everybody,” said Wilder Jr. “I think Coach Trestman really wanted us together to build that bond and brotherhood on offence, defence and special teams."
Following Thursday’s session both left IMG Academy with the feeling that progress had been made. Understanding that the Canadian game is new to them and that there will be a strict learning curve come next month's training camp, both agreed that mini-camp was a step in the right direction for them individually.
“I came in and the game was new to me but my coach [Tyron Brackenridge] taught me a lot of techniques and the rules of the game,” said Brooks. “This week was really a learning process for me.”
Above all, Wilder, who was cut by the Buffalo Bills last September, was grateful for an opportunity to make a return to the field this past week.
“It means a lot. I haven’t played football since September,” said Wilder. "Being able to have Toronto bring me in and being able to get back and on the field with this great group of guys is everything.”