Jerome Dennis will remembered for helping the Lions climb out of their 0-5 hole when signed as a free agent last year. It didn’t help him much this year though. Dennis was released Tuesday.
The near absence of almost every player at lunch in Kamloops meant only one thing Tuesday – the rookies had found someplace else to dine and the veterans with homes in the Lower Mainland had begun roaring down the Coquihalla.
If the same pace is established at B.C. Place Stadium Wednesday the first pre-season game against Saskatchewan will be worth watching.
Veteran Jerome Dennis headed home too only he wont be coming back as the club released him Wednesday. Rookies Nic Grigsby and sophomore practice roster lineman Teryl White were escorted off the premises first thing in the morning.
And while there have been a relatively high number of cuts, given the fact the Lions haven’t yet played an exhibition game, the pace of camp has slowed considerably, and you can consider it coincidental or not the start of the slowdown came when Jon Hameister-Ries became the third OL in a week to go down with a knee injury.
Mike Benevides pulled back on practice Tuesday, as might be expected before a game, with a walkthrough in the morning. But throw in the Fanfest outing Sunday and there’s really only been one solid practice since Friday. Keep it in mind as the season starts, and when it is near completion too.
Dennis’ release is likely good news for rookies like Josh Bell, Troy Butler and Sam Pope, who are battling to stick, with Bell currently holding the upper hand.
White was in tough with the absurd amount of defensive line depth. Grigsby’s deletion was a surprise in that like Darnell Jenkins, he never got a chance. Jenkins, by the way, quickly found work with the Lions’ unofficial Arena League affiliate, the Spokane Shock. Spokane GM Ryan Rigmaiden, who has struck up a kinship with Lions’ personnel coordinator Neil McEvoy, was in Kamloops last week and acted quickly.
It won’t be a long visit for the Lions. Rookies and other first-year players are on a bus from Kamloops Wednesday morning and turn around right after the game, with a meeting on Thursday, and Benevides says more cuts are in store, which suggests the game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders only will serve as a point of validation. There’s more on the pre-season opener in Wednesday’s paper.