Class is in session on the campus at the University of Saskatchewan. While most students are now home enjoying a summer break, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are using the classroom of Griffiths Stadium to prepare themselves for the Canadian Football League (CFL) season.
For Quarterback Trevor Harris, chemistry is something that he is working on during the next few weeks. Even though he won’t be dealing with the beakers, there are still plenty of combustible elements on the gridiron.
This past winter, Harris signed with the Roughriders, his fifth team in the CFL after stints in Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto.
Even on a new team, the quarterback will find familiar faces with the Roughriders receiving core. Jake Wieneke and Harris were teammates with the Alouettes over the last two seasons. Before the Riders QB found himself in Montreal, he was in Edmonton with Derel Walker.
After the first practice, Harris gave some praise to his receivers noting the speed of Samuel Emilus and Mitchell Picton’s ability to track a football. He added Brayden Lenius is a player with untapped potential and thinks speedster Shawn Bane Jr. is a prime candidate for a breakout season.
Everyone would prefer the chemistry to develop instantly, but Harris knows the rapport between him and the receivers will require some work.
“That’s one of those things that’s got to happen organically, we’re going to learn each other speeds, timing and routes.”
Harris does believe the bond between himself and the receivers is something that will develop quickly.
Before the quarterback throws the ball, it must be snapped in a fashionable way from the centre. Harris says Peter Godber has demonstrated a superior ability to hike the ball.
“He’s throwing softballs back there; I just catch it and not really think about it.”
Earlier this month, Harris said he and Godber spent some time building the foundation of trust and is planning to establish a solid connection between the two.
Besides maintaining a strong union with his comrades on offence, one of the tasks Harris will now have to undertake is becoming a leader for the Roughriders. The long-time veteran feels that to lead a team, he must act like himself and not someone else.
“If you’re not authentic, people see through that.”
The 36-year-old wants to deliver a mix of fun and success to the green and white.
“We’re going to have a lot of fun, we’re going to be entertaining the fans, we’re going to be great for the fans, but when we’re in between those white lines, it’s go time and our mindset is their going to see us for four quarters, but we’re going to come out swinging all year.”
Effort and entertainment could be the mixture that helps Harris and the Riders create a winning formula in 2023.