Coaching camp is a time for studying for each the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and rookie Jake Burt.
Hamilton chosen the previous Boston Faculty tight finish first general on this yr’s CFL draft intrigued by the probabilities his athleticism might convey. Head coach Orlondo Steinauer mentioned the group is seeing first-hand what the six-foot-three, 230-pound Burt is able to.
“Sure, he’s a really athletic man,” Steinauer mentioned. “If you wish to label him a Swiss Military knife, I wouldn’t say that’s not right.
“Not that we’ll use all of them straight away however we positively are conscious. He’s displaying every day that he’s able to greater than only a 1-2 factor.”
Burt turned the primary tight finish chosen first general since 1989 however he can anticipate to be utilized many various methods by Tommy Condell, Hamilton’s imaginative offensive coordinator.
There will likely be occasions when Burt traces up as a conventional tight finish or takes a step again as an H-back. However he might additionally see time at slotback or receiver to create mismatches with opposing defences.
“I can already see the nice issues we’re going to have the ability to do as an offence collectively with (Condell) on the helm,” Burt mentioned. “I’m solely excited to see what else he’s bought from what I’ve seen to this point.”
Transferring gamers round is nothing new for Condell. He’s had all-star receivers Brandon Banks and Bralon Addison line up huge, within the slot and even within the backfield typically.
Addison, who performed quarterback in highschool, has additionally taken snaps in Hamilton’s wildcat formation. And in 2019 when the Ticats’ offence scored a CFL-high 551 factors, operating again Sean Thomas-Erlington usually lined up at receiver.
“Jake involves work and no matter you give him he’s prepared to do,” Steinauer mentioned. “That’s what we noticed, that’s what we heard within the interviews and our background checks.
“Nothing has modified besides that you just get to see it stay. He’s an incredible younger man. His greatest soccer goes to be forward of him.”
Burt had 23 catches for 307 yards and two touchdowns over 36 video games at Boston Faculty. Final yr, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the New England Patriots and spent your complete season on the NFL group’s apply roster earlier than changing into a free agent.
Burt grew up in Boston and was a late entry into the CFL draft. He was born in Regina and lived there for 4 years earlier than relocating to the U.S. along with his household.
So whereas Burt has some professional soccer expertise, he’s now with a brand new group in a brand new league studying a totally completely different system and sport.
“The transition has been going fairly clean to this point,” he mentioned. “Soccer is soccer, that’s what I advised myself arising right here.
“There are positively some variations, some issues I’m studying and selecting up as I rep all of it out. I’m really having fun with among the modifications, among the nuances which are right here within the CFL sport and I really feel like I’m selecting it up fairly effectively. With each apply I’m getting in there making an attempt to get a bit bit higher each single day.”
One massive adjustment for a lot of CFL newcomers is the yard off the road of scrimmage. However for Burt, a problem has been getting used to is the limitless movement allowed in Canadian soccer.
“I’m simply studying to make use of it strategically to my benefit,” he mentioned. “I’m nonetheless getting snug in it.
“I’m not an knowledgeable but however I’m going to maintain grinding away each single day and hold getting higher at it as I’m going.”
The CFL is resuming play this yr after cancelling the 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The league will open a 14-game schedule Aug. 5 with Hamilton visiting Winnipeg in a ’19 Gray Cup rematch.
The Bombers defeated the Ticats 33-12 for his or her first Gray Cup title since 1990. Hamilton final received a CFL championship in ’99 however will host the ’21 Gray Cup in December at Tim Hortons Area.
There will likely be no exhibition video games this yr however that doesn’t actually concern Burt.
“Video games are video games, for positive,” he mentioned. “However in the event you strategy apply the precise means and deal with each apply prefer it’s a sport … you’re going to get what you need out of it.
“On the finish of the day, it’s soccer. I’ve been a transfer tight finish earlier than, I’ve performed sort of everywhere so I don’t really feel out of my consolation zone. I’m simply taking this as a studying expertise and studying as a lot as I can from these guys and making use of it to what I do know and my tips of the commerce and that may solely assist me get higher as a participant.”
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