Focus on RB

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

Returnees:

Joffrey Reynolds (fourth year), Wes Cates (second year).

Departed:

Fullback Gilles Lezi (free agent, Winnipeg).

Newcomers:

Draft picks Jon Cornish and Gerald Commissiong. Free agents Cory Hathaway (out for season), Rob Cote, Ken Simonton.

The skinny:

Although the team said every player will be challenged for his spot this season, one could safely bet a fortune Reynolds is the starter as long as he's healthy. Cates is looking faster and should be improved heading into his second season. He is also a dynamo on special teams, which further cements his roster spot.

The favourites:

New offensive co-ordinator George Cortez is committed to running the ball and has arguably the best back in the league to do that with in Reynolds. Cortez's offence used plenty of two-back sets, so the loss of veteran fullback Hathaway, a free-agent signing from Saskatchewan, is a blow. Hathaway blew out his Achilles on the third day of training camp and will miss the entire season.

The sleepers:

The Stamps were pleasantly surprised when Cornish turned down some NFL offers and came to training camp. The Kansas product, who was Calgary's first draft pick last year, is still young with plenty to learn but will fit in somewhere because he's a Canadian with enough speed and skill to be used on special teams. Two players flying under the radar are Commissiong, who was drafted the same year as Cornish, and Cote, a junior project. One of the two may need to fill Hathaway's shoes and Commissiong has the inside track because he is a bit older and more experienced.


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