McNuggets: Lanier draws attention at Riders training camp

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Anthony Lanier II stands out with his words and deeds at Riders training camp.

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SASKATOON – Murray’s thoughts, whispers and monster on day seven of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ main training camp at Griffiths Stadium, University of Saskatchewan:

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Murray’s Monster

Defensive tackle Anthony Lanier II caused quite a stir at Riders training camp.

During Wednesday’s practice, he could be heard chirping the offensive linemen while playfully challenging them to block him. He also challenged offensive linemen to create holes for running backs during an offensive versus defensive segment.

There’s more to Lanier’s game than noise. The 6-foot-6, 285-pounder can fill gaps, making it difficult for running backs to break through.

Lanier dressed for 10 games in 2021, recording 13 defensive tackles and a sack. This experience allowed him to stand out.

Gray Cup Ring

Shaq Cooper has had the entire 2021 season.

The American running back and returner started last season with the BC Lions before being released Oct. 14. Six days later, he signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who would go on to win the 2021 Gray Cup game.

Cooper dressed for two late season regular season games for Winnipeg. He didn’t dress for Winnipeg’s 33-25 overtime win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Gray Cup game. Cooper, however, still received a championship ring.

“I felt like I didn’t really deserve the ring,” Cooper said. “I always feel by practicing and doing what I had to do that God blessed me with a ring.”

Cooper is one of five Riders running backs vying to replace William Powell, who signed with the Ottawa Redblacks as a free agent. Holder Jamal Morrow appears to have the inside lane based on his experience, but Cooper isn’t conceding the position.

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“There’s a lot of competition and we’re all fighting for a spot,” Cooper said.

Digit damaged

Duke Williams left the practice field at the start of Wednesday’s session as he dived for a reception.

The Riders receiver was picked up by the team’s coaching staff. He was then seen heading to the Riders locker room.

Riders head coach Craig Dickenson expects Williams to be fine but said they might take x-rays just to be sure.

special day

Wednesday’s practice ended early for most riders except those on the special teams.

They spent 45 minutes working on kickoff and punt coverage, as well as kickoffs and field goals.

“I didn’t think it was very sharp,” Dickenson said. “It’s always a way to get them moving and get meaningful reps.

“We will be better in special teams when we have a real position chart. Right now there’s four or five guys in every position and they’re just trying to get their way.

List movements

Samuel Wright II, who recently attended rookie mini-camp with the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, was signed by the Riders on Wednesday.

The American defensive lineman dressed for 37 games at Princeton University, recording 107 defensive tackles and 20 sacks. In 2021, he had 13 tackles for loss and 11 1/2 sacks.

The Riders also released American defensive lineman Kailon Davis.

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