Canadians Tackle Mini Camp

Canadians Tackle Mini Camp

Canadians making news for their performances in NFL camps include Cory Greenwood, Luke Willson, Stefan Charles and Christo Bilukidi.

In total 17 Canadians are participating in NFL mini camps this week.

Detroit News reporter Chris Mccosky reports that Kingston Ontario’s Cory Greenwood has lots of competition for one of the Lions six linebacker spots:

“Here’s what he’s facing, as the Lions commence their three-day mandatory minicamp today. The Lions typically keep six linebackers, and barring some unforeseen occurrence, five of the spots are taken with Tulloch, DeAndre Levy, Ashlee Palmer, Tahir Whitehead and Travis Lewis.

The Lions also drafted an outside linebacker and special teams player in the seventh round, Brandon Hepburn. In the mix, too, are Carmen Messina, who spent last season on the practice squad, and undrafted rookies Alex Elkins and Jon Morgan.

Greenwood is 27 and physically well ahead of Hepburn, Messina and the two rookies. He signed a four-year extension worth $2.75 million, with a $25,000 signing bonus, with the Chiefs three months before he was released.

Those numbers remain on the Lions’ books, which could work against him. If Greenwood doesn’t win the sixth spot cleanly, the tiebreaker could go to the least expensive player.”

Titans insider John Glennon ( reports that former CIS Regina Ram Stefan Charles is adjusting to NFL line of scrimmage rules (where there is no one yard gap between the O and D lines):

What have NFL OTAs been like for the 6-5, 302-pound Charles, after playing Canadian college football?

“The quality of the game played is better, and it’s a much higher speed, much quicker,” Charles said. “But I’ve got good coaches, so they’re helping me a lot and trying to get me better every day. It’s been a good start.”

Charles said he’s getting adjusted to seeing different offensive looks and formations than in the Canadian game, not to mention playing with different rules. In the Canadian game, defensive linemen have to be at least a yard off the line of scrimmage, where there is no such requirement in American football.

 “Obviously that’s a change for me, so it’s just getting used to new positions and technique,” Charles said. “I like (the NFL rule) better, but you have to be more cautious of your steps, you know? When you have a yard off, there’s room for error, but here you make one bad move and you’re screwed.”’s Derek Stephens reports in his mini camp notes that Ontario’s Luke Willson, selected in the 2013 draft by the Seahawks, is impressing onlookers.

Luke Willson is fast. And Luke Willson has some soft hands. Didn’t see a ton of him, but the speed does jump out at you right away, and an extended hands-catch off his frame from Russell Wilson on a slant from the outside showed nice coordination and natural ability to absorb a pretty zippy pass off his body.

Ottawa’s Christo Bilukidi is part of the Raiders attempts to improve their run defense this season.

The sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft missed most of the team’s OTA’s with an ankle injury, but figures to be back now that mandatory veterean mini-camp has begun. Bilukidi, who was born in Angola but played high school football at St. Patrick’s in Ottawa, earned a spot in Oakland’s interior defensive line rotation as a rookie last season. Bilukidi is also participating in off-field team activities. The 2nd-year pro participated in the 15th Annual Madden-Mariucci Charity Battle of the Bay Bocce Tournament at Campo di Bocce in Livermore, Calif.

Toronto`s Orlando Franklin is one of the only starters from last year`s offensive line practising this Spring. Franklin did have off-season repairs to his toe and shoulder.

Montreal`s L.P. Ladouceur continues to fend off all challengers when it comes to his long snapping job in Dallas. Ladouceur signed a five-year extension with the Cowboys in February.

Nigerian-born Canadian Israel Idonije spent time in Winnipeg running a football camp for underprivileged kids before signing a free agent contract with the Detroit Lions. Idonije immigrated to Brandon when he was four years old and later starred at the University of Manitoba.

Christo Bilukidi (back right) plays in Madden Bocce tournament