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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Saskatchewan Roughriders Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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July 6, 2015 - kicker Chris Milo released
"After four seasons and one regular season game in Saskatchewan, the Roughriders have released kicker Chris Milo. The Riders officially announced the move on Monday afternoon. The writing was on the wall after the Riders replaced the 28-year-old kicker with veteran Paul McCallum." - CBC

July 1, 2015 - kicker Paul McCallum signed
"The Riders welcomed back quarterback Tino Sunseri and kicker Paul McCallum. Head coach Corey Chamblin also announced that kicker Chris Milo has been de-activated. It’s expected that Milo will be released, traded or suspended.... McCallum is a veteran of 22 CFL seasons after originally entering the league in 1993. Through 325 career regular season games the Vancouver native has connected on 689 of 858 field goal attempts (80.3%) and a current running CFL record 792 consecutive convert attempts. He currently sits second in CFL all-time scoring with 3,022 points. Last season, the 45-year-old made 38 of 42 field goal attempts for a league high 90.5% completion rate in 18 regular season games with the BC Lions. He was named a 2014 West Division All-Star. This will be McCallum’s second tour of duty with the Green and White after previously spending 12 seasons (1994-2005) with the team where he played 172 regular season games." - Leader-Post 

June 20, 2015 - kicker Hugh O'Neill released
"The release of O’Neill apparently opens the door for the Roughriders to dress two kickers — national Chris Milo and import Ray Early. Milo will handle the placements. Early is a good bet to be the punter following a sparkling pre-season." - Leader-Post

June 15, 2015 - kicker Denton Kolodzinski released
"A former U of S Huskie was also among the first round of cuts by the Riders as they had to get under the league mandated 65 player maximum at training camp. Kicker Denton Kolodzinski, who finished his fifth season with the Huskies in 2014, also was given his release. He saw limited action during camp and only hit the field once in the 31-24 pre season loss to Edmonton, letting a 40 yard punt go." - Saskatoon

May 31, 2015 - kicker/punter Ray Early signed
"Early joins the Roughriders after four seasons at Furman University.  In 44 career collegiate games the South Carolina native connected on 43 of 50 field goal attempts and averaged 42.9 yards on 103 punts." - CTV Regina

May 11, 2015 - trade for long snapper Jorgen Hus
"Roughriders announced today that they have acquired the rights to national long snapper Jorgen Hus and a third round selection in the 2016 CFL Draft from the Edmonton Eskimos. In exchange the Riders have sent national wide receiver Cory Watson and a second round selection in the 2016 CFL Draft to the Eskimos. Hus was originally selected by the Eskimos in the fourth round (31st overall) of the 2013 CFL Draft. The Saskatoon native and University of Regina product has spent time with the NFL’s St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs over the last two seasons." - Riders

February 13, 2015 - kicker Denton Kolodzinski signed
"Kolodzinski, who recently wrapped up a five-year career with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, called Jon Ryan "a mentor" Thursday after the Saskatchewan Roughriders announced he'd signed.... Kolodzinski hit 13 of 16 field goal attempts this past season, while punting for a 40.2-yard average through eight regular-season games. He admits it was disappointing to get passed by when the CFL draft was held last spring, but now he's got a chance to compete for a pro job - and in his home province to boot." - The StarPhoenix

February 3, 2015 - kicker/punter Hugh O'Neill signed
"After weeks of speculation, Hugh O'Neill is officially a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Riders announced the signing of the former Edmonton Eskimos punter/kicker on Tuesday. O'Neill has been linked to the Riders since he was released by the Eskimos on Jan. 21. The 25-year-old O'Neill is expected to punt, handle kickoffs and back up incumbent Chris Milo on field goals. O'Neill is to replace Josh Bartel, who can file for free agency Tuesday after one season as the Riders' punter." - Leader-Post

November 10, 2014 - injured kicker Chris Milo expects to play in next game
"Milo was a man of few words Saturday, but four of them spoke volumes. 'I'll play next week,' Milo vowed after the Roughriders' 24-17 CFL victory over the Edmonton Eskimos at Mosaic Stadium. Milo sustained an injury to his left knee in the second quarter when the Eskimos' Kendial Lawrence fell in front of Milo on a kickoff return. Lawrence's helmet made contact with Milo's left knee. Milo remained on the turf for a few minutes while receiving treatment, but he returned later to try two field goals, to kick off twice and to kick one convert. On another occasion, Saskatchewan attempted a two-point convert instead of deploying Milo for a point-after. 'It was a bit sore,' Milo said when asked how the kicks after the hit affected his knee. 'When I planted, everything felt a bit weird'." - Leader-Post 

September 25, 2014 - long snapper Chad Rempel signed
"Rempel (6’2 – 230) will enter his eleventh CFL season after originally being selected in the 3rd round (35th overall) by the Edmonton Eskimos in the 2004 CFL Draft. The University of Saskatchewan product also spent time with Montreal (2004), Winnipeg (2005), Hamilton (2008) and Toronto (2006-07, 2009-13) through his first ten seasons. He was a part of Toronto’s Grey Cup winning team in 2012. The 32-year-old attended 2014 training camp with the Chicago Bears before joining the Riders as a free agent. Rempel is expected to play Friday’s game in Edmonton versus the Eskimos." - Roughriders

September 21, 2014 - Chris Milo kicks game winner over Redblacks
"Chris Milo kicked a 22-yard field goal in overtime to give the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 35-32 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks on Sunday. It was Milo’s second chance to win the game in extra time. On the Riders’ first possession, he missed a 37-yard field goal attempt. A bad snap affected the timing of the play and the kick sailed wide. Ottawa, however, couldn’t take advantage of the missed opportunity. Kicker Brett Maher had a chance to tie the game for the Redblacks with a 37-yard field goal attempt, but it was blocked and fell short." - Canada

September 18, 2014 - kicker Chris Milo
"Milo's field-goal percentage in 2014 is a far cry from the 88.5 he recorded last season, when he hit his first 28 attempts to tie Dave Ridgway's club record. Milo's goal, of course, is to recapture his previous form. 'I'm just trying to get into a rhythm again,' he said. 'We were training a new holder (Josh Bartel, since replaced by Weston Dressler) at the beginning of the year, so there was adapting to that. Now I'm adapting to a new snapper (Brian Peters, who stepped in for an injured Levi Steinhauer). 'But at the end of the day, you've just got to line up and kick the ball no matter who's holding it or who's throwing it back there.' Milo is in regular contact with kicking guru Don Sweet, who is mentoring several CFL kickers. Members of that group also look out for each other, sending along tips when they see something in one another's swing. 'It's a good brotherhood we've got going on,' Milo said with a smile. Milo has been handling all of Saskatchewan's kicking this season, but he added the punting duties after Bartel suffered a hamstring injury in the Labour Day Classic." - The StarPhoenix

September 3, 2014 - backup punters
"Receiver Brett Swain took a few turns during the CFL team's practice, hoofing the ball as the Roughriders worked on special teams. 'You always have to have emergency guys,' special teams co-ordinator Bob Dyce said. 'If you lose two kickers in a game, who's going to do it, right?' In other words, Swain won't be the first man up if punter Josh Bartel isn't ready for Sunday's game in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers. The job likely would fall to kicker Chris Milo, who did the lion's share of the punting during Wednesday's workout. Bartel appeared to injure his right hamstring during Sunday's 35-30 victory over the Bombers at Mosaic Stadium and he wasn't on the field at all Wednesday. If Milo gets the call, it won't be too much of an adjustment for him. He punts during every practice and has done it in games, even though Ricky Schmitt (in 2013) and Bartel (2014) have handled Saskatchewan's punting duties. 'It takes me back to my college days or my first year here, where I did everything coming in as a rookie,' Milo said in reference to the 2011 season, when he averaged 43.2 yards on 79 punts and connected on 84.6 per cent of his 26 field-goal attempts." - The StarPhoenix

August 18, 2014 - kicker Justin Palardy to sign?
"According to media reports Monday, the Roughriders will be adding veteran kicker Justin Palardy. The 26-year-old product of Truro, N.S., would compete with incumbent Chris Milo, who is just 15-for-21 on field-goal attempts this season." - Regina Leader-Post

August 15, 2014 - kicker Chris Milo still confident
"The [ice bucket] challenge was a break from the heat that Milo has been under - at least on Twitter - for a slow start to his season. Milo is eighth in the nine-team CFL among placekickers, hitting on 13 of 18 field goal attempts for an accuracy rate of 72.2 per cent over six games. The league accuracy mark is 83.3.... 'Right now his percentage isn't exactly where either of us would like,' said Bob Dyce, the Riders' special-teams co-ordinator. 'We will continue to strive to get better each week. If he goes on a streak like he did last year, I think a lot of people will forget how he started the season.' Milo's workload has been increased this season from 2013 because he's also handling kickoffs. Dyce doesn't think the extra work has affected Milo's accuracy rate. 'If you look at Milo's first year, for a while he was doing all three and he kicked field goals very well,' Dyce said. 'We aren't going to look for any excuses. What we do is look to correct what was challenged and I'm sure we'll do that. I'm sure we'll be fine going forward.' Milo remain confident regardless what of has taken place this season. 'I get the job done,' Milo said. 'I have full confidence in myself that things will turn around and I will be there when the team needs me the most'."  - The StarPhoenix 

July 11, 2014 - kicker Chris Milo still confident
"Last season, Milo didn't miss a single field goal attempt until September 14 against the Toronto Argonauts. So far in 2014, he's already missed two kicks on just four attempts. Milo is keeping everything in perspective. 'The fact that I know I can do it, and I know I've done it in the past gives me the confidence that I can do it again,' said Milo. Being only two games into the season leaves plenty of time for Milo to find his groove and return to the 80 per cent kicker he can be. When Milo did struggle a couple of years ago it prompted Head Coach Corey Chamblin to make a bold move in his first year as coach; Milo was stripped of his place kicking duties and replaced with veteran Sandro DeAngelis. This time around, Milo feels his relationship with Chamblin is much better." - News Talk 650

June 22, 2014 - kicker John Mark headed back to school
"Johnny Mark rejected a contract offer from the Saskatchewan Roughriders to return to the University of Calgary Dinos. The Peterborough place kicker, the Roughriders third pick in the 2014 CFL draft, did not earn a spot on the team's 46-man roster but Mark says the Riders wanted to protect him on their injured reserve list.... Mark, who appeared in two pre-season games for the defending Grey Cup champions, turned the offer down to complete his physics degree. He has two years of CIS eligibility remaining and is 13 credits short of his degree. 'It was a way they could keep me and still pay my full salary,' Mark, a Kenner grad, said Sunday. 'I told them when they drafted me I wouldn't stay on a practice roster. I'd be better off going back to school.' Mark looked into whether he could continue his schooling while remaining with the Riders but determined it wasn't feasible. He was officially released Saturday by Saskatchewan making him a free agent. While he could sign or tryout with any CFL team, Mark says he'd like to return to the Riders camp next spring." - Peterborough Examiner

June 21, 2014 - kicker John Mark waived
National kicker John Mark was released. - Roughriders

June 15, 2014 - kicker Brett Cameron waived
"The Saskatchewan Roughriders today announced the release of the following players... National kicker Brett Cameron." - Roughriders

June 3, 2014 - punter Josh Bartel
Last season, Bartel averaged 43.7 yards per punt. His longest was 69 yards. '(The first year) was a big learning experience,' admits Bartel. 'The second year, I was excited to get back into it. The same this year. It's going to be a good year, I feel like. I'm learning more, how everything works.' So far, so good. 'The leg's feeling real good,' added Bartel. 'It's the start of camp and obviously we have a little bit of work to do, but I'm feeling comfortable. The technique is coming along nicely. We'll see in the next couple of weeks. I'm just out to obviously win the job at camp. I've got some good competition here. They're good lads as well'.... Riders coach Corey Chamblin sees Bartel near the same level as Schmitt, who averaged 45 yards per punt last season. As far as hang time goes, Bartel is hanging in there. 'Josh is doing some good things,' Chamblin said Tuesday. 'It's my first time to see him up close. We always think that he's the Aussie kicker and things like that, but he's making some booming kicks out there'." - The StarPhoenix

May 27, 2014 - punting competition and new holder
"Things will be different for Chris Milo, though. His holder last season, Weston Dressler, left the team in the off-season to sign a free-agent deal with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs. 'We do have to find somebody (to hold),' special-teams coordinator Bob Dyce admits. 'Luckily, Rob (Bagg) was our No. 2 guy, so he has had some time to work with Chris in the past. Jordan Sisco has done some work in that regard as well and Josh (Bartel) did some holding in Hamilton. We've got a group of guys. The most important thing for us to do is to narrow it down and then just get consistent and build that trust within the group of three (snapper, holder and kicker).' Another kicking candidate is Johnny Mark, a 2014 third-round pick out of the University of Calgary who connected on 88 per cent of his field-goal tries in 2013. Bartel, a non-import punter, was acquired from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the off-season. Bartel, Mark and rookie Brett Cameron will battle to replace punter Ricky Schmitt, who signed as a free agent with the B.C. Lions." - The StarPhoenix

May 20, 2014 - long snapper Cory Huclack retires
"Huclack is a veteran of seven CFL seasons playing 103 career regular season games. The Winnipeg native originally signed as a free agent with the Blue Bombers in 2007 before being traded to Montreal later that season. He went on to spend three years with the Alouettes (2007-09) before joining the Green and White for his final four campaigns. Last season, Huclack played 12 regular season games registering 12 special teams tackles while seeing action mainly as a long snapper. For his career, the 30-year-old totaled 59 special teams tackles, one fumble recovery, and scored a 38-yard touchdown on his only interception. He is a two-time Grey Cup champion having won with the Montreal Alouettes in 2009 and again in 2013 as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders." - Leader-Post

May 13, 2014 - kicker/punter John Mark drafted
"To his surprise, Mark was selected by the Riders in the third round (20th overall) of Tuesday’s 2014 CFL Draft, and has been told he’ll compete for the Grey Cup champions’ vacant punter job. 'Very surprised, actually,' Mark said. 'I thought there were needier teams in the draft in terms of the kicking position and I thought I’d end up with one of those (teams). Based on what I’d seen in mock drafts and the feedback I’d received, I didn’t think Saskatchewan was one of the teams I’d go to.' Mark, who was the first kicker off the board Tuesday, was expected to be drafted as a placekicker, with punting as the fallback option. Not so. With the Riders letting Ricky Schmitt escape to the B.C. Lions in free agency over the off-season, a host of candidates are expected to punt it off for the job in training camp. Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats punter Josh Bartel and Brett Cameron, who spent ‘13 training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, are also on the roster." - Calgary Sun

February 17, 2014 - trade for punter Josh Bartel
"Roughriders announced the acquisition of non-import linebacker Shomari Williams, non-import punter Josh Bartel and the eighth overall selection in the 2014 CFL Canadian Draft in exchange for the ninth overall selection and the eleventh overall selection.... Bartel will be entering his third CFL season after joining the Tiger-Cats ahead of the 2012 season. The Australian born kicker has appeared in 36 career regular season games punting 229 times for 9,904 yards – a 43.2 yard average." - Riderville

February 11, 2014 - kicker Chris Milo re-signed
"Kicker Chris Milo has re-signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, in a deal announced mere moments after the Montreal native hit the free agent market. The three-year CFL veteran played a crucial role in the last year’s championship drive, connecting on 46 of 52 field goal attempts for an 88.5 per cent success rate in the 2013 season. He began the season by hitting 28 consecutive field goal attempts, tying a team record." - Metro News

January 15, 2014 - kicker Brett Cameron signed
"Roughriders have signed non-import kicker Brett Cameron.... Cameron spent four seasons at the University of North Dakota. The Winnipeg native played 41 career collegiate games recording 7,559 yards on 182 punts for a 41.5 yard average. During his senior season, Cameron recorded 13 punts over 50 yards. The 23-year-old attended 2013 training camp with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, playing one preseason game." - TSN

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