Veteran kicker Bede getting comfortable, showing the ropes at Argos training camp

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Boris Bede has taken on the role of mentor at Argonauts training camp, along with that of competitor.


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Acquired from the Montreal Alouettes in February 2020, the five-year Canadian Football League kicker finally is getting his first reps in the Double Blue as the league emerges from the pandemic, all the while trying to help Toshiki Sato get comfortable with the CFL game.

“(It’s about) leadership,” Bede said on Tuesday. “I’ve been around for the past five, six years, so I know the game, I know how it’s being played. I know what they’re expecting of me.

“Helping out Sato, trying to teach him the game, how we’re supposed to play and how the coach is expecting us to play. It’s about details, ball placements and put the ball through the uprights as much as possible.”

Sato was selected by the Argos in the second round of the 2021 CFL global draft out of the X-League in Japan.


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Bede recalled that at his first camp with the Alouettes, he didn’t get much help from his competitors.

“The welcoming wasn’t the warmest,” Bede said. “It was tough a little bit.

“The competition has to be clean. I’m going to put the keys in your hands. That’s what I’m trying to do with Toshi. We’re going to compete, and there is no need to be mean and be a bad person.

“It doesn’t have to be a head-to-head battle where I’m going to make you look bad because I want to look good. That’s not healthy.

“I’m teaching, because at the end of the day, we want to be the best at what we’re doing.”

The 31-year-old Bede said the transition to becoming an Argo following five seasons with the Als has been “very pleasant” but acknowledged he was a bit nervous when camp opened on Saturday at the University of Guelph.


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“You want to showcase what you’ve got and you get on the field and all of a sudden everything just comes out,” Bede said. “It’s been (nearly) two years that I haven’t been on the field in a competitive environment. You’re getting back into those habits and getting those visual points, the rhythm, synchronization with your holder and with the long snapper on punts. I’m just trying to get better all the time.”


If he has the kind of success that often comes for a first-round pick, Peter Nicastro envisions a solid career at centre for the Argos.

For now, the adjustment to the CFL is foremost for Nicastro, who was taken seventh overall by Toronto in the CFL draft in May out of the University of Calgary and signed a couple of weeks later. 


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“Everything happens a lot quicker and our D line has some of the best guys in the league, so getting used to their speed and power coming from the college level is the biggest thing,” Nicastro said. “I see myself as a centre for sure. I’m more of a quiet guy but at centre, you have to be a little louder. I’m just here to help the team win a Grey Cup any way I can, whether that be any position, any role.”

Nicastro had a fine career at Calgary, taking all-star honours at guard in 2019 and helping the Dinos win the Vanier Cup that year.

What kind of initial impressions has Nicastro made in camp?

“Peter has had his moments,” Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said. “He was really good the first day and he has had some struggles with snaps. We feel like he is a guard/centre type, we know he has a bright future.


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“We might need to have him play this year. Sometimes you don’t want to play rookies, but I feel like that if we play him, we’re comfortable that he can get it done.

“I think the kid can handle it, I think he’s going to be a good pro.”


With the health of his players in mind, Dinwiddie cut practice short on Tuesday.

“It was a tough day,” Dinwiddie said. “Guys were sluggish, we lost a few guys.

“The execution was there for the most part, but I have to take it easy on these guys. They have been away from football for a long time, so I have to modify some practices and make sure I’m keeping them healthy for the season.”

Without naming names, Dinwiddie indicated some players ended the day with minor injuries.

“Some guys were dinged, and they weren’t serious, but I don’t want it to turn serious. I’ve got to be cautious.”


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On top of keeping in mind the potential for injuries, Dinwiddie is in full evaluation mode. That’s more crucial with no pre-season games, as the CFL will go right into the regular season from camp in the first week of August.

“No doubt,” Dinwiddie said. “We have to look at it everything, one on ones, how they approach the classroom, can they learn, can they get the whole concepts, can they get the whole playbook.

“We have to find ways to evaluate. It’s tough. We’re going to end practices with a competition period. We have to find ways to be creative and find ways to evaluate talent so we make the right decisions.”

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