Doc Cassama imponerade på Green Bay Packers scout

Som vi tidigare rapporterat så gör svenske Doc Cassama bra ifrån sig i University of Calgary Dinos. Nu senast under Calgarys s.k. pro day där han fick chansen att visa upp sig inför bl.a Tim Terry från NFL-laget Green Bay Packers. I artikeln på calgarysun.com går det bl.a. att läsa att den tid Doc sprang på sin 40 gard dash hade placerat honom bland de sju snabbaste på hans position i årets NFL-draft!

Cassama

University of Calgary star Doctor Cassama impresses NFL scouts with workout

The long, painful Calgary winter hasn’t morphed into any semblance of spring just yet.

And in a weird way, it may have benefitted Doc Cassama.

As the University of Calgary Dinos linebacker strode out onto the Rundle College turf Friday morning, ready to prove his pro-day mettle in front of Green Bay Packers scout Tim Terry, amid a light snowfall.

It didn’t help the measurables or his ability to secure the football in positional drills, but what better way to impress a team that plays its games on a Frozen Tundra than show you can deal with the elements?

Paid to evaluate the minute details that separate an NFLer from an also-ran, that fact didn’t escape Terry, the Packers assistant director of pro personnel.

“It was a tough circumstance with the weather — it was a little slick out there — cold and windy …” said Terry, who won a Grey Cup ring in his only CFL season with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999, a 32-12 victory over the Calgary Stampeders at BC Place. “But he came out there and didn’t complain — just battled through everything. And I thought he did a nice job.”

Wearing an ear-to-ear grin that’s hard to wipe off the 22-year-old’s face on the worst of days, Cassama embraced the rain/snow mix.

“It’s beautiful out here — Calgary weather,” Cassama said. “It’s snowing a little bit, and I’m walking off the field proud of myself for leaving everything on the field.”

The aforementioned grin could have also had something to do with the fact he was clocked at 4.55 seconds in the 40-yard dash, a time that would have unofficially tied him for seventh among NFL safety prospects at the 2014 NFL Combine.

Terry, who enters his 10th season in the Packers front office, was impressed.

“If you watch his tape, he flashes a lot of explosion — a lot of snap up the hashes — and he’s a physical player,” Terry said. “He’s not a big, physical-looking guy, but he plays bigger than his size. That translates on the field, and he has a presence about him on the football field, and it made us take notice.

“For us, I could see him playing as a safety. I think he could be a free safety, but he has the play style that is more of a strong safety, if that makes any sense. He’s a football player, at the end of the day. He loves to play the game, and he has a swagger about him. I think he has a chance.”

Cassama checked in at 6-foot-1 and 194 lb., posting 17 reps on the bench-press, as well as a solid time of 7.10 in the three-cone drill.

“I believe every person has a talent in something, and whenever that opportunity comes to you, you want to take it and make the most of it, and that’s what I feel what I did,” said Cassama, who will now polish off his last two U of C exams ahead of the draft.

“Yeah, it was slippery, but I still ran a good time with the snow and everything — ran a 4.5 — and I’m happy with that. I can’t complain. I’m happy with myself.”

While the Packers were the only NFL team in Calgary on Friday, the pro-day tape is expected to be sent to other franchises with varying levels of interest, which includes the Oakland Raiders, the St. Louis Rams, the Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bears.

“Wherever you are, if you can play, teams are going to try to find you,” Terry added. “I know people get discouraged and say, ‘Scouts aren’t coming here,’ or whatever.

“But at the end of the day, if you can play, teams will find you.”​

 

Dinos linebacker Doctor Cassama fought the snow to work out for the Green Bay Packers on Friday. The entire scene reminded him of the conditions university playoff games are contested against. Photograph by: Jacques Boissinot, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Dinos linebacker Doctor Cassama fought the snow to work out for the Green Bay Packers on Friday. The entire scene reminded him of the conditions university playoff games are contested against.
Photograph by: Jacques Boissinot, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Saxat från Calgary Herald

Johnson: Dino struts stuff for Packers
NFL workout for Cassama a boon for Calgary football

Snow falling. Near freezing temperatures. If anything, as if on command, the field at Rundle College had a definite Lambeau Field-ish, Forrest Gregg/Instant Replay-type feel to it.
Close your eyes, shiver, and you could almost see Brett Favre’s breath as he barked out signals or feel that frightening moment of calm before a half-crazed, fully-ravenous Ray Nitschke greeted a ball-carrier head-on in the gap.

Yes, Green Bay Packers weather, all right.

“Even though it was snowing out, I wasn’t going to let that faze me,” said the University of Calgary Dinosaurs’ linebacker Doctor Cassama of his big-time, big-league audition at 9 a.m. sharp. “My mindset was: We play playoffs in weather like this all the time. Conditions shouldn’t matter. You have to be able to execute through anything. I was still able to run fast, to move well. I did everything that was asked of me.

“I felt like I left everything out there. I felt it was a really good day for me for personally.

“I’ve been training, but it’s different. When you have people out there watching, evaluating you, cameras in your face, it can get to you sometimes. Unnerve you. But I felt like I was calm throughout the whole thing. I know I had a lot of people praying for me, and that really helped.

“So I was able to stay cool and execute every drill.”

On Friday morning, the NFL’s Packers came calling on the Dinos’ ace linebacker in the form of assistant director of player personnel Tim Terry (a Grey Cup-winning linebacker for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats back in 1999, no less), intrigued by what he’d seen on film.

After putting Cassama through his paces for two hours, sprints, strength tests, etc., it seems unlikely the Pack’s interest has waned any.

“I thought it went very well,” said Dinos’ coach Blake Nill. “I thought Doc handled it very well. His vertical went well. His bench press went well. His 40 went very well. I thought he ran the forest very well.

“These last two weeks I’ve spoken to seven NFL teams about Doc. There’s a lot of interest in him. He’s the kind of kid who I think possesses the physical a lot of teams are looking for and he definitely has the right attitude. There’s not much in him that teams can look at and say ‘Oh, we’re worried about this’ or ‘We’re worried about that.’

“You look at him, at the way he plays, and there’s isn’t much not to like.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Cassama, one of those molar-loosening DBs converted to linebacker à la Mike Edem and Sam Hurl, is entering his fourth year of Dinos’ edibility but is expected to attract a lot of pro interest, perhaps even on both sides of the border. One of the quirks of his situation in the Canadian game is that having played high-school football in Sweden, he’s classified as an import, making his entryway far more problematic and making him ineligible for the CFL Draft May 13.

“Doc’s not afraid to compete against anybody,” said Nill with flat finality. “Import. Non-import. Doesn’t matter. That’s probably his biggest attribute, along with the tempo he plays at. Some of these NFL teams have watched film on him and they recognize those attributes rights away. You can’t teach competitiveness and he’s got it.”