2016 Offseason Discussion

Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Fri Mar 17, 2017 11:59 am

....Guess we better change the thread title to 2017 Off-Season Discussion and move on...although I guess it's kind of late because we have entrenched a lot of 17 thoughts here already..Anyone care to move them over to a new thread....I'm not that tech. savvy.. :roll:..The obvious way would be to change the title to 2016-17 off season but I don't think you can edit topic headings :roll:
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Re: 2017 Offseason Discussion

by Lyle B. Style » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:26 pm

Wad Miller's Unique Confession: (as per interview in Winnipeg Free Press)

REGINA — When Wade Miller took over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers months into the 2013 CFL season, he admits he was handed a lot, even if he was provided with very little.

Asked to describe what he walked into that day in August, Miller, sitting in a resaurant in downtown Regina, took a moment to collect his thoughts before coming up with the "best way to describe it."

The picture painted by the Blue Bombers president and CEO was grim.

The story: the Ottawa Redblacks, on the eve of returning to the CFL for the 2014 season, were beginning to put together a roster, starting with an expansion draft. In order to create somewhat of a competitive balance, Ottawa was allowed to choose three players from each CFL club, selecting from a group of guys who were left unprotected by their respective teams.

Having already picked two players from the Bombers — import receiver Wallace Miles and non-import linebacker James Green — the Redblacks were asked to take a third and final pick.

Scanning the list, Ottawa sought to explore another, unprecedented option.

"They asked the CFL to pass on taking a player," said Miller. "They have no team, they have no guys to go to training camp and they asked to pass. That’s what we walked into."


Pretty much sums up everything about an organization that was dishonest with fans, media, government & the like for the better part of a quarter century. The dishonesty & banana republic secrecy started, I believe when Lord Lyle Bauer was hired to clean up the carnage of the Jeff Reinbold era. Bauer talked a good game - mostly with media he had his thumb on like Bootlicker Bob Irving, a bomber sports broadcasting legend - who knew how his bread was butter - with the bombers it was both sides.

Eventually, the chaos took full book as the relatively honest & quality head coach Dave Ritchie was fired while having a medical emergency at a Winnipeg hospital - Bauer then brought in a total series of rubs and rhubarbs, culminating in bringing up human barfbag Mike "Maggot" Kelly as his GM & coach. Kelly desecrated the bomber name both on and off the field - eventually leading Bauer to flee the premises - and take an open offer from the Calgary stampeders front office - who somehow admired Bauer being able to lie and cajole on the spot, whenever required, upon his own command.

The Bombers were able to use outside influence to cajole and weakened, demented and generally ill Premier Greg Selinger to write fast cheques for over $200 million with sketchy payback terms. David Asper played the bagman role - he held civic meetings with citizens to show how he could pay for a private facility with limited government injections - when Asper failed (probably on purpose) he visited a sickly Greg Selinger (NDP Premier) and forced him to write cheques (actually underwrite the entire sordid stadium project)

The project was assigned to a half-assed architect with no stadium experience and a builder with a "Guaranteed Build Price", a recipe for financial disaster as we quickly found out. The price escalated thru unique "loopholes" in the guarantee - then a hurried construction process was damaged by sloppy architectural plans and an awful/lame concrete pour which had to eventually be replaced within 3 years of construction. Leaking of booths from internal and external sources also continue to plague the facility.

Looks nice from the outside - but its a piece of absolute **** to be sure. Probably doesn't have a life expectancy of over 25 to 30 years. Also, the location adjacent to the province's major university - and nearly 8 miles from downtown, 11 miles from previous facility created a traffic and parking nightmare on game days. The facility is on an island basically - at least 1/2 a mile from the nearest bar or restaurant facility. Unlike Ottawa or Hamilton where their facilities are integrated with the communities downtown. Even in Regina where the new facility is a mile or two away from the downtown - the distance is very quickly closed by car or transit - a plethora of restaurants, shops, cafes, etc. all within long walking or short driving distance.

Miller still prefers the banana republic style of business management. He pretends to be open but secrecy still drives this organization. If the Winnipeg Jets were operating at 77% occupancy they'd have picked up stakes and moved to Quebec or Seattle within months of the devastation. Not the bombers - in addition to a sick premier providing money to build the facility - the government remains on the hook for potential losses - and their will be losses if attendance, food slop sales, liquor and advertise continue to drop! That's when the s hits the fan - cuz Selinger is basically on a mental illness pension (amongst 4 other fat pensions & $90,000 salary as a sitting but silent MLA) and no longer premier of the province. Brian "Lurch" Pallister, the 6'9" life insurance multi-millionaire is now premier and he doesn't like subsidizing people not named Pallister - that includes the pudgy garden gnome called Wadzilla. Don't know when the s hits the fan - but probably within the next 2 or 3 years. NOTE: 1st hint will be an extended deferral of the bombers annual promised 4.15 million payback; 2nd hint will be no particular date for the next "mortage" payment and 3rd hint will be a behind the scenes panic request for additional monies from the province backed by Miller's threat to suspend team operations if new funds aren't injected.

Helluva way to operate a pro sports franchise. But I must admit most Winnipeg fans don't care about the near 300 million dollars poured in thus far - threat of mortage deferrals and possible closure.
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:18 pm

.....I prefer to look ahead instead of at all of the past b.s.....Bombers have made a profit in the last while and I believe will continue to do so....UNLESS we start bottoming out talent wise and do not continue to advance...But that's all in the future and right now it doesn't look all that bad...There are many sports organizations with troubles on and off the field...You play through them...There have been hitches with all of the new stadiums...Hamilton's, Ottawa's...the new T.O. venue...even the new Mosaic had water running through it...I think IGF will be around for quite awhile and it sure beats out the old Polo Park dump with all of it's great amenities (washrooms I wouldn't let my dog use to name one)...Miller has a big task of filling the new digs BUT nothing a successful team and a few Cup wins can't cure...26 years with zero Cup wins has taken it's toll but I think the people we have in place now will change that...We shall see

....Looking at the recent combine results, I see my boy Danny Vandervoot had quite a showing...I picked this guy early for us and from what I see he topped the combine..Will he go NO. 1 overall....We could sure use him and what a great prospect.. :thup:
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by wolverine29 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:17 pm

papazoola wrote:
....Looking at the recent combine results, I see my boy Danny Vandervoot had quite a showing...I picked this guy early for us and from what I see he topped the combine..Will he go NO. 1 overall....We could sure use him and what a great prospect.. :thup:


Vandervoot was solid. I came away really impressed with the video on the running back Augustine. I would not mind seeing him slip to us in the 3rd round. He wasn't even in the top 20 going in but he really helped himself at the combine.
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by Lyle B. Style » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:13 am

I have no control over who Kyle Walters & the bomber braintrust select at 1,6 & 15.

So whether some of my faves or papa's faves or forde's faves are selected don't matter.

Here's how I'll grade Walters:

A+ - if 2 of his top 3 guys actually start this season and get into running for rookie of the year or Canadian schenley; if the 3rd or 4th guy makes the roster as a special teamer a definitive A+

A - same as A+ but nobody else from the draft class makes the roster, even the practice roster

A- one of the top guys become a starter, not only starting, almost dominating. One other guy makes the starting roster, either as starter or rotational starter

B+ 3 of the picks make roster, nobody dominates, more development required

B - 2 of the picks make roster, nobody dominates, more development required

B- - only 1 pick makes roster, but dominates

B - only 1 pick makes roster, but doesn't dominate

B- - up to 2 guys from class make practice roster

C - 1 or 2 guys make roster, but seldom dress, more development type guys

D - nobody makes starting roster, 1 or 2 get PR'd

F - use your imagination
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Tue Mar 28, 2017 1:47 pm

...... I see you omitted category 'E' Lyle and went with 'F'....and we will be F'd if you are correct and we grade anything anywhere around a C or downward ...There's a little concern as far as I'm concerned and that is who we select at 1...Bladek showed really well at the combine ..Woods looked lost and was decked easily by a smaller rushing D player...I think his stock has fallen...That leaves Grey our local guy but he has nfl dreams...We could look at him in the latter rounds IF he's still available...Really like the o line guys in the draft but we also need a national receiver...Vandervoort has to be that guy but how do we get our hands on him if we go o line with the no 1 overall...Hamilton will definitely grab this guy before he hits 6 and we'll be out of luck...I guess there's always Behar who put up some pretty good numbers in the combine...Tough decision's coming up but that's what Walters is getting the big bucks for :roll:
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by Lyle B. Style » Tue Mar 28, 2017 2:18 pm

papazoola wrote:...... I see you omitted category 'E' Lyle and went with 'F'....and we will be F'd if you are correct and we grade anything anywhere around a C or downward ...There's a little concern as far as I'm concerned and that is who we select at 1...Bladek showed really well at the combine ..Woods looked lost and was decked easily by a smaller rushing D player...I think his stock has fallen...That leaves Grey our local guy but he has nfl dreams...We could look at him in the latter rounds IF he's still available...Really like the o line guys in the draft but we also need a national receiver...Vandervoort has to be that guy but how do we get our hands on him if we go o line with the no 1 overall...Hamilton will definitely grab this guy before he hits 6 and we'll be out of luck...I guess there's always Behar who put up some pretty good numbers in the combine...Tough decision's coming up but that's what Walters is getting the big bucks for :roll:


Vandervoort is an impressive WR prospect who would immediately start on the bombers - cuz simply the bombers have nothing better, nothing even close! His only downside is his 40 numbers - from the World's Slowest 40 Competition last week during Mark's CFL Week.
He's about a 4.71 if I remember correctly, there's NFL d-linemen who run that quick
Only paradigm I can optimistically layer over the joke 40 times in Regina - that most CFL'rs are by and large slower than their comparable NFL positions. Only area CFL might be a tad faster is o-linemen - and that's an area where speed don't matter, more technique, power, strength, reads, & quickness under duress.

Vandervoort is probably safer pick than Gray @ #1 - Gray comes from the beleaguered U of Manitoba program - and attention to detail, hard techniques are definitely NOT the specialty of the house. So Gray, might try and flaunt himself into the NFL equation but I'm fairly certain he doesn't have enough technique to survive more than 1 or 2 exhibition games - let alone a full work-up by a scouting specialist.

So, wouldn't mind picking Big V at #1 - then taking the best available OL with 6. Might get lucky by going off book with Big V, another team might take a flyer at another WR and we'd end up with a quality hog at 6. Yes, some problems with Mountain Woods at the combine - he was letting dwarves thru his 5 hole. Again, don't want another Tyson Pencer giant fraud on our hands. Pencer, too lacked technique and would have been a decent project guy if he hadn't blown out his shoulders.

If he's still available at #15 wouldn't mind plucking Simonise from U Calgary - he's a little monster w/ decent speed and moves. His problem is his eligibility has been denied this year - some kind of off-field problem - so he'd have to play CIS one more year - or even sit out 2017 season before suiting up for his CFL team.

Although The 3 Amigos of the Bombers Armageddon (Wad, the dead ringer for Ed from the bowling alley Walters & O'Shea) are all feeling their oats and full of themselves due to last years 11-7 record - we are woefully weak at canuck WR, under-performing @ DL and dicey at oline (going past an above average group of 5 starters)...... it important they reinforce in at least two of these 3 areas - or you'll have guys coming in off the scrap heap to take jobs.
Bombers aren't exactly gifted in import WRs, either - so with a an average o-line, weak Canadian WRs, a hobo import RB, Andrew Harris trying to stay healthy at 30 plus the iffy QB depth past Nichols - it could be a long season. Anyone who expects this team to automatically be better than last year is dreaming in Technicolor. Its definitely NOT A GIVEN. :cowboy:
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:19 pm

.....Oh I agree Lyle with the last line....not a 'given'...BUT after very limited success in recent years, the word 'expected' is most likely on the lips of the locals...Another so-so year and 'just' making the playoffs ain't gonna wash.....Tough to say how we're going to play it in the draft...Walters and every gm are holding all of their cards close to their chest, and the smart one's always do...I do know that drafting highly regarded and talented additions is just the first step...we have to fit these guys into our roster AND last but not least ..sign them...I really hope we do our homework and draft players who really want to be here....no more Muamba's or Labattes who do a runner first chance they get...I wouldn't mind taking a flyer in the latter rounds on high calibre talent,even if he has the NFL in his immediate plans...I know I said previously that I don't like pursuing players who will likely stick down south BUT waiting on talent that could show up eventually would not give us immediate sms pains..We have a tremendous chance to improve our national talent ...I hope we get it right.
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:34 pm

.....Gray having a day,today....and after his personal workout with Bombers,Riders and 9 nfl clubs in attendance it's so long Geoff....He obviously lived up to expectations,graded out very well and I doubt the CFL will see him anytime soon...We could take a flyer on him but I think our safest pick at one is Bladek..
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by Lyle B. Style » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:40 pm

papazoola wrote:.....Gray having a day,today....and after his personal workout with Bombers,Riders and 9 nfl clubs in attendance it's so long Geoff....He obviously lived up to expectations,graded out very well and I doubt the CFL will see him anytime soon...We could take a flyer on him but I think our safest pick at one is Bladek..


I still go back to his training at Univ. of Manitoba. The head coach is a recruiter - never been much for detail - so Gray would have had to take his training from Bobo - aka Brett McNeil - a solid but unspectacular soldier for the bombers in the Dave Ritchie era.

He's certainly average size hog for NFL - but the key to any NFL staying power will be how quick he comes off his stance, and his lateral and backwards footwork. I can't remember a U of M lineman every making the NFL, either as a reserve or starter - so based on Gray lacking a bit of the details I might be inclined to burn a 3rd or 4th round pick on the guy - but NOT a 1st or 2nd. :cowboy:

If he's somehow been able to overcome the handicap of being coached by Brian Dobie - well, good luck to the kid in his NFL career!!!
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by disciplineandpunish » Sat Apr 01, 2017 4:08 pm

RB coach Avon Cobourne quits to pursue non-football interests as per TSN: http://www.tsn.ca/blue-bombers-rb-coach ... s-1.712454
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by LeStaf » Tue Apr 04, 2017 12:53 pm

Dommage de perdre un gars comme Cobourne. Les unités qu'il a entraînées ont toutes eu un relatif succès, dans les circonstances qu'elles ont connues. Cobourne est un leader et un gagnant. Nul doute que son influence dépassait sa seule fonction d'entraîneur.
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by papazoola » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:29 pm

LeStaf wrote:Dommage de perdre un gars comme Cobourne. Les unités qu'il a entraînées ont toutes eu un relatif succès, dans les circonstances qu'elles ont connues. Cobourne est un leader et un gagnant. Nul doute que son influence dépassait sa seule fonction d'entraîneur.


.....Bigger things await him I hear....He has a wealth of experience with regard to the running back position but decided to move on....He's a winner and will land on his feet somewhere... :thup:
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by wolverine29 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:32 pm

LeStaf wrote:Dommage de perdre un gars comme Cobourne. Les unités qu'il a entraînées ont toutes eu un relatif succès, dans les circonstances qu'elles ont connues. Cobourne est un leader et un gagnant. Nul doute que son influence dépassait sa seule fonction d'entraîneur.


Could be right, but finding a good RB coach at least is an easier proposition. We still haven't settled on a OL coach after losing Wylie to the Browns. Perhaps they have someone and are just waiting on them to finally commit. It'll be easier to find a replacement for Cobourne.


Lyle B. Style wrote:I still go back to his training at Univ. of Manitoba. The head coach is a recruiter - never been much for detail - so Gray would have had to take his training from Bobo - aka Brett McNeil - a solid but unspectacular soldier for the bombers in the Dave Ritchie era.

He's certainly average size hog for NFL - but the key to any NFL staying power will be how quick he comes off his stance, and his lateral and backwards footwork. I can't remember a U of M lineman every making the NFL, either as a reserve or starter - so based on Gray lacking a bit of the details I might be inclined to burn a 3rd or 4th round pick on the guy - but NOT a 1st or 2nd. :cowboy:

If he's somehow been able to overcome the handicap of being coached by Brian Dobie - well, good luck to the kid in his NFL career!!!


Stuff like this is just a blatant attempt at being mean spirited as none of these arguments have any logical basis to them. Handicapped by having Brian Dobie as a coach? So who was David Onyemata's head coach? U know, the guy from UofM that was a 4th round pick by the Saints last year? The Saints who traded two picks away to move up in the draft to get him? And the same Onyemata who dressed for 16 games last year? And what is the relevance of there not being a prior UofM OL that played in the NFL? Did McGill have such a pipeline of OL that preceeded Laurent Duvarnay-Tardiff to the NFL, or since for that matter? Gray stood out at the East-West Shrine game against US college players, and he had a solid pro day that put him up there in most categories in comparison to his NCAA counterparts. He's lacking details, lol. So is most every player coming out of college, be it CIS/Usports or NCAA. Read a scouting report sometimes. What matters is whether he's coachable and capable of growing in those areas, and Gray has. I would be surprised if what he has done doesn't move him from a post NFL draft FA signing to now a guaranteed late round pick.
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Re: 2016 Offseason Discussion

by Lyle B. Style » Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:06 pm

Taking Gray at #1 is still a hi-risk manoeuvre - unless you're basically selling out to the fact its a FREE PICK - u just hood-winked a battered and damaged Jimbo Barker for that pick by dispatching a bad smell (Drew Willy) to Toronto???

The ideal situation for the bombers is to discuss giving Geoff a salary with bonuses built in for starts and accomplishments (ie. regional all-star, lack of sacks on QB, etc.)

So perhaps he could make $100,000 to $125,000 first year w/ Bombers, $125,000 to $170,000 2nd year and get 35 to 40 games in under his belt - working with a decent o-line coach (which the bombers haven't obtained yet) and even letting his late-round NFL team in on the development by sending their o-line guy up here for training camp, etc.

Or Geoff can latch on as a baby development project with his NFL team - make some coin as a practice roster player (almost as much as a CFL starter) but be 4th or 5th on the guards depth chart.

I'd really like to see more Canadian players getting their development in Canada before making a decision to bolt NFL in their 3rd or 4th years. At least we'd get some value for the picks - vs. being left hi 'n dri . . . .
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