2013 Season - General Discussion

We are starting it off now for the entire season with this thread for general information and comments from all fans.

Add your scoop or rant away.

How do you think the first six weeks look before the break in August?

I won't predict yet the record, but I doubt I am alone in thinking we have been dealt a tough schedule. It's the toughest one I have seen since becoming a fan in 2009.

Any older fans remember a schedule starting out this tough?

2 - at Hamilton - It's the early uncertainty factor on the road east that early that has me concerned no matter how Hamilton plays in week 1.

3-4 - BC home and away - This is a very tough double early, and I hope we get at least one out of these two to build from there

5 - at Montreal - Only 5 days after playing at BC at a late game at PDT, we have to go across the country to play on a Thursday night on EDT? That sucks and we will have to have more than our "A" game to win that one I would think.

After Hamilton at home on 2 August, there are only two more games in August and then it's off to Labour Day and away and home with Calgary that same week.

Since following/watching CFL football for many years, I've never really considered/or took note of a tough schedule for any team. Now that it's brought to ones attention; you're right Paolo. With that said; the Riders play the Lions 3 times with-in 5 weeks from Sept.22 to October 19th. Even though Sask. has two home games out of the three; standings wise a story will be told.

Wow - crickets amongst the Eskie fans this season? :roll: Get on with some good posts you slackers!

Truth be told, I dont mind going through a tough first half of a season to get a young and hopefully energized team ready for a playoff push. I think this is perfect to develop maturity, pose and leadership in whatever young QB we start (Nichols or Reilly). Nonetheless it could be the perfect stepping stone for a long career as well. We will see if the team can handle it.

Ill break down a few games…

SASK @ EDM: What better way to kick off the season than having a huge crowd of Green and Gold and Green and White? Always an energized game with these two teams. We know Nichols makes the offense play full speed around him, it was evident when Jyles and Joseph got benched, remember the Montreal game? Even if its Reilly playing, I think he will have the same effect, this game will be fun.

EDM @ HAM: I am not worried about this game at all, I see EDM coming out with a win unless we come out flat and uninspired, something this team should be unlikely to do.

Both EDM/BC Games: I am not expecting wins here, but i do expect a close game where effort is 100%. To me, these two games are crucial to seeing what kind of team we have. BC is the favorite to win in the West, if we can manage to win the home game, thatll exceed expectations in my book.

EDM @ MON: This game I dont feel that worried about, even with only 4 days to prepare after the Saturday game. I think Montreal is overrated, Calvillo last season was shaky, hes regressing. Our defensive front is stacked, if we get pressure on him consistently EDM comes out with a win, even with average offensive play.

After the Labour Day games we will know roughly what the rest of the season will be like. This is going to be exciting, young, fast paced football for the Eskimos this year, win or lose.
Go Esks!

What will the depth chart on the Oline look like to start TC.
They look to be locked in at the two positions in which teams begin to build around and that is in Canadian Center Kock and import LT Thompson.
It appears they have a lot of young Canadian OTs so will ther be a competition for the RT spot among them or do they have one in mind coming in.
Who will fill in on the interior Guard spots most of their Olineman are listed as T or C which will be moving to the interior from OT and will either of the other two centers be looking to start at OG.
I like that they have gone with Charles as the top RB cutting lose the others who came in mid season and messed up that situation.
I still think they will be looking to sign another RB that is more a North South power runner.
The Esks have 3 true import rookies right out of the NCAA two are more of the return specialists category as they are looking for someone other than Burnett to handle returns and concentrate on being an All Star DB but the kid from Utah had a solid two seasons of 1,000 yards rushing at Utah and is similar back to Hugh Charles.
Canadian McCarty is back for a 7th season in EDM his role at RB was reduced immensely last year but will that Change this year.
Are the ESKS satisfied with what they have at RB behind Charles or will they be looking.

I think last year if Reed would have stock to his guns and kept Messam on the shelf that would have given the ESKS a solid 1-2 bunch with Boyd and Charles as after Boyds second game with the Esks it appeared that it was beginning to evolve. Reed however went against exactly what he said in Messam's return mid week that the game plan was set with Boyd and Charles but then rushed Messam into the line up that weekend anyway

Based on comments by Hervey he is really displeased with the play of the o-line the last few years and it sounds like he wants some serious changes to make them tougher. I think the only o-lineman who for sure has a starting spot locked up is Simeon Rottier. Joel Bell was supposed to be pretty legit before his injury last year, but with him and Thompson being the only imports, it seems like they'll both be competing for one spot at LT. Koch has been underwhelming at C in my opinion and could be bumped out of his spot at some point this season if the centers behind him show well. It would be disappointing if Scott Mitchell didn't win a starting spot this year as he was drafted 2nd overall by us and this is now his 3rd season IIRC. It seems like we just have way too many bodies on the OL (see below), and this list doesn't include the two NI rookies we drafted this year as well who will likely be signed and in camp. I'm guessing Ramsay will be kept around as a versatile vet backup.

57 Hinse, Gord C Non-Import 6.04 307 1987-08-24 Alberta
54 Krausnick, Alexander C Non-Import 6.03 290 1989-03-09 Calgary
61 Koch, Kyle C Non-Import 6.02 310 1984-12-10 McMaster
65 Rottier, Simeon G Non-Import 6.06 295 1984-01-21 Alberta
63 Ramsay, Brian G Non-Import 6.08 312 1980-02-24 New Mexico
56 Rockhill, Carson T Non-Import 6.06 284 1990-06-30 Calgary
36 Stevenson, Dale T Non-Import 6.07 292 1987-12-08 Alberta
50 Thompson, Orrin T Import 6.06 320 1982-11-11 Duke
66 O'Donnell, Matthew T Non-Import 6.11 340 1989-03-26 Queen's
67 Mitchell, Scott T Non-Import 6.04 295 1989-09-10 Rice
68 Bell, Joel T Import 6.07 315 1985-07-10 Furman

At RB, the 3 guys we have signed behind Charles are all physically comparable to him (under 5 foot 8 and less than 200 pounds). According to an interview on 630ched, it sounds like Hervey wants shiftier RBs this year and won't be looking for a big north-south runner you mentioned. They want guys who they can plug into the lineup easily without changing schemes/strategy in the case of injuries. Of the 3, I'm guessing only one import RB will be kept behind Charles, or maybe another as a backup RB/kick returner.

On the d-line the Esks have Willis and Howard starting at DE, with Brandon Lang backing up (and non-import Capiciotti also getting a bit of time). At DT, they have a bunch of non imports including Oramasionwu, Laurent, Steele, and Alexandre. Laurent and Ormasionwu are good enough to start. The only import DT they have is Sewell who was VERY impressive last year and it would be a shame if he wasn't starting. It will be interesting to see what they do at DT.

Of the newcomers on D, I will be watching LB Rennie Curan closely. He was drafted in the 4th round in the NFL is only 25 years old still. Also DB Cary Harris is highly regarded. He is from the same draft year as Joe Burnett.

It will be interesting to see who emerges between Joseph, Crompton, and Harris. If Joseph has the 3rd spot, those two will be competing for the 4th string practice roster spot. They probably won't get much playing time in TC, as I'm sure most of it will be given to Nichols and Reilly, so the decision may have to be made based on practice time. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of carrying Joseph on the roster any longer.

Looking at the current roster, the only changes I'd like to see for TC is more competition at import receiver.

At DT I cannot see them not starting Sewell but all of the other DTs will be quality and all star players. one DT spot will definitely be a ratio spot with 1 or even 2 Canadians kept on the roster to rotate. With that kind of Canadian Talent at DT there will be fresh legs late in the game for the ESKS giving them an advantage in the trenches on defense late in the game.
Look for Sherrit again to have a big year with those up front interior guys taking up so much attention

That’s probably what will end up happening and I like it. Our front 7 easily has the potential to be the best in the league if they stay healthy and it will make things easier on our DBs.

The Esks have one of the best D-Lines in the league, with some incredible depth. To avoid injury and fatigue they're going to do a rotation with the DT. Sewell and Laurent will start, they are our best guys, then you plug in the other 2 DTs that will probably be dressed on game day. I also see Lang rotating with Howard every so often to avoid him getting hurt. Willis will probably play 95% of the game on defense, with him coming out on non-crucial downs, or being rotated when we are up big.

This is where the evolution and Quality of Canadian DTs have become very valuable to teams enabling a four man rotation. That said the progression on Canadian DEs will be just as important. If Willis needs to play 95% of the game he will likely wear down

Just think, if our defence is at least as bruising as last year through six games, we might be at least 3-3 even with the tougher schedule at hand. I wish I could be more optimistic given the quality of this defence, but I am not with that schedule.

Last year the highest points given up through six games was 23 at Winnipeg in one of many games we should have won. :roll:

The streak was broken against Montreal in Week 8 when they put up 38 as teams were more able to gang up on our offence and leave our defence on the field for far longer with our mostly subpar special teams all season except for punting.

I sure hope our special teams are even a bit better this year to match the improvements on offence.

I guess 95% of the time is high, but with a player of his caliber, Im sure Reed and Marshall would like him out there as much as possible in tight games, especially in the 4th quarter. Perhaps he'll be rotated more frequently with Lang, and maybe Capiciotti (if hes good enough to spare) in the 1st and some of the 2nd quarter to save him for the rest of the game.
As long as we stick to a healthy rotation, itll keep guys happy and rested throughout the whole season.
Lots of NFL teams are doing it, an example is the New York Giants, they have the best D-Line in the league save for the 49ers who also rotate their guys in their scheme.

Agreed. Curran seems to have been born to play in the CFL with his skill set. He has pretty impressive speed, & strength and is an explosive hitter. It would surprise me at all if this guy became a star in this league

The Esks are skipping rookie camp altogether - interesting move both for sake of on and off the field ... any thoughts on that?


Not really a big deal, why do it with 15 rookies? They said they took an extra step in Florida with the rookies there. Ed's perspective makes sense in the situation as well. I cant wait till June 14 to see these guys compete for jobs

Well so far ...

  1. Reilly it is at QB
  2. Bring on Jonathan Hefney!

Agreed there Paolo, Hefney would be welcomed here.
Even though Crompton (i think his name is) threw that pick 6 to lose the game, he looked really good out there. Unlike Nichols and Reilly, he moved the chains. Understood if he wasnt going against top flight players, but still, neither is he yet.

I'll take your word on Crompton, and an early pick 6 in a new league in preseason is one of those things that can be corrected and overcome.

With two lower leg injuries in a short time, there is a fat chance I would think that Nichols would return near the player he would be if rushed back into action in the first half of the season. The rehabilitation time often is far longer than anticipated, and the balance of the feet are critical to sustained QB accuracy let alone that much more mobility to avoid a certain number of sacks. They should sit out Nichols until Labour Day weekend and just make a go of Reilly, Crompton, and Joseph and then cut Joseph when Nichols is back assuming the other two are healthy and Crompton works out okay.

I agree Crompton is a QB with a lot of potential for sure and a good Pedigree after waiting his turn as a back up for the Volunteers he finally got to start his senior season and was drafted in the 5th round of the NFL draft in 2010. Right off the bat though he began to play the bounce game in the NFL which could certainly where on a players especially when he was filling practice roster spots for his three years in the NFL.
A similar situation that Drew Willy had as he still had NFL options available with I think still not exhasuting his practice roster spot probable was one of those imports who have been aware of the CFL and watched games so coming into the CFL before his NFL options were up means that he wants a stable home and job which could be a great thing for the ESKS and the CFL where there are more and more QBs and other players coming to the CFL much more prepared by following the games and the league ahead of time so the 20 yard end zones were not a mystery as they were with a guy like Colt Brennan who did not know this until he was ready to sign last season.

If the Esks do cut Crompton I will be quite disappointed, unless hes terrible in the 2nd preseason game. Id release Joseph over him if they had to decide before the next game.
Heres hoping Reilly looks 500% better in the BC game than he did in this past game. He disappointed me for someone with a lot of hype coming to Edmonton.
Our offensive line looked terrible though, I swear I have a highschool teammate i played with who could play Tackle better than most of those guys. All a good QB needs is 4 seconds. How hard is it to stand in front of someone for that long when your a pro 90% of the time? They need to do their damn job.

Apologies for the random fragmented thoughts haha