CFL All-Stars 2014. Thoughts/Discussion

Just looking at the All-Star selections, some thoughts came to my mind. I am sure others as well have opinions. So lets take a look.

First QB Ray gets the nod at QB. Certainly had a good season as usual under some circumstances like injuries to his entire group of receivers as well as his own injury he played through.
Still I would place my vote for Mike Reilly. Injuries struck on the offense for the ESKS as well. With Stamps out as well as the mergence of RB White.

Linebacker Changes Selection Process
IMHO it is time to break the LB position into the 3 different LB positions

Mikel/MLB - Solomon Elimimian. For sure in a league with always some great MLBs year in and year out he was the creme of the crop.

Will/Weak Side LB - Dexter McCoil. Truly playing the WillLB position it would be hard to argue against him. Although their was several with all star play as usual.
ADam BigHill BC & Simoni Lawrence Hamilton as well would be in consideration. BigHill made the transition to Will from Mike overshadowed by Elimimian this season. Simoni early on had his NFL training camps/played '10 and '11 in the UFL and time in DEC on NFL PR. '11 in EDM. 2012 in Hamilton came into his own. Got NFL Attention signing futures contract eventually returned in time for Cats TC. Solidified himself as a top WillLB in the CFL in 2014.

SAM/ Strong Side LB - The SAMLB position has changed greatly in recent years. Now basically a hybrid of a OLB and cover DB. IMHO it is the hardest position to play in the CFL. Not only do they have to cover a 5th receiver but also that REC is a SB that will be using the Waggle. As well have to be able to give run support like a LB. This position really does not have any US similar position nor is it needed the skill set at the CIS level.

Consideration SAMLB 2014
Keon Raymond Calgary & Chip Cox Montreal - These two basically invented the position and still continue to be among the the best year in and year out. Tackles/Sacks/Ints. They do it all take your pick on this one.

Also considered - Rico Murray Hamilton. Really picked up the position really well in his first CFL season 2013 and continued in 2014. The only thing with Murray is that he was moved from SAM to HB during the season.

Future SAMLB Stars - Antoine Pruneau Ottawa & Teague Sherman Winnipeg. Two young Nationals. Pruneau for sure stepped in in his rookie season part way through. A full season next year and he could be the best. Sherman played awesome in his second season. A little different type of D in Winnipeg. So I am not sure if he will shake out to be a Will or SAM LB.

as much as Reilly is my fav, I think Bo should have been the cfl all star QB

Absolutely agree; the skill sets required are so different for each of the three spots, it makes no sense the way they are doing it now. This year's all star team has no SAM linebacker; two middle linebackers in Elimimian and Woods, and one WILL in McCoil.

They split up the secondary into 2 corners, 2 DHBs, and 1 safety, which is as it should be (and they quite properly call the safety exactly that, instead of what all the TSN talking heads say, 'free safety', which makes absolutely no sense in the CFL).

So they should do the same for linebackers.

I could not argue with Bo Levi either as the CFL All Star QB. both along with Drew Willy had great season's all earning their spot as a starting QB in the CFL over the last to season's. Like Reilly in 2013, Willy is under the first year of a rebuild and the Olines were not up to the tasks in either team the first year.
Priority one for EDM in 2014 was improving the Oline and they did that. The Bombers are doing the same.

Other Modern CFL Changes for All Star selection's and Positions.

CFL offenses have changed a lot over the past decade yet the same All Star selection/positions stayed the same.

First Receivers
For a while there and still now teams use 5 receiver sets as their main or one of their main sets. Yet the All Star selections continue to have just 4 receivers.
5 Receivers for CFL All Star selections

2nd FullBack - b[/b]
For some time there FBs were on the roster but were mostly used just for Special Teams.
Still listed as FB on rosters the position has evolved from the short hefty lead blocker for the Tailback.
FBs are all listed as the same position but have taken on the role of a true TE. Who is on the line as a blocker and a rec right next to the OT position. CFL TE's seem to be about 6'3 or more and having a weight of about 240 or so.
The second type is a RB that is used mostly as a receiver or H-Back.

FB ( TE/H-Back ) All-Star 2014 Selection
Rob Cote Calgary
Calvin McCarty Edmonton
Rolly Lumbala BC

Patrick Lavoi Ottawa
John Delahunt Ottawa
Jerome Messam Sask.

Future/Recent Past Potential FB (TE-HBack ) All-Stars
Zander Robinson & Alexandre Dupuis Toronto
Scott Mchenry Sask.

Spencer Moore SASK 6'4 230 - Carl Fitzgerald Winnipeg 6'5 253 ( true sized TE like several mentioned above. Both are more project players who have the potential to become TEs. )
Pascal Lochard BC 6'0 215 ( a second round pick 14th overall in 2014.) Coming out of Laval where he was a feature power back. Having Talents of an offensive Skill player. Talents that could be used on offense as a receiving RB/H-Back. Just a rookie likely needs work on his blocking skills to complete his skill set. Could be used like Messam as a off set power runner/ receiver and blocking H-Back like Rob Cote/ Receiving passing down H-Back like Calvin McCarty who can catch the ball and run in space)

If you advocate for 5 receivers on the all star squad then you cannot have a fullback chosen.

The premis is that now in modern high levels of pro football, including the CFL, they do not have just the same 12 starting players and there back ups. Two of the major packages that each team uses will include the play of 5 receivers or the use of four receivers and FB/TE at times even double TE using an extra Olineman and a true TE/FB. so choosing 13 players in positions that are on the field a good portion of the game makes sense in the modern era.
Really if u wanted to eliminate a position from the current set up to fit the antiquated 12 players only, it should be one of the two ball carrying RB spots. The all-star team has two primary feature backs on the all star team. However how many sets see two ball carrying feature backs in the game as the same time.
Aside from some teams tinkering with it barely at all.
The more players recognized for their great achievement the better.
Especially the top FB/TE/H-Backs. They are on the field a lot on offense and the best have to be good at a multiple of things, Blocking, receiving, running at times. These are also a majority of National players on the rosters across the league. Players an offense that does not have one that can do multiple things tend to struggle.

[b]cflsteve wrote: IMHO it is time to break the LB position into the 3 different LB positions[/b]
it only makes sense considering the All-Star Committee differentiates individual positions in all other areas except for the LB corps. (and the receiving corps which I believe is grouped together as well)

for example;
DLine - Tackles, Ends
OLine - Guards, Tackles, Centre
Secondary - CB, DB, Safety
ST - K, P, ST Player

The inequity of the selection process also further handicaps a LB's ability to earn year end bonuses based upon all-star selections.
It is time for all positions to be categorized separately.

Special Teams All-Stars

2 players Returner & Coverage Player
With the Importance put on special teams, Recognizing a returner and coverage player. Last season Marc Beswick as the east Special teams all star but not able to be on the overall league all star as Larry Taylor got it due to his return ability.
There always are several players who stand out as well as some players who have adopted that role on a team roster making a career out of being like a starter on Special Teams. This season Edmonton's Deon Lacey stood out with almost 30 teams tackles falling one short at 29.

2014 All-Star Returner
Brandon Banks Hamilton

2014 All-Star Special Teams Player
Deon Lacey Edmonton

Honorable Mention
Jason Arakgi BC and Karl McCarty Calgary - Both players are veterans who have embraced the role as a full time teams player.
Andrew Lue Montreal First pick in the second round in 2014 10th overall led all rookies with 23 Teams Tackles also tied for second with the two veterans mentioned above.

As mentioned above for top rookie players and veterans who have taken on the role as a starter on Teams likely would have this as a contract bonus