There was a spirit of optimism and sense of resolve in the air at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday as the Edmonton Elks gathered for one final time in 2022 on what is colloquially known as garbage bag day.
Well I guess an optimist could say that the Elks under Jones improved a bit. They won 4 games this year, last year only 3. However last year they only played 14 games this year 18. That means last year's winning % was 21.4% this year it is 22.2%.
I'm going to have to be full on cynical here. It was a colossal disaster this year on several fronts for EE. Any team can claim bright points & have high expectations for next year. Really, they'll be starting off next year exactly where they started this one.
Fully agree, Porky. BUT anyone who thought this was going to be anything but a last place team this year had visions of fantasy. To me, this is a carbon copy of the rebuild in Regina where they got regularly blown out & won 5 games with Jones in year one. Release of long time veterans - check. Bring in a dozen QB’s - check. Remember the Vince Young fiasco. Gut the team & start over with a lot of new faces - check. I don’t pay much attention to this till year 2 which, IMO, would require a playoff spot to see some progress.
To be fair, problems were compounded by lots of injuries. TSN commentators said, what, 106 new faces, 90+ on the active roster @ 1 point or another, 26 receivers auditioned. Goodbye continuity. No surprises here. If that kinda movement continues in year 2, then you gotta wonder.
Bottom line, Jones ain’t going anywhere with a 4 year contract. Not with the way the salary cap punishes you.
There is one universal truth that everyone across the league does not recognize. That is the damage Sunderland and crew did in Ottawa and in Edmonton.
When you give away all your previous years draft picks (Dru Brown was one) to a happily surprised Winnipeg team (If anyone wondered why they weren’t worried about draft picks this year, that’s why), people run from your horrible coaching, or ask to be traded because they see the disaster around them, you are left with a few outstanding players and the mediocre guys who hope to keep a job next year.
Frankly - I saw a plan being followed by coaches and GM’s. We have a lot of the parts and pieces. We have stocked the cupboard with guys who can fill in in case of injury. We won’t have as many rookies or rookie mistakes and we can fix the problem areas with draft picks and free agents for next season.
Lots of stupid mistakes cost us games this year. But they were stupid rookie, and CFL rookie mistakes, and you are only a rookie once…
I see better for next year. Far better for next year.
I certainly hope your optimism proves to squash my cynicism. The way the Lions smacked around the Elks all season wasn’t pretty. I wasn’t a fan of Elizondo (understatement) & can see where it will take more than a single season to recover. I hope for the sake of both EE fans & the league that we have a more competitive team in Edmonton next year.
…and you remember how terrifyingly bad the Lions were last year. Same for Ottawa a couple years ago.
Same pattern to me. You can not build a football team in a season. Even destroying one (think Green) takes a couple seasons.
Can’t argue with that. There were issues with Sunderland with players.
If coaches were only given a year, O’Shea would have been gone in Winnipeg. His 2nd year was even worse than his 1st. It takes time. I’ll give Jones the benefit of the doubt. He’s done 2 rebuilds very successfully as a HC with 3 & 4 win teams. They were in 5 one score games so you’re right. They’re loaded with draft picks in a strong draft in an area of need. I would expect better results in year 2.
Yup, we are loaded with draft picks and made some smart trades to get some of those.
Most of those one score games were blown coverages in the secondary and a couple were bad penalties.
On the offensive side - having Cornelius improve like he did without an experienced QB to learn from was a huge positive. As a long time fan I remember Wilkinson starting games in front of Moon right up to when he retired. Having Cornelius start and win games with the myriad of receivers he has had this year was impressive. If those receivers had hung onto balls a little more often that would have been good too, because he threw a lot of catchable balls that were dropped.