Ferguson: Celebrating the non-playoff teams

In the final week of the regular season – where did the last 21 weeks go? – in which no games will determine playoff seeding or matchups, we have officially begun to turn the page from the summer and early autumn grind towards the cut throat intensity of playoff time.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/10/28/ferguson-celebrating-the-non-playoff-teams/

Kudos to Marshall for trying to put a positive spin on the dismal season these teams had, but spin is all it is. I doubt any of their fans are celebrating in any shape or form. It was a pretty short article, that says something.

3 teams with 3 different stories really.

  • Ottawa was a special case. Loosing their QB just when they started winning was a huge blow BUT then they didn't improve until they let the coach go. I think all the pieces are there, coaching is where they need help.

-Edmonton - you all heard it before - like old mother Hubbard Jones and crew got to Edmonton to find the cupboard bare. So just like you gotta kiss a lot of toads to find a prince - you gotta look at a lot of players to find the right ones.
I think they have most of the talent now - it's just a matter of not having 3/4 of the team being rookies and making rookie mistakes that loose you games.

  • Saskatchewan They ignored the smoke until it broke into an uncontrollable fire. Even then they just did the Police Squad thing and did the "nothing to see here" routine until the fire spread to the whole team.
    Speculation on my part to some degree but when you don't fix problems with discipline - they spread. Instead of doing the right things the whole organization thought if they ignored it, it would go away, They set a new low in self governance when the league had to step in and remove a dangerous player.

It was the point where either the HC or the GM should have been fired. But they didn't and now....if you hire someone at this point - they have a couple months to sort out what they have and what they need before free agency, and the draft......

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Good synopsis there, Squishy. There is some reason for each team to have optimism for next year, but I think 'celebrating' is the wrong word to use here. Hopefully an off-season re-set will pull these teams back into contention.

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I think its more that when you have a good clear target for where you need to improve - it makes it easier to target the players you want in free agency and in the draft.
Ottawa has good clear targets, the Elks have good clear targets, Saskatchewan - seems lost as to what they want to do, but the need for change is certain. Thinking they would sneak into the crossover paralyzed them but now, every week they wait is less time the pieces they change have to get ready for next season.

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Unlike you Squishy I am an outsider to all 3 teams but my two cents worth is as follows (based on what we have now as the future including free agent signings can’t be predicted):

Ottawa - I think they are far ahead of both Edm and Sask and with Masoli healthy have a far better starting QB. They barely lost to Winnipeg twice and BC with Rourke once with Masoli at the helm. I think they easily would have finished ahead of Hamilton and made the playoffs if they hadn’t been Marino’d.

Edmonton -** I’m not sure how much was accomplished personnel wise after a dizzying array of players flipped the turnstiles all year. They have the best receiver in the game in Lawler although they were prepared to give him
back to the Bombers if he wasn’t hurt in his last game. Ceresna is a beast. Mitchell and Brown both look like keepers, although arguably at the two easiest positions to fill. I’m not convinced that either Cornelius or Ford is the long term answer at QB, although that is possible. It would have helped if Jones had the foresight to have an experienced QB on hand to mentor these young prospects. Otherwise I don’t see a lot of depth on this roster and fear that next year will be largely a rinse repeat of this year.

**Saskatchewan- ** Probably easily the most talented of these 3 teams somehow turned into a tire fire in the second half of the season, especially lately. Also there has been no recognition for at least two years that an offensive line is really important. They certainly have enough good players that with a few decent additions should allow them to at least make the playoffs next year. I have read many of the complaints of Rider fans and tend to agree that the biggest problem is management and coaching and a full house cleaning would not be unjustified in my opinion. Job 1 for any new regime will be finding a decent starting QB. They might not to be able to find one better than the one the Saskatchewan team bus just ran over.

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I think this is pretty bang on with one exception... with a bit more game time, Shoenn > Lawler

i would agree except that the operations cap will limit them if they clean house of management and/or coaching staff that still has contracts for next year.

Very good, nuanced analysis, Squishy. I agree that the Riders have the biggest issues. They were awful on both sides of the trenches & OL, with the # of replacements they need, is expensive to replace in FA. The backups aren't good either.

The bigger issue is Football OPS. I like both Dickensons - good people, but IMO Craig made a bunch of mistakes in waiting too long to address issues. He lost the room IMO a while back. That didn't happen in Edmonton despite the abominable record. Apparently O'Day, Dickenson & Shivers (maybe Maas) have a year left on contracts so that affects the coaching CAP should they be let go - though some may get work elsewhere in which case they may not have to pay much.

We'll see what happens maybe as early as next week. With Ottawa looking for a coach I suspect the Riders may want to get their name in as early as possible. :sunglasses:

also lol @ “celebrating” losing teams. com’on ferguson :joy:

Don't know how this got tagged to you, Jon. Had attached it to Squishy. :smiley:

Blow the cap and pay the fine. #worthit

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I knew it wasn’t for me when I read “Very good nuanced analysis…”

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lol and here i thought he was replying to you

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I don’t see why that wouldn't apply to your post, as well.

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That, shows the depths of what was done in the last two seasons played. There was, after last season - not much worth keeping, and we traded away our experienced QB last year for....a bag of balls? A sandwich?

Typically speaking, looking at historic data - 3-5 wins is on par with a first year rebuild so no panic yet. Pretty simply a lot of what killed us was in the middle of the defence and the 5 yards allowed per run most of the season and those close games go from loss's to win's.

Ottawa is two years ahead of the Elks and had a lot of premium experienced defensive talent to build around. What frustrated fans this year was they were better than they showed all season.

To be super blunt Saskatchewan hasn't known when to be public and when to keep it in the room. When they needed to be public and stand up and say "It's not right and we will fix it", they didn't, and it continued until someone else took action. (If it wasn't obvious, the Riders released the problem player AFTER the league called and said he's not playing in the CFL again.)
Now with the current situation with the quarterback - never ever burn your bridge from both ends. It just looks so unprofessional and childish. Plus the next guy wonders if you are going to do it to him too.....

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Agree with what you say. And I also don’t think the 3-5 wins is out of line. As an outsider my concern is that the Elks did not improve very much after a certain point, or at least it appeared that way to me. They also don’t appear to have stockpiled tons of young talent for the future. Some, to be sure, but I expected more. You’re the Elks fan so no doubt you have followed them more closely than me. I just expected a little more, but obviously there is a long way to go before next year and maybe free agency will bring some better key players.

I think the number of players was a big part of the lack of success. You can't get to the finer points of playing your opponent this week when you are learning the Canadian game, rules, and learning to play with the extra man on the field.
The one sided defeats this year were teams that pounced on mistakes, and at times there were lots of mistakes.

When we did prep right (Riders in Regina) we looked great.

With all the young guys we should have cap space for a few FA's and we traded more for draft picks than players this season so I think we should add to our talent and be better next season.

When a team loses a lot of games, the young talent is often overlooked as being bad, not as learning. You don't get a lot of all-star selections. Is Ceresna going to get a nod? How many DT's in the league get double figure sacks over 18 games, never mind 10?

The Elks badly missed players like Morgan. When he was in the game, the rushing yds given up went down drastically - 86 vs Wpg, 62 vs BC, 71 vs Ott, 81 vs the Riders. He was missing most of the season. How many people know how good he is?

What Jones has done well is find young talent - Jefferson, McCoil, Ojo in Edmonton. Riders still have guys like Marshall, Moncrief he found, Teitz he drafted. To name a few. As an Elk fan which you obviously are, Squishy, I wouldn't be too concerned about the direction the Elks are going. I've said it a bunch before - nothing to see here. This looks like another Jones rebuild stacked with younger guys. They've had a year to see who they want - lots of guys, survival of the fittest. Cheers. :sunglasses:

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