I just found this pretty interesting
This is "prairiedog" 's analysis of the esks coming into this season(from 13thman.com). I'd have to say that I am very impressed(and surprised ) that there are some intelligent and unbiased riders fans out there. I'd probably have to agree with everything he said.[url=http://www.13thman.com/cheers/viewtopic.php?t=27860&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45]http://www.13thman.com/cheers/viewtopic ... c&start=45[/url]
**Troy Davis is an excellent running back, not only carrying the ball but in a blocking role as well. This should not be overlooked. Will Ricky Ray go 7 games without a TD pass ever agin? NO! That was an abberration of cosmic proportions, largely aided by the fact that during the drought he actually sneaked across from the 1 several times taking away his own potential passing strikes. There is nothing wrong with Ricky Ray. Ed Hervey is a terriffic receiver, no matter what anyone thinks of his mouth and Mookie Mitchell may be old, but he's still clutch. Then there's Tucker of course. As long as the Esks can get pass protection the offense will be in fine shape, especailly when you factor in that they don't have to play against their own #1 ranked D. Will Edmonton get the pass protection they need? I say they have a much better chance of that than BC does. They have had problems the last couple years, but mostly due to nicks and injuries and shuffling around the spots. Beaton has retired and that's bad news and so is Lefsrud in limbo. It looks like the star center will at least not start the season if not play at all this year and that will hurt, but Comiskey and Bakker are there from the Hamilton trade(s) (plural optional ). All they need is a little cohesion, perhaps something that the new o-line coach Brennan can deliver. The line is still a question mark but nowhere near as big as in BC. As mentioned, Edmonton has the #1 ranked defense and for good reason. Even with Montford gone, the Esks (again just like everybody else) have good pass rush. New faces are Rob Brown (from Als) and Anthony Collier (Gades). Linebackers are solid with the old-school smashmouther AJ Gass in the middle, and the highly mobile and versatile Singor Mobley and Stephen Marsh on the outside. As long as the Esks can avoid coverage mismatches against Gass (which they did a fairly good job of last season), expect another #2 or #1 defense ranking again this year. The secondary is as good as they come with wily veterans Garrett and Brady and very promising newcomer Keyou Craver who did not look at all out of place in the playoffs last year. Furthermore Reggie Durden is a very nice upgrade over Davis "dirty" Sanchez both on and off the field and Kelly Witshire is easliy the best non-import safety in the league. Sean Fleming handling the kicking duties once again means no problems here, and of course the Esks have the west's best special teams return ace gamebreaker in Tony Tompkins.
**Bottom line: Evil Empire strikes again with another title. 1st place at 11-7.
**Prove me wrong?: Offensive line problems continue to plague, throwing off Ray's rhythm, causing offensive inconsistencies, and in a division this tight, could drop them out of the post season for the first time in 35 years