I just decided to take a look at the roster and see where we stand, but then I had a better idea, why don't I just make an incredibly long post on my feelings of this years line-up (so far of course).
Jason Maas (B), Rocky Butler(B-), Richie Williams(C-)
The SECOND scariest position on the team - and I mean that in a bad way, a very, very bad way.
Personally, I feel we have two solid backups and a possible third solid backup. That's right, no starters, two years in a row. Hopefully Taffee can perform another miracle.
Corey Holmes (A), Jesse Lumsden (B+), Anthony Davis(C), Kojo Aidoo(F), Julian Radlein(A-)
Possibly our strongest area, although things could change as Holmes may be moved to Slotback. As I see it now, Kojo doesn't make the team, he's just not good enough. Anthony Davis is still young, and will fill the third string role quite nicely, I believe. Holmes and Lumsden will be a two man wrecking crew. With Holmes you get a speedy, proven All-Star. With Lumsden you get a strong & agile player with All-Star potential. Julian in short, looked terrible last year, however I'm going to give him the benefit of a doubt as he was nursing an injury, if he doesn't return to top form, he could be cut as well.
Iain Fleming (C-), Atnas Maeko (D+), Nate Curry (D-), Mike Morreale (C+), Ivan Birungi (F), Brock Ralph (B-), DaVon Fowlkes (C+)
We now come to quite possibly the WORST receiving core I have ever seen in my life (however short it may be). Excuse me whilst I smash my head into a wall thinking about this, shall we say "group" of players. The ONLY player that would make it on another team would be Brock Ralph. The rest of them, would be cut. However, my grades on three of the players (Maeko, Curry, and Birungi) were given specifically because of reading what they've accomplished. Maeko COULD end up being a solid Canadian receiver, however, Iain Fleming was supposed to be a solid Canadian receiver. Maeko, a 1000-yard receiver in the AFL 2, could be a bright spot in this more than concerning position. I don't expect Morreale to make it (if he is signed & doesn't retire), Fowlkes could make it just to be a return, but this entire group is plain awful, we need some wideouts, BAD.
Pascal Cheron (B-), Jonta Woodard (A), Damion Cook (C-), Peter Hogarth (D+), Chris Sutherland (B), Kyler Jukes (D), George Hudson (B), Fabio Filice (C), Carl Gourgues (C+), Ryan Donnelly (C), Marwan Hage (B-)
Slightly less then average, although with a good draft, could become a slightly better then average group. The only real standout is Jonta Woodard, who with the loss of Wayne Smith, is really going to have to step it up. Sutherland could be a welcome addition to our line and a health Cheron & Hudson could provide a nice boost as well. Cook looked a lot better when he was moved to guard, however he still didn't look good enough. Work needs to be done here, but it shouldn't be THAT bad.
Wayne Shaw (B), Sandy Beveridge (C+), Matt Clark (B-), Arnold Parker (B-), Lawrence Gordon (A), Jykine Bradley (B), Sasha Glavic (C-), Tay Cody (A+), Phillip Gauthier (B+), Tad Kornegay (B-), Airabin Justin (C-), Sam Young (B)
Without a doubt the strongest area of the team. Led by the best player on our team, Tay Cody, the defensive backfield kept on getting better throughout the year (oddly enough, as our offence kept getting worse). Cody will once again lead the group as he did last year. Shaw improved greatly at safety last year, I liked what I saw, although too many dropped interceptions, but that can be worked on. What I liked about Shaw is that he learned to hit, and he was hitting hard. Gauthier was a great pickup from the Belli trade, he came in and got it done. Gordon came in, and just tore it up, both him and Cody are ball-hawks and they both make it look easy. Followed by a steady rotation of guys (Bradley, Kornegay, Young) this should be a strong group this year. Parker who left for the AFL will just add another good rotation guy when the AFL season finishes.
Rob Hitchcock (D), Jojuan Armour (B-), Matt Robichaud (F), Renard Cox (C+), Ray Mariuz (B), Agustin Barrenechea (B), David Dixon (B), Zeke Moreno (B+), Michael Nattiel (C), Malcom Postell (F), Jamacia Jackson (F)
Being honest here, Hitchcock is a good guy, and a great leader, he's given us Ticat fans so much to cheer about, but lets face it, he's just not good enough anymore. Armour - and his run in with police doesn't give me the greatest feeling ever. Robichaud is a free agent, and yes, I know, he's not really a linebacker, but there is no real "Long Snapper" position. Unless the coaches like him, he'll be gone. Cox & Mariuz played good, not great, but good. Mariuz is a potential starter, though not someone who would start on a lot of teams. Barrenechea looked alright last season, though much improvement is needed for our linebacking core on a whole. Dixon looked good when he was brought in, but it's still not enough. Then we have Zeke, our saviour? Perhaps, but let's just wait first. I think he'll start, how well he'll do at it, nobody knows yet. The last three guys are relative unknowns. Nattiel, being the only one who could make the team. The other two guys probably wont make it much past the first cuts.
Anthony Collier (B+), Steve Josue (C+), Marc Pilon (C), Roger Dunbrack (C), Clinton Wayne (B+), DeVonte Peterson (C+), Bernard Holsey (B-)
Belli? Cheatwood? Cotton? You guys, wait for me! With the loss of 3 of our 4 starters from the beginning of last year, this line looks different, really, really different. I expect a few pickups here before the start of training camp as there just aren't enough guys. Collier looked good last year, which makes up for the loss of one of the two ends (Cotton, Cheatwood). Peterson is a free-agent, and his play drastically declined late last season. Josue, given the opportunity could turn some heads, and Dunbrack is a solid backup tackle. Both Wayne and Holsey looked pretty good last year, but I'm still hoping for the return of the kissing bandit. The line isn't looking too bad, but don't get me wrong, it isn't looking too good either.
Jesse Lumsden (C-), Corey Holmes (A), Tad Kornegay (C-), DaVon Fowlkes (A)
Doesn't look too bad at first glance, but when two players that will get the ball A LOT are half that list, then it doesn't look too good. You certainly don't want to wear out Holmes & Lumsden, so you keep them off returning duties as much as possible (Holmes not completely though). Kornegay returned a few last year, didn't look too bad. Fowlkes did outstanding, and was a major spark to our team last year. However that being said, if Ezra Landry has dealt with his problems (family I believe), he'd be a welcome edition to our return team.
Brian Devlin (D/D), Nick Setta (D-/F), Jamie Boreham (D-/F), Pat Fleming (D-/B+)
In the words of Simon Cowell "absolutely dreadful", however easily fixable. Fleming held his own during punting duty last year, and if we go with a two-man kicking duty team, then his job will be waiting for him come next season. Boreham on the other hand, not so much. The addition of Devlin and Setta are enough for even him to realize, he is NOT safe. Though Devlin and Setta have done noting remarkable during kicking duties in previous years, honestly, it'd be hard to do worse then Jamie. Yes, that's coming from a Boreham fan. It's just painfully obvious that he cannot get it done. Hopefully a trade is in the works for a solid kicker. Possibly the free-agent signing of Westwood as well.
This team is not playoff bound right now, it's not even 500% bound, however it's a rebuilding year, and for once, things are being rebuilt, and not reloaded.