There are three tiers in the CFL going into the season: the team that won the Grey Cup that has the target on its back, the five teams that made the playoffs looking to finish the job next year and the three teams out of the playoffs that are doing everything to get in the dance this season.
Elks - As a HC Jones' team has improved year after year & I see the Elks taking a step (or 2) forward this year. Elite receiving corps. Will they put 2 QB's on the field @ same time? What kind of problems potentially could they cause opposing D's with Ford (4.4 speed), Cornelius (4.7 NFL combine) & Brown all together on option plays?
The D still needs some work but the biggest add might be a healthy Morgan who led the league in tackles/game. With him in lineup they allowed 88.1 run yds/game. No Morgan & they allowed 134.5 yds/game. Should be a fun team to watch.
Riders - very ambivalent about the team. Harris fell into their laps & he should help the offence. Blake will improve them @ RT but he's 37. I'm not convinced the new receivers brought in are better than those who left. Have they got a true #1 guy?
On D they replaced Leonard with Banks, Marino with Johnson & Sankey with Teitz. The back end is pretty much the same. And they have a bunch of new faces on the coaching side. It really feels to me like they made a lot of changes without really making changes. I'm not sure exactly who the Riders are.
REDBLACKS - With Masoli aboard they should move up a bit, & they added Desjarlais to a pretty good OL. The Argos have a big question @ QB. The Als have a run game but not a big name to throw to outside of Ellingson. Love Dyce & wish him the best. I can see them making some noise in the East.
For me, it's the Ti-Cats and Redblacks for 1st place, the other two can fight for the bottom. Out West, that's a different story. The Elks are definitely going to be there, as are the Bombers, Lions, Stamps and Riders. Most likely it will be who can stay healthy and who has the best back-ups. I would put the Elks in the top three, with the Bombers and Lions.
More than a few have been saying the Riders will play it safe in the last year of the coach and GM contracts. Safe to say Shania would not be too impressed. That said they will win some games with the roster they are putting together.
Riders should at least give O'Day the extension seeing as he has been with the team for 26 years already. Shuffle him over and hire a new assistant GM with the imminent rebuild that is on the way. Dickee will need to coach for his life to have a job next season.