Team Weaknesses

http://www.tsn.ca/columnists/chris_schultz.asp

The goal within the process is progressive improvement, not instantaneous, but just a nice steady level of improvement from each individual player. When that happens, you see the team result.

But what influences football success over an 18-game schedule more than anything else are injuries. Whether it is a key individual or a collection, injuries destroy chemistry and continuity.

In many ways, the team that stays healthy, wins, the team that does not, will not. Injuries in football are uncontrollable because you cannot predict where and when you're going to get hit.

All you can do is be in the best physical shape possible at the beginning of the season and play as hard as possible. From there, it is a roll of the dice. The team that has the good fortune to keep starting 24 on the field, all the time, from Week 1 to Week 20, success will happen.

League Concerns

  1. Instant replay - In all likelihood, this will be an imperfect process. The positive is the commitment to get it right. The negative is the fact that it is not a rehearsed system so there will be confusion. Personally, I like the challenge system but only in the playoffs. For one, it slows down the game too much.

  2. Salary cap - Football talent and money availability go together and some teams spend more than others. Without a management system, there is always a possibility of buying a winner. With a management system, you can't. Competitive balance makes the Grey Cup winner a genuine winner.

  3. Leadership - In my opinion, the decision to dismiss commissioner Tom Wright would be the wrong one. I am sure the CFL governors have reasons but I also remember the desperation in Hamilton and Toronto just three years ago. Who the heck would want this job anyway? It does pay well and offer all the challenges you would want but it just seems like any time the commissioner tries to be creative for the benefit of the league, it gets shot down if any governor is not willing to sacrifice.

B.C. Lions Concerns

  1. Dave Dickenson - Not in playing ability, just in durability. The concussion he experienced last year was a severe one and he can't afford another. As a quarterback, Dickenson is highly competitive and willing to take a shot to make the play. The Lions have to protect him by design and individual play better than they did last year.

  2. Middle Linebacker - Barrin Simpson is now a Blue Bomber and his productive, consistent play and his leadership on the field have to be replaced. The Lions have had a lot of time to prepare for the next Barrin Simpson but until it happens, it is an issue.

  3. Soap Opera Atmosphere - Last year's Casey Printers/Dave Dickenson distraction affected the team. Although it is unlikely to happen again this year, controversy of any kind should be crushed as fast as possible. Only on-the-field discussions allowed.

Calgary Stampeders Concerns

  1. Attitude - Whether it is true or not, the Stampeders have a perception of arrogance throughout the league. When you conclude that you are better than others, you forget what you did to achieve that level of confidence on a daily basis. The Stampeders are a very good football team but so are the other seven teams in the league.

  2. Fast start at QB - Henry Burris is a slow starter every now and then. Because his desire for success is so high, if things don't work out early, he will over-analyze, which can create hesitation. Burris needs to relax and let it go because he will make mistakes, just like everyone else.

  3. Return game - I can name a dominant punt returner/kick returner on every team except the Stampeders. When I get to Calgary, I draw a blank.

Edmonton Eskimos Concerns

  1. Offensive Line - Without Bruce Beaton, Chris Morris and Kevin Lefsrud, the Eskimos have lost a lot of talent, dependability and experience at a position that demands all three as priority assets.

  2. QB Depth - Never forget the contribution of Jason Maas at critical moments and as a team player. Who will support Ricky Ray, perhaps play for ray and be happy or content watching Ray the majority of the time.

  3. Maintain the Even - After you win the Grey Cup, everyone expects the winning to just keep happening. The reality is that since the Grey Cup, this team has a different set of strengths, weaknesses and a new personality. Expect to win but pay the price to prove it.

Saskatchewan Roughriders Concerns

  1. Fan perception - Do not think the Trevis Smith accusations have not made Rider fans and CFL fans question why they should support this team. Saskatchewan needs a clean season off the field.

  2. Matt Dominquez - He has been described as an ultimate player in ability, attitude and leadership. Every team needs a receiver that blocks, catches and is a physical mismatch. Dominguez needs to play on every game in every game. If he does, the Roughriders could have one of the top offences in the league.

Toronto Argonauts Concerns

  1. Cornerback/Nose Tackle - The retirement of Adrion Smith's experience and Noah Cantor's consistency leave two voids that need to be filled for 18 games. And the key here is 18 games, not two or three. Marc Pilon can get the job done at nose tackle but not at the same level as Noah cantor. The cornerback issue is a complete unknown.

  2. Damon Allen - I am not sure if Spergon Wynn and Eric Crouch are ready under Kent Austin's system. You really notice how good Allen is when he is not there. Another solid year is an Argo priority.

  3. Return game - Too much talent not to expect a major contribution. Bashir Levingston, Arland Bruce and Keith Stokes all have a difficult priority skill set. Levingston is the master of width, space and time and negotiating the sidelines extremely well. Bruce makes one decision, takes one cut, and in between the hash marks he goes. Stokes is a combination of both but his best attribute is that he never gives up on a play. He has excellent determination on every opportunity. Toronto should be #1 in punt and kick return yards due to depth.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats Concerns

  1. Team Chemistry - It is very difficult to define but very real to feel. Hamilton will need leaders, grinders and role players. Some will be stars by contribution, other just twinkles on the horizon. Accept and deal with your role.

  2. Josh Ranek/Corey Holmes - Both players need to handle the ball a significant number of times because both players get stronger the more they get hit. This is a good problem for new offensive coordinator Joe Paopao, but a problem nonetheless.

  3. Jason Maas - Not in ability but in finding his balance. Maas and Burris are similar in that sometimes they need to throttle down as opposed to gear up. Both are the next quarterback messiahs for their teams but the key is it is a team. They just need to be reminded they are there to execute the system, not win the game on their own.

Montreal Alouettes Concerns

  1. Defence - Last year, teams caught on to the pressure-filled style of Montreal so they changed to adapt and win. And considering they made it to the Grey Cup and almost won, it worked. It will be interesting to verbally identify the style of their defence because you won't know for sure until about Week 4.

  2. Calvillo - Just like Damon Allen in Toronto, you don't know what you have until it's gone. Calvillo has been in the system for a long time and to expect any reserve QB to have anywhere near similar success is unrealistic. He is the identity leader and top performer on this team… keep him healthy.

  3. Middle Linebacker - Montreal has gone through two or three over the last few seasons. With Duane Butler and Tim Strickland on the outside, you have proven talent that excels as pass rushers, cover cornerbacks and run defenders. Is D'Wayne Taylor the guy at middle linebacker or is it kai Ellis? A new individual identity is needed at that position.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers Concerns

  1. Who is going to be that top quarterback every play of every game? In all likelihood, Kevin Glenn will start the season but who will finish as #1? Winnipeg really improved their team through Ottawa via the dispersal draft and adding Greg Marshall as their new defensive coordinator. But last year was a gigantic experiment at QB. This year, some conclusions need to be made as early as possible.

  2. Continuity - Too much change, too often. Continuity wins and the number of offensive and defensive that Winnipeg has had over the years is shocking. The Bombers need to decide on a core of dependability and keep it together over time, beginning this year.

  3. Schedule - The Bombers have to start strong early in the season. Within the first six games, they play Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto twice each. If Winnipeg is 3-3 after that, consider it a success.

For TSN.ca, I'm Chris Schultz

.....even though this article aired three days after BC's bare a$$ spanking of the stamps in the last PS game for both teams Mr. Schultz must have had it prewritten before that game.....believe me, since then NO ONE is walking around the stamp camp with a big head.....

not no more, anyways...lol

but wait until after the season opener...nik lewis will have something to say..haha

schutlz is a moron though so you never know when he wrote it.

You say Chris Schulz is a moron so I guess we can assume that you're not. :thdn:

Schultz is just an idiot from the toronto sports network. He knows the names of Toronto's back up qbs. But has no idea who or what the f*** he is talking about with edmonton's.

Schultz is just an idiot from the toronto sports network. He knows the names of Toronto's back up qbs. But has no idea who or what the f*** he is talking about with edmonton's.
that might be because edmonton has the weakest backups at QB in the league!!

The only proven backups in the league are mcmanus, crandell, and greene(who hasn’t actually proven much!:lol:) ! Everyone else has only played pre-season or a game or two! And by the way, toronto’s wynn, or crouch sure didn’t light it up in the pre-season, whereas johnson did.

johnson didnt light much up as of what I have seen so far, didnt he throw the ball for 0 touchdowns?

He didn't throw a TD but came awfully close at the end at rider's 20. He performed a better job than Joseph, Crandel, or Butler(all of whom didn't throw for a TD)!
K. JOSEPH 7/11 for 60 yards 0 TD/INT
M. CRANDELL 5/10 for 65 yards 0 TD/INT
I. BUTLER 1/2 for 8 yards 0 TD/INT

J. JOHNSON 11/19 for 103 yards 0 tD/INT

And this was in less than a quarter of playing time, going into the wind, and having two of his drives start at the esks 2 and 4 yard lines, respectively! I'd consider that "lighting it up" for a young qb who has been sitting on a bench 3rd string for the past 3 years.

In those numbers KJ has the higher completion %, but JJ has more yds/throw

man KK, esks lit you up..you might as well go home

Eks lit us up? We won both preseason games (dont jump on me i know there pre-season) and last year we had a dead even draw in our series with them? so in what way did the esks light us up?

no i meant you made a stupid comment on our backup that had no truth possible to it...and esks123 post right after put everything you said to crap

and if your talking about “esks” as in esks123, sure I guess the stats show johnson threw for more yards, but i dont see how throwing for more yards is “lighting it up”. I see a team being lit up once touchdowns are scored, and aren’t held to 0 touchdowns in 2 games

I think he has you on this one RAW! :lol: :lol: Unless you meant someone turned the lights on in the bathroom for the Esks!

Team weakness the Mascot!