The Weekly Say: Making Preseason Futures picks

TORONTO — The CFL is rolling out a new-look free-to-play Game Zone for the 2023 season and we’re kicking it off with a Preseason Futures game that rewards you for your powers of prognostication.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Have to agree:
“A healthy Jeremiah Masoli could be the best quarterback in the East, they have the best defensive player in the CFL and an improved offensive line”.

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Calgary - Hamilton. Argos have a question @ QB. Hamilton is loaded. Calgary has best OL, probably best front 7 & best run game.

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On paper Ottawa’s got all the pieces to win the East… plus they won’t be starting their season with back to back matches against the previous year’s best team in the league. Everything hinges on how well Masoli Plays and how SMART their team plays as a whole.

I remember wincing at some of the recurring mistakes that sabotaged Ottawa’s chances. Like poor clock management…

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I notice that every “expert” picked Winnipeg to be the best regular season team and the majority picked them to play in the Grey Cup, mostly against Hamilton. I can get behind that. Who am I to argue with experts?

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It’s always safe to go along with the experts - especially when they’re right.

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On the other topics.

Best rushing team -Calgary. Food for thought - last year top 5 rushing teams all in the West. Who was lugging the ball? Brown/Cornelius/Ford averaged 6.93 yds/carry last year, Cal - Carey/Mills/Logan 6.62 yds/carry, SK - Morrow/Hickson 5.65 yds/carry & Wpg Oliviera/Augustine 4.84 yds/carry.

Lewis - IMO this will be a breakout season for Cornelius & Lewis benefits. I was surprised to see Cornelius has 4,563 yds in 20 starts. Pretty decent. Same avg/game as Collaros had last year. And he was operating in a gong show one year & a revolving door rebuild the next. I would still go with 1300 because Mitchell & Dunbar will get their looks. QB’s, as they say, get too much credit when they win, too much criticism when they lose. He’s got all the tools & now he’s got a good toolbox.

Sacks - 18 is a big #. I expect Mauldin to fall back in the lower double digits.

Regular season - If it’ s everyone taking the Bombers vs the field, I’ll take the field. Don’t see the Bombers winning the season title. Too many old guys & too many in one key area - the trenches - 11 of the projected starters are in their 30’s - 4 on OL, 6 on front 7. Seven of them are 32 & older. Plus are thin on both OT & DL - only 4 DE’s currently listed - Hansen won’t be ready. Jeffcoat gets a 10K bonus if he plays 12 games - nice to see the brass are super confident he plays a whole season, Jefferson & newbie Sterling. Same with DT - Walker has 1 season, 1 other import brought in. Not exactly Rose, Lanier, Ceresna. 8th in sacks, lowest total since 2016. This is the old boys, not the boys of old.

You too are right. We don’t stand a chance this year.

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I knew you would not pick the Bombers, and you may be right, but I don’t think so.

What you neglect to focus on is that they are by far the best coached and cohesive and experienced team and unquestionably have the best QB. Culture and wanting to play for each other more than any other team means something. I would also say they have the best receiving corps. The Bomber brass also has a way of bringing in remarkable young replacements out of nowhere when necessary, particularly in the defensive backfield.

There are sound reasons why they should be favoured over anyone at this admittedly far too early stage to accurately predict.

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Pantsonfire picks us to lose EVERY year. I think his negative prognostications have kept us at the top of the standings. The year he picks us to win will be the year we hit rock bottom.

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Good point. Some others do as well. In this case I’ll stick with the experts.

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Well Maaax I haven’t picked you to lose each year. I had you in the playoffs last year. I DID pick you to win the West Final - just not the CUP. Just because I don’t have you for 1st doesn’t mean I’m picking you to lose. Not until the playoffs.:smiley:

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[quote=“Jon, post:9, topic:85173”]
…nd wanting to play for each other more than any other team means something. I would also say they have the best receiving corps. The Bomber brass also has a way of bringing in remarkable young replacements out of nowhere when necessary, particularly in the defensive backfield.There are sound reasons why they should be favoured over anyone at this admittedly far too early stage to accurately predict.

[/quote By John Hodge -

December 6, 2022

“Having a football team chock-full of savvy veterans is a good thing — until it’s not.”…

…“Winnipeg has 13 players over the age of 30 on its roster, 10 of whom are starters. That’s almost half of the team’s first-string players.”…

…Having a strong group of veteran players can help a team be successful but holding onto them for too long can prove disastrous…

I’m not exactly alone on this, Jon. Hodge is a Bomber fan, full stop. Good unbiased article. You should read it.

And this comment from CJME interview in April. Regarding the OL.

“They’re (#Bombers) 45 yrs old & look like a team that ultimately spent a lot of $ on WR’s while keeping an O-line that wouldn’t have been rewarded w/ All Star votes if anyone actually paid attention last year.” -


Austin isn’t necessarily wrong. After the bogus All-Star team appeared with a dearth of Stamps on the OL, this came out.

Cal - pass blocking - 1 sack every 32 dropbacks (sack opportunities). Wpg 1 sack every 16 dropbacks (courtesy 3DownNation Nov/22). Run blocking - Stamps posted nearly 400 more yds with 28 less attempts.

And this regarding the importance of signing Bryant. Same article by Hodge

“If Winnipeg decides to move on from Bryant, replacing a franchise left tackle is a lot easier said than done. Drew Richmond, who missed this past season due to injury, would probably be the most likely internal candidate to take over the starting role, though he has started only one career CFL game.”

That’s the best alternative for backup @ OT. :weary: YIKES

Losing Masoli early and then the premier kick/punt returner in the league early didn’t help them at all.

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That’s true.

It’s a real plus that the ‘player-who-shall-be-unmentioned’ (rhymes with ‘casino’) who delivered that infamous hit to Masoli’s knee is no longer welcome in the CFL.

I did read the article.

You can spout all the stats you want and how Calgary had this stat or that stat better than the Bombers. The bottom line is that the Bombers managed a three sweep of Calgary last year which is all that matters.

The Bombers are far superior at starting QB that I would worry about that huge mismatch first if I was a Calgary fan. Maier didn’t exactly impress in the playoffs and before you say neither did Zach, we all know he was playing with a significant injury.

I also don’t know why you always urge Bomber fans to worry about Bryant (and there is more backup than you state as well). Of course Bryant will retire one day. Until then he is the GOAT and last I checked is still the best O lineman in the league two years in a row and four of the last five. Hardly in a situation where Bomber fans should worry. In fact I would worry more about every other OLinemen in the league.

Bomber fans do thank Calgary, however, for sending a second Hall of Famer their way after Doug Brown. Two of the most lopsided trades
in CFL history.

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That WAS awfully nice of them. Thanks Stamps! :smiley:

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Jon, I am only relaying what others are saying. It’s obvious the Bombers have issues on DL & OT. It’s fine to say… “The Bomber brass also has a way of bringing in remarkable young replacements out of nowhere when necessary, particularly in the defensive backfield.” …That’s not the problem. Currently on your roster there are 20 DB’s. Odds are good you’ll find some DB’s, no?

Training camp is in 2 weeks. You have 76 players signed up - FOUR DE’s - with Hansen out, you pretty much have to keep the one new guy for rotation. Thomas is the only guy with any experience @ DT & he’s not a #1 guy. Hooray for young, remakable DB’s.

Sweeps in the regular season mean nothing. The 15-3 TiCats swept the Bombers twice, thumped them @ IGF in 2019? So what? It may bother you that I don’t rate your Bombers as high as you feel they have a divine right to be but, hey - I’ve called it before on the Blue Divas. Far as I know the Argos are the top dog till someone takes it away next year. Sorry if you’re offended I’m not putting the Bombers back up on the pedestal they fell from? :sunglasses: As for the coach. Do you think that after wrapping up first Oct 10, with 2 byes coming up, sitting veterans on a nothing game was wise? Collaros et al played 1 meaningless game between Oct 10 & Nov 13. No wonder they were gassed in the 4th Qtr in the GC.

You forget the Argos were clearly gifted a path and a spot to the Grey Cup they didn’t earn. I’m sure you have read about the fact that as a 4th seed they were gifted the 2nd seed after the league pulled out a compass or atlas. Nonsensical.

As to O’Shea sitting or not sitting players, that is a no win wash. The year before he sat players and won. That doesn’t make him brilliant. Last year he sat players and ultimately lost. That doesn’t make him stupid.

We are talking about an age old conundrum in sports. Sit players and they appear off and you are stupid. Play them in a meaningless game and they get hurt and you are even dumber. That’s the same as leaving your starters in. 45-0 blowout in the 4th quarter. Only hindsight can make the correct call which no coach has the ability to use.

The majority of coaches in most sports opt for rest as does O’Shea. Blaming a coach for his choice is a fool’s game. Besides, since the Bombers according to you need to wheel their veterans out of the old folks home in a wheelchair, resting them in a meaningless game would be the obvious choice.