As the 2023 CFL season lingers just around the corner, there is arguably no team experiencing a more significant turning of the page at the game’s most important position than the Calgary Stampeders, who have officially handed the keys to their franchise over to quarterback Jake Maier from Bo Levi Mitchell.
Yeah, IMO the offence takes a major step up with Cornelius getting all these shiny new toys. I like their front 7. Pelley apparently is off to the NFL next year as multiple NFL teams have shown interest- he’s huge & athletic. I’m anxious to see what he does lining up beside Ceresna. Young Rector rotates in & has 7 sacks in 19 games. Morgan @ MLB is really good.
OL needs to be better. I don’t know who the answer is @ kicker but it’s not Domagala. He was awful. Castillo release was surprising. Gotta be a big concern. This will be a fun team to watch. They really increased their talent on ST’s through the draft this year.
There was a change at O-line coach in the off season so we will see what effect that has. Last season was more that the previous regime left us with a centre and not much more, and something wasn’t right there either as that centre was traded to Hamilton. Playing as a group is important for those guys so a season with lots of change didn’t help them last season either.
From the guys hes bringing in - looks like run game is again a priority and finding backups, additional backs for when someone gets injured (which is a matter of when not if…) and line men (same as running backs - gotta have guys for when injuries happen) and its obvious they are still not happy with the middle line backer as yet - or, they plan on playing a lot of 3-4 again this season and they are looking for the guy with the right combination of size and speed that they can disguise whether they are 4-3 or 3-4 until the snap of the ball.
Back end of the Defence gets much better with Grymes and Purifoy.
Most surprising is…Marshall forgot about WR Cobb, who spent the year on LTIR, coaching high school football to keep busy.
As for Kicker, don’t know. we got a bunch of them so I guess we will see. Hamilton didn’t seem conducive to helping guys get their head in the right place last year so I will reserve judgment on Domagala, he is however one of a group of kickers coming to camp.
Jones gave a lot of playing time to some young Canadian players on D last season - as he was able to treat the season like a long TC.
Hutter emerged as a really strong safety IMO; rookie Makonzo was a fit at S-OLB; J Min Pelley got some time at DT and should progress; Argo / BC cast-off Jamie Harry got some starts at corner (pretty unusual) and held up pretty well IMO; vet Adam Konar is quite capable at W-OLB or MLB. And now Jones has added a good LB prospect in Brodrique and some other new talent on D via the draft (that D-linemen with NCAA experience who qualified as a National just before draft sounds like an interesting prospect).
Who knows what Jones will do - might only start 3 interior O-linemen as Nationals on his offence; and then go with 4 or more on defence ?
And the Argos started/played 9 or 10 Canadians in the GC last year, and won it doing so.
Yup. The value of the ability of the guys who grew up playing three down ball is something he is recognizing. The Elks were starting 10 Canadians at times last seasonas well. Three of the big bright spots on a not so great defence last season were Canadians. Hutter, Konar, and Makonzo.
Thank god his experiments with Carter are over though. He was an unmitigated disaster last season.
Jones traditionally has loaded up with Americans on D. But the Elks are 1 of 4 teams in the West with BC, Calgary & Riders employing Nationals @ WIL. Elks are loaded @ WIL with Nationals. I have a feeling that they will only use 1 National @ DB & a CB spot will be taken up by an import. Maybe one of the Chief guys will work out or someone else out of their camps. They currently have 21 DB’s on their roster & 9 of the 12 new guys are lengthy guys, 6’ & over - the way Jones likes them. The DB’s should be good this year, especially since I expect they’ll be getting increased pressure up front from the DL.
This is a young club with a lot of younger veterans in prime years. Only 4 guys 32 & over.
Well, last season was a big season long experiment for Mr. Jones; I think we may see some different roster / starter looks this season. Wouldn’t be all surprised to see him defer to CFL standard 7 only thinking for this season; but 4 of those 7 guys could be on defence (with lots of rotating & situational looks for both Nationals and imports on D) - which is different from most CFL teams - where a lot of them like to load their defences with imports.
I have a feeling we will likely play one of our draft picks at FB, as Litre has moved on. They also have Cobb and likely Mitchell at WR, the middle of the Oline is likely Canadian again, though we drafted a guy who could play tackle as well.
We also drafted some good DL talent.
When the Oilers get skating there is one team in the West that can hang with them, and they already cleaned out their lockers.
Jones and the EE have now, 2 years in a row, drafted big, productive in U Sports ball power backs (Cinamakinda (GGs) last year and Beaulieu (Carabins) this draft); these guys are not just blocking fullbacks but very capable ball carriers - 230 range loads (saw Beaulieu play for the Carabins - a powerful big back with quick feet - 2 time Q all-star tailback). Be interesting to see their O give these guys a shot to play on offence - to team with that super impressive smaller RB Brown from last year = could go to a thunder & lightening type ground game approach ?
Cornelius will make a big difference in the run game. He stated this off season that’s part of his game & the injury last year doesn’t change that - will be more smart on when to step out. I’m interested to see if the Elks will have a look showing Ford, Brown & Cornelius in the backfield. The 3 of them averaged almost 7 yds/carry collectively last year. That could cause defences all kinds of issues in a run/pass play option.