What's the 4-1-1 on your team this year?

I'll start with B.C.

STRENGTHS:
Quarterbacks - very solid 1 through 3. Travis Lulay is a future star in this league and by all accounts had the best camp of any player this year. A nice insurance policy at #2.

Receivers - Lots of weapons: Geroy Simon, Paris Jackson, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Derick Armstrong. NI O'Neil Wilson is serviceable extra receiver. Looking for a way to get the ball in Jamall Lee's hands to use his 4.3 speed.

WEAKNESSES:
O-line - while they've assembled a bigger, meaner group up front, we won't know if they've improved until Week One. Virtually entire line overhauled (newcomers or guys playing new positions). Preseason results were pretty good.

Secondary - while they didn't look particularly impressive in preseason, they are an athletic group. Played basic man coverage in preaseason with no disguises and got torched. Like the O-line, we won't know how good they are until the first game.

Special Teams (return) - if the club has a big game returner, they're keeping him under wraps. Newcomer Robert Jordan struggled in preseason.

OVERALL:
Keron Williams will anchor an improved pass rush (Brent Johnson moves to a 6-man rotation). Younger and more athletic at linebacker which will help run defense. If Wally is still tinkering with the O-line in Week 3, they're probably going to need all 3 quarterbacks….or more.

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH: Canadian FB Jerome Messam, LB Joe Henderson
KEY ACQUISITIONS: DE Keron Williams, S Davis Sanchez, RB Jamal Robertson (all free agents)

I'm an Argos fan. Our QB's last name is Lemon.......and he's never started a CFL game before.......Toronto's 411 = Long and miserable Season.

I don't think we can give a full evaluation for the Bombers until the roster is finalized. Too many positions up in the air. This is based on what I've read and seen about TC since I've not been to practices myself.

QBs

Best crop of QBs we've had in AGES!!!! If Pierce stays healthy, he will be a difference maker. Jyles struggled at times during camp but played well against the Ticats. DiMichele and Brink are both young and new to the CFL (DiMichele was on the PR last season for a couple of months) but have looked good.

Receivers

Right now it looks like Edwards, Bowman, Jeffers-Harris and Ralph will definitely be starting. Bowman is going to have to do some work on holding onto the ball though or he could be in trouble. Cory Watson will likely see some action too. After that, I'm not sure.

Oline

LaPolice was moving guys around on the o-line so we can't really judge how good they will be based on the pre-season games. Lots of o-lineman were playing positions they hadn't played before.

Backs

Fred Reid has had a good camp. IMO Yvenson Bernard will be on the team. Emmanuel Marc has looked good at times but I don't think he's been good enough to unseat Bernard. Daryl Stephenson has looked good this pre-season and will likely be on the roster. Jon Oosterhuis may be on the bubble.

D-line

That will be a big plus for the Bombers this year. Doug Brown is in incredible shape and shows no signs of slowing down. Don Oramasionwu has had an outstanding camp so the Bombers may have two NIs starting on the d-line. Odell Willis and Phillip Hunt should be impressive as well.

LBs

Marcellus Bowman seems to have won the job at weak-side LB. Charlton and Lobendahn will likely start at the other two LB positions. Labbe will likely be a back-up again this season but may see more playing time. I still have my fingers crossed that Derrick Doggett will be back. Only a couple more days before he'll clear NFL waivers. NIs Thaine Carter, Chris Smith and, IIRC, import Courtney Smith have also had good camps.

Secondary

Still some positions to be decided. It looks like Johnson, Logan, Kent and Stewart will make up part of the secondary. Most likely Craver will be there too.

Special Teams

Renaud has shown that the knee injury suffered last season hasn't affected his kicking and Serna looks good again. Don't think the Bombers will have any issues in that regard. It's looking like Johnson will be handling the punt returns again this season unless they bring in someone new. Don't know who will be doing kick-off returns yet. Coverage teams still have a little work to do.

Overall

I think the Bombers will surprise a few people. It may take a couple of weeks for the offense to gel but it will be a LOT better than last season's offense right from the start. Defense will likely be a strength this year.

Newcomers to watch: Terence Jeffers-Harris (import WR), Kelly Butler (import o-lineman), Marcellus Bowman (LB)
Key Acquisitions: Buck Pierce (QB), Steven Jyles (QB), Joe Mack (GM), Ken Moll (Player Personnel), Paul LaPolice and coaching staff

Ticats:

Strengths:

Linebacker - Possibly the best LB corps in the league. Knowlton, Floyd and Johnson were stellar last year.

O-line- a veteran laden line with Hage, Gauthier, Jimenez, Dyakowski and Hudson. Simeon Rottier and Zac Carlson provide solid backup if needed.

Quarterback - OK, cue the disgruntled Bomber fans. While Kevin Glenn may not be a top-3 QB in the league, he proved last year he can lead the team to victories. The reason I put QB as a strength has more to do with depth. If Glenn goes down, Porter and Trafalis could backup and do a decent job. I know Porter did not perform great in the pre-season (which concerns me a little), I'm still going to chalk it up to playing time with 2nd stringers. But I could actually see Trafalis moving in to #2 position ahead of Porter. But no matter what, Porter and Trafalis are both capable and have much potential.

Receivers - Bruce is the top dog here, obviously. But beyond that, Stala and Matt Carter (and possibly Glenn MacKay) have good hands. Maurice Mann has proved himself to be a potential 1000 yard receiver to compliment Bruce. Marquay McDaniel and Drisan James are back this year, and should have excellent sophomore seasons.

Question Marks:
D-line - Very good at stopping the run last year. But not so good at times at putting pressure on the quarterback. Much better than the 2008 version mind you, but may need some fine-tuning. Khari Long had 10 sacks in limited time last year, and should have a good season again.

Secondary - had to revamp this area in the off-season, most notably picking up Will Poole and Jason Shivers from the 4-14 Argos... great move :roll:

Punting - Sandro is set for FG duty, so no problem there. But this Palardy kid has been inconsistent in the offseason, so I'm not so sure.

Eskimos

Coaching: Dropped Jim Daley as defensive coordinator. Richie Hall takes his place acting as both head coach and DC

QBs: Ray looked phenomenal in pre-season going 4/6 45 yards and a TD, and 13/14 for 175 yards and a TD. He'll have a bunch of weapons on offense this season. Maas looked pretty good in pre-season as well and is still one of the best backups in the league IMO. Zabransky will see a bit of time in a new package designed especially for him according to OC Kevin Strasser, but wasn't very impressive in pre-season.

RBs: The Esks hope Whitlock will pick up where he left off with top 2-3 #s in most rushing categories. Backup non-import Calvin McCarty will see more playing time this season. Import Daniel Libre from Hawaii will likely stick on the practice roster as a small scat back.

FBs: Bertrand currently njured. Ciezki and Bell as backups.

Receivers: Stamps and Campbell could very well be the deadliest 1-2 punch at receiver in the league. Barnes will likely make the starting roster as well. Skyler Green who had the game winning TD in preseason game #2 will primarily be used as a returner but could see time as a receiver. Don't know what will happen to Efrem Hill or Jamaica Rector, although both are capable. Non-import receivers include Kamau Peterson, Talbot, Nowacki, and Brad Smith.

O-line: Look for the same group as last season, which statistically was in the upper half of the league in least sacks allowed, and allowed Arkee to rush for a ton of yardage. Starting centre Fiacconi is injured and could start the season on IR. Look for Kabongo and Armstrong to be solid again.

D-line: Peach who tied for Esks sack lead with 6 looked impressive in camp and likely held his starting spot. Kai Ellis will start at the opposite DE spot. Romero, Braidwood, Dee Sterling will play DT. Newcomer Kenneth Petway will likely be kept on PR, but could see some time at DE if there are injuries and could surprise. Esks d-line needs to be more consistent and improve upon last season.

LBs: Same group the Esks ended last season with, Lloyd, TJ Hill, and Restelli

DBs: Completely overhauled with only Jason Goss and non-import Elliot Richardson(who I'm still not sold on as a starting safety) returning from last season. Lenny Walls, Amos, Chris Thompson, and Lawrence Gordon round out the secondary.

Special Teams: Esks have held onto young kicker/punter Schiavone for 2 or 3 seasons now. Could be Prefontaines last season. At returner, Tristan Jackson is amongst the best in the league but could be out for a month or more with an injury. Replacing him is Skyler Green who is equally impressive.

Who to watch:
Kelly Campbell- will he return to 2008 form?
Jason Barnes- very impressive in TC and the few games he played last year, but will have a bigger role this season as a receiver.
Skyler Green- will be used a returner and is electric, but could see time at receiver as well
Lenny Walls- could be the physical presence the Esks have needed in their secondary for a few seasons now. Was close to leading the league last season in INTs if I recall correctly.
Calvin McCarty- if he doesn't get injured will likely put up career numbers, even splitting time with Arkee.

Excellent post, esks123. I'm pretty excited about our offence. We've so many weapons, it's crazy. :lol: I'd love to see McCarty get some more carries. I said last season that I'd like to see the Esks use Whitlock and McCarty like the Colts used Rhodes and Addai when Indy won the Super Bowl.

That sucks about Tristan Jackson. Hopefully Green can pick up the slack.

Defence will be interesting. I'm excited to see what Hall does with this group.

Should be a good season. Go Esks! :thup:

The only thing I would add to this is if the preseason is an indicator, D'Andra Cobb is not going to be a one season wonder as he put on a good performance. In addition, having a capable backup RB in Demetris Summers who will be an excellent kick returner bodes well for the black and gold.

...everyone on my team has retired...

Hey, in the past few days, we've had both our backup QBs sustain injuries, our primary kick returner suddenly leave the team for personal reasons, and our special teams coordinator axed before he'd even coached a game of meaningful football for the Als. I feel your pain.

:lol: :lol:

Great posts everyone, some good insight into the teams here!

I am not as up-to-date with the 'Riders as I should be, but here's my 2 cents....

Strengths - O line looks solid with alot of holdovers from last year.
Receivers - a stable full of ratio busters here! Topto bottom, one of the best in the league (IMO). The many sure hands of this group should make the QBs look good.

?s - QB - DD has to play up to standards he set for himself last year (and bring the int's down, too) - if he falters or gets hurt, not sure that Dinwiddie is going to take the team very far.....

Weaknesses - DL/LB, the loss of Baggs, Chick or Williams would hurt a team well enough if its just one of them, but all three defensive standouts are gone, even if you can replace one or two, there is still going to be a hole to fill.

I think hosting a playoff game for the fourth year in a row is a possibility (then, off to hell for some snowboarding!!!!)

I suspect the Riders will be dialing 911 more than 411 this season.

Riders

This is all going on hearsay, forum reports, and news clippings

Strengths:

O-line- No doubt that we will have a dominant O-line this year. At least in the pass game. Addition of Goodspeed, comes too an already great o-line. Makowsky and O'day are definitely getting up there so their run game blocking may suffer but very few will get to Darian. Some very good o-linemen will get cut from this team.

Receivers - Two rookie of the year candidates from 2008 in Dressler and Rodriguez join the best Canadian Receiving corps ever assembled. I am actually exited to see Clermont as he has been lighting it up so far. And I can't stand Clermont. Getzlaf, Fantuz, and Bagg round out the rest of the main receivers you will see, plus probably rookie Cary Koch (pronounced coke i believe) and when healthy, Cetoute.

Starting QB - I fully expect Darian Durant to be in the top 3 QB's in the league this year. Rounding out the season last year he slowed down his game a lot, reigned in the interception numbers and led the Riders to a Grey Cup Berth.

Secondary - While losing Eddie Davis is a massive hole, mainly because of his coaching and leadership role, Chris McKenzie is very athletic. I fully expect him to challenge for the team title in INT's. Lance Frazier will play the other side and in my opinion he is the best halfback in this league. Veteran and leader Omar Morgan and Donavon Alexander will be very steady at Corner. Having speedy McKenzie next to an aging Morgan may prove necessary though. James Patrick will continue to quietly monitor the back end and I expect him to step up his game like he did in the playoff run last year. Plus there is some good depth with newcomer Thomas, and returning Mitchell.

Special Teams - Luca Congi is back kicking field goals and while not the best he is still good. Louie Sakoda has been very eratic so far this year but when he gets a hold of one it goes. Can't see him getting let go. May be an import victim once or twice forcing Congi to Punt. Dominique Dorsey was added this year and Armstead released. Hopefully Jim Daley can get these guys to run some back. On the cover teams, expect some of the rookies like Byron Bullock and Shomari Williams to join Kitwana Jones and Mike McCullough in getting lots of tackles.

Linebackers - I left these guys till last of the strengths but that does not mean they are the least of our strengths. On the contrary the threesome of Lucas, Simpson, and Kornegay should garner a lot of respect from their opposing coaches. The outside bakers are both returning all-stars and then adding Barrin Simpson a former multiple all-star (Not sure this is fact but it should be) who in my opinion is an upgrade over last years Rey "Over-pursuit" Williams.

Question Marks:

D-line - John Chick and Stevie Baggs are devastating losses to the NFL. That being said I do think they will be a solid if not spectacular group. Brent Hawkins comes in with a fairly good name having gathered ~5 sacks in ~20 games in the NFL with the Jaguars. No sacks in preseason but did collect 6 tackles. Mullinder and Sykes will also probably play in the DE spot on a the rotation that the Riders like to use. Kieth Shologon and Chunky Adams return to fill up the middle, very adequate DT's. Probably be some other guys thrown in the mix like Kitwana Jones and 1st overall pick Shomari Williams.

Running Backs - Does Wes Cates have his game back?? Can O-day and Makowsky open up some holes in the middle for these guys. Hugh Charles will play some with Stu Ford, Neil Hughes and Chris Szarka taking the Canadian spot. Also Dorsey may make an appearance occasionally in a rb or slotback role

Coaching - New OC Doug Berry. You get a new Offensive Co-ordinator and it is always a question. That being siad I don't think its a huge question. I fully expect Ken Miller to have all of his ducks in a row, making sure there are only the required 12 players. This team will be prepared. Etchevary is still at DC so expect lots of crazy packages on defence.

Backup QB's. Dinwiddie played well in th camp and in the first preseason game. Berquist looked good in the second, but still has some learning to do. Here is hoping this question never gets asked.

Just my take on the Riders.
At the risk of jinxing it I expect Durant to lead the Green and White to a 1st or 2nd place finish and a date in Edmonton in Late November.

???

:?

Do tell!

Ya, what he said. Many here were right p'ed off when he was released!

Ok can't stand is maybe too harsh.

I think last year he was an overpaid distraction/publicity stunt, and part of the reason we did not sign either Mo Lloyd or Anton Mackenzie. Especially Lloyd. Plus I hate Rams, and thus hated Clermont when he played for them, both against the Hilltops and the Huskies. And I strongly dislike the Lions, and thus disliked him when he played there. It's pretty hard to start liking a guy you have been trashing his whole career since high school. :wink:

Last year he proved me right, he was generally a non-factor, and 120 G is a lot for a non-factor. I am open to him proving me wrong this year.

I think we all have to worry about the Al's though. The success of there Offensive Line last year was uncanny. Calvillo isn't going to start to show his age until his gets rocked a couple of times.

It will be interesting to see if there are any adjustment problems with a new center.