Monday, 6 December 2010

Three Questions: Calgary Stampeders

The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at the questions facing the Calgary Stampeders.

Has Henry Burris peaked?
Burris has done it all. He's won a Grey Cup, he's won an MOP and he's going to go down as one of the greatest QBs in CFL history. Burris is at, or near, the top of the list of players I most enjoy watching. But Burris will be 36 when the season starts and he is admittedly at the tail end of his career. So with his MOP win last year, what else does he have to motivate him? With the Stamps giving a contract extension to Drew Tate, they clearly see the end with Burris being sooner rather than later.

What will happen at Running Back?
The Calgary Stampeders have one of the best problems to have: too many good Running Backs. Both Joffrey Reynolds and Jon Cornish are ├╝ber-talented players who could start for any team in the league. The Stamps used both phenomenally in 2010. They would use Reynolds for two series and then Cornish for one. It kept both men fresh all season. But sooner or later Cornish is going to want to be the bell-cow back that he is capable of being, and Calgary will need to make a decision soon on what direction they want to go in. Reynolds showed this year that he can still play at a high level, but Running Backs have a notoriously short life span, and Reynolds will be entering his eighth season in 2011. It might be time to cut ties with the team's all-time leading rusher and go with the younger Canadian.

Who won't be back?
While free-agent lists haven't been released – something that has seemingly angered TSN's Dave Naylor – it is well known that many of Calgary's big-name players are headed for free agency: the All-Star Defensive Back duo of Brandon Browner and Dwight Anderson, along with the CFL's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for 2010 Ben Archibald and Receiver Romby Bryant, just to name a few. If Calgary loses a few of their core players, they will be hard pressed to finish in first place in 2011.

2 comments:

  1. Many picked them to struggle this year too. If he can put together another great season, whether some key players leave or not, Hufnagel might just be proving to be in charge of the Alberta version of the Als (though without the Grey Cup runs so far - a huge difference)

    But with Saskatchewan's young and talented offense, and a BC team on the rise, it won't be easy.

    This is a good series of blog postings Josh - great way to fill the quiet time between Grey Cup and free agency and drafts. Thanks!

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  2. I was one of those "experts" that expected Calgary to struggle. I had them finishing fourth and missing the playoffs; shows what I know.

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