After two years of doing "Morning-After Thoughts," I decided to change things up in my third season of blogging about the CFL. So instead of posting 20-plus points from each week's four games, I've decided to change up the format and look slighly more in depth at 10 things from the week's game. With a new format comes a new name, so from here on out I will now be sharing the "10 Things I Learned..."
(1) East gets trounced
16, 16, 15, 10 were the points put up by Hamilton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal, respectively. The West ran over their Eastern counterparts, with just one game (Toronto-Edmonton) being anywhere near competitive. Hamilton kept it close for a half and Winnipeg tried found a bit of a groove in the second, but each team still has some things to figure out. The biggest surprised was how utterly inept Montreal looked. They had no rhythm on offense and their defense was the same seive it was late last year. One week is too soon to judge anything, but this Montreal team is not the well-oiled machine of years past. But the whole East looked weak in Week 1. Week 1 made dummies who made grandiose proclamations about an East crossover in the playoffs look rather foolish.
(2) Enough about the Ricky Ray trade
I'm with Chris Schultz on having heard enough about the Ricky Ray trade. I am really glad that the Argos and Eskimos played in the first week of the season, because I wouldn't want to have to hear about this deal and any impending return to Edmonton for Ray. The trade happened in December and we've been talking about it since December. Nothing was settled on Sunday -- Ray played a better game, but Jyles' team won -- and there will not be, and may never be, a definitive winner of the trade after one game. I don't about anyone else (except Chris Schultz), but I'm tired of hearing about the Ricky Ray trade.
(3) Geroy's record
Geroy Simon set the all-time record for receiving yards by passing former Blue Bomber Milt Stegall on Friday night against Stegall's old team. Watching Simon play, I don't see why he can't continue to dominate for another three or four years. By the time he is done, it is possible that Simon could put the career mark at close to or over 20,000 yards.
(4) Quit stopping games when a player breaks a record
Staying with Simon for just a second, I do not like stopping in the middle of a game to recognize when a player breaks a record. I don't have a problem with a player getting recognition for breaking a record, I just wish they wouldn't stop the game to do it. Do it after the game.
(5) The Argos have a discipline problem
Yikes! 18 penalties in one game? I didn't even know that was possible. I have never seen a more undisciplined group and I can't remember a game with that many penalties by one team. The Argos might have won the game if not for penalties, as the Boatmen had a touchdown called back thanks to a holding penalty by offensive lineman Wayne Smith. The Argos won't win many games if they keep taking double-digit penalties.
(6) Time for Winnipeg to start Alex Brink
I have already stated that I thought Buck Pierce wouldn't last the season and that Alex Brink would take over as the team's starting quarterback, but I didn't think it would happen so soon. Pierce was injured after being completely ineffective in Winnipeg's season-opening loss to the BC Lions. When Brink took over for Pierce, he looked in command of the offense and actually put together a few decent drives. It wasn't enough to get them back into the game, but I think the Bombers would be a better team with Brink at the hel, instead of Pierce.
(7) Defense is alive and well in Alberta
The two Alberta franchised used stiffling defenses to help them secure wins in Week 1. On Saturday night, it was the Eskimos who were able to neutralize Cory Boyd and make life miserable for Ricky Ray, never allowing the former Edmonton pivot to get comfortable in the pocket. On Sunday night, the Stampeders held the vaunted Alouette offense in check. The Stamps didn't allow the Alouettes to find any rhythm and harrassed Anthony Calvillo, who showed his frustration on the sideline, all night long.
(8) Jon Cornish might be the best running back in the league
While he slowed down a tad after halftime, Jon Cornish looks to be on a mission to become the best running back in tthe CFL. He went up against last year's best back, Montreal's Brandon Whitaker, and blew him out of the water. If Cornish continues to improve, the sky is the limit.
(9) Montreal's defense still looks terrible
A lot was made of the injuries suffered by Montreal's defense at the end of last year, yet after a full off-season to get healthy, and change schemes under new defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold, the Als defense still looks terrible. They couldn't stop Calgary at all and it could end up being what stops Montreal from getting back to the mountain top in 2012.
(10) Weston Dressler is a Tiger-Cat killer
When the Ti-Cats travel to Regina to play the Roughriders at the end of the month, I suggest they watch extra film on Weston Dressler. They guy absolutely killed the Cats, and this wasn't the first time either. It seems as if Weston Dressler saves his best for when he plays the Tiger-Cats. It's like Hamilton somehow wronged the diminutive North Dakota grad and he takes it out on them every time the two teams play. He put up 180 yards on 13 catches and three touchdowns. He'll probably be named the Offensive Player of the Week and he once again single handedly killed the Tiger-Cats.