Tuesday 6 September 2011

Morning-After Thoughts (Week 10)

Labour Day has come and gone, which means we leave the dog days of summer behind. It also means that every CFL team has now played 50 per cent of their schedule. Hard to believe. Seems like only yesterday that the season began. If the first half is any indication, we are in for one wild ride during the second half of the season.
  1. Coming off a week when we saw two excellent games, Labour Day was rather... boring. All four games were all but decided by halftime. The average point differential in the four games was 21. It was basically four butt kickings. With rematches coming in Week 11, I hope the Labour Day losers put up better performances.
  2. While I stand steadfast in my belief that Hamilton has the best group of Linebackers in the CFL, the best single 'Backer is Solomon Elimimian. He makes plays all over the field and was in fine form once again against the Argos. Right now, Elimimian is in a neck-and-neck race with Odell Willis for the Most Outstanding Defensive Player award.
  3. That performance by Toronto was as listless and uninspiring as I have seen from a team in some time. That was pathetic and an embarrassment to those of us that watched.
  4. Former Argonaut Defensive Coordinator Chip Garber was fired because Jim Barker didn't like what he saw out of the Defense. How then does Jaime Elizondo keep his job? The Offense hasn't gotten any better since he became Offensive Coordinator, yet Barker stands by him. It doesn't make any sense.
  5. On the topic of Barker, is it time to admit that maybe he is not cut out to be a Head Coach? His career record is a putrid 25-38, yet some people, fans and media alike, still hold him in high esteem. He has been given more leash than any other sub-.500 coach I can think of, and I am at a loss as to why. His best single-season record as Head Coach is two 9-9 finishes with the Argos (in 1999 and 2010). Perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to him was doing so well last year. It gave him the sense that everything was alright.
  6. Jeremaine Copeland openly asked to be given the ball more, and the result was one catch for 17 yards. He looked visibly angry after making that catch (which came late in the fourth quarter). I know his skills have diminished, but not to that extent. Copeland doesn't seem to be in Toronto's plans, so it might be best for both parties to split.
  7. Winnipeg's all-white uniforms: not good. In the pantheon of terrible unis, they don't match those horrible ones from the mid-1990s with the logo on the front (see the Memphis Mad Dogs, Birmingham Barracudas and Toronto Argonauts; the Barracudas were especially hideous), but the white jersey, white pants combination is not a good one.
  8. TSN showed a stat about mid-season coaching changes, and it basically proved what many people already knew: it doesn't change much.
  9. I'm really starting to like Efrem Hill.
  10. Hearing that the Blue Bombers lead the league in two-and-outs is rather surprising. You don't normally associate such offensive ineptitude with a 7-2 ball club. Just further proof that the Bombers are winning with Defense.
  11. The Bombers have quite the pair of Canuck Receivers in Kito Poblah and Cory Watson. When both those guys finally "get it," they are going to be extremely dangerous weapons for Winnipeg. They could be the next great Canadian combo.
  12. It looks to me like Anthony Calvillo is starting to show his age. He still leads the league in passing yards, but his completion percentage is sixth among starting Quarterbacks. Are we finally starting to see the decline of Anthony Calvillo? We knew it would happen sooner or later. No one has ever beaten Father Time.
  13. The Montreal Receivers (aside from Jamel Richardson) haven't done Calvillo any favours either. I lost count of how many drops the Als had against the Tiger-Cats. And I don't mean hard catches either. I mean right-on-the-hands-type catches. Montreal had a severe case of the butterfingers on Labour Day.
  14. People are going to see what Chris Williams did and think Dwight Anderson had a bad game. Far from it. Anderson was in Williams's hip pocket all game; it's just that Williams found a way to make plays despite Anderson's blanket coverage. I have taken my shots at Anderson (I still think he's a buffoon), but his play on Monday cannot be criticized.
  15. I know Labour Day brings out animosity, but I was surprised by how undisciplined Montreal was. The Als amassed 14 penalties for 151 yards. You can't be that undisciplined against a team as good as Hamilton and expect to win.
  16. Sean Whyte's streak of consecutive successful field goals was broken on Monday. I wonder if teammate Sandro DeAngelis gave any advice to Whyte on how to handle those swirling winds at Ivor Wynne that we heard so much about last season.
  17. Adarius Bowman was released last season by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers because he couldn't catch the football. He has resurrected his career in Edmonton and has become one of Ricky Ray's favourite targets. Once Fred Stamps gets healthy, the Eskimos are going to have one heck of a Receiver duo.
  18. What the heck has happened to Joffrey Reynolds? From MOP candidate in 2009 to afterthought in 2011. Running Backs have a notoriously short shelf life, and Reynolds has been around since 2004. It's possible that we are seeing the changing of the guard from Reynolds to Jon Cornish.
  19. Greg Peach's return paid immediate dividends by forcing one fumble and recovering another. Both of Peach's plays resulted in Edmonton touchdowns.
  20. I think I'm starting to get the hang of this prediction thing, as I posted another solid 3-1 week. The only incorrect pick was the Stamps. My record for the season stands at a very respectable 21-15. I haven't had a week under .500 since Week 4. I might get those 50 wins I was aiming for after all, but I'll have to step my game up over the rest of the season.

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