Tuesday, June 26, 2007


CFL Kick-off

Now that a horrendous season of hockey is in the books, a hopefully glorious season of CFL football is about to begin. My season tickets aren't close enough for me to yell at Danny Maciocia, so he better get the job done this season.

The Eskimos should rebound this season. The biggest acquisition is offensive coordinator Jaques Chapdelaine, who's offense promises to be more creative, intelligent, and effective than Maciocia's was. Ricky Ray is the Esks starter, but Stefan LeFors and Steven Jyles should get some snaps to shake things up a little.

The biggest overhauls were at the receiver and defensive secondary positions. Veterans Ed Hervey and Mookie Mitchell are gone, so Jason Tucker becomes the undisputed number one. Kamau Peterson, TJ Acree, Trevor Gaylor, Pat Woodcock, and rookie Fred Stamps should provide a solid supporting cast. The defense has been improved with the signings of Omarr Morgan, Stanford Samuels, and Jason Goss, as well as the return of defensive end Rahim Abdullah. Along with Abdullah, Jabari Issa, Adam Braidwood, and Robert Brown should provide a solid defensive line. The linebacking core of Antico Dalton, Siddeeq Shabazz, Ray Perryman, and Marcus Winn looked good in pre-season.

The qustion marks look to be on the offensive line, a problem all of last season, and at running back, which featured an embarassingly high number of players last year. Most of them are now gone, so it looks like Ron McClendon's job to lose. Tyler Ebell should also see some action. If the O-line, mainly returnees from last year, is able to gell, the offense should be able to operate effectively.

The West division should be close. The biggest advantage that Edmonton has is that Ricky Ray is clearly a better QB than Henry Burris in Calgary, or Kerry Joseph in Saskatchewan. Dave Dickenson in BC is injury prone. But Ray will need his O-line to perform in order to return to his all-star status.

Prediction: The Eskimos will go 11-7, finishing in second place in the West.

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