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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

THROWIN' ELBOWS WITH BRENDAN MCGUIRE

1-ROUGHRIDER CUTS SHOULD SURPRISE NOBODY: The Riders have a good kick returner (Christion Jones) and have been stacked at receiver for about 2 years now. Chad Owens is 36, Rob Bagg is 33, and Bakari Grant will turn 31 later this month. What did people expect? If it wasn’t for Chris Jones’ fondness for Jerome Messam, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had been released too. Keeping him and the others would have been too many geezers running our offense and that’s not how you build a successful program.

2-IMPORT RATIO EQUIVALENT TO BASEBALL’S NATIONAL LEAGUE: The baseball purist in me has always preferred MLB’s National League rules (where pitchers bat) over the American League rules (with the designated hitter). The NL encourages more of a complete team effort and there’s far more strategy involved with pinch-hitters and substitutions. There’s just more to it. The CFL’s ratio requirement of 7 Canadian starters makes the CFL a far more complicated puzzle to solve than any other football or even perhaps sports league out there. That's another reason we should keep the ratio and actually expand it to involve quarterbacks.

3-LOVE JONES’ CREATIVITY WITH O-LINE: Not sure that I ever recall seeing
any CFL team enter a game with not 1, not 2, but THREE starting American offensive linemen!
That could happen Friday night when the Argos come to town. Too often, coaches in all sports think inside the box and conventional wisdom would dictate dressing no more than 1 or 2 import hoggies to guard the quarterback. Coach Chris Jones makes his own rules -- remember, he is Don Matthews Jr after all—and he’s made a business choice that his heavy investment in protecting Zach Collaros is more important than doing things the way they’ve always been done. That way of thinking will also open up the run game and opportunities for Canadians at skilled positions which the good Lord knows we need far more of in this great league of ours.

4-RIDERS SHOULD FINISH 3RD IN WEST: With Matt Nichols injured and Jonathon Jennings coming off a disappointing year, Winnipeg and B.C. are both a box of chocolates at their quarterback positions where “you never know what you’re gonna get”.  For that, I put them to finish behind Saskatchewan in the west division. Calgary and Edmonton are both too strong to bet against with a Roughrider quarterback who hasn’t really impressed in close to 2 years now. Expect Edmonton or Calgary to get back to the Grey Cup but to then blow it against the Argos since Marc Trestman’s Grey Cup wins come in 2’s. The Stampeders are the team fun forgot, get too worked up when adversity strikes, and blow it in the end. Jason Maas, the head coach, is just like how Jason Maas, the quarterback, was in that he always leaves you wanting a little more.


Get Famoso To Go 306-789-0011 Famoso.ca
5-MANZIEL STILL NOT IMPRESSING ME: Twitter was practically drooling over Johnny Football’s first touchdown pass over the weekend. He put up decent enough numbers in the preseason but the way he’s been doing it hasn’t really been all that impressive at all. Short passing and quick outs are a good way to start with a simple playbook but if you cannot execute the long ball in this league, defenses will figure you out real fast. June Jones has kept it simple for Johnny and he’s still breaking down and running for his life a lot. Keep in mind he’s been doing most of this against
scrubs and not the first team defenses. I’m not saying he can’t make it because he absolutely can. But let’s not jump too far ahead. Jones should grind him on the playbook and his progression for at least half a season before throwing him to the wolves. He’s just not ready yet.

6-BOMBERS SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF DURANT: The Winnipeg Blue Bombers owe it to their fan base to leave no stone unturned in searching for a replacement for their injured starting quarterback, Matt Nichols. But Darian Durant shouldn’t be one of those options. His leaving them high and dry just days before training camp and subsequent confrontation with the Bombers PR guy should be enough to make Darian off-limits. Giving him a contract and allowing him to come into your locker room would not only undermine all of the men in there who showed up for camp but also the coaches and staff who were left at the altar as well. Any phone call between the 2 parties should be abruptly ended by the Bombers side with a brisk, swift CLICK!

7-MONCTON CAN ONLY BE A SHORT STOP-GAP FOR CFL: Been kind of quiet on the CFL-to-Halifax front lately although the idea of starting the franchise in Moncton, New Brunswick until a stadium in Halifax is ready is getting some play. I’m all for it but only so long as all funding for the Halifax Field is signed, sealed and delivered. It would be a great way to help regionalize the fan base as a truly Maritime thing but don’t think for a second the franchise would work in teeny, tiny Moncton. The league can’t start there just for the sake of getting it started.

8-ANOTHER MEDIOCRE SEASON FOR THE REGINA RED SOX?: Early returns suggest year number 3 of the Mitch and Geoff MacDonald show look much like years 1 and 2. Those teams finished close to .500 in 3rd place of the east division and lost out in the opening round of the playoffs. Those first two squads also started off hotter than a bottle rocket in June and then cooled in the final weeks of July without their star hitter, Justin Erlandson. This year’s team has no such dominant star to speak of yet which might be a good thing, helping avoid the letdown of what sunk the Sox in years gone by.

9-COLANGELO SCANDAL TEACHES US ABOUT PARANOIA: Bryan Colangelo’s firing/resignation from the Philadelphia 76ers is well deserved after he and/or his wife used twitter accounts to anonymously trash others and defend himself. This should teach the Colangelos and all of us to get over insecurities and paranoia about anonymous commenters trashing each other with fake news (and no, not the Donald Trump kind). If you’re going to comment, fine. But as Herm Edwards said, put your name on it. Otherwise, people will say whatever they want when they face no real consequences for what they say. This is the trailer trash of communication and the internet.

10-DOCUMENTARY/BOOK OF THE WEEK: The four-year Olympian by Jeremiah Brown is a book about an athletes Olympic journey condensed into two years. Jeremiah recounts the Struggle of being an offensive of lineman at McMaster University and the transition to a completely different sport in rowing. He is able to accomplish this while fathering his son he had at the tender age of 19. Jeremiah gives hope to the average person that the Olympic dream doesn't have to start at childhood but can start as an adult with sheer will and determination. My partner, Sheena, just read this book cover to cover and gives it 5 Olympic rings out of five.

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

An amazing book to read (first recommended by Peter King MMQB) is Beartown by Frerik Backman, set in a small Swedish town and about their junior hockey team. Anyone with a love of junior hockey and from a small town will love this book!

Anonymous said...

Jones is not starting 3 Americans on the Oline because he’s being creative. It’s due a lack of Canadian talent and depth at that position. He had no choice.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely. If you are going to make a comment, put your name to it.

Anonymous said...

3 - the Bombets played most of 2016 with 3 American OL including Travis Bond, so Jones is not breaking new ground. And I agree with earlier comment ot's to lsck of Cdn. OL depth

6 - if the Bombers hadn't been such crybabies when Durant retired, they could've called him up after Nichols went down. Now they get to start the sesdon eith a rookie QB out of college. Good luck with that

Anonymous said...

Put your name to it eh? This blog got it's traction due to a comment section built on anonymous commentary bordering on cyber bulling so spare the morality plays. Anyway can write on here so and so is an idiot and then sign John Q Public.

Scott Thompson said...

So what’s your name?

Anonymous said...

I really don’t know how the bombers are getting painted as the bad guy in the Durant thing. They offered him a contract and paid him in advance after 2 other teams in the last year decided he was washed up. 3 cfl teams had him under contract in the last 18 months 2 cut him and the other paid him before he played a down. Guess which team he’s mad at? It’s a joke

Anonymous said...

Durant proved last year he couldn't complete a pass more than 50 % of the time unless it was a shovel pass to Nik Lewis. He has a history of making POOR decisions on and off the field , and he made another one..The Dummy could of had a starting Job running a fairly potent offence behind a great o-line and with a great running back..He could of made alot more than 70k if he could of proved he can still play..Apparantly he had no confidence in his ability to throw the ball anymore and chose to retire. I agree the Bombers should steer clear of Durant and so should the Rider organization after his comments from game one last year and his inability to make good decisions. I'm sure he'll be blaming more people before this is all done. Way to go out like a pro Darian Durant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Scott!