CFL Roundup – July 24

Notes on a few CFL topics

Run, Milt, Run

Watching the Winnipeg-Edmonton game to the end paid off Thursday night. It was worth the wait to see the look on Edmonton coach Danny Maciocia’s face as Winnipeg’s Milt Stegall caught a bullet from Kevin Glenn, made Malcolm Frank whiff on the tackle and trotted down the field escorted for a 100-yard TD to put the Bombers ahead with no time remaining.

The fact was that Winnipeg deserved to win. They played better and only a poor decision by Kevin Glenn to expose the ball while fighting for yards on a 3rd and 1 play allowed the Eskimos to go ahead late. An even more unacceptable decision by Edmonton coaches and players alike led to the Stegall catch and score. I won’t say anything about what they should have done, I will leave that to the many pundits who already have.

Will the real Henry Burris show up?

It looks like Calgary is getting to know the real Henry Burris. Hot and cold from game-to-game and in games, he is known for putting so much pressure on himself at times he forces balls downfield which result in interceptions.

Saskatchewan Woes

Saskatchewan is having hot and cold issues as well. Previously the team was consistent; if they did not show up to start the game they would not come late. This year they have:

  1. Started slow on the way to being blown out (at B.C. June 16)
  2. Kept it close to pull away late in the 4th quarter (vs. B.C. June 25)
  3. Started slow, came back to tie before the half, then were blown out in the 2nd half (vs. Calgary July 8)
  4. Started OK, were outscored 17-0 in the 2nd quarter to trail at the half only to comeback to win late (at B.C. July 14)
  5. Started slow and ran out of time trying to pull ahead (vs. Toronto July 22)

Starting to see a pattern? Starting slow seems to be a problem, and that has been a problem with the ‘Riders for the past dozen years. What has been unusual is that as one side of the ball starts to get it together, the other suffers a breakdown. One improvement is that it seems the team can make half-time adjustments on both sides of the ball, something that has been lacking the previous few years.

One thing definitely hurting the ‘Riders so far this season is their lack of return game. Corey Holmes was dependable to rip off at least one 30-yard return a game, and his average return provided much better field position for the offence. The team must address this critical area as the season progresses.

Toronto Turnaround

Toronto has appeared very lacklustre this year and it is hard to determine if Damon Allen’s injury or the Ricky Williams situation is the cause. With Williams out with an arm injury and Allen set to return determining who was the cause will still be hard if the Argos start playing better.

Montreal Worldbeaters

Montreal’s 5-0 start is something we have seen before. It puts Hamilton and Toronto hard pressed to challenge for first place already, although Montreal has only played Hamilton and Winnipeg so far this season. As the schedules balance out and teams see other competitors the standings may become more clear in both the East and West. What is for sure is that this year the competitive balance of the league is at a high not seen in a few years.

Anybody know what the score was?

After Saturday’s Toronto-Saskatchewan game it was hard to get the official final score. The CFL site itself showed Toronto winning 25-23. Sportsnet also showed an incorrect score, either 26-24 or 25-23. Global Sports showed the score as 28-25 for Toronto and still had this incorrect score during Sunday’s supper broadcast. Only TSN had the correct score, 26-23, posted correctly after the game. Very sad that the league office couldn’t even get the score right, which led to incorrect weekly updates being sent out.

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