Here’s what been happening in a surprisingly busy week in the CFL…
The Riders have opted to swap 1st round picks with Winnipeg as part of that overly complex Bowman/Goodspeed/Rempel deal. It’s not clear whether the decision was one that Tillman made on his way out or that Taman made on his way in… but given that this involved trading away our first round pick, I think its safe to assume that it was a Taman decision.
Joe Womack has been offered a position as head of US Scouting for the Riders. On the surface this would seem like a sign that the Riders still consider Womack to be an important part of the team and want to retain him. Unfortunately it’s not really the case. Given that the US Scout position is to be based in the States, the Riders are basically saying, you can stay with the team but you have to leave the country. That’s kinda like a girl saying that she wants to date you but you’re not allowed to be in the same location as here and all communication is to be by phone or email. I really like Womack and hope he stays with us but I’m not thinking that’s going to happen.
Elsewhere in the CFL
- The Argos have narrowed their search for a head coach down to Doug Berry or George Cortez. I’m thinking if Cortez (who has repeatedly passed on Head Coaching opportunities) is interested he’ll be the guy. Though I’m curious as to what happened to Scott Milanovich, who up until now was the front runner (and an excellent choice to boot). It probably boiled down to logic… I’m just not sure whether it was the presence of logic on the part of Milanovich in deciding to pass or lack of logic on the part of the Argos which they have a long documented history of.
- Greg Marshall is still the front-runner in Winnipeg to be the new head coach (though Paul LaPolice is in the running). That’s not really news since I’ve been telling you that for weeks on this blog. But since I’m the guy that also wrote that the Riders would not win the ’07 cup, that Anton McKenzie has re-signed with the Riders and that I am bigger than Jesus I won’t fault you for taking what I write with a grain of salt.
- Speaking of the Bombers, they are expected to be over the cap (by how much remains unknown at this point). The good news is that even though they are likely to face penalties at least their salary expenditures we’re put to good use… such as the $80K they paid Dan Goodspeed to help the Ti-cats finish with a better record or $60K they paid Milt Stegal to make TSN appearances or the combined $115K they paid Joe Smith, Armstrong, Dinwiddie, O’Meara and Giles to sit at home. They investment clearly paid dividends so Bomber fans can take some solace.
- Rickey Foley will be trying out for the NY Jets as well as a couple other NFL teams in the coming days. If Foley bolts then BC will have lost the CFL Rookie of the Year, their top kick returner and the top sack getter/top Canadian in one season. Oh well, its nothing that one of Casey Printers’’ famous motivational speeches can’t overcome.
- Kent Austin is set to become the head coach at Cornell University. You might remember Cornell from last year’s Salute to Bad Team Names. They are the mighty Big Red… with the Brown Bear mascot. While Cornell is nowhere near as prestigious as Ole Miss, it’s a chance for Austin to get some experience as a head coach and pad his resume for a more prestigious head coaching opportunity in 2-3 years. I want to see a commercial that shows Kent Austin saying “I’m Kent Austin. If you don’t cheer for Big Red then **** you!”
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DB Omarr Morgan (contract extension)
Though I’m glad Morgan is staying here part of me was hoping he’d sign elsewhere only to watch as the Riders won another Grey Cup.
Out: DB Lawrence Gordon (released)
I got nothing.
In: DL Brent Johnson (contract extension)
Johnson had a noticeable slip in production when Wake left, now if Foley leaves too I wonder if he will continue his slide… Oh well, its nothing that one of Casey Printers’’ famous motivational speeches can’t overcome (yeah I copied and pasted this from above. So what? It’s Friday and I’m lazy, cut me some slack).
In: DB Ahmaad Smith (free agent signing)
Smith was a finalist in the reality show 4th And Long (where the winner got a spot in Dallas Cowboys training camp). Now he gets to appear in a reality series entitled (insert your own humourous ending here).
In: WR Vincent Marshall (free agent signing)
Out: WR Otis Amey (released)
I guess the Bombers are trying to capture some of the magic that the Bishop/Marshall connection showed in the ’08 Banjo Bowl… which is likely to deliver similar results as when they acquired James Johnson.
In: WR Eric Deslauriers, DE Jeff Robertshaw, OL Paul Lambert, LB Diamond Ferri (contract extension)
Either Ferri’s parents where trying to toughen him up (ala Boy Named Sue) or they assumed that he would grow up to be a drag queen or hair stylist… Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
In: DL Miguel Robede, WR Arjei Franklin (contract extension), OL John Comiskey (free agent signing)
I wonder if Comiskey has finally comes to terms with the fact that the Stamps like Tsoumpas better than him? When they had a chance to draft Tsoumpas they quickly traded away Comiskey. Only now that Tsoumpas has jumped ship to the NFL do the Stamps welcome him back. Odds are good that if Tsoumpas comes back that Comiskey will either be traded or cut.
In: DB Willie Amos (contract extension)
Odd fact about Amos… he won the World Jump Rope Championship in 1999. Seriously check it out. After watching that I’m convinced that the Riders are in trouble next season. I mean how are we supposed to compete with a team that boasts one of the world’s best at skipping in a synchronized fashion. First Lumsden the bobsledder, now Amos the skipper… I wonder what obscure sport they will recruit from next… ice dancing perhaps?