With the Olympics in full swing, football has taken a back seat of late. But personally I’m starting to tire a bit of the winter games. Maybe it’s the fact that Canada’s performance in pretty much every single event seems to end with Brian Williams telling us that “Canada came up just short” or “… and a disappointing finish for Canadian athletes”… not the least of which was Martin Brodeur ruining what was otherwise a pretty good effort by our hockey team by inexplicably trying to repeatedly play the puck with all the finesse and talent of a Lithuanian mountain goat.
I mean sure, we still have curling and ice dancing (you know, the manly sports) but I think we need something to take our mind off the Olympics for awhile. So let’s check in and see what’s been happening in the CFL…
Things are still fairly quiet on the free agent front other than it sounds like Chunky Adams has agreed on a new contract. Still no word on our other free agents. Apparently Gerran Walker is mulling over contract offers from the Riders, Lions and Argos. For some odd reason he wants to go to Winnipeg but LaPolice has stated that they are not interested. They are also not interested in James Patrick which is great news for us. At this point, unless BC backs up a truckload of money, Patrick should end up re-signing here because his other options are fairly limited.
Word is Larry Zierlein is the leading candidate to become the Riders’ new O-line Coach. Zierlein spent the last 2 years as the OL Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has a fairly extensive coaching resume so he seems like a good hire. He is also a senior (64) which should push the average age of our coaching staff to highest in the CFL (seems like an odd goal to me, but what do I know). Interesting story about Zierlein… he once accidentally forwarded a pornographic email to commissioner Roger Goodell (among other high ranking NFL officials). Given Zierlein’s age, I believe that it was legitimately an accident. He probably didn’t even realize what he was doing and was just attempting to tap a message out in Morse code since he couldn’t locate the rotary dialer.
The Argos have started clearing house, releasing Kerry Joseph, Cody Pickett and Zeke Moreno. While it’s hard to argue with any of these moves, they do create a pretty big problem for them… they have no QB (unless you want to count 3rd stringer Stephen Reaves ***Edit: They just cut Reaves too***). I guess to be fair it’s not like the Argos had a legitimate QB last year anyway so they aren’t really any worse off.
It does beg the question though… just who the hell does coach Jim Barker plan to play this year? Word is they are pursuing Gibran Hamdan who played with the Bills last year but you’d have to think they have their eye on at least one QB with CFL experience. There aren’t any on the free agent market so that points to a trade. There is a team out there that would be a logical trading partner but there’s one slight snag… they are owned by the same guy. BC needs to dump either Buck Pierce or Jarious Jackson but the optics of a trade between the Braley owned teams are sketchy at best. Personally I could care less. There have been ridiculous trades between teams with different owners (most notably Hamilton sending Troy Davis and Dan Comiskey to the Esks in ’05) so its not like different ownership ensures fair deals. Besides Pierce and Jackson aren’t that good anyway so even if the Lions only get a few rolls of tape in exchange they likely come out ahead in the deal.
The Ti-Cats have landed free agent all-star Sandro DeAngeles. They needed a new kicker to replace the recently released Nick Setta and Sandro marks a huge upgrade. But given that he doesn’t punt the Ti-Cats now need a punter. I’m hoping they find one who is tough enough to continue the longstanding tradition of beating up DeAngeles.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DL Jean-Philippe Gilbert, DB Will Poole, DB Jason Shivers, DL Michael Landry (free agent signing)
Out: LB Derrick Pope (cut)
In: DL Kenny Pettway (free agent signing)
In: DB Willie Middlebrooks (re-signed)
In: WR Adarius Bowman, OL Ryan Donnelly (re-signed). QB Adam DiMichele (free agent signing)
Out: DL Michael Landry (cut)