55 Yard Line
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line8 days ago
The B.C. Lionsofficially announced the long-rumoured hiring of Jeff Tedford Friday, so now the question is how he'll remake the team. Tedford has CFL experience (and experience with B.C. general manager Wally Buono) from his time with the Calgary Stampeders from 1989-91, but he's been south of the border since then with Fresno State, Oregon, Cal and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His most recent jobs include being the head coach at Cal from 2002-2012 and being the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers this year (although he missed most of the season thanks to a recovery from heart surgery and a decision not to go back and disrupt them). What sort of changes is Tedford likely to make to the Lions? Well, according toLowell Ullrich of The Province , one could be a reunion with recently-fired Saskatchewan offensive coordinator George Cortez:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line16 days ago
Reports of the Saskatchewan Roughriders staying patient (unlike fellow first-round playoff losers B.C.) following a disappointing season turned out to be exaggerated. The Roughriders didn't go full Lions and fire their head coach, but they axed offensive coordinator George Cortez shortly after the Grey Cup, and they also announced this week that defensive coordinator Richie Hall won't return in that role (he's been offered a lower yet-to-be-determined position). In fact, head coach Corey Chamblin said he took over defensive play-calling responsibilities from Hall before the team's playoff game. It's not clear if it will be Chamblin or someone else acting as a DC next year (Chamblin said he'd prefer the latter, but is willing to do the former), but it won't be Hall. Chamblin's cited reasons? He said that the team's 10-8 record wasn't good enough, and that he wants the Riders' defence to be "more aggressive."
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line18 days ago
When the 2015 CFL free agency period begins February 10, it could be a feeding frenzy. Some notable players change teams every year, but this year is looking like a particularly strong one in terms of potential free agents. The CFL released the official list of pending free agents Tuesday, and there are nine players on there who were selected to this season's 26-member league all-star team. Here's a breakdown of each:
Dr. Charles Tator and Leo Ezerins, Bruce lawsuit defendants, take public shots at BU concussion research group: a battle of the border?Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line21 days ago
While Arland Bruce III's concussion lawsuit against the CFL's teams and a variety of other defendants is still playing out in court, a couple of those defendants have come out with rather notable recent public statements on concussions. TSN's Rick Westhead spoke to Dr. Charles Tator and CFL Alumni Association executive director Leo Ezerins, both defendants in the Bruce case, for a piece published this week (viaTerry Ott at The Concussion Blog ), and both had some interesting comments on the case and concussions in general. Perhaps most intriguingly, both have made harsh criticisms of the Boston University group of researchers that's led much of the discussion on concussions. Does that indicate that concussion research is going in different directions in the U.S. and Canada? Let's examine their comments and find out.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line22 days ago
Thursday's news that the Saskatchewan Roughriders had officially parted ways with offensive coordinator George Cortez was hardly unexpected, as Sportsnet's Arash Madani reported they were moving on during Grey Cup week. What's going to be interesting to see is where Cortez lands though, as well as who replaces him in Saskatchewan. Some surprising names are already circulating.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line23 days ago
The CFL will have a new commissioner a little sooner than many had expected. Mark Cohon, who's been in that role since 2007, had previously announced this August that he wouldn't be seeking a new term when his contract expired in April 2015, but Dan Ralph of The Canadian Press reported Thursday that Cohon will be exiting stage left (hey, he's a Rush fan!) in January. He'll be replaced on an interim basis by Jim Lawson, the chair of the league's board of governors. Here are the key details from Ralph's piece:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line24 days ago
What started with innumerable shouting matches about the NFL's inevitable annexation of Toronto has ended with a whimper. As John Wawrow of The Associated Press writes, the Buffalo Bills announced Wednesday that they'd reached a deal with Rogers to end the Bills-in-Toronto series of games north of the border. Although this comes shortly after the series was extended for five more years in January 2013, the move isn't that surprising considering the struggles of the Toronto games and the change in Bills' ownership and focus. What does this mean for the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts? Well, the series may have started as a threat, but by the 2013 extension, it actually carried some positives for the Argos, specifically in preventing more substantial NFL incursions. However, the way this ended and the reasons why it ended provide even better news for the CFL; further NFL moves on Toronto are a negligible threat for the moment, and the lessening of the Bills' presence in the city should lower their competition with the Argos for tickets and sponsorships. That's good news for a team that could definitely use it.
Ottawa Redblacks hope Jason Maas' deep ties with Rick Campbell leads to an offensive breakout in second CFL seasonNeate Sager at 55 Yard Line24 days ago
While Jason Maas will be officially be a first-time offensive coordinator, the Ottawa Redblacks believe he can accelerate their learning curve in Year 2.
The trend in the CFL has been that former quarterbacks have thrived as head coaches and OCs — three of the four involved in last Sunday's Grey Cup are former pivots in the league. After a yearling season where they were 2-16 whilst scoring the fewest points in the league, Ottawa is hopeful Maas can create a more cohesive attack, regardless of who it lines up. The 39-year-old, who's actually a few months younger than incumbent starting quarterback Henry Burris, has worked under some of the best passing-game gurus in the league.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line25 days ago
After winning the Grey Cup Sunday night in Vancouver, the Calgary Stampeders went home in style on Canadian North's new CFL logo-emblazened plane Monday, and they were greeted in style by thousands of fans at a rally at city hall at noon Tuesday. Here's video of the festivities from The Canadian Press:
CBC's Devin Heroux was also on scene. Here's what the crowd looked like to him before the arrival of the Grey Cup:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line27 days ago
The Battle of Southern Ontario has apparently made its way to social media. Ahead of Sunday's Grey Cup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders, the Toronto Argonauts (Hamilton's biggest rivals) publicly threw in their lot with the Stampeders on Twitter, and they went on to send plenty of tweets trolling the Ticats during and after their eventual 20-16 loss. Here are some of the best tweets the @TorontoArgos account sent: