Saturday, 22 October 2016

Quick Final Analysis: Riders vs. Alouettes

Go with the Green and White if you're placing bets.

The bottom line here is that the Montreal Alouettes are essentially the same squad as they were when these two teams met at the beginning of the year in WEEK 6; the Roughriders are not. Chris Jones' team is playing a fast brand of football and executing at a much higher level in all 3 phases of the game. 

Jury's out on how rookie QB Vernon Adams does. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because he's making his debut against a scheme that shares the same characteristics as the Noel Thorpe scheme that Adams sees every day during practise. 

It's all about continued execution today for the Riders. They know what they're going to get. This is a FANTASTIC Alouettes defence, however they've simply been asked to do too much all year long. The Angry Bird defenders, need help from the other two phases of the game (Offence and Special Team) and that's where the opportunity lies for the Riders need to assert their will.  
Saskatchewan has to win the special teams phase and play composed and disciplined on Defence.  If the Roughriders can manufacture a clean game in those phases, it will take all the pressure off the Green and White O to the point where they'll be able to employ their game plan without feeling pressed. That calm approach will go a long way in a contest where Montreal will only go as far as their Defence gets them. 

Take Saskatchewan in a 2nd half that may see the Riders pull away.

Pick: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Friday, 21 October 2016

OFFSIDES! The Continued Search For Clarity

Today's OFFSIDES episode takes a hard look at the current (and potential?) playoff system format that has been all the rage as of late.  Coach Etch and I also dive into a QUESTIONABLE league decision as it pertains to the FINE SYSTEM that is currently employed in the CFL.

Always a pleasure to drop these podcasts for you guys, and we really think you'll enjoy today's FOOTBALL CONVERSATION!

I'm off to the Canadian Red Cross' Power of Humanity Gala!  Talk to you tomorrow!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Picking Week 18 in the CFL


Now that we're back in the saddle, here's our picks for WEEK 18 in the CFL (minus the Saskatchewan Roughrider game that we'll dive into on Saturday before kick-off).  In true CFL fashion the only thing that's set in stone is the plight of the Calgary Stampeders, and because of that, we're all in for a GREAT finish.

Let's get into it!  Thanks to our partners at CJ Evans Home Designs for making this possible!

Hamilton @ Ottawa

Much of the attention in the CFL has been focused on the teams in the West, and consequently, this battle for the top spot in the Eastern Division has taken a bit of a backseat.  One of the major reasons why this has happened is due to the fact that everyone seems to have written off the entire Eastern Conference. 

With a miniscule gap seperating them in the standings, both squads will tell you that this is a must-win.

However, if we look at the schedule after this week’s match-up, I’d venture to say that it’s far more important for Ottawa to come out on top.  The RedBlacks have a back-to-back against a Winnipeg Blue Bombers team that will be in a dogfight for Western positioning until the end of the year.  Hamilton has the Edmonton Eskimos, who are a part of that fight, but the TiCats get to finish the season in Montreal against an Alouettes with ZERO to play for.   

Schedule Advantage: Hamilton.  There is ZERO cushion in the Nation’s Capital.

I’m taking the Ottawa RedBlacks and I’ve got two words to back it up...Henry...Burris.  Who better than a sure fire Hall Of Famer to be Quarterbacking your squad in the most important phase of the season?  It’s all about experience, and the composure that comes along with it.

Don’t buy into the media factions that are selling the idea that Hamilton is in trouble.  They’ve got the talent necessary to get it done; the Black and Gold just need to find their footing, and some consistency. 

One of the things I loved most about playing in the CFL was the fact that in some way, somehow, the end of the season always involved a lot of fireworks.  I don’t think I was ever a part of a team that could afford to coast into the last few weeks of the year and I’m sure that everyone involved wouldn’t have it any other way.

This game is a GREAT way to kick off an exciting finish to 2017.

Pick:  The Ottawa RedBlacks

Toronto @ Calgary

Not much to this game.  Many hate the fact that the Toronto Quarterback situation has become a circus act with a number of main attractions, and sadly that’s not the only thing that seems to be tearing at the fabric of the Argonauts. 

I remember being part of a Montreal Team (in 2012) that seemed to hold its collective breath every time the LEGENDARY Anthony Calvillo got hit, and the situation with the Double Blue seems to have taken on the same fate. 

Expect Calgary to roll in this one.  For those questioning how the Stamps will approach the last two games of the year, might I remind you that the Stampeders are staring down the barrel of the same gun the Defending Grey Cup Champion Edmonton Eskimos were last year.  With a Week 20 BYE, and the additional week off that they have earned by dominating the league, Calgary is looking at a 3 week layoff before competing in the Western Conference Finals.  The CFL’s best team needs to take advantage of all the reps they can get from here on out.

Pick: The Stampeders

Edmonton @ BC

What a fantastic way to end WEEK 18 in the CFL! 

Welcome to the Western Division folks.  This game between the Lions and Esks has three storylines attached to it.

Not only is the playoff cross-over (which looks juicy) a piece of the puzzle; but there’s still a very real opportunity for both teams to earn a home-playoff game by finishing 2nd.  Finally, the spot that NOBODY wants (which is 3rd place in the West) lays waiting for whichever team flinches first.  This is the type of game that people have come to expect from the West in Mid-October.

If the BC Lions can manage to avoid the turnovers that plagued them in both of their losses to Winnipeg, one may be inclined to give them the edge because they’re at home.  I’m going to go in the opposite direction and give the nod to the Championship Mentality of the Edmonton Eskimos, and much like the Ottawa/Hamilton pick, I like the Quarterback!
All eyes on the leadership of Mike Reilly from here on out.  Much has been made of the fact that he's a guy that teammates would run through a wall for, but more importantly, the Esks will need his toughness and character to will them through the adverse the tough times ahead.  With the sense of urgency that surrounds this time of the year, and one or two plays separating a WIN and a LOSS, there's nobody better to have leading a group than #13.

Pick: The Reigning, and Defending Grey Cup Champions.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Final Pick-Em Analysis: Saskatchewan vs. Toronto

Although we took a brief Pick-Em hiatus, we wanted to ensure that we got back in the saddle this week.  Although it was a 3-1 Week in our CKRM Pick-Em pool hosted by, we didn't post them to this site, so we'll call them "unofficial".
With the Saskatchewan Roughriders being all the rave right now, here's some analysis on why one should feel good about going into kick-off against the struggling Argos in Toronto.
As always, our pick-em is brought to you by our good friends at CJ Evans Home Designs!
Let's take a look at today's Saskatchewan Game...
Saskatchewan @ Toronto
Earlier on in the 2016 season (WK 3) when we took a look at this game, there were a couple of deciding factors that eventually led me to take the Argos.  The first reason, was the ability of the Double Blue Offensive Line vs the Roughriders Defensive Line, that featured a lot of inexperience, and hadn’t established an identity for themselves as of that point. 
The other reason for the Argos prediction back then (which we got right) was that although the individual players in Green and White may be more talented, the Argos were a better TEAM.  Things like communication, and CFL I.Q. were going to be a factor, and unfortunately there was nothing that the Riders could do about that in the early stages of the year.  The Argos fundamentally caught them in “Trial by Fire” mode; here’s an excerpt from the Week 3 Pick EM article that we posted,
“Hopefully I’m wrong here because I think that if this was any other week the Riders win this handily.  There’s too much that could potentially affect this game from the Green and White’s side right now that doesn’t have to do with overall talent.”
Fast forward to today, and what we have now is a Saskatchewan side that is vastly improved in all phases of their football team, and has started to execute at a much higher rate.  Essentially what is beginning to take place is that the talented players are starting to become a talented TEAM.  That does not bode well for their opponent.
For may of the Rider Die-Hards this Week 17 matchup may be the best indicator of how far this team has come (albeit slowly).  At the early phases of the season the veteran laden Argos were looked at as a Grey Cup Darkhorse and much was being made of the “re-build” in the Prairie Province. 
Since their first meeting the Argos have fallen hard, and Saskatchewan has done nothing but trend upward.  It’s taken a long time, and unfortunately the play-offs are out of the question but the plan that was questioned so many times during the year looks like it’s finally starting to bear fruit.
Take the Roughriders today.  Depending on how well the team was able to handle the week of prep in Ontario prior to this game, the potential to jump out to an early lead may be present for the first time all year. 
With the way the Defensive Line is playing now, versus the beginning of the year, one may venture to tilt the scales in the Green and White’s favour.  Last week the Calgary Stampeders physically pounded the Argo Olinemen at the Line of Scrimmage in a one-sided affair.  Not only are the Roughriders starting to play more physically, but some of the schemes that they’ve been running require a team to prepare a lot more than they’re normally used to.  With more schematic confidence, one is starting to see the benefits of playing without “over-thinking” every rep.  The athleticism of guys upfront is starting to show.
 Maybe the biggest positive here is that the communication amongst the entire Defensive unit (especially the back-end) has been far better as of late.  There’s still plenty of room to improve, but the progress is worth noting.  It’s clearly the biggest difference from Week 3 to Week 17, and should be something to get excited about.  What will definitely help is the fact that the Rider secondary gets to take their shot at a receiving core, and a QB, that are only playing together for the 2nd straight week.  That is a huge advantage, and a total flip of the “youth vs. experience” model that Saskatchewan found themselves up against for the majority of the year.
The tables have turned a little bit when we look at these two teams.  Although it was expected, the Roughriders ability to focus on the task at hand is still something that needs to be consistent.  Although everyone seems to be expecting an Argos loss, this is still a team that is in the middle of a playoff race, despite going through a tough time internally. 
It’s all about the 1st quarter today.  The Toronto Argonauts need to start fast and play with a major sense of urgency, and the Roughriders need to be ready for their best shot early on. 
If Saskatchewan can withstand the first wave of the Argo assault, and maybe some trickery, this talented TEAM should come away with their 4th W in as many games.
Pick: The Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Other picks this week: Ottawa, BC, and CGY (can't believe BC sh*t the bed!!!)

Thursday, 13 October 2016

OFFSIDES! When The Flags Have Settled...

The first half of today's OFFSIDES podcast is spent on the past weekend's games and the blatant FAILURE of the CFL Officials, on AND OFF the field, during 2 of the 4 contests.  Coach and I also get into the handling of the Edmonton Eskimos debacle with their microphones and how that whole thing provided the League with a convenient detour, when it came to actually having to be accountable for the shortcomings in WEEK 16!

Our episode also takes a look at WEEK 17 in the CFL, and as per usual...Things are getting intense now that we're in "playoff positioning" mode throughout the East and West.

We did this on the highway at 5:30 in the morning today as I was driving out to Saskatoon and PA so if you hear a passing car, that wasn't an additional sound effect!!!

I think you'll really like this episode folks...We're definitely taking an angle that I haven't heard anywhere else as yet! 

Hit the link below

Friday, 7 October 2016


We took the phrase "Bye Week" waaaay to literally around here as of late haha!

Truthfully, WORK and LIFE got unbelievably busy (which is a good thing) over the last few weeks, and unfortunately our OFFSIDES podcast was put on hiatus, along with the rest of our work here on #ProPerspective.

All that is over with now, and as we get back in the swing of things, Coach Etch and I absolutely had to lead off with the long-awaited RETURN of our popular CFL conversation.

Before we begin this morning's discussion, I needed to make sense of the whole debacle in the CFL surrounding the Eastern division and the collapse, or struggles, of basically every team in that conference.  Once we got that going, our first episode back dove into the situation in Toronto, and Scott Milanovich putting the program culture before the egos and wants of a few talented players.  Coach Etch will elaborate more on the 2012 Grey Cup Winning head coach's admirably decision.

Moving on into Week 16 we take a look at Winnipeg's voyage of TRUE self-discovery and how that relates to the very good BC Lions team that visits them at Investors Group Field.  I can't speak for Coach Etch on this one, but I feel like the BC/Winnipeg game is the match-up of the week!

Next up, Coach gives us a GREAT perspective (from his experience) on the Anthony Calvillo situation in Montreal.  I think you guys will enjoy the segment that I'm calling, "Opportunity vs. Disappointment."  AC's days as a coach are far from over, but in today's OFFSIDES podcast, you get a good dose of truthfulness regarding his path.

To close, Coach readily admits that her was WRONG about the Calgary Stampeders, and I point out that I'm waiting to see if some of these other "analysts" are going to do the same thing?!?
This part of the podcast really ties the whole show together, and puts a nice bow on it as we depart with a brief spotlight on the NFL!!!

IT IS GREAT TO BE BACK!  I WANT TO APOLOGIZE TO EVERYONE THAT HAS TEXTED, AND WROTE IN WONDERING WHERE WE HAD GONE...In a way, it was really nice to be missed, but it won't happen again!

Hit the jump below for the latest episode of OFFSIDES


Sunday, 18 September 2016

Final Analysis...Saskatchewan vs. Edmonton.

Mosaic Stadium is probably the last place the Edmonton Eskimos want to be today.  After losing both games in a grueling 2 week set against their Provincial rivals the Calgary Stampeders, the Defending Champs now find themselves walking into a beehive with the Bombers potentially starting to pull away with the 3rd divisional playoff spot. 

I’m taking the Saskatchewan Roughriders in WEEK 13, although there is still a fair amount of caution that is involved.

The basis of this pick is relatively simple.  If we take a good hard look at both losses to the Esks there is one thing that may change between these two teams now that the Green and White are at home…

THE RIDERS NEED TO START FAST, and with the Mosaic Stadium crowd behind them during a crucial 1st quarter, there’s no better time to shoot out of a cannon.

During both games against Edmonton this year the Roughriders have spotted the 2015 Grey Cup Champs at least 14 points by stumbling out of the gate.  Whether it’s been through turnovers, or penalties, or both; the Riders have yet to put an entire game together against Mike Reilly and company.

Realistically, that’s been one of the themes for the entire year when we look at Saskatchewan, however it’s the games against Edmonton that have really underscored the, “what if” questions surrounding the Riders ability to put together an ENTIRE game.

It won’t be easy.  There’s been a ton of change on the Saskatchewan Roughrider roster again, including the loss of Naaman Roosevelt, but by now the Green and White should be used to having to overcome that barrier and the Saskatchewan still has the sure-handed leader Rob Bagg to lean on, something that has not been happening as of late.

One has to consider the path Edmonton is on as well.  There may be the feeling of ‘having a point to prove’ lingering in that Eskimo locker room after dropping their last two games.  If anyone knows how close the Eskimos have come to LOSING to the Riders during their last two bouts, it’s Edmonton themselves.  Ridernation should expect to see a motivated Edmonton come out swinging, maybe even taking a few chances early in an effort to take the crowd out of the game immediately.

Normally anyone would hesitate to pick a 1-10 squad to beat anyone.  Right now, the Saskatchewan Roughriders may look like the Cleveland Browns on many “pick-em” sheets, but there are some signs of life that have been starting to spring up.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are starting to play better defensively, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this Chris Jones Defence get a lot more aggressive when attacking Mike Reilly and his offensive weapons.

The wind may be a factor in todays competition as well if it continues to persist and that increases the “anything can happen” factor that we need to look at this game with.  Edmonton are not world-beaters, but they are the better team.  That being said, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are the IMPROVING team. 

I’ll take that gamble at home, with nothing to lose.

PICK: The Green and White