Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Picking WEEK 11 in the CFL!!!

PRESENTED BY
cjevanshomedesigns.com
LAST WEEK 3-1
We`ve been on a nice roll as of late, but MAN, I was really convinced that the upset was on the horizon in Edmonton during Week 10!  Although there doesn’t seem to be many upsets on the horizon during this week’s slate of CFL games, the Labour Day Weekend is a STAPLE of the Canadian Football League and all of these games promise to be EXCITING!!!
Thanks to our good friends at CJ Evans Home Designs for giving us the ability to present these picks, and I hope they do you some good during your cigarette breaks, and water cooler conversations!
Let`s jump to it…
BC at Toronto
Getting Ricky Ray back surely boosts the confidence level of anyone that is associated with Argonauts Football.  The fact still remains that this is the 2nd best team in the CFL coming into BMO field that may benefit a tad more than normal with a 7:30 start time.  Fall has arrived folks, and what that means for the Double Blue is that the organization cannot continually rely on the lure of “Tailgating” to bring in fans.  The Argos need to start winning.  It doesn`t matter how deep the pockets go in Toronto`s ownership group, the bottom line is that it’s hard enough getting fans interested when the team is competitive let alone when they’re not.
The ask may be too steep against a Lions squad that bounced back nicely against the Ottawa RedBlacks during Week 10.
Pick:  The Lions
Ottawa at Montreal
With all the changes happening on the RedBlacks Defensive side of the ball, one wonders what the film has REALLY looked like over the past few games in the Nations Capital?
This match-up might actually be made ‘in heaven’ when one considers the struggling Offence of the Als, and the sketchy Defence in Ottawa.  Mix that with the home-field advantage of McGill stadium and there just may be a shot at what many would consider an upset.
One still has to respect that the RedBlacks just went toe-to-toe with the Lions last week, and Rick Campbell will have his team prepared to play in a game that means EVERYTHING if one looks at the Eastern Conference standings.
Things may not be pretty in the beginning, and even the middle, but one would expect that Ottawa understands the value in front of them with Hamilton and Toronto about to duke it out in a home-at-home series.
Pick:  The Ottawa RedBlacks
Edmonton at Calgary
I’m anticipating Edmonton’s true colours to come out in this Battle of Alberta series.  As a matter of fact, the Eskimos true colours showed a bit in their Week 10 match-up with Saskatchewan that they dam near lost.  In Calgary, the defending Grey Cup Champs have their toughest game in 3 weeks.  If there are any holes in the armour of the Esks (which we have discussed here on Pro Perspective), CFL fans will find them against the best team in the CFL. 
The majority of the load is about to put on Mike Reilly’s shoulders, but it’s important to note that Mike Benevides may not get away with rolling out the relatively vanilla scheme that the Eskimos have employed against the last 3 opponents.
Calgary has a great opportunity here to continue to build, and at the same time bring a provincial foe back to reality.
Pick: The Stamp Machine
Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan
The over-arching theme of the upcoming game seems to be,
“It’s Labour Day; The Riders don’t lose on Labour Day!!!”

If that statement is to be true, then Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and supports better hope that the Green and White are playing the Winnipeg Rifles of the CJFL, because the squad that is coming into Mosaic Stadium is one of the hottest CFL teams in the league and is clicking on all cylinders…

This is absolutely not the time for ceremonial jargon. 

A victory in this game is going to require the Roughriders best TEAM effort to date.

Right now the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are playing OUTSTANDING defence.  They’re starting to get to the QB, and they’ve amassed a staggering 18 interceptions, NINE of them being in their last two games.  To put that into #ProPerspective, the next closest team has 8 picks.

I’m going to go with the Bombers unfortunately, but the fact that this is Labour Day equates to the beloved home team having a legitimate shot. 

The problem with Winnipeg is that they’re playing such solid Defence.  Right now, the only phase that the Riders have been able to produce in; is OFFENCE. 

In fact, many analysts would point out that last week’s game in Edmonton, against the Esks, was a bit of an anomaly for the Green and White.

Unfortunately, if Saskatchewan is not able to consistently move the ball and score TDs, with the Riders documented struggles on Defence, things don’t seem positive.  #TheBestDefenceIsaGoodOffence

What’s more is that Offensive Coordinator Paul LaPolice has found a way to consistently capitalize on the talent of Andrew Harris, while turning the rest of his cast into great complimentary pieces. 

The Bombers utilize their big play RB on the ground, but have also turned Harris into a receiver that is averaging 9.2 yards a catch.  Out of all of the offensive Free Agent talent that Kyle Walters brought in over the past off-season, Harris has paid the most dividends.

With the effort that it will take to stop number 33 being primarily put on the shoulders of the Defensive Front 6 (including LBs), one has to ask the question, has the Defensive front shown that they can consistently stop a determined running attack?  One must answer this honestly, and the HONEST answer is “no”. 

Despite it being Labour Day, one cannot base a forecast on feelings, or more importantly, history. 

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are doing just enough Offensively to cross the goal line a couple of times per game, or position themselves for Justin Medlock to kick them to victory (he was 6/6 last game). 
That may not sound like a winning Offensive formula, but when one couples that with the fact that the Blue and Gold Defence that is able to supplement their scoring and starting field position; the odds do not seem to be in the Roughriders favour.

The Labour Day classic is an unreal game to be a part of.  I’ve got so many fond memories that surround this particular time of year that I cannot wait to take the atmosphere in as an onlooker. 

Sadly, the Bombers have the formula that may take a raucous Mosaic Stadium crowd out of it early.  Offensively they can do just enough, defensively they can dominate, and the Special Teams may favour the away team too when one considers the consistency (in WINDY games) of Justin Medlock.

Pick: The Winnipeg Blue Bummers.

Toronto at Hamilton

Never mind the fact that this game is a ‘Bush League’ scheduling error, but the Argos head into Hamilton on 5 days rest in one of the biggest games of the year.

Hamilton on the other hand, is coming off of a loss to Calgary and plenty of rest…Advantage TiCats.

Hopefully Ricky Ray makes it through the BC Lions game today without injury because that`s the only way that Toronto looks like they`ll compete against a Hamilton squad that is anxious to get back to work after going 4 quarters against the Stampeders where they showed that they are to be taken seriously as Zach Collaros gets back into form.

This may be an OFFSIDES podcast topic, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what the plan is with Toronto`s QB position.  Every time Ricky Ray hits the field, there is now the same anxiousness that the Montreal fans experienced as Anthony Calvillo’s career was winding down.  The Double Blue are hanging on to the coattails of a legendary Quarterback who is one hit away from shutting it down for good.

Pick: The TiCats


Friday, 26 August 2016

Gotta Have It!!!

Here's the latest piece that I have contributed to Riderville.com.

One of the big reasons why a "WIN" has eluded the Saskatchewan Roughriders, is because the right type of consistency has been absent...

Enjoy! 

Looking at Edmonton's Improvement

In this weeks CHALK TALK episode via Riderville.com, Dan and I took a look at one of the big reasons that the Eskimos have looked a lot better over the last two weeks. 

Granted they've only beaten the Alouettes and the Argos, it's not like the Riders have been playing at an elite level either. 

There's room for an upset here...check out our latest episode below! 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Picking WEEK 10 in the CFL


PRESENTED BY 

cjevanshomedesigns.com
LAST WEEK: 2-2

Without wearing the GREEN goggles, let's take a look at the reason why I think that there may be an upset in the making for YOUR Saskatchewan Roughriders...

Thanks for joining our FOOTBALL CONVERSATION folks!!!

Saskatchewan @ Edmonton
The Edmonton Eskimos have won their last two competitions on the strength of a Defence that is slowly starting to improve.  That’s a great sign for the “City of Champions” because if there was one thing that fans and analysts could point out as an issue for the defending Grey Cup Champs, it was their ability to stop an opposing team. 

Over the past two games, it seems that the Esks are starting to put more emphasis on taking the ball away from their opponent.  Pat Watkins had two himself in their win over the Argos, and more importantly, the picks yielded TREMENDOUS field position for their efficient Offence.

It’s not that the Esks are doing anything different.  When one looks at the film, Mike Benevides is not employing a scheme that involves a ton of different looks, or spectacular coverage schemes.  It seems as though Edmonton has simply decided to say, “we’re going to line up, and you’re going to have to beat us.” 

I admire that brand of football.  It’s cut from the same cloth as their QB Mike Reilly.  Right now, the 2015 Champs are playing hard nosed football, knocking guys off the Line of Scrimmage, and getting W’s.  It’s the hard-hat mentality.

Here’s the good news for Ridernation; if there is an upset special in Week 10, the Saskatchewan vs. Edmonton game is it. 

The fact that the Eskimos aren’t bringing anything too complicated to the Defensive forefront bodes well for the skillset of the Week 10 Saskatchewan Roughriders.  One of the main talking points that I’ve had over the last week with my football buddies, is “when will these incredible ATHLETES start transitioning into good football players?”

Right now, there is no time like the present for the Green and White; Edmonton’s Defensive scheme may allow Saskatchewan to play fast and PHYSICAL simply because they’re won’t have to worry about being asked to consider a menu of possibilities. 

Last week in Hamilton, the multiple looks and fronts of the TiCats wreaked HAVOC on the Roughrider Offence, especially up front.  This week, if Edmonton follows the same game plan that they employed against Toronto, the only time things may get a bit complicated, is when the Riders start knocking on the door around the 20-yard line.  Even then, the variations to the attack aren’t something Darian Durant hasn’t seen over the duration of his career.

I really feel like Saskatchewan can protect the QB this game.  That’s something that the Green and White failed to do against Hamilton, among many other things, but the throws will be there against the defending champs. 

What’s important here will be the ability to take what the Edmonton Eskimos are giving the Riders until that one BIG opportunity shows up.  The rookie QB’s of the Argos failed to capitalize on sure TD’s during coverage breakdowns in the Edmonton Eskimo secondary during the match-up in Week 9.  I’m not saying that the score would have been any different, but one or two big plays may be just the spark that a struggling Roughrider team needs this week to position themselves for a HUGE win.


By now, one may have noticed that I have not once made light of the fact that Edmonton’s Offence is a beast, and the Rider Defence has left much to be desired.  One would not have many people to argue with if one was to say that the Edmonton O may have a field day against the Defenders in Green.

There is a reason that I led with talking about the Saskatchewan Offence.  Unfortunately, in this day and age of the Canadian Football League, defence has become a sideshow.

In 2016, a coach’s challenge flag is far more likely to decide the outcome of a play than a well timed blitz.  With that in mind, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Defence have the same chances of stopping Mike Reilly and his O as the best Defence in the league.  Why wouldn’t they?  It’s not like any other team has managed much success against the Esks Big 4 of Reilly, Bowman, Walker, and White.

Thus far, any Edmonton issues have been defensive ones, and if Saskatchewan can just put 4 quarters of solid offensive football together, they’ll have a shot to go pass for pass with the Esks just like they did in the first game at Commonwealth.  As far as I’m concerned, any type of un-flagged Defensive stance like INTs or QB sacks will be a luxury, and that’s not meant to sound harsh…it’s the truth in today’s game and the Green and White.

A WIN hinges all on Offensive production, with as much help from the other two phases of the game as possible.  To a team, and a Quarterback, that is looking to get themselves out of an offensive funk, this game represents all the opportunity in the world.

2016 is far from over, and although nobody has outright said it (or at least I haven’t heard it) this is as close to a “must-win” as one can get.

A loss in Edmonton puts this team in a position where they would have to win 8 of their last 9 games to have any shot at the playoffs. 

Now, that isn’t impossible, but what’s more important is that a loss will accelerate all of the OFF SEASON questions that many probably don’t want to have to deal with until AFTER the Grey Cup.

This is it.  The opportunity is right in front of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  Edmonton is 2-3 at home which would be unheard of a few years back.  Mike Benevides may throw one or two wrinkles into the Defensive game plan, but my guess would be that the Eskimo’s may trend towards consistency vs. rolling out an entirely new scheme. 

Like I said before…I really like the attitude that Edmonton seems to have taken.  That “prove that you can beat us straight up” attitude is one that a lot of guys buy in to and it’s showing, but in this day and age of the CFL, there are a ton of external factors in this game that don’t allow for heroics.

If there’s an upset special on deck this week, it’s here in this game…I’m buying in this week.  I feel like a loss would start the off season with 9 more games left in 2016.

Pick: Saskatchewan Roughriders for the W…


In the interest of time, yours and mine, let’s skim over the rest of the CFL schedule and project the other victorious squads…

BC @ Ottawa
This is a bounce back game for both teams who took tough losses at home in week 9.  Trevor Harris making his return has taken a little bit of the spotlight off of the fact that Ottawa struggled offensively and defensively during their match-up with the Alouettes.  Another thing the RedBlacks need to address is their discipline issues as they were hit with 114 yards in penalties.

Although the BC Lions left much to be desired in their loss to Calgary I still think that after the Stamps, Wally’s Leos are right there as the 2nd best squad in the league.  The West division looks like it’s once again at the top of the food chain, so we’ll give the Lions that respect until someone proves us wrong.

Pick:  British Columbia Lions

Winnipeg @ Montreal

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers LOOK LIKE they’re in sync on Offence, Defence, and Special Teams right now as they find themselves with a ton of momentum.  Montreal on the other hand is far too inconsistent to hang our hat on despite looking UNREAL at times. 

Consistency is key to success in any profession.  Because of that, one should avoid the Alouettes for the time being.  They’re literally a team that could hit you for 60 pts or struggle to muster a field goal.

Pick:  The Bombers

Hamilton @ Calgary

Match of the week!  I wish I had more time to get into this one but the Regina Thunder have a must-win game in Winnipeg and I gotta coach up our Dlinemen today!!!

Don’t go chasing ghosts here folks.  As impressive as the Hamilton TiCats were against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, they’ve still got a way to go before they should be crowned the “2016 Grey Cup Favourite.”

The best part of being a part of a team like Calgary is that the role they’re on equates to a HUNGER for challenges like the one they have in front of them.  Devon Claybrooks definitely has his work cut out for him in order to present a viable Defensive scheme, but as long as the Stamps find a way to protect their money-maker Bo Levi Mitchell, I like the Stamps who just sent a statement to the rest of the league with their convincing win in British Columbia during week 9.

Can’t wait for this one!!!

Pick: The Stampeders

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

OFFSIDES! We've All Played 8!!!

Week 10 is on the horizon so it's business as usual here at Pro Perspective as Coach Etch and I drop yet another OFFSIDES podcast.

Today was a bit of a special episode, and you'll see why at the beginning of the show but from that point on, we're all business!

We spend a bit of time talking about "Vanilla Boulevard" in a segment that I'm sure you guys will like.  That leads us to a brief discussion on Defensive Linemen Alignment theory. 

From there we take a look at every game on the docket in WEEK 10.  During this discussion, Coach calls me out for subscribing to a MEDIA NARRATIVE, and we dive into the relationship between Chris Jones and Mike Reilly.  Etch and I look into how it (the relationship) may have affected the 1st time the Riders and Esks met, and how it may carry over into this meeting on Saturday.

As usual, we love having you as part of our Football Conversation, and we trust that you'll enjoy this edition of our OFFSIDES Podcast (available on iTunes).

I'll check in with ya'll tomorrow!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

OFFSIDES...LongTerm Trouble in the CFL?

As the weekend draws to a close, Coach Etch and I give you some Pro Perspective analysis on what was Week 9 in the 2016 CFL season. 

With every winning team scoring at least 37 points during Week 9 (which is probably best case scenario in the CFL Head Office), our OFFSIDES podcast for today takes a look at the LONG TERM effects of higher scoring games.  According to Coach Etch, although the scoring was up, it is NOT a good thing for the CFL.

I think you guys will dig where Coach goes with this, and I also ask him to address some of YOUR comments, especially those who have written in and asked if Saskatchewan's failures thus far OFFEND HIS NARRATIVES that the Chris Jones coaching staff will carry this team.

It's definitely an interesting show, and I'm glad we're dropping it now in order for us to start the week off right tomorrow!

Mailbag Mondays return tomorrow, but for now, here's the latest OFFSIDES podcast (subscribe on iTunes!!!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Picking WEEK 9 in the CFL!

Presented By

cjevanshomedesigns.com

LAST WEEK: 4-0

There's some great ball on the horizon this weekend.  We hope that this column helps you out during your CFL cigarette breaks and water cooler convos!  Thanks to CJ Evans Home Designs for bringing this to everyone!

Enjoy the action folks!!!  Here are our Picks for Week 9 in the Canadian Football League...

Montreal @ Ottawa
My how opinions have changed!  It was just three weeks ago when everyone and their mother had been proclaiming that the Montreal Alouettes offence WAS BACK after the drubbed the Saskatchewan Roughriders 41-3 at McGill Stadium. 

In that week 6 clash the Green and White looked liked everyone was coming fresh off a healthy shift on St. Catherine’s street the night before, and the win caused the media to go ape-sh*t with resurgence narratives.

Fast forward to today and the lead article on CFL.ca’s “Insight and Analysis” column is somebody calling for Anthony Calvillo to “take the reins off of the Als Offence.”

Despite the article not mentioning ANYTHING that the Als might look to do against Ottawa, the piece illustrates the fact that the CFL media and fan base are quite concerned over the lack of productivity out of La Belle Province.

While Montreal tries to figure their way through things, the RedBlacks need to start fast off their bye week because their other two Eastern Conference foes (Toronto and Hamilton) are playing two teams that are still trying to figure things out themselves, and they obviously want to keep a foot hold on top spot in their division.

It behooves Ottawa and future Hall of Fame QB, smiling Hank, to get a win here because the BC Lions walk into TD Place in Week 10, and that’s no laughing -  err smiling -matter.

As these two teams kick off Week 9, both seem headed in different directions.  One can never count out any team in the CFL but it’s hard to see the Angry Bird taking flight now when the majority of the season has been a struggle.

Pick:  The RedBlacks in the Nation’s capital.

Calgary @ BC

I’ve been waiting for this re-match since the Stamps pulled out that impossible win during their first clash in Calgary.  This is as Mayweather vs. Pacquaio-ish as it comes in the Canadian Football League

If one looks closely, the Week 6 meeting was a bit of an anomaly for the Stamps when it came to protecting the QB.  The Lions sacked Bo Levi Mitchell 4 times during their game back in late July and managed to keep him uncomfortable and under pressure throughout the competition. 

Up until that game, BLM had gone relatively untouched, and it was a big reason why the Lions looked like they had things in the bag.  One will argue a number of points when trying to diagnose how the Stamps came back; the bottom line is that they got it done. 

As of late, it seems to be a trend in Calgary.

It’s going to be interesting to see how BC plans on duplicating their stellar defensive performance from Week 6.  It will be equally captivating to watch Calgary try and execute knowing that they need to be better in order to pull out a win in enemy territory.

Realistically, Defence, may be the only discrepancy between these two teams. The conference rivals match up well on paper, with the Lions getting the nod on D.

Does that mean if Calgary finds a way to play better during this second meeting, they’ll win the game?

Absolutely not…

Not only do the Leos have Jeremiah Johnson back off the injury list (when he’s healthy it’s hard to find a better RB in the league), but Wally Buono and his troops should have learned a great deal about themselves during that first game in Alberta; ESPECIALLY at the QB position.

There were throws that Jonathon Jennings simply should not have tried to make in the waning minutes of Stamps/Lions Week 6 clash.  That’s not to say that he was solely responsible for the Calgary comeback, but there was a lot of teachable film that Jennings needed to see from that game that the 2nd year signal caller needed to see and learn from.

By all accounts, Jennings has been money from then on (BC’s final drive in the 4th Quarter of last week was beautiful) and with this game holding more meaning than the first, Jennings and his teammates have probably been anxiously waiting their chance at a re-do.

I really believe that this game could go either way, which is exactly what one wants when the best two teams in the CFL meet. 

Both teams rely on the big fellas up front to set the tone, both teams can run the rock, and both teams have QBs that are playing at a high level.  The Lions and Stamps also have great receiving corps, along with talented DBs in the secondary to defend against the pass. 

The difference in this game may be at the LB core, and that’s where we may find the scales tipping slightly in BCs favour.  2016 has been business as usual for Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian.  They’re the cornerstones of the Lions Defence, and may be what the doctor ordered when it comes to stopping an efficient Calgary run game, and taking away large portions on the field during the pass. 

Marquee games are often decided by one or two plays.  The Week 6 game between these two teams lived up to the hype, and if Week 9 follows the same script, we’re in for a treat, and the BC LBs may be the difference makers.

Pick: The British Columbia Lions and the best unis in the CFL

Edmonton @ Toronto

During our mid-week OFFSIDES podcast, I had a lot of trouble trying to come up with a label for this game.  To this point, both teams have underperformed, and it’s been annoying to watch, knowing how much talent there actually is on both rosters.  As I stumbled around looking for a phrase to coin this game with, our co-host (Coach Gary Etcheverry) thankfully had a perfect title; the battle of mediocrity.
Much like the game we just talked about, this competition could go either way; but not in a good way.  Due to the fact that neither of these squads have been world-beaters on Defence one would probably look to the Offensive side of the ball to find the keys to victory.

I’ve gotta go with Edmonton in this one.  Mike Reilly, Derel Walker, and Adarius Bowman are the bright spots on a team that is still trying to figure everything out. 

Last week, Western Conference teams won every game on the CFL sched and with Toronto’s BMO field crowd not offering much in the way of home side advantage, this game is a chance for Edmonton to gain some ground on one of the top two teams in their division (somebody has to lose the BC/CGY game).

Pick:  The Edmonton Eskimos

Saskatchewan @ Hamilton

The Saskatchewan Roughriders need to start winning some games here in order to get themselves into the playoffs and make some noise.  When one looks at this upcoming contest in Hamilton, one may find that the easiest way to forecast the winner is to break things down using the three phases of the game.

Here’s the good news; when it comes to the Offensive side of the ball, the Roughriders have the advantage, based on he fact that Doubles has been playing out of his mind in 2016. 

Analysts and experts are so excited that Zach Collaros has returned, and for good reason, however right now (with a young Offensive Line playing decently in front of #4) Darian Durant gives the Green and White the nod in this phase.  He (Durant) is playing with a chip on his shoulder, and looks notably youthful. 

The Face of the Franchise is carrying this squad, and with this being only the 2nd game that Collaros is playing in coming off a long rehab stint, it’s still too early to tell whether or not the Hamilton O is back to where they were, prior to Collaros going down in 2015.

Unfortunately, it’s the other two phases of this game where things take a turn on Saskatchewan. 

Hamilton possesses the CFLs version of Devin Hester (in his prime) in Brandon Banks, and his ability to instantly change the face of a football game leaves CFL fans in absolute awe.  Banks will hit at the absolute WORST time for an opponent so the Riders kick coverage teams are going to have to put forth their best effort, ESPECIALLY on long field goals (just ask the BC Lions).

The TiCats also get the nod defensively with their multiple look scheme that they’ve employed to keep them in games while Jeremiah Masoli was at the helm.  Hamilton’s defensive scheme does well at getting to the QB, but if one can find the open spots quickly, there is a chance to hit the TiCats for large chunks.

Looking at the game through the 3 phases (Offence, Defence,and Special Teams) makes things easy and takes all the loyalty out of it.  Although the Green and White hold the Offensive advantage, that can be quickly nullified by sudden change plays in the other aspects of the game. 

Right now the Saskatchewan Roughriders need all of your support!  The one thing that the X’s and O’s cannot measure is HEART.

We always try keeping our hearts out of these previews on Pro Perspective.  That helps us keep the focus on the actual football.  Unfortunately, over the last two years, that has meant that these predictions have gone against our beloved Green and White the majority of the time.  It sucks.

Luckily HEART is a HUGE factor in football games, and it gives Saskatchewan a chance on Saturday.

Pick:  Gotta go with The Black and Gold in the Coffee Grounds and as usual I HOPE TO HELL I'M WRONG!!!

#ProPerspective



Thursday, 18 August 2016

OFFSIDES...Pieces of Art!

Subscribe on iTunes!!!
Week 9 of the CFL schedule kicks off tomorrow and as per usual, before all of the action starts, Coach Etch and I get together to forecast the possible results and the interesting things to watch for throughout the football weekend.

Today's OFFSIDES podcast covers a number of thoughts including the "style over substance" position that 3 of the leagues Head Coach's subscribe too, and the possible thought process for coaches that don't necessarily see eye-to-eye with the coordinators that they are working for.

For anyone who has already buried the Saskatchewan Roughriders as they head into the "Coffee Grounds" there may be some reason to hold that thought...

All of this and much more on today's episode of OFFSIDES.

Hit the link below for all of you non-iTunes users.
Talk soon folks!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Busting the Narratives in Week 8

Sorry guys...We dropped this OFFSIDES podcast yesterday, but for those of you who do not subscribe to us on iTunes, I failed to post this quick synopsis of the show.  I'll have a Tuesday Mailbag for you guys later this evening because there are a couple of questions we still haven't gotten to from our followers!

As we close the book on Week 8 in the CFL, and before we look ahead to week 9, Coach Gary Etcheverry and I give you guys a Pro Perspective look into some of the "narratives" flying around in the CFL and how they played into the thought process of fans, analysts, and casual viewers over the weekend.

Yesterday's topics included, TSN protecting its former CFLers that are now coaching in tough situations, like Anthony Calvillo.  In that discussion we use Tim Tebow's potential baseball career as a talking point to illustrate Etch's point of view.

Winnipeg looks to be gaining some steam and we touch on the fact that it's "hard to argue" with those who are saying that the Bombers have a shot at going to the Grey Cup.  We also bust another narrative of panelists and experts as it pertains to Scott Milanovich while we're talking about the Bomber victory over Toronto.

Before we close out the show, we spend a fair amount of time talking about Craig Reynolds and the bet that he placed on Chris Jones and his staff.  Etch applauded the move from the get-go and with all of the controversy surrounding Saskatchewan it seemed like a good time to get coach's opinion on all of it.

Etch also has some great analysis on Darian Durant which Rider fans will gobble up, and we close out the show with some encouraging words for the Rider faithful.

Subscribe to OFFSIDES on iTunes

OR

Here's the embedded downloadable show for our non-iTunes clientele...

Saturday, 13 August 2016

GOTTA HAVE IT!!!

Here's the latest post that I contributed to riderville.com

I think this is an important read because it underscores one of the MOST IMPORTANT characteristics that an athlete needs to have. 

One MUST know his personal performance numbers!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Picking WEEK 8 in the CFL

PRESENTED BY

cjevanshomedesigns.com
Last Week: 3-1

Leave it to the STINKIN Blue Bombers to spoil a 4-0 week last week!  I'm obviously not that mad at them though because we picked them this week.

Instead of giving away all the picks now, check them out below!  I hope this adds to your Pre-Game Convo's starting TONIGHT!

As always, this Pick-Em is brought to you by my buddy Chris Evans and his company Cj Evans Home Designs..

Lets ROLL...

Montreal @ Edmonton
Geez!  It’s tough to pick between two teams that one has absolutely ZERO confidence in!

Curiously, I have a gut feeling about Montreal in this game.  Even I’m perplexed as to why; if one reads anything coming out of La Belle Province as of late, all signs are pointing to collapse. 
 There may even be a hint of doubt creeping in about the qualifications of Offensive Coordinator Anthony Calvillo…Hmmm???  I wonder where we’ve heard that before?!?!? #OffsidesPodcast #ProPerspective

I’m pretty sure that I’ve ignored my gut feeling a number of time now to my own peril but there’s no way that my gut could be right about this one!

In true struggling team vs. struggling team fashion, this game may be a case of one team having a lot more wrong with them than the other team.  At this point it seems like the only thing that we SHOULD take into account.

 If that is the case, I’ll take Edmonton’s issues over Montreal’s issues.

Pick: The Reigning, Defending Gre…Scratch that…The Soon to Be Dethroned Edmonton Eskimos?

Winnipeg @ Toronto

There’s something in me that won’t allow me to be completely sold on Matt Nichols.  Although I do think he is a better option moving forward than Drew Willy is, I still can’t get passed the niche I may have ignorantly carved out for him, which is back-up QB.  Maybe it’s because he simply hasn’t had the time to completely find his groove with a squad?  All signs point to a boatload of time to sort things out in Bomberville so hopefully he continues his upward trend.
At first it felt like we haven’t seen the Argos play in an eternity, and then I realized that the Boatmen have been on their bye-week which gave Toronto’s back-up QB, Logan Kilgore, plenty of time to dissect his body of work from his 2016 debut in Ottawa.
I’m going to use the ability to run the football here when it comes to this game.  Take note, because it is a theme we’ll re-visit when it comes to our final analysis of the night.  Andrew Harris may be Paul LaPolice’s best friend in TO, and if Winnipeg can methodically carve out manageable 2nd downs, and consistently put together some lengthy drives, it may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered in terms of not allowing Kilgore to catch a rhythm with his pass-catchers he has at his disposal.
Behind a Winnipeg Defence that has been playing well in spots all year, and is now getting some rest in between drives, I have confidence in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to get the job done on the road.
WOW!  Confidence in the Bummers!!!  Never said that before!!
Pick:  The Blue Bombers to continue to build on their momentum!
Hamilton @ BC
You guys know what I think about the BC Lions (hint: I like em), so we won’t spend time ogling over all of their impressive characteristics.
Instead, we’ll take a look at the fact that Zach Collaros is making his return. 
It’s important to note that this is NOT the Zach Collaros that we all came to adore in 2015, and that’s big because there is a certain amount of mystery surrounding his return.
Maybe mystery makes it seem too gloomy, but there should be some questions that we ask before we hop right back on the TiCat Bandwagon…

I’ll be curious to see how long it takes for Collaros to get his “sea legs” under him.  I don’t care how much the franchise pivot has practised as of late, there is nothing that one can do to simulate game tempo and intensity.  There may also be a considerable number of mental hurdles that Collaros needs to overcome before he REALLY gets rolling.  Things like how his knee will react to the first real hit, or how mobile is he truly going to be?  Collaros’ mobility was everything to the TiCats because he was constantly able to get out of the pocket and still make accurate throws.

I really like the TiCats prospects now that they’ve got their number one signal caller back, but I’m not sure I want to commit to the Black and Gold until I see a full performance. 

It could go either way for the Tabbies.  Unfortunately for them, this is one of the best (if not the best) teams in the Canadian Football League that Collaros has to deal with right out of the gate.

Pick: British Columbia and the best unis in the League.

Calgary @ Saskatchewan

After watching the 4th Quarter of the Riders/Stamps game last week, I have a fair amount of concern as to whether or not the Saskatchewan Roughriders can pull off a split during this home-at-home series.

The fact that this game is at home with Doubles at the helm, and having knocked off any rust, represents 10 points in my minds eye.  Add another 3 points now that Bo Levi-Mitchell’s dry-snitching has lit a flame under the entire fan base and you have a 13-point cushion to play with before kick-off. 

Not a bad forecast considering the squad only managed 15 pts during the first installment of this back-to-back.

Here’s the problem…In that 4th Quarter, it wasn’t the play calling on either side that did, or didn’t, get it done.  It had nothing to do with schematics.  What scares me about this game is the ability for the Saskatchewan Roughriders to PHYSICALLY execute. 

The way that Calgary was able to establish the Line of Scrimmage was impressive if you’re a trench warfare enthusiast, but disturbing if you’re a Green and White die-hard.  We spend a lot of time talking about ball control (as it relates to the run game) on this blog, and Jerome Messam and the Calgary Stampeders gave us all a PERFECT example of how a ground attack can kill an opponent.  Messam is already a beast to bring down, but he’s almost unstoppable if a team is making first contact with him at the 2nd level where the LB’s and DB’s are. 

The Roughriders simply lost the physically battle on Defence and in turn it prevented the Offence from being able to gather any momentum.  As a matter of fact, I think that Doubles and his crew only ran 7 Offensive plays in that last Q of Thursdays game.  #BallControl

Everybody’s narrative’s are all the same at this point: “Saskatchewan’s Defence has to play better”
Now that’s easy to say because one is able to add strategy into that account but when an opponent is able to impose their will on a competitor, it essentially takes the X’s and O’s completely off the table.

In this case, “playing better” means that the team needs to step up the PHYSICALITY of their approach.

Taking the physical side of things into account, at this point, and unfortunately I’ve written this EXACT same statement in a prior analysis; there may be to much of a disparity between both teams Offensive and Defensive Lines. 

I see the Roughrider hoggies (depending who Saskatchewan rolls out) vs. the Stampeder Dline as a “push” right now and that’s fair because of all the turnover there.  Sadly, there seems to be a distinct advantage upfront when it comes to the Red and White Oline vs the Green and White Dline.

Until that Defensive unit can establish themselves physically, we have give the edge to the
Whaa-mpeders because that’s where the foundations of success begin and end in a football game.

Pick: The Dry-Snitching Stampeders

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

OFFSIDES! The "Yah...Buuut" Episode!

We had a HELL of a time dealing with some server issues with our OFFSIDES podcast today and to tell you guys the truth, I'm actually shocked that we were able to drop our WEEK 8 episode where we take a look at the upcoming CFL schedule.\

In today's show we talk Nichols surprising??? performance thus far as the signal caller in Winnipeg.

We also talk Hamilton and Zach Collaros' return and the fact that the TiCats O is currently a WORK IN PROGRESS.

To close out the show, our discussion takes us to the HUGE (for a number of reasons) re-match between the Stamps and Riders, and Coach drops a couple of potential RULE CHANGES that the CFL needs to consider!

I gotta run...We have a Regina Thunder game to prepare for.  Exciting year ahead for our coaching staff led by Scott MaCaulay!

Don't forget to subscribe to us on iTunes...As usual, the link to our original hosting site is below!

Talk soon folks!