Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Goin' Prospectin'

CFL General Managers, scouts and other evaluation personnel have done their prodding, probing and timing, they've examined the athletic achievements, academic records and divined character from a wide cross section of Canadian University Football's best.

And now, as March moves into April, it's expected that the CFL's eight teams will be seeking to bring those that they believe will offer the best result for their squads to training camp in May.

The CFL's evaluation camps held earlier this month, provided GM's with a potential blue print for the future of Canadian talent, always a key ingredient for any successful CFL campaign.

Some of the names on the lineup sheet will go on to CFL success, others will fade from view destined to put their dreams of football as profession on hold forever as they move on with their future.

Still, for a few days in March all were on the same page, where they are placed later on is yet to be seen.

The CFL's website features this review of the developments at the prospect's camp.

The roll call of talent and schematics for those team blue prints if you will, can be found below.

April 6-- CFL releases draft rankings
April 6-- U of C slotback Anthony Parker hits No. 2
April 5-- Mitchell ranked No. 1 for CFL draft
April 5-- Scott Mitchell named top-ranked prospect for upcoming CFL draft
March 15-- George making scouts take notice
March 15-- Underdogs flying below the radar
March 14-- Junior Turner - Mic'd Up
March 14-- Blues defensive back one step closer to dream of playing in CFL
March 13-- Riders evaluate e camp prospects
March 12-- Andre Clarke Mic'd Up
March 11-- Fumble free RB impresses
March 11-- Next Turner's time to shine
March 9-- Lopez at home on the field
March 8-- Can Sinopoli break the Canadian QB curse?
March 8-- Canadian QB's take aim at the CFL
March 8-- Clarke makes his mark
March 7-- Coehoorn's battle to be top receiver
March 7-- Grandson of a CFL great takes his shot
March 7-- Lineman smashes bench-press record at CFL combine
March 7-- Lots of skill on display at E camp
March 7-- Burlington boy gets it Dunn at CFL e camp
March 7-- Ticats interview all the players at E camp
March 7-- Scott Mitchell impresses at CFL e camp 
March 6-- Bombers high on lineman
March 6-- Speed picks up on e camp Sunday
March 6-- Ottawa's Mitchell stands out from crowd at CFL e-camp
March 6-- Scott Mitchell stands tall at CFL evaluation camp
March 6-- Big men battle in one-on-ones at e camp
March 6-- Anthony Parker is running down a CFL dream
March 6-- Late career change for CFL prospect
March 6-- Rice offensive tackle Scott Mitchell impresses at CFL's evaluation camp
March 6-- Younger Muamba a prospect to watch
March 6-- Crutch time for CFL prospect
March 6-- Top quarterback realistic about CFL prospects
March 5-- Bison gets his chance to show football skills to interested CFL eyes
March 5-- Prospects jump up the rankings at e camp
March 5-- Knill shatters bench press record at e camp
March 5-- Hall a winner on and off the field
March 5-- Potential #1 pick right at home
March 5-- Overcoming nerves key for e camp
March 5-- Knill smashed bench press record with 47 reps
March 5-- Muamba's journey from the Congo to pro football
March 5-- The Canadian QB's aim just for a shot
March 5-- Saskatchewan's Etienne takes comeback to another level
March 4-- Records may fall at CFL Evaluation camp
March 4-- Checking out some prime prospects
March 4-- Evaluation camp a chance for CFL long shots to impress
March 4-- Iannuzzi's story of history and courage
March 4-- Savoie small in stature, big on heart
March 4-- Gardner out to prove he is a big catch
March 4-- QB Mueller ready to impress scouts
March 4-- Mitchell a standout in CFL prospects
March 3-- CFL teams eye choice college prospects
March 3-- CFL sizing up high-ranked Dino players
March 3-- Jade green, but rich with potential
March 3-- Five under the radar names at E camp
March 3-- Players finding alternative routes to CFL
March 2-- Cats ready to evaluate prospects
February 28-- Tenacious Butler brings versatility
February 27-- Trio of Dinos raised on pro offence
February 26-- Mustang Surla packs explosive punch

Quick Snaps British Columbia Lions - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the British Columbia Lions.

March 28-- A little winter line-juggling
March 23-- George gets release from Lions
March 23-- Torn muscle could cost Andrew Harris tailback spot
March 22-- B. C. Lions back Andrew Harris to miss start of CFL season after training injury
March 21-- Playing the numbers game
March 17-- Lions Add Two, Release Two
March 16-- Lions lining up Elimimian's replacement?
March 15-- Lions GM Wally Buono pays tribute to ex-teammate Tony Proudfoot, joins ALS Society of BC
March 15-- Lions sign Geroy Simon to contract extension
March 15-- 'Amazing' Geroy Simon signs contract extension with Lions
March 17-- Two on, off roster for Lions
March 17-- Who's No. 2? Bet on the Whitecaps to beat out the Lions
March 15-- Lining up the linebackers
March 15-- Buono eyes LB Maurce Lloyd, released by Edmonton
March 15-- Simon has CFL receiving-yardage record in his sights
March 15-- Geroy Simon signs contract extension with B. C. Lions
March 14-- Simon's act to run year longer
March 10-- Leos' phone isn't ringing
March 7-- B. C. Lions seek new diamonds in the rough as 'option' window closes
March 4-- Lions' Grey Cup quarterbacks reminisce about their wins... and wounds
March 4-- The CFL"s new golden rules
March 4-- Lack of logic doesn't  faze Lions' Fab Five
March 3-- Tales from the greats
March 2-- Damon Allen not Canadian Football Hall of Fame worthy?!
March 1-- Lions extend Korey Banks through 2012 CFL Season

Quick Snaps Edmonton Eskimos - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Edmonton Eskimos.

March 31-- Talbot retires from Edmonton Eskimos
March 25-- Edmonton QB Ray is a new dad
March 25-- Esks sign former Gators speedster
March 24-- Eskimos sign former Florida star Brandon James
March 23-- Eskimos release veteran tackle Romero
March 22-- Eskimos sign kicker Medlock, defensive back Thomas to Ticats
March 21-- Esks' Tillman king of the deal
March 18-- Eskimos trade Tristan Jackson to Roughriders
March 18-- Eskimos release Justin Cooper
March 17-- Taylor Inglis traded to Edmonton
March 17-- Inglis back in Esks fold
March 17-- Taylor Inglis to make Eskimos comeback
March 17-- CFL could gain from NFL woes: Esks' Reed
March 15-- Edmonton Eskimos release Maurice Lloyd
March 15-- Esks let go of Mo
March 9-- Esks team up to win international award
March 8-- Edmonton Eskimos win international award
March 3-- Esks add size to receiving position
March 3-- Eskimos add second receiver in two days

Quick Snaps Calgary Stampeders - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Calgary Stampeders.

March 26-- Stamps waiting on NFL labour impasse
March 24-- Cornish is game shape already
March 24-- Stamps ink Jon Cornish to extension
March 24-- Cornish signs extension with Stamps
March 15-- Inquisitive Stampeders fan gets Hufnagel talking
March 15-- Arthur anxious to catch chance to prove himself
March 14-- Fan forum an instant hit for Stamps
March 14-- Stamps build for present and future with Arthur signing
March 13-- Fans, Stamps brass to mingle at McMahon
March 13-- Stamps welcome fans to have say at McMahon
March 9-- NFL's Barksdale lands in Stamps camp
March 7-- Sports big business and branding for Calgary
March 2-- Myddelton signs extension with Stamps
March 1-- Stamps reward versatile offensive lineman

Quick Snaps Saskatchewan Roughriders - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

March 29-- Murray's Musings on the release of Adams
March 29-- Riders' Jim Hopson would like 2013 Grey Cup bid to be decided by summer
March 29-- Chunky Adams is an upstanding citizen
March 29-- Saskatchewan Roughriders release Marcus Adams
March 25-- Baseball legend Don Mattingly has soft spot for Saskatchewan thanks to his brother
March 15-- Former Rider Kitwana Jones signs free-agent contract with Alouettes
March 21-- Saskatchewan Roughriders sign import kick returner Tristan Jackson
March 21-- Louie Sakoda to Edmonton
March 19-- Taman on Tristan
March 19-- Riders land a returner
March 14-- Eskimos cut Lloyd
March 8-- Riders announce three signings
March 8-- Saskatchewan Roughriders sign 3 players
March 5-- Rules committee makes recommendations
March 3-- Stadiums will not be funded by federal government: MP Andrew Scheer
March 2-- Al from Burnaby weighs in on stadium issue
March 2-- No federal funding for proposed Regina stadium, Sask. government to look at other options
March 2-- Regina Mayor not ready to quit on stadium
March 2-- Omarr Morgan hopes to keep playing football
March 1-- James Patrick signs contract extension with Saskatchewan Roughriders
March 1-- Regina's dome-dream not quite dead yet
March 1-- Domed stadium in Regina looks doomed
March 1-- Dream of domed stadium in Regina appears dead

Quick Snaps Winnipeg Blue Bombers - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

March 31-- Bombers loading up on draft picks
March 31-- Jyles traded because
March 30-- Bombers trade QB Jyles to Argonauts for draft picks
March 30-- Bombers trade QB Jyles to Argos
March 30-- Blue Bombers trade quarterback Steven Jyles to Toronto Argonauts for draft picks
March 29-- I'm not above asking for your money
March 26-- Coaches work hard to seal up draft
March 24-- Forum for Bomber fans
March 18-- Draft picks key to Bombers trade
March 17-- Bombers add two draft picks
March 16-- Blue ink 2006 All-Canadian
March 14-- Blue not interested in veteran
March 9-- Bombers make Khan official
March 9-- Youth football program launched
March 8-- Bombers make Khan official
March 7-- Rice guy finishes first for Bombers
March 6-- Talking a good game
March 6-- Bombers high on lineman
March 5-- City exec, Asper join Blue board
March 5-- Bison gets  his chance to show football skills to interested CFL eyes
March 4-- Bombers add Asper to board
March 4-- Checking out some prime prospects
March 1-- Designing a locker-room that's true to Blue

Quick Snaps Toronto Argonauts - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Toronto Argonauts.

March 31-- Former Argo Andre Talbot retires
March 30-- Argos think Jyles is the answer
March 30-- Bombers trade quarterback Jyles to Argos for picks
March 30-- Bombers trade QB Jyles to Argonauts for draft picks
March 30-- Argos pick up veteran QB Steven Jyles in trade with Blue Bombers
March 21-- Argos reward Cory Boyd, extend rookie all-star's deal through 2013
March 21-- Argos help Boyd release some anger
March 21-- Boyd signs three year extension with Argos
March 21-- Argos give Boyd contract extension
March 7-- Belli to decide between Argos and Ticats
March 3-- Argos end search for top scout

Quick Snaps proposed Ottawa franchise - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the conditional franchise in Ottawa.

March 25-- Lansdowne sport fields suggested
March 25-- Lansdowne sport fields suggested a public consultation
March 24-- Lansdowne just isn't ready
March 24-- Glebe residents urged to put best thumb forward for park
March 23-- Lansdowne park plan to be discussed
March 23-- Public meetings on Lansdowne urban park design set for Wednesday, Thursday
March 22-- Delaying progress
March 21-- CFL's Ottawa return could be delayed to 2014
March 17-- Tale of the tape
March 17-- Lansdowne appeals going to OMB in May
March 17-- Local merchants meet to build bridges with mayor, city
March 17-- $100K raised for Lansdowne challenge, Ottawa community group says
March 17-- Building a sight to behold
March 17-- Legal case against Lansdowne plan 'ill-dounded', developers' lawyer says
March 17-- Best and worst of Ottawa buildings and urban spaces of 2010
March 17-- Why a stadium matters
March 14-- Behind the Lansdowne Park debates

Quick Snaps Montreal Alouettes - March 2011

Items of note that don't get the full blog treatment, but offer up news and background on the Montreal Alouettes.

March 22-- Als returning to Eastern Townships
March 21-- Alouettes coaches put their heads together for plan to coming season
March 18-- Als bank on Lalonde to take team to next level
March 18-- Alouettes sign Cobb, Jones
March 18-- Alouettes sign RB DeAndra' Cobb
March 17-- Lalonde wants people to see that the Alouettes are 'a big deal'
March 17-- Becoming Als president is 'the realization of a dream,' Lalonde says
March 16-- Ray Lalonde named Alouettes president
March 16-- Lalonde takes over top job with Als
March 15-- Lalonde to run Als
March 15-- Calvillo gearing up for season
March 14-- I'm healthier than ever, Calvillo says
March 14-- Former Rider Kitwana Jones signs free-agent contract with Alouettes
March 12-- Batman coming to Als
March 9-- Alouettes extend McPherson, sign former Packer
March 9-- Alouettes extend deal with McPherson, add Ahman Green
March 9-- Alouettes sign Adrian McPherson to extension
March 2-- Law career on hold for Proulx
March 2-- Al's Proulx retires after six CFL seasons
March 2-- Alouettes' Proulx retires
March 2-- Alouettes' Proulx limps away from game
March 2-- Alouettes' Proulx calls it a career after six seasons
March 2-- Alouettes safety Mathieu Proulx retires
March 1-- Proulx to retire

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Schedule maker provides surprise for CFL rivals

Labour Day is going to look a little bit different on the CFL schedule in 2011, as the schedule maker has decided to give the annual Argonauts/Tiger Cats Labour Day game a pass for this season.

One of the calendar type events (well we suppose calendar is a bit of an overstatement, since pretty well everyone knows when Labour Day is, but you get the idea) the match up is one of the signature games of the season for the CFL. A change for the southern Ontario rivals to gain a larger share of the media footprint in the crammed agenda of Toronto sports editors.

So it's a bit surprising that the league chose not to highlight this long running rivalry in its marquee moment, but for public consumption the Argos for their part are on board with the schedule makers for this year, though they do suggest that it is but a one year hiatus from the annual festival of madness that the game usually provides for.

And they had best get that agenda item figured out for 2012, as the reviews for the cancellation of the Argos / Ticats reunion haven't been kind to the CFL or the Commissioner.

Fortunately the schedule makers didn't totally de-construce the annual Labour Day events, as both the Stamps and Esks and Riders and Blue Bombers will meet in their annual celebration of the Labour Day rivalries, the match between the Riders and Bombers as always gaining much in the way of anticipation.

On a more proactive note on fan accommodation, the CFL will return to Atlantic Canada this season, with another of its Touchdown Atlantic sessions, once again availing itself of the hospitality of the folks in Moncton.  The September  25th Atlantic experience will be provided to the Calgary Stampeders and Hamilton Tiger Cats this season, offering up the trifecta of Atlantic Lobster, Alberta steak and Oski Wee Wee down east.

Accommodation was also a feature for the BC Lions, set to return to BC Place Stadium later this summer. Should all construction schedules remain on track the Lions will vacate their temporary home at Empire Fields after the September 10th match with the Argos, relocating to their den on False Creek with what should be a fairly impressive opening night on September 30th with the Eskimos.

The season kicks off on June 20th with the Canada Day Weekend launch of the 2011 campaign, with BC visiting Montreal.

From there, through the summer and into the fall the CFL makes the pilgrimage to Grey Cup Sunday in Vancouver and the league championship at the newly refurbished BC Place on November 27th.

The CFL introduced its plans for 2011 with a press release which you can view here,

While the full CFL schedule for 2011 can be found here.

Each franchise has its positives and minuses when it comes to the schedule makers line up, the view from each of the CFL's cities can be found below

British Columbia