Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quick Snaps Winnipeg Blue Bombers - December 2011

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

December 27-- Bombers made headlines
December 22-- Bombers' year in review
December 22-- Sports year in review
December 20-- Bombers safely sign Logan
December 16-- Khari or Dyce for Bombers?
December 16-- Top 10 most-loved athletes in Winnipeg history
December 14-- Just call it the Money Pit
December 11-- Bombers fans happy but not satisfied
December 10-- Bombers' Johnson takes run at the NFL
December 9-- Bombers re-sign long snapper
December 9-- Bombers boot Boreham, reclaim Cvetkovic
December 5-- Mack's pat on back

Quick Snaps Saskatchewan Roughriders - December 2011

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

December 25-- No 'Rough Riders" for Ottawa
December 23-- There is life after Andy Fantuz
December 22-- Riders should hire Bobby Dyce and Khari Jones
December 22-- Punter-kicker Chris Milo is proud of his accomplishments with the Riders
December 22-- U of R Rams punter Chris Bodnar to get chance with Riders
December 21-- Roughriders GM Brendan Taman keeping busy
December 21-- Andy Fantuz watch never stops
December 20-- Riders release Luca Congi and Tamon George
December 20-- Andy Fantuz shoots down rumours
December 16-- Saskatchewan Roughriders players, staff impressed by Chamblin
December 16-- Rey Williams praises coach Corey Chamblin's work ethic
December 16-- Optics didn't sway Brendan Taman
December 16-- Regina city councillors to decide on Mosaic Stadium replacement
December 16-- Riders head coach Corey Chamblin enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks
December 16-- Auspicious debut for Corey Chamblin
December 16-- Hiring staff next step for new Riders coach Corey Chamblin
December 16-- Riders Live Chat December 16
December 15-- Roughriders hire Corey Chamblin as their new head coach
December 15-- Roughriders hire ex-Tiger-Cats co-ordinator Corey Chamblin as head coach
December 15-- Riders name Corey Chamblin new head coach
December 15-- Twitter reacts to the Riders' hiring of Corey Chamblin
December 15-- Readers' Poll: Do you think the Riders' decision to make Corey Chamblin..
December 14-- Business as usual for Roughriders director of player personnel Craig Smith
December 14-- Riders giving Kolten Solomon another chance
December 13-- Riders move forward without Kent Austin
December 13-- Dollars don't drive Kent Autsin
December 13-- Austin picks Cornell over CFL
December 12-- Kent Austin return to Riders appears unlikely
December 9-- Riders could make a three-in-one deal
December 8-- Kent Austin dictates Roughriders' timing
December 8-- Riders interview Stamps coach Dave Dickenson for head-coaching post
December 8-- Free agents on Riders' list of off-season issues
December 7-- More than football on Riders' Mo Lloyd's mind
December 7-- Riders release Barrin Simpson, sign Maurice Lloyd
December 6-- Lions give Riders permission to talk to Mike Benevides
December 6-- Riders cleared to talk to Kent Austin
December 3-- Roughriders must act fast with Austin
December 2-- Roughriders GM Brendan Taman plays by the rules
December 2--- Kent Austin talk won't relent
December 2-- Riders GM Brendan Taman trusts in process to find a new head coach
December 2-- Roughriders will upgrade Mosaic Stadium in advance of 2013 Grey Cup
December 1-- TSN's Glen Suitor weighs on in Riders' head-coach search
December 1-- Riders' rivals coaching moves causing unease

Quick Snaps Calgary Stampeders - December 2011

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

December 23-- Stampeders promote Walkosky to defensive co-ordinator
December 23-- Stampeders name Walkosky defensive co-ordinator
December 20-- Stamps lose former longtime equipment manager
December 18-- Stamps' Claybrooks expected to retire
December 17-- Stampeders working to extend Tate's deal
December 13-- Stampeders to announce contract extension for RB Jon Cornish
December 13-- Cornish signs on dotted line
December 13-- Burris Big Smoked
December 13-- Cornish, Stamps agree on long-term deal
December 12-- Cornish gets contract bump
December 8-- CFL teams face tough decisions as free agency approaches
December 8-- Dave Dickenson interviews for Riders coaching gig
December 6-- Stampeders sign star running back Matt Walter
December 5-- Toronto Argonauts unveil co-ordinators lured from Calgary, Montreal
December 3-- Stampeders re-sign Lethbridge's Gott
December 3-- CFL fines Scullers big $5Gs
December 2-- CFL fines Argonauts $5,000 for tampering
December 2-- Argos fined for tampering after contact with ex- Stampeders co-ordinator...
December 2-- CFL fines Argonauts $.000 for tampering
December 2-- Stampeders file grievance in Argos reported hiring
December 1-- Stamps' Claybrooks wants to get into coaching- eventually

Quick Snaps Edmonton Eskimos - December 2011

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

December 20-- Maas begins coaching career with Argos
December 20-- Argos snag new receivers coach
December 19-- Eskimos' deal with Schiavone clouds kicking situation
December 16-- Acquiring veteran Ray gives Argos huge boost
December 15-- Ray takes his biggest hit in the off-season
December 14-- Ray says he's adjusting to shock of being dealt to Argos
December 14-- Inside the Ricky Ray deal
December 14-- Ray 'shocked' by trade to Argos
December 14-- Shock turns to excitement for new Argos pivot
December 14-- Eskimos introduce Steven Jyles
December 14-- Trade to Argonauts a shocker: Ricky Ray
December 14-- Ray just what Argos need, CFL legend says
December 14-- The sky's the limit for Ray and Argos
December 14-- Why the Argos won the Ricky Ray trade
December 14-- Like Flutie,  Joseph, Argos deal for another Star QB
December 14-- Eskimos say Steven Jyles is their No. 1 quarterback
December 14-- Ray surprised by trade to Argos
December 13-- Eskimos look to the future with Ray trade
December 13-- Argonauts sing praises of new QB Ricky Ray
December 13-- Ray trade an ego play
December 13-- Ray acquisition makes Himebauch's job easier
December 12-- Maas 'definitely surprised' with trade of former teammate, good friend
December 12-- Trade a 'shocker' for Esks' Stamps
December 12-- Trade for Ricky Ray helps Argos prepare for run at Grey Cup
December 12-- Ray trade an outrage
December 12-- Eskimos send Ricky Ray to Argonauts
December 12-- Tough call for Esks' Reed
December 12-- Argos acquire QB Ricky Ray
December 12-- Argonauts 'aggressively' pursued Ray trade: Tillman
December 12-- Key dates in Ricky Ray's football career
December 12-- Eskimos send Ricky Ray to Argonauts
December 7-- Charles back on board with Eskimos

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Quick Snaps British Columbia Lions - December 2011

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

December 26-- B. C. Lions named Postmedia team of the year after miracle season
December 23-- Lions show teeth as story of 2011
December 23-- Two Lions find their pride in family gatherings
December 15-- Lions asst. coach Jacques Chapdelaine may go back to Bishop's
December 14-- Lions Mike Benvides banked on blind trust
December 14-- He's made to measure
December 14-- Sadly, Sweats Still Suit Benevides
December 14-- Coaching staff have 'first rights of refusal'
December 13-- Benevides gets promotion with Lions
December 13-- Mike Benevides takes Lions' coaching reins
December 13-- New Lions coach Benevides "blessed" to have GM Buono in his corner
December 13-- Benevides thrilled to take over Lions
December 13-- Grey Cup champs hand coaching reins to Mike Benevides
December 13-- Mike Benevides' All-Canadian coaching career about to take the next important step
December 12-- Lions set to name Benevides head coach
December 12-- "Little Wally" to replace Buono as Lions head coach
December 11-- Buono expects to lead more balanced life
December 8-- GM Buono shows he's pass master
December 8-- Looking at the Lions: McCallum a must
December 8-- Search for the next coach of the Lions begins
December 7-- Lions on defensive with potential free agents
December 7-- Lions Wally Buono can opt for maximum stability
December 7-- Buono can opt for maximum stability for BC Lions
December 6-- Buono Voyage: B. C. Lions coach leaves the field after 22 seasons
December 6-- It was a pleasure being in Wally's World
December 6-- Curtain closes on coaching career
December 6-- Lions won't be the same without Buono
December 6-- Chronology of a legend: The sideline life and times of Wally Buono
December 5-- Wally Buono hangs up the whistle, sticks around as Lions GM
December 5-- Khalif Mitchell to audition for three NFL teams
December 5-- Wally Buono retires as B. C. Lions coach
December 5-- Buono ends coaching career on top
December 5-- Wally Buono through the years
December 5-- Wally's wisdom will be  missed
December 5-- Passing half the baton
December 2-- After 0-5 start, Lions finish season with a 13-2 run...

Friday, December 02, 2011

Ahoy Captain Milanovich, the Good Ship Argonaut welcomes you aboard!

The negotiations were seemingly kept well under wraps, with little word leaking out of Toronto during Grey Cup week that the Argonauts were on the cusp of hiring on a new field boss.

In fact, the early reports out of Toronto had it that the Argonauts were eyeing a well known CFL name for an assistants job, the task of finding a head coach still seemingly off to the future.

But with the Grey Cup glow finally dimming on the west coast, the Argoanuts grabbed some headlines from the BC Lions with the announcement that Scott Milanovich, most recently the offensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach of the Montreal Alouettes was trading in le rouge, blanc get bleu, for some double blue.

With the announcement, Jim Barker moves back to his General Manager's duties, leaving behind the ever present head aches of the day to day on field direction,  though with the task of bringing the Argos back to CFL relevance will continue on, with an emphasis on finding the quality players required to turn around the Argos dismal past year.

The hiring of Milanovich is no doubt a good start to that goal, his record in Montreal speaks for itself, one of the most dominant of CFL offences for much of the past decade, it was only this year where the Als began to struggle, an inevitably when age catches up to roster positions.

Still, from an offensive point of view, the Argo challenge will be large, there's no Anthony Calvillo on the depth chart, some might even suggest that there's no Adrian MacPherson, who perhaps as an understudy to Calvillo has yet to come into his own in the CFL.

Whether Steven Jyles is the QB for Milanovich to set his future roster with remains to be seen, one tempting option could be for the Argos to acquire Henry Burris, seemingly on his way out in Calgary, though discussions with the Stamps could be a tad frosty for Barker going forward.

The Stamps were just a little bit outraged to learn of discussions between the Argos and their defensive coordinator over the last few weeks, discussions which led to Chris Jones leaving the Stamps bound for Toronto, a move which saw the Argos fined this week by the CFL for tampering.

And while we can sympathize with the Stamps on the poaching, we imagine it's indicative of the Argos newfound dedication to improve all aspects of their play from this past season, piracy if you will but considering the new head coach made his mark in the NFL as a back up quarterback with Tony Dungy's Tampa Bay Bucaneers, a little bit of swashbuckling probably can't hurt the cause.

Perhaps the Argos can incorporate an eye patch into their logo, just to set the new tone of business.

The moves out of Toronto this week should prove positive in the long run, knowledgeable football men taking on the key positions, bringing with them experience and connections (a training camp visit and motivational speech by Dungy would certainly bring some focus to the Argos in 2012) that makes for a helpful combination for a team that seemed adrift for most of 2011.

The captain has the off season to chart his new course, one that the Argos hope will include a home date the last weekend of November.

Globe and Mail-- Milanovich agrees on deal to be new Argos head coach: report
Globe and Mail-- CFL fines Argonauts $5,000 for tampering
Globe and Mail-- Argps add Calgary defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones to staff
Globe and Mail-- Hufnagel blind-sided by co-ordinator's move to Argos
Globe and Mail-- Argos could benefit from Milanovich as coach
National Post-- Argos fined for tampering after contact with ex-Stampeders co-ordinator
National Post-- Argos keep focus on the field
National Post-- Stampeders file grievance in Argos reported hiring
National Post-- Argos hire Scott Milanovich as head coach
Toronto Star-- Scott Milanovich takes over Argo coaching reins
Toronto Star-- Argo coaching soap opera hits new heights
Toronto Star-- Argo head coaching mystery continues
Toronto Sun-- Argos can't get QB wrong
Toronto Sun-- Argos get the coaching thing right
Toronto Sun-- Milanovich to choose own staff
Toronto Sun-- Dungy gives Argo coach thumbs up
Toronto Sun-- Barker scrapes coach off his plate
Toronto Sun-- Stamps confirm Jones T. O. move

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cleaning out the management lockers in the CFL

The week following Grey Cup has featured a bit of coaching housecleaning for CFL clubs.

The broom came out in Hamilton where the Tiger Cats parted ways with head coach Marcel Bellefeuille, praising him for bringing them to where they were this year, but suggesting that they didn't think that he could push them over the top and on to a Grey Cup berth.

The fact that the Cats kept tinkering with their line up through the season (new faces, old faces going to new places) seemed to wreak a little havoc with Bellefeuille's planning, making it hard to build up any consistency through the year.

Something that would seem to be the mark of an office a little further up the food chain in Hamilton.

Still, as we've learned from the firing frenzy in the NHL this week, most times when things got wrong its easier to get rid of the coach as opposed to the no performing players, just ask Marcel Bellefeuille.

Hamilton Spectator-- Bellefeuille saw it coming
Hamilton Spectator-- It all came down to a question of confidence
Toronto Sun-- Obie, Mitchell must share blame
Toronto Sun-- Ticats fire Marcel Bellefeuille
Toronto Star-- Ticats fire head coach Marcell Bellefeuille
Globe and Mail-- Tiger-Cats fire Marcell Bellefeuille
Globe and Mail-- Ticats' Corey Chambliss could be the big winner in coaching shuffle Marcell Bellefruille out as Ticats coach
National Post-- Hamilton Tiger-Cats fire head coach Marcell Bellefeuille
TSN-- Tiger-Cats fire head coach Bellefeuille

Winnipeg also made a change, terminating the employment of their offensive coordinator, with Jamie Barresi seemingly getting the can tied to his butt for the Bombers offensive woes in the last half of the season and in Sunday's Grey Cup loss to the Lions.

The Bombers offense never quite reached Swaggerville proportions, that term seemed to be based mainly on the exploits of the defensive unit. The Bombers offensive output through 2011 for the most part followed the blue print of the first half of the Grey Cup game, not much yardage, not many points.

Whether that was solely the fault of Barresi or perhaps included a larger group of thinkers would seem irrelevant at this point, somebody was to pay for the anemic offerings of the Blues O unit, to that end Barresi joins the ranks of coaches seeking employment (how many CFL coaches are wishing that Ottawa was joining the league this year?)

The move to remove Baresi has made for much commentary int he Winnipeg media,  still feeling the pain of a season that came up one game too short.

Winnipeg Sun-- Barresi fires back
Winnipeg Sun-- LaPolice's swift justice
Winnipeg Free Press-- Barresi's no scapegoat, Bombers head coach insists
Winnipeg Free Press-- Legitimate co-ordinators have control of situation
Winnipeg Free Press-- Bombers looking for a new direction: LaPolice Bombers axe offensive co-ordiantor Jamie Barresi
TSN-- Blue Bombers fire Barresi as Offensive coordinator

Still to be determined, who will take the reins over in Saskatchewan after the dismissal earlier this season of Greg Marshall and the retirement for the second time of his replacement Ken Miller, any number of dream candidates are on the minds of the Rider Nation, anxious to see their team return to dominance in the CFL West.

Regina Leader Post-- Tiger-Cats join Riders in search for a head coach
Regina Leader Post-- Roughriders continue search for a head coach
Regina Leader Post-- Busy off season for Riders GM Brendan Taman
Globe and Mail-- Austin not likely to return to Regina