Canadian Football League

Friday, January 14, 2005

Former Canadian Football League player Ronald Williams was honored by The Winnipeg
Police Dept. for helping stop a gas station robbery in November 2004. The ex-Bomber
chased down a suspect who tried to use a knife on Williams. Ronald Williams was able
to hold the suspect until Police arrived.

The Amarillo Dusters today announced the signing of Offensive Coordinator Rickey Foggie. Coach Foggie joins the Dusters after playing ten seasons in the Canadian Football League and nine seasons in the Arena Football League, retiring after the 2004 season with the Carolina Cobras

Marvin Godblot, a two-time all-Conference USA performer who was a four-year starter for the Horned Frogs, has agreed to forgo the 2005 NFL Draft in favor of signing with the 2004 Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts, the club announced today.
Godbolt, a six-foot, 208-pound safety from San Antonio, was selected to play in the Las Vegas All-Star Bowl game but elected to give up his spot in this game to don the Double Blue.
Godbolt joins other TCU alums including All-Star receiver Jason Tucker of the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Renegades defensive tackle John Turntine as CFL players.
Godbolt logged eight career interceptions while making 35 career starts during his career at TCU.

The BC Lions re-signed centre Angus Reid on Friday, keeping the West Division all-star from becoming a free agent

The new owners of the Calgary Stampeders named Tom Higgins head coach and senior vice-president of football operations Friday but made it clear returning the team to glory will likely get him a promotion.
"His job for the next year is to get the culture down," said co-owner Ted Hellard, who will be interim president for a maximum of two years. Defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan was promoted to assistant coach and the plan is for him to succeed Higgins as head coach in 2006.
"We think we've built a nice plan for the two of them to define the culture, then let Tom start to look after the executive side," said Hellard, who will work for free.
That frees up anywhere between $250,000 and $500,000 for the football operation and "allows us to get more competitive quicker," said Hellard.
Higgins, who began his coaching career as an assistant with the Stampeders in 1983, resigned as Edmonton Eskimos head coach in November after being named the CFL's coach of the year in 2003 after guiding Edmonton to a Grey Cup title.

Higgins would not say what changes he intends to make to the Stampeders lineup, especially at quarterback. The club acquired veteran Khari Jones late last year from Winnipeg and while he was a definite improvement over what Calgary had, there are football people throughout the league who feel Jones's best days are behind him.
"There's a very good nucleus here," said Higgins, adding he was thrilled that several players attended the news conference Friday announcing his appointment. "I'll get a chance to know them on a personal level and after we do our due diligence and all our evaluations would it be appropriate to talk about Calgary Stampeders' personnel."
Higgins - known by some in the CFL as Ned Flanders for his nice-guy, classy persona - believes the coaching staff should be settled by the end of next week.
"The pieces of the puzzle are being put in place," he said.
During his four seasons with the Eskimos, Higgins amassed a 44-28 record, finished first in the Western Conference three times, made two Grey Cup appearances and won it all in 2003.
Higgins has also taken a turn as a motivational speaker, a role that could come in handy with the Stampeders, who posted a CFL-worst 4-14 record last year and have been in turmoil for three seasons.
Higgins says Calgary's defence, the club's strength last year, will be even better this year, given Creehan's expanded role. After an offensive co-ordinator is hired, there will be a strong focus on bolstering the offence and special teams.
"I believe we can be competitive right out of the blocks," said Higgins.
His appointment, rumoured for weeks in Calgary, was applauded by those players in attendance Friday.
"He beings a winning record with him, he did nothing but win up there in Edmonton," said linebacker Scott Coe. "It's going to spread like wildfire here around here.
"That's just the type of personality he has."
Offensive lineman Jay McNeil came to Calgary the year after Higgins left.
"I talked to the guys who played for him: they loved him," said McNeil. "He's just a genuinely nice guy and it's going to be bring a lot of stability to our team and we need that right now."
Former Stampeders coach Jim Barker returns to the club as general manager and head of player personnel.
Higgins said the Stampeders' front-office shuffle won't hurt the already heated Calgary-Edmonton rivalry.
"The fans know it, they come out in droves for it but there's a lot of football that needs to be done before we entertain the team from the north," said Higgins.
John Forzani, part of the new ownership group that took control Wednesday, says success can boil down to leadership from well-grounded people.
"What really seems to work well is coaches who . . . are kinda low-key, model citizens, salt of the earth: the Sutters and now Tom Higgins," said Forzani, a former Stampeders' teammate of Higgins in the 1970s. "I think we have someone who will lead us in the right direction through discipline, through organization and through having feelings for the group he'll be working with."
The new ownership group took control of the team from Michael Feterik on Wednesday and wasted no time making changes. The following day, head coach-GM Matt Dunigan and president Ron Rooke were fired.
Darrell Moir, who has worked for Hellard building digital marketing firm Critical Mass, will be Calgary's senior vice-president of marketing and operations.
Former president Stan Schwartz, who was let go unceremoniously during the 2003 season, will return as a "chief mentor."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Stampeders’ President Ron Rooke, Head Coach and General Manager Matt Dunigan Released
The Calgary Stampeders announced today that Club President and CEO, Ron Rooke, and Head Coach and General Manager, Matt Dunigan, have been released from the football club. Ron Rooke has been a member of the Calgary Stampeder organization for the past 13 years in a number of senior marketing and leadership positions, most recently as President and Chief Executive Officer. He played a major role in building the Stampeders into a strong and vibrant national sports brand. Matt Dunigan, in his 15th season with the CFL, spent the past year as Head Coach and General Manager of the Calgary football club. One of the most recognized names in the League over the past two decades, Dunigan came to the Stampeder organization from a successful tenure as a member of TSN’s football panel, a role he occupied since 1999.“We understand and recognize the effort and commitment these two individuals demonstrated day-in and day-out on behalf of the Stampeders’ organization, and thank both Ron and Matt for their contributions,” expressed the Executive Committee representing the new ownership group.

Jan 13
Esks secure offensive veterans Lefsrud, Comiskey and BradleyEDMONTON -- The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club announced the signing of offensive linemen Kevin Lefsrud and Dan Comiskey as well as running back Mike Bradley today. Terms of all three deals were not released. Lefsrud was the Eskimos' nominee for Outstanding Lineman in 2004 starting 13 games at left guard before moving to centre in Week 14. Before joining the Eskimos as a free agent in 2003, Kevin was Montreal's fifth round selection (37th overall) in the 1999 CFL Canadian College Draft. He played in 52 regular season games over three seasons with Montreal. Comiskey enters his fourth season with Edmonton and has started all 54 games over the past three seasons. In 2003, Dan was named a CFL West Division All-Star, a CFLPA All-Star and was the Eskimos' nominee for the CFL's Tom Pate Award. Prior to joining Edmonton, Dan played five seasons with Saskatchewan. Bradley, will enter his fourth season with the Green and Gold and continues to develop into an outstanding special teams player and running back. An offensive threat each time he touched the ball, Bradley recorded 2 carries for 40 yards, 2 receptions for 28 yards and 25 kickoff returns for 609 yards in 2004. He also posted the Eskimos' longest kickoff return of the season (67 yards versus BC on July 9). Mike joined the Eskimos as an undrafted free agent in 2002.


The Football Club is excited to have back Canadian Offensive Lineman Matt Sheridan.

Sheridan (6-4, 360, Manitoba '00, DOB: May 27, 1977 in Montreal, QC) was the Football Club's 2004 Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman of the year and will be entering his 5th season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

A graduate of Winnipeg’s Silver Heights Collegiate, Sheridan started all 18 regular season games at left guard in 2004.

He won the Ed Kotowich Good Guy Award for the 2004 season for best combining football ability, team camaraderie and extraordinary effort off the field in the community.

The Vancouver Sun is reporting that If the B.C. Lions lacked sufficient fighting spirit in their inexplicable 27-19 Grey Cup defeat by the Toronto Argonauts, it was because they left some of that fight on the team bus, according to middle linebacker Barrin Simpson.
"The morale on the team wasn't at a high point where it should have been for a game of that magnitude," Simpson said Tuesday, in a telephone interview.
Simpson said a testosterone-laden punch-up between two players on the team bus bound for practice before the Nov. 21 championship game in Ottawa was not only a distraction but caused some elements of the club to take sides, tearing at team unity.
Simpson declined to name the players, but other Lions have confirmed the participants as defensive back Da'Shann Austin and offensive lineman Marques McFadden.
"Actually, the fight was a huge distraction," Simpson said. "Any time there's a fight between teammates on the field, it's over and done with. Off the field, it's a little more personal. There was nothing the coaches or the leaders on the team could do about it. It was grown men making a bad decision."
Linebacker Carl Kidd was fined after leaving the hotel and violating curfew following a team meeting on the Friday before the game. Simpson feels Kidd's minor indiscretion was also part of the "stress and strains" the Lions experienced during Grey Cup week.
"It probably had more impact on Carl and the coaches, but it did have a small impact on the team," he said. "We just had a lot of distractions going on during the week. We didn't play up to our hype. That was probably my worst game of the year. I didn't make the plays I needed to to make our team win."
After leading the CFL in defensive tackles for three straight seasons, Simpson tailed off in his fourth campaign with the Lions in 2004, his normal production muted because of constant double-teaming, differing schemes and injury woes. He disclosed Tuesday that he played the entire season on a pair of sore and damaged ankles.
"Everybody knew about my elbow problems, and they were banged-up pretty good," he said. "But I also had turf toe, bad ankles, all kinds of problems. I didn't say much about it. I just played the game. I feel a whole lot better now than I did on Nov. 22."
Cornerback Dante Marsh, another Lion who was saddled with injury problems (shoulder) but remained silent about them, underwent surgery Dec. 14 in Vancouver to clean up scar tissue and repair a loose tendon.
Marsh said he had an "uneasy feeling" about the Grey Cup game because he didn't feel the Lions were in the proper mindset to play up to their potential.
Marsh described the fight as "a lot of testosterone, a lot of egos, the result of a long season, a lot of people missing their families and looking forward to picking up a $12,000 cheque and going home."
Each individual would take home $12,000 for winning the Grey Cup.
"To be honest, I didn't even know much about Carl's [curfew] issue," Marsh added. "I don't think it affected team morale that much. As far as the fight, it created a divide, maybe. I didn't see our team being as family oriented as we were during the season.
"Still, we're professionals. When the lights come on, we're supposed to perform. Not to dredge up these stories as an excuse, but we should have looked past them and played better."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The New York Jets sign another Canadian Football League player in Charles Thomas.
Thomas, is a 6-4, 315-pound offensive tackle, who most recently played for the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The New York Jets of the NFL have signed DJ Johnson, a 5-11, 185-pound 2002 product of the University of Iowa, is a native of Naperville, IL, the same hometown as Jets’ wide receiver Justin McCareins. Johnson played for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes in 2003 and 2004.

The Toronto Argonauts re-signed defensive co-ordinator Richard Stubler to a two-year deal Tuesday.

James "Harold" Waggoner has passed away at the age of 74 in Florida. JWaggoner signed with the Tiger-Cats for $6,800. He landed on the CFL all-star team as a rookie. His most notable showing came in a 1955 playoff game against the Montreal Alouettes. Playing both ways in a 48-41 loss, Waggoner caught 7 passes for 251 yards and 3 touchdowns, and also intercepted a pass and recovered a Montreal fumble.
Waggoner played with the Tiger-Cats through 1957 and settled in Canada for several years as a Hamilton disc jockey and proprietor of a record store. He tried a brief playing comeback with the Toronto Argonauts in 1960.

Glenn Keeble to have surgery,Glenn the 45-year-old former Alouettes centre suffering from kidney failure, will undergo replacement surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The donor will be his 46-year-old sister.

The Tampa Bay Storm of The AFL have added Elfrid Payton, one of the top pass rushers in Canadian Football League history, to their roster. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had earlier
released Payton on the same day. Payton still needs 4 QB sacks to set the all-time Canadian
Football League record. Payton hopes to return to the CFL in 2005.

The Tupelo FireAnts are pleased to announce the hiring of former Ole Miss/New Orleans Saints quarterback John Fourcade as the team's next Head Coach. Fourcade was a former QB
in the Canadian Football League.

National Indoor Football League (NIFL) Miami Morays have signed former Calgary Stampeder
Ray Isaac as a Assitant Coach

Tim Cheatwood has signed on with the Houston Texans of the NFL. Cheatwood led the CFL in sacks last year with 14, one ahead of teammate Joe Montford. Cheatwood was signed by Hamilton as a free agent in 2002. In 2003, Cheatwood set what was then a personal high, by recording 10 sacks and finished the year with 63 tackles in 17 games. The former Ohio State Buckeye is in his option year with The Cats and therefore will remain Hamilton's property if he is cut by Houston.