Canadian Football League

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Canadian Football League Street Poles?

Promotional banners will be hung on poles along Wilson Street
The gold and black colours of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may be coming to a street pole near you.
The privately owned football club wants to put fabric banners advertising the Ticats on every second street pole on Wilson Street from Rosseau Street to Halson Street.
The Ticat banners will replace the existing Ancaster banners starting March 1 and stay up until the football season concludes in November.
Walter Buchko, chair of Village Core Advisory Committee said, the 10-member committee was initially hesitant about allowing the installation of the banners.
"We want to maintain our own identity in Ancaster. At first look, this goes against that goal, but in reality we are part of the larger city and we can draw on the positives and the strengths," said Mr. Buchko.
In exchange for allowing the Ticats to promote their organization, Ancaster will get to advertise the village core business community on the Tiger-Cat's website, in the club's yearbook and on the scoreboard.
The Village Core Advisory Committee will also receive up to 200 tickets for games, one appearance to promote Ancaster on CHML and a celebrity guest (football player, cheerleader or mascot) to appear at community events.
Mr. Buchko said the committee decided to accept the deal because the banners will not be on every pole and there will be no cost to the city.
In what Mr. Buchko described as a "generous package," the Ticats will be responsible for putting up their gold, black and maroon banner, taking down and storing the Ancaster banner and then putting them back up.
But ultimately, Mr. Buchko said what sold the committee was Bob Young, the new owner of the football club.
"Bob Young came home to his roots in Ancaster. He has done an amazing job turning around the organization and has put so much out. It's tough to look at that and say no," said Mr. Buchko.
Bob Young returned to Hamilton after making his fortune in the computer industry. In October 2003, Mr. Young bought the Ticats.
Each banner will have the word "Ticats" emblazoned down the centre along with the team logo and the organization's website adress. Mr. Buchko said he knows other people in Ancaster may be less than enthusiastic about the new banners.
"I hope we don't offend people. I know some will look at it and say it's not the right thing. But we will be able to promote the village core through no cost to ourselves and we have no funds to do this."
The city's public works department is currently reviewing the proposal. The former Town of Ancaster appointed the Village Core Advisory Committee prior to amalgamation. Members are residents, property owners and members of the business community. Mr. Buchko said the Town created the group serves in place of a Business Improvement Area, which exists in Dundas. The group advises city council on issues that impact Wilson Street between the Ancaster Old Mill Restaurant and Halson Street.

The Canadian Football League named Hamilton Tiger-Cats' head coach Greg Marshall the 2004 CFL Coach of the Year. He becomes the first Tiger-Cats' coach to win the award since Ron Lancaster in 1998.
Marshall, who became the first coach to jump from the Canadian university football ranks to the CFL, was named head coach of the Tiger-Cats in December 2003
In his first year at the helm, Marshall guided Hamilton to a 9-8-1 record, a huge upgrade from its 1-17 mark the previous season. The Tiger-Cats' campaign concluded in the East Division semifinal game, with a 24-6 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.
Other finalists for the award included Toronto's Mike Clemons and Wally Buono of the B.C. Lions.
The CFL Coach of Year Award is officially named the Annis Stukus Trophy and has been presented annually by the Edmonton Eskimo Alumni Association since 1961.

Friday, February 25, 2005

In the span of nine days, the Ottawa Renegades have lost two Canadian "building blocks."
Mike Vilimek, the running back the Renegades selected second overall in the 2002 college draft, has agreed to terms with the Montreal Alouettes, the Citizen has learned. And while his departure leaves the Renegades with no fullbacks under contract, the club is nearing, or has completed, a trade with the Toronto Argonauts for all-star defensive lineman Eric England.
Vilimek, 26, joins offensive lineman Alexandre Gauthier, the first pick in 2002, and six other players who have bolted the Renegades since the CFL's free-agent signing period began last week. He signed for one year, plus an option for a second season, to join one of Ottawa's East Division rivals.
"Mike will not be back with the Renegades. I'm not at liberty to say where he is going, but you will find out in time," said Henry Vilimek, his father and agent.
Renegades head coach and general manager Joe Paopao was travelling last night and could not be reached for comment. He did not, however, participate in last-ditch attempts to secure Vilimek yesterday, which should come as no surprise.
The Simon Fraser product was a polarizing player in the team's front office, a favourite of former general manager Eric Tillman, but someone who soured on the franchise because Paopao refused to involve him in the offensive backfield.
Taken two selections ahead of B.C. Lions slotback Jason Clermont, now the top Canadian player in the league, Vilimek was loaded with athleticism and potential, but devoid of blocking experience. The former was enough for the Lions to want to trade up and draft Vilimek, an overture that was rebuffed by Tillman. The latter prevented him from seeing the field as a fullback, and many were convinced his skill set would never fit that position.
Despite a 6-4, 240-pound frame, Vilimek has nimble feet and soft hands. In three exhibition seasons, Vilimek ran roughshod over opponents, but that never convinced Paopao that he merited touches in the regular season.
He played on special teams and as an extra tight end in short-yardage packages. In 38 regular-season games, he touched the ball six times, partly because the Renegades almost never substitute on offence, and partly because the backs ahead of him were rarely injured.
In training camp last year, the situation should have reached a breaking point. Tillman suggested either promoting Vilimek to starting fullback and signing him to a new contract or trading him before he left with no compensation. Paopao did neither, believing Vilimek's vastly improved special-teams ability was too important to the club's chances. Minus a starting position, Vilimek was unwilling to sign an extension.
In free agency, Vilimek asked for $85,000 but was more concerned with his role in a prospective team's offence.
He wanted guarantees from Paopao on how many touches he could expect, but was never given a number because the coach rightfully said he couldn't keep such a promise. The Renegades told him he would be their starting fullback, but the Alouettes and others saw him more as a tailback, and said ball-carrying responsibilities would come more readily.
England, 33, was with B.C. in 2000 when Paopao was an assistant with the Lions. He became a free agent last week, but was quickly locked up by the Argonauts, making his availability via a trade peculiar.
In 2003, he led the CFL with 14 sacks and was named a CFL all-star. Last season, he tied for the CFL lead with six forced fumbles and recorded four sacks while battling through injuries

The Calgary Stampeder Football Club made the following roster moves today releasing Quarterback Khari Jones. Khari joined the Stampeders on September 24th of last season, in a five player trade with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers which included a draft pick. The Calgary Stampeder Football Club would like to thank Khari for his commitment to the Football Club and wish them all the best in the future.

The BC Lions are pleased to announce today the signing of Dave Ritchie as the new defensive coordinator. "We are very happy to welcome Dave back to BC," said General Manager and Head Coach, Wally Buono. "We know his aggressive style of defence will be an asset in 2005." A 44-year coaching veteran, Ritchie joins the Lions once again after a nine-year hiatus from the city of Vancouver. Ritchie has ten years experience in the CFL as head coach, where he ranks as the eighth most-winning coach in CFL history with 108 wins. Ritchie is most likely remembered in BC for leading the Lions to a Grey Cup Championship victory in 1994. Ritchie was most recently head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers before being released midway through the 2004 campaign. Ritchie has ten years experience in a defensive coaching role for three CFL teams and three college teams. Ritchie and his wife Sharon have three children, Phyllis, Susan and Dave. They are also proud grandparents of eight grandchildren Sarah, Matt, Daniel, Katelyn, David, Kendra, Kylie Faith, and David F. Ritchie takes over the Defensive Coordinator position from Paul Arslanian, who resigned for personal reasons. BC LIONS NAME MIKE ROACH AS NEW DEFENSIVE LINE COACH VANCOUVER - The BC Lions are pleased to announce today the signing of Mike Roach as the Defensive Line coach. "I look forward to working with Mike. He has great experience working as a defensive line coach," said General Manager and Head Coach Wally Buono. "In Calgary last year, Mike was a part of the success of the Stampeders outstanding defence." Roach joins the Lions from the Calgary Stampeders, where he served as Secondary Coach. The year 2001 marked one of Roach's best seasons with the Stamps, where he led a rookie-laden secondary into one of the best in the league, winning a Grey Cup. Prior to the Stampeders Mike took a short hiatus from the CFL where he was in charge of the linebackers at the University of Texas, El Paso. Mike Roach's CFL coaching career began 21 years ago in Calgary in 1982, where he spent four seasons with the Stampeders. Mike moved north to Edmonton after the 1985 season for the next three years, which included a Grey Cup championship in 1987. From 1989 to 1991, Mike was on the staff of the Ottawa Rough Riders, serving as their Linebacker coach. Mike joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1994 as an Assistant Coach. He was promoted in 1996 to Defensive Coordinator. Roach hails from Rapid City, South Dakota. Mike and his wife Kaye have two sons, Pat and Tim.

Today Calgary Stampeders' Senior VP of Football Operations/Head Coach, Tom Higgins, announced the free agent signing of Quarterback Henry Burris. As per Club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed. "With the signing of Henry Burris, we took another giant step in building an exciting and competitive football team," stated Senior VP of Football Operations/Head Coach Tom Higgins. "With the players and coaches that will surround Henry, he will have the opportunity to show why he is one of the top quarterbacks in the CFL."

The Calgary Stampeders have signed free agent quarterback Darnell Kennedy to a two-year contract plus an option, according to The Calgary Herald.
"I know Khari Jones is there and I know they're going after Henry Burris," Kennedy told the Harold. "But after playing last season, I know a team needs two good quarterbacks, sometimes even more.
The 26-year-old Kennedy joined the Stampeders in 2002, mostly as the No. 3 quarterback, before being shipped to the Ottawa Renegades in 2003. Backing up Kerry Joseph last season, Kennedy completed 69 of 131 passes for 893 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions in his first extended CFL action.
"I'm looking forward to getting an opportunity in Calgary without all that old ownership stuff. I know I'll get a fair shot."

on error resume next
For mp_i=11 To 6 Step -1
If Not IsObject(CreateObject("ShockwaveFlash.ShockwaveFlash." & mp_i)) Then
Exit For
End If

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Blue Bombers have signed offensive lineman, Mike Abou-Mechrek. He was originally drafted by Winnipeg in 1999 and played three seasons for the Blue and Gold.
''Mike brings valuable experience and aggressiveness to our offensive line,'' said Head Coach Jim Daley. ''He has played at guard and tackle in his six years in the CFL. We expect Mike to compete for a starting spot on our offensive line.''

The two-time defending Super Bowl champions hired Joel Collier to be the assistant secondary coach and named Harold Nash the team’s assistant strength and conditioning coach. The Patriots also released defensive back Earthwind Moreland, defensive lineman Buck Rasmussen, guard Wilbert Brown and tight end Zeron Flemister.

Collier, a 15-year coaching veteran, is in his second stint with the Patriots. He was an assistant running backs and receivers coach from 1991-92 on Dick MacPherson’s staff, then served as a pro scout for the Pats in 1993. He spent the next 11 years in Miami as a running backs coach and a defensive assistant for the Dolphins.Collier attended the University of Colorado and was a three-year starter at inside linebacker. Following graduation, he served two seasons as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University from 1988-89 before making his NFL debut with Tampa Bay as an offensive assistant in 1990.Nash is joining Bill Belichick’s staff after an 11-year career as a defensive back in the Canadian Football League. He was an All-Star for three years and recorded 367 tackles and 24 interceptions while playing for the Shreveport Pirates (1994-95), Montreal Alouettes (1996-99), Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1999-2003) and Edmonton Eskimos (2004). He is Winnipeg’s all-time leader in pass knockdowns. None of the four players released played major roles in 2004. Moreland saw considerable playing time when cornerbacks Ty Law and Tyrone Poole got hurt, but his inconsistency forced the Patriots to sign veterans Hank Poteat and Antwan Harris before the start of the playoffs. Rasmussen, 25, spent the entire season on the practice squad, while the 28-year-old Flemister was on the reserve/ injured list after suffering an Achilles’ injury in training camp. Brown, 27, never showed up at camp and spent 2004 on the reserve/did not report list.The Patriots locked up the rights to Vinatieri on Tuesday by designating the free-agent kicker as a franchise player. They also did this in 2002 to buy more time in their contract negotiations. They eventually re-signed Vinatieri to a three-year extension. The Patriots are working on another long-term deal for the kicker. They have until March 16 to hammer one out, or Vinatieri will play the 2005 season under a one-year guaranteed contract once he signs the tender from the Patriots.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The B.C. Lions have signed Montreal Alouettes DB Barron Miles to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 33-year-old Nebraska alumni spent his entire CFL career with Montreal, dating back to 1998 when he signed as a free agent. He captured the East Division Rookie of the Year award that season while leading the team in tackles and interceptions.
In 2002, Miles was named East Division Most Outstanding Defensive Player after missing most of the 2001 season following shoulder surgery. Miles was also selected to the 1999, 2000 and 2002 CFL All-Star team.
Selected 199th by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995 NFL draft, Miles spent the entire season on the injured reserve list before being released following the 1996 training camp.
He re-signed with the Steelers in 1997 and was assigned to the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFL Europe League before subsequently being released by the Steelers

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced the signing of free agent receiver Chris Brazzell to a one year (plus an option) contract on Monday.
"Chris is a special player and a great addition to our offence," said Tiger-Cats Head Coach Greg Marshall. "We expect him to fit right in and compliment our already talented receiving core."
Last season, Brazzell caught 49 passes for 906 yards and eight touchdowns for the B.C. Lions.
"I'm excited to get a fresh start in Hamilton and I'm excited for the opportunity to make an impact on this team," said Brazzell