Canadian Football League

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bombers let former Canadian Football League All-Star go

Former CFL all-star cornerback Eric Carter is looking for a new team.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released the 36-year-old veteran on Friday after one season with the club to make room for free agent additions William Fields and Mesene Lousidor and promising young players Tim Carter and Justin Coleman.

"Right now, numbers wise, you're only allowed 68 players (in training camp that starts later this month) and we're getting to a point where there's a couple of good young people we've signed who we think need a shot at making the team," said Blue Bombers coach Jim Daley.
Carter led the team last season with three interceptions and 81 return yards, despite missing six games due to injury.
Carter, a three-time CFL all-star, played in 160 CFL regular-season games over 10 seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, B.C. Lions and the Blue Bombers.
He signed with Winnipeg as a free agent last off-season.

Former Canadian Football League Quarter-back returns to the booth

TSN welcomes back a familiar face as popular football analyst and former CFL quarterback Matt Dunigan returns to the CFL on TSN studio broadcast team.
Dunigan will be reunited with CFL on TSN studio show host Dave Randorf and fellow analysts Chris Schultz and Jock Climie for the pre-game, halftime and post-game shows.
"It's great to be back with my friends and family at TSN. It's like coming home," said Dunigan. "The passion and excitement that TSN has for the game is unparalleled. I can't wait to get back with the boys and cover the 2005 season."
Dunigan initially joined TSN in 1999 and played a vital role during his five years with the network. As part of the immensely popular CFL on TSN studio broadcast team, Dunigan's in-depth knowledge, outgoing personality and passion for the game quickly won him over with football fans across Canada. Dunigan left TSN after the 2003 CFL season to accept a position as General Manager and Head Coach of the Calgary Stampeders. Now back with TSN, Dunigan will continue to reside in Calgary with his family.
"Matt Dunigan is as popular with CFL fans now as he was during his exceptional playing career," said TSN President Phil King. "Matt's experience, passion and character are unmatched. His chemistry with Chris, Jock and Dave make the CFL on TSN team the strongest of its kind and we're thrilled to have him back in the fold."

Dunigan's on-air charisma complements an astounding list of accomplishments during his 14-year CFL career, which began in 1983 with the Edmonton Eskimos. Dunigan played for six teams throughout his storied CFL career and won two Grey Cups - 1987 with the Eskimos and 1991 with the Toronto Argonauts. A five-time Division All-Star, Dunigan is the only quarterback in CFL history to lead four different teams to the championship game.
Dunigan makes his return to TSN on June 11 with the network's coverage of the pre-season game Touchdown Atlantic - the first-ever CFL game in Halifax - featuring the Hamilton Tiger-Cats taking on the Grey Cup Champion Toronto Argonauts.
TSN has the most comprehensive CFL broadcast schedule in network history with 54 games this season, 20 of which will be available in High Definition. TSN will broadcast Wendy's Friday Night Football every Friday night throughout the regular season, Wendy's CFL Live games during the week and five doubleheaders.
Dunigan's return marks the second addition to the CFL on TSN broadcast team in as many weeks, following the April 27 signing of veteran sportscaster Chris Cuthbert, who will call 35 CFL games this season alongside colour commentator Glen Suitor.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Bombers add to Canadian Football League training camp roster

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers added some depth to their defensive line with the signing of defensive end Marcus Jones Thursday.
Jones was one of the top-rated defensive linemen going into last month's NFL draft but went unclaimed. Bombers general manager Brendan Taman said his team was fortunate to be able to sign a player of Jones' caliber.
''This guy is pretty special,'' Taman said. ''He is a pass rush specialist. He comes off the edge like he is coming out of a gun. He's a perfect fit for the CFL game.''
Jones was a standout during four seasons with the University of Louisville Cardinals.
The speedy pass rusher collected 91 solo tackles, 42 assisted tackles and 23 quarterback sacks for 144 yards during his college career. Last season he had 23 solo tackles, 22 assisted tackles and 9 sacks for 144 yards for the Cards.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Riders sign three Canadian Football League O-lineman

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today Rob Lazeo, Shawn Gifford, and Tango McCauley have signed one-year plus option contracts with the club. Financial details were not released.

Rob Lazeo is entering his seventh CFL season and fifth season with Saskatchewan. The 32-year old dressed in all 18 regular season games and both playoff games for the Riders last year as their backup lineman. Lazeo was originally drafted by the Riders in the first round of the 1995 CFL College Draft.

Shawn Gifford is entering his fifth CFL season and third with Saskatchewan. Last year, the 28-year old went to training camp with the Toronto Argonauts, but after an injury was released during the season. Gifford has played in 37 regular season CFL games and three playoff games.

Tango McCauley is entering his third CFL season and second with Saskatchewan. After his rookie season with Saskatchewan in 2003, McCauley signed with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys last year. After being released by the Cowboys, McCauley was signed by the B.C. Lions and played in one game in 2004.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Calgary re-acquires Canadian Football League rights to Gesser

The Calgary Stampeders acquired the rights to quarterback Jason Gesser from the B.C. Lions on Monday for a 2006 first-round draft pick.
Gesser was on B.C.'s negotiation list and spent the last two years with the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
"There are several members on staff that are familiar with Jason," Tom Higgins, the Stampeders senior vice-president of football operations and head coach, said in a statement. "Gesser has proven that he is a winner and we believe he has the ability to make the jump and be a contributor."
Gesser played his college football at Washington State University, leading the Cougars to a Rose Bowl appearance against Oklahoma in his senior season. He finished his university career with the most victories for a quarterback in school history.
Gesser was an all-Pac-10 Conference first team in 2002. He was also named its offensive player of the year in 2002 with Carson Palmer, then with the USC Trojans. In 2003, Palmer was taken first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL draft.

"We are pleased to have put ourselves in a good position for the 2006 Canadian College Draft and have another option for the future," said Wally Buono, the Lions head coach and general manager.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Former Canadian Football League GM and former CFL Coach both heading to the booth?

Former Ottawa Renegades general manager Eric Tillman has been laying low since losing his job in January, but that seems poised to change.
Tillman is believed to be the next Canadian Football League analyst for Rogers Sportsnet. The network expects to finalize contract details next week and make an announcement shortly thereafter, a spokesman said.
"All I know is we've used him before," said Dave Rushford, director of communications and promotions for Sportsnet. "I'd be guessing, but I wouldn't be surprised."
Tillman has been shuttling between his native Mississippi and Ottawa since not having his contract renewed by the Renegades in January. He served as an NFL draft analyst for both Sportsnet and Team 1200 AM radio last weekend.
"Obviously, people saw me on national television last weekend, and once that happens, speculation is understandable. But people in Ottawa heard me do two draft previews on the Team, so maybe I'll be joining their morning show," Tillman said with a laugh, while refusing to confirm or deny the Sportsnet deal. "In all seriousness, there is a proper protocol in these situations, and at this time, the less said the better."
Sportsnet has been looking for a CFL "insider" after allowing Marty York's contract to expire in February. Tillman has previously worked as an analyst on TSN's Friday Night Football panel and in a similar capacity with a Toronto radio station. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Mississippi.
TSN, meanwhile, will also be adding a CFL analyst in the next month.
Network president Phil King confirmed yesterday that the Friday Night Football panel will include a third analyst this season. The panel was reduced to two last season after Matt Dunigan left to become general manager/head coach of the Calgary Stampeders.
Dunigan was fired in January after the Stampeders were sold. King said Dunigan is a candidate to return.

Former Canadian Football League star feels home sweet home

Doug Flutie, who won a Heisman Trophy at Boston College and played for the Patriots during two well-traveled decades in professional football, has signed a one-year deal to return to New England.
"I'm very excited about being back in New England, being home and being a part of a great football team," the 42-year-old Massachusetts native said in a conference call Friday night. "This is a fresh start."

During 11 NFL seasons, eight in Canada and one in the USFL, Flutie has been a fan favorite wherever he went. But even though he maintained his trademark mobility even as he aged, the 5-foot-10 quarterback was frequently pigeonholed as a backup to taller, more traditional passers.
The Patriots have one of those in Tom Brady, a two-time Super Bowl MVP. Also on the New England roster are Rohan Davey, Chris Redman and this year's seventh-round draft choice, Matt Cassel.
"I'm excited about working with Tom. Hopefully I can be a sounding board for him – be there and help him out – and be a security blanket for the team," Flutie said. "The role that I'm fulfilling is that of a veteran quarterback. My role may be in the classroom, that may be my biggest contribution; it may not be on the field. If I am on the field, I feel like they have confidence in me."
Flutie has played for eight teams in three professional leagues, but he is best remembered for one play in college: a desperation pass that beat Miami and helped him win the 1984 Heisman Trophy. He is still idolized on the Chestnut Hill campus, and the Heisman is the centerpiece of the school's new Hall of Fame.
After college, he went to the New Jersey Generals of the USFL and made his NFL debut with the Chicago Bears in 1986. He was with New England for parts of three season before going to the CFL, where he won the Most Outstanding Player six times and won three Grey Cup championships.
He returned to the NFL for three seasons with the Buffalo Bills and then went to San Diego, where he started 16 games in his first year and six in his next three. Last season, he was 20-of-38 for 276 yards and a touchdown with the Chargers.
Flutie had an offer from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to return to the CFL and join his brother, Darren, a receiver, who would come out of retirement. Having that as a fallback allowed him to wait for an offer from his hometown team while others – the New York Giants, for one – courted him.
"What I wanted was either to come to the Patriots or I was going back to the CFL to have fun," Doug Flutie said. "I enjoy playing football. I've never had more fun than when I played in Canada. I would love the opportunity to play with my brother."
Flutie has thrown for 86 touchdowns and 14,686 yards in his NFL career while rushing for 1,635 more yards. In the CFL, he threw for 41,355 yards and 270 touchdowns and ran for another 4,660 yards and 67 touchdowns.
He said he thinks he will retire after this season – but he also said that last year.
"I'm getting closer. But I have no idea," he said. "It depends how I feel on the field. Being me, being able to play athletically, when I can't do that, I will know it's enough."