Canadian Football League

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lions light it up on first day of Canadian Football League regular season

B.C. Lions quarterback Dave Dickenson made the Saskatchewan Roughriders' highly regarded defence look woefully over-rated in the opening CFL game for both teams Friday.
Dickenson eviscerated Saskatchewan's coverage for five touchdown passes as the Lions beat Saskatchewan 45-28 before 27,539 fans at B.C. Place Stadium. Dickenson constructed touchdown drives on B.C.'s first two possessions, tossing a four-yard strike to Geroy Simon on their first opportunity and a 36-yarder on their second possession.
"We played our game,'' said Simon, who had 10 catches for 110 yards. "We made plays whenever we could because the blocking was good and Dave was even better.''
Saskatchewan's offence didn't look much better than its defence until the game wound down, gaining 350 yards yards under the guidance of new quarterback Kerry Joseph, who was their primary acquisition in the offseason dispersal draft of the Ottawa Renegades.
With the arrival of Joseph, receiver Jason Armstead, fullback Cory Hathaway and offensive co-ordinator Tommy Condell, all former Renegades, and the return to health of wideout Matt Dominguez, the Roughriders wanted to rework their ineffective ball-control offence of past seasons into a deep-passing attack.
Joseph was harried throughout the contest and his low-trajectory passes were repeatedly swatted away by Lions defenders. He was intercepted once and, midway through the fourth quarter fumbled the football, which Lions linebacker Jamall Johnson returned 39 yards for a touchdown.
Joseph, who was 18-for-36 for 245 yards, threw touchdown passes of 27 yards to Jamel Richardson and 18 yards to Jason French. Saskatchewan added a fourth-quarter touchdown on a one-yard run by backup tailback Dominique Dorsey.
Rookie kicker Luca Congi made his first professional field goal, a 44-yarder in the second quarter, and later made another before adding three converts and a single.
Saskatchewan's defence, which was ranked second last season in most major categories and long touted to be the Roughriders' strength, couldn't put pressure on Dickenson even though the Lions were playing with a rebuilt offensive line.
Dickenson completed 28 of 33 passes for 362 yards before being replaced by Jarious Jackson to start the fourth quarter. Dickenson also threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to Paris Jackson, eight yards to Ryan Thelwell and 70 yards to Tony Simmons. Lions slotback Jason Clermont suffered a strained knee during the first half.
Lions kicker Paul McCallum, who left Saskatchewan as a free agent in the offseason, had six converts and a 36-yard field goal. After the field goal he pointed at the Roughriders bench; Roughriders head coach Danny Barrett looked to be waving back.
Saskatchewan's defence has undergone some changes, with linebacker Jackie Mitchell moving to safety and Almondo Curry, a former all-star with the Montreal Alouettes, replacing retired cornerback LaDouphyous McCalla. Mike McCullough is the new middle linebacker.
"We did all that we can,'' said Roughriders defensive end Terrell Jurineack, who played his first game since undergoing back surgery that ended his 2005 season. "We got as much pressure as we could.'
Dickenson got hit hard only once, when Mitchell nailed him while the nimble quarterback was completing a 13-yard pass to tailback Antonio Warren. The defence's ineffectiveness prompted Roughriders general manager Roy Shivers, who was on the sidelines, to engage in several animated conversations with his team's defensive players.
"I was surprised they were that effective against our defence that early in the game,'' said Barrett. "They took what was given and made the most of it.''
The teams meet again June 25 at Taylor Field. The Roughriders actually face the Lions three times in their first four games, with another trip to B.C. Place Stadium slated for July 14. The West rivals are slated to meet each other four times this season.

Friday, June 16, 2006

This weeks Canadian Football League games

Here is our week #1 Picks.
Bombers vs. Als
You have to take Montreal at home. The Bombers have a new Coach and new system in
place. This will take time. One of two things could occur. The Als blow-out the Bombers.
(which is most likely) or the Bombers squeak one out. Will play it safe and says the Als
by 17 points.

Riders vs. Lions.
The Riders have pretty much rebuilt the offence. B.C. more or less is the same team.
The Riders tend to play well in Vancouver. Take Riders by 3 points.

Ti-Cats vs. Argos

Hamilton will be a better team this year. But they don't have enough to beat the Argos
who are at home. The Argos by 7

Esk's vs. Stamps
The battle of Alberta. The Champions have to many changes on the o-line. Look for the
Stamps to set the tone early in this one. Stamps by 13

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

News from The Canadian Football League annual meeting

The CFL board of governors approved a salary management system and instant replay for this season at its annual meeting in Winnipeg on Tuesday.
A franchise committee was also formed to find new owners for the suspended Ottawa franchise and look at future expansion, but whether commissioner Tom Wright will be around if the Renegades return to the field next season remains up in the air.
"My position, my tenure, was not on the agenda for discussion so let's move on to the matters that are really the most important," Wright said at the beginning of his press conference.
Last week, the Globe and Mail, citing unidentified league sources, reported that league governors had informed Wright that his contract wouldn't be renewed once it expires after this year's Grey Cup in Winnipeg on Nov. 19.
The board had given him a one-year extension last year, rebuffing his request for a long-term contract. The former president of Adidas Canada became commissioner in November, 2002.
The board also elected Winnipeg's Gene Dunn as its chairman and Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young as its vice-chairman.
Wright said several groups, including local ones, have come forward about Ottawa and they are absolutely legitimate. While the plan is to have a decision by September on Ottawa's return for next season, it's important to evaluate potential owners and make the right decision rather than the quickest one, he said.
One of Wright's projects has been the development of a salary management system, which was approved by the board last January, but put on hold last month for some revisions.
The salary cap for each CFL team this season is $3.8 million, up from the $2.6 million clubs was suppose to operate under last season. However, penalties for exceeding the cap won't take effect until next season and the amount of the cap will be decided each year, Wright said.
"The new system is a fundamental foundation for our league and for our member clubs to ensure that we have competitive balance, that we have parity on a level playing field and that we have cost certainty for our teams," he said.
Part of ensuring that includes "salary transparency with a central
repository of records" and the hiring of compliance officers.
"At the end of every year, each clubs' expenditures for salaries will be published," Wright said, adding that will be total salaries, not individual player amounts.
When penalties do come into play next year, theyll include fines and loss of draft selections.
Teams who finish the season $100,000 over the cap will be fined $1 for each dollar they're over. For those between $100,000 and $300,000 over, the fines increase to $2 for each dollar over along with a first-round draft pick.
Teams exceeding the cap by $300,000 or more will be fined $3 for each dollar over and also lose a first- and second-round pick.
Wright said governors unanimously agreed to implement instant replay this season after it was tested during the pre-season.
"In the pre-season, I think there were somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 calls and I believe 19 of them were found to be correct on the field," Wright said.
"We've always felt that our officials have made the right call, but this provides just some extra added element to ensure that the integrity of the game is protected and we get the call right."
The first game to use the system will be Montreal's season opener at home Friday against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Each team will be allowed to execute two challenges per game prior to the last three minutes of the second half. The first challenge will have no impact on team timeouts, regardless of the outcome. But the second, if unsuccessful, will result in the loss of a team timeout, either in the first half or the second half.
In the last three minutes of second half or in overtime, all instant replay reviews will be initiated by the replay official in the CFL supervisors' booth.
All replay reviews will be conducted by a referee on the field using a field-level monitor. The official will have a maximum of 90 seconds inside the video booth to make a decision.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Former Canadian Football League player joins Wake Forest staff

Former Demon Deacon offensive tackle Mark Moroz has joined the Wake Forest football staff as the program's recruiting assistant. Moroz's responsibilities include assisting with all correspondence with prospective Deacons.
Moroz was a four-year letterwinner for Wake Forest from 2000-03. He started 24 games as a Deacon and paved the way for Wake Forest to lead the ACC in rushing during the final three seasons of his career.
As a junior, Moroz helped lead the Deacs to the Seattle Bowl and earned All-ACC honorable mention. He was an All-ACC second team selection in 2003. Following his senior year, Moroz was selected to play in the Blue-Gray Game and the Hula Bowl.
He signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004 before a two-year career in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. In 2004, Moroz was the fourth overall pick in the CFL Draft by the Argos.
The native of Welland, Ontario, graduated from Wake Forest with a degree in communications.