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USABomberfan

CFL 2019 Predictions, Surprises And Grey Cup Drought Ending Chances

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Well, I been having to go back and do a lot of reading and catch-up to get up to date with where this offseason is leading the league into 2019, and ultimately there ended up being a few more coaching and roster changes around the league than I originally anticipated.  Good riddance to Chris Jones for one.  So with things in their current state, have things opened up in the West?  Where will we be in the grand scheme of things?

So first off, I'll say Calgary will lose its iron grip on the West.  Disappointingly BLM decided to stick around I know, but with Claybrooks now the BC head coach, Alex Singleton and Micah Johnson no longer there, their defense is likely to decline and even more pressure will be put on the offense to win games for them.  The race for number one at least at the moment I think will involve us competing against them and BC given the roster additions the Lions made and a somewhat favorable schedule.

The Riders I have finishing 4th because while they got a decent roster, Collaros became an injury liability last year, and unlike then I don't think they have an adequate backup QB on that roster atm particularly with Bridge gone now.

I don't see anything getting better for Maas in Edmonton either with Mike Reilly gone now and the bringing in of the decent but much more limited Trevor Harris.  Things are just not looking like they're going to go back to the glory days of the last 4-5 years or so in this city, and while I would still put the Esks in a better spot than a couple dumpster fire teams in the East, in our highly competitive division I see them still being last.

In the East, well Hamilton has to be the logical winner here in particular due to the return of Steinhauer and just having the most stable roster overall.

Ottawa just went from being championship level to the cellar with their roster moves, and they've not even gotten their new OC yet.  Things are going pretty bad there and I could see both Marcel Desjardins and Rick Campbell being on extremely hot seats after this season.  Toronto did themselves no favors by simply promoting Chamblin who won't have Darrian Durant's coattails to ride this time, and right now is leading a team and seems to be setup for QB by committee.

I do believe the surprise team this year will be Montreal.  No, they won't win the east or be heading to the Grey Cup, but I think they'll eclipse 7 wins and make the playoffs as number 2 in the East.  And if for no other reason because I believe both TOR and OTT are in much worse shape than they are.

 

Main things I'm looking for with us on offense, will we get adequate enough production in the slot to make up for Dressler's absence?  And which RB will emerge as the best no. 2 to fill in when Harris needs a breather?

 

On defense, can Alexander or Sayles step up to replace Randle enough, and can they be effective in one-on-one coverage so we don't have to see Richie Hall revert back to his awful soft zone scheme that plagued us from 2015 up until mid season last year?

If those needs are answered and Lapolice gets back to being creative with his play calls, I believe this year can be our year.

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Hall has two all-star DEs and Bighill... he will suddenly be a 'rock star' this season ha 

Think Woli hits 1000 yards if they move him to SB - if not we have, 600-700 yard REC again

Jones beats out Hecht for safety

Gray will be a starter out of camp

Streveler ends up as our starter by Game 6... predicting Nichols injury

Charles Nelson will be the guy we're all desperate to see get more playing time

Jarnor Jones ends up as starting WIL by game 3-4

 

Rose-Sayles-Fenner/Jones-Alexander-Patterson

Jones-Bighill-Gaitor

Jefferson/Roh-Bryant/Thomas-Nevis/Pick-Jeffcoat

Adams-Washington-Woli-Demski/Pick-Petermann/Simonise

Bryant-Neufeld-Couture-Gray-Hardrick (Foketi)

Harris/Augustine-Nichols-Rush

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3 hours ago, Floyd said:

Hall has two all-star DEs and Bighill... he will suddenly be a 'rock star' this season ha 

Think Woli hits 1000 yards if they move him to SB - if not we have, 600-700 yard REC again

Jones beats out Hecht for safety

Gray will be a starter out of camp

Streveler ends up as our starter by Game 6... predicting Nichols injury

Charles Nelson will be the guy we're all desperate to see get more playing time

Jarnor Jones ends up as starting WIL by game 3-4

 

Rose-Sayles-Fenner/Jones-Alexander-Patterson

Jones-Bighill-Gaitor

Jefferson/Roh-Bryant/Thomas-Nevis/Pick-Jeffcoat

Adams-Washington-Woli-Demski/Pick-Petermann/Simonise

Bryant-Neufeld-Couture-Gray-Hardrick (Foketi)

Harris/Augustine-Nichols-Rush

If Big Chris is the starter by game 6 I hope it is because of his play, and not Nichols getting injured.

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Little bit of a stretch I think to assume that scenario, unless no longer having Dressler out there throws off Nichols's timing and confidence with our current slot guys.  But also gotta hope Lapo makes a few adjustments and doesn't have West Final hangover because I do think at times he has had some ineffective plays for beating man coverage as we saw in that game.

 

I'm certainly interested in Streveler's play and hope the progression and good things I saw from him as a rookie translate into an even more polished QB ready to take the reins in year 3.  But I really think there's a good chance Nichols will have a bounce back year this year and do enough to bring home the Cup.  If not, then I think yes the Streveler talk ramps up.

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I think the Riders finish last. Poor offense last year with not a ton of upgrades, QB who is even more prone to a long absence than before, no backup, lousy OL and its statistically unlikely that their D/ST generates as many points as they did last season.

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12 hours ago, rebusrankin said:

I think the Riders finish last. Poor offense last year with not a ton of upgrades, QB who is even more prone to a long absence than before, no backup, lousy OL and its statistically unlikely that their D/ST generates as many points as they did last season.

I think it will be their O that carries the team this year. I see their Oline improving with the guys they added...along with Powell. That will(should) take pressure away from Collaros. The rec may still be a question mark. Their D won't be as dominate this year. Maybe for the 1st half, but once that game 12/13 rolls around Hughes will be gone again, and I'm not convinced that Leonard will be as good of an addition as they think he is. Micah will be solid of course, but likely won't put up the numbers he did in CGY...just due to a lack of support from the talent around him. I can see them finishing above Edmonton and maybe even BC...yes even BC....I think they're in for a surprise in just how competitive they'll be this year.

Edited by Bigblue204

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1 hour ago, Bigblue204 said:

I think it will be their O that carries the team this year. I see their Oline improving with the guys they added...along with Powell. That will(should) take pressure away from Collaros. The rec may still be a question mark. Their D won't be as dominate this year. Maybe for the 1st half, but once that game 12/13 rolls around Hughes will be gone again, and I'm not convinced that Leonard will be as good of an addition as they think he is. Micah will be solid of course, but likely won't put up the numbers he did in CGY...just due to a lack of support from the talent around him. I can see them finishing above Edmonton and maybe even BC...yes even BC....I think they're in for a surprise in just how competitive they'll be this year.

You never know what will happen.  Outside of Calgary and Winnipeg who will both at the very least will be solid it is hard to predict. Saskatchewan could be awful and the could be competitive. They will need to keep Zach healthy and I'm not sure they can do that. They will have to press more offensively and Zach simply isn't a quick release type of guy. He's still going to take shots. Not only does he need to stay healthy he needs to play a lot better. Their defense won't be as good but honestly, they could go from being elite to being average at best. Chris Jones was a great defensive coach and he had a large coaching staff at his disposal last season giving him a major advantage.  Yeah, they were able to pick up a run plugger at DT but will lose some of the pass rush and big-play capability they had last year. Also, Hughes didn't do a lot down the stretch and he's going to be a year older.  Improving the run game is important but I don't think they have the same level of coaching on offense that Winnipeg has in terms of being able to disguise things and get a team away from keying on the run.  Powell had a lot of success but he was playing on a team that had more passing attempts and completions than any other team in the CFL. He wasn't really something you could key on as a result.

Edmonton I think will be the most improved team in the West.  Jason Maas isn't very likable but he's a great offensive coach. Mike Reilly wasn't a 5000 yard passer before Maas came to town.   He used to rely a lot more on his legs and get injured a lot back in the Chris Jones/Mcadoo days. I would expect that Edmonton's passing attack will be similar in quality to what it's been over the past few years and their defense can only go up after a few key additions. 

BC is a big question mark to me.  He's on a new team with new teammates and coaches. He is still gonna put up some totals but might not be as prolific as he's been in the past. And in order to afford to pay him, BC is going to have to start a lot of unproven players on defense.   What it really comes down to is how much of an impact Claybrooks alone can make on defense.  Suhk Chung is an over priced but solid addition but BC probably still has some issues at tackle. They didn't previously have a good track record of protecting their qb's and I have no reason to believe that a Canadian guard will change that.  

 

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1 hour ago, Colin Unger said:

You never know what will happen.  Outside of Calgary and Winnipeg who will both at the very least will be solid it is hard to predict. Saskatchewan could be awful and the could be competitive. They will need to keep Zach healthy and I'm not sure they can do that. They will have to press more offensively and Zach simply isn't a quick release type of guy. He's still going to take shots. Not only does he need to stay healthy he needs to play a lot better. Their defense won't be as good but honestly, they could go from being elite to being average at best. Chris Jones was a great defensive coach and he had a large coaching staff at his disposal last season giving him a major advantage.  Yeah, they were able to pick up a run plugger at DT but will lose some of the pass rush and big-play capability they had last year. Also, Hughes didn't do a lot down the stretch and he's going to be a year older.  Improving the run game is important but I don't think they have the same level of coaching on offense that Winnipeg has in terms of being able to disguise things and get a team away from keying on the run.  Powell had a lot of success but he was playing on a team that had more passing attempts and completions than any other team in the CFL. He wasn't really something you could key on as a result.

Edmonton I think will be the most improved team in the West.  Jason Maas isn't very likable but he's a great offensive coach. Mike Reilly wasn't a 5000 yard passer before Maas came to town.   He used to rely a lot more on his legs and get injured a lot back in the Chris Jones/Mcadoo days. I would expect that Edmonton's passing attack will be similar in quality to what it's been over the past few years and their defense can only go up after a few key additions. 

BC is a big question mark to me.  He's on a new team with new teammates and coaches. He is still gonna put up some totals but might not be as prolific as he's been in the past. And in order to afford to pay him, BC is going to have to start a lot of unproven players on defense.   What it really comes down to is how much of an impact Claybrooks alone can make on defense.  Suhk Chung is an over priced but solid addition but BC probably still has some issues at tackle. They didn't previously have a good track record of protecting their qb's and I have no reason to believe that a Canadian guard will change that.  

 

Edmonton didn't only lose Reilly, they also lost Duke Williams their biggest receiving threat.  I'm curious as to how you see them improved because I just don't.  I don't think Trevor Harris is bad, but he won't be hitting home run deep balls in the regularity that Reilly did.

 

Like I said, I can't figure SSK to finish above 4th, particularly if Collaros is an injury liability again, but at full strength I'd still stick em above EDM.

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1 hour ago, USABomberfan said:

Edmonton didn't only lose Reilly, they also lost Duke Williams their biggest receiving threat.  I'm curious as to how you see them improved because I just don't.  I don't think Trevor Harris is bad, but he won't be hitting home run deep balls in the regularity that Reilly did.

 

Like I said, I can't figure SSK to finish above 4th, particularly if Collaros is an injury liability again, but at full strength I'd still stick em above EDM.

Can't agree with Sask being better than the Esks. Harris is way better than Collaros and that is only the beginning of the differences. Sask will be one of the laughing stocks of the league and I can see them going 4 and 14.

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Calgary and Winnipeg look like front runners ATM. Neither look to be as good as they were last year due to losing bunch of good players We lost 7 starters for various reasons (Chungh, Dressler, Fogg, Goosen, JSK, Loffler, Randle, including 3 NI's who were all stars of some type) and brought in 1 upgrade, Jefferson.

BC's got to be better with Reilly, Grymes, Chungh and the guy folks love to hate Carter. I don't see anyone on the list that they'll worry too much about replacing unless they lose Elimimian to SMS issues. BC was the same as Edmonton last year and they took the Esks QB. It will be interesting to see if they can play with the top 2 teams or if they are fighting it out for a playoff spot.

Edmonton did the best they could after losing Reilly. I like the receivers they brought in. They weren't losing because of offence, it was their defence that stank, so guys like Dean, JSK and Orange should help. If the defence can drop the points against by 7-10 from last year, they got a chance for a western playoff spot. If not, it's 4th or 5th.

Riders won on defence last year and it won't be as good this year. They needed to upgrade their receivers (Watson and Arceneaux are over the hill) and O line and I don't see that they did that. I see them dropping way down in the standings, maybe out of the playoffs.

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2 hours ago, USABomberfan said:

Edmonton didn't only lose Reilly, they also lost Duke Williams their biggest receiving threat.  I'm curious as to how you see them improved because I just don't.  I don't think Trevor Harris is bad, but he won't be hitting home run deep balls in the regularity that Reilly did.

 

Like I said, I can't figure SSK to finish above 4th, particularly if Collaros is an injury liability again, but at full strength I'd still stick em above EDM.

They lost Walker who hardly played and Duke Williams.  But they added DaVaries Daniels, Greg Ellingson, and Sir Vincent Rogers.  Id say that these three guys can make up for half a season of Walker and Duke Williams full season.  Edmonton has been a bit of a receiver factory. Probably has a lot of do with the coaching. In terms of the passing game I think Jason Maas is right up there right now.  From Bowman to Zylstra and Williams the next guy up becomes a star. 

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32 minutes ago, TBURGESS said:

Calgary and Winnipeg look like front runners ATM. Neither look to be as good as they were last year due to losing bunch of good players We lost 7 starters for various reasons (Chungh, Dressler, Fogg, Goosen, JSK, Loffler, Randle, including 3 NI's who were all stars of some type) and brought in 1 upgrade, Jefferson.

BC's got to be better with Reilly, Grymes, Chungh and the guy folks love to hate Carter. I don't see anyone on the list that they'll worry too much about replacing unless they lose Elimimian to SMS issues. BC was the same as Edmonton last year and they took the Esks QB. It will be interesting to see if they can play with the top 2 teams or if they are fighting it out for a playoff spot.

Edmonton did the best they could after losing Reilly. I like the receivers they brought in. They weren't losing because of offence, it was their defence that stank, so guys like Dean, JSK and Orange should help. If the defence can drop the points against by 7-10 from last year, they got a chance for a western playoff spot. If not, it's 4th or 5th.

Riders won on defence last year and it won't be as good this year. They needed to upgrade their receivers (Watson and Arceneaux are over the hill) and O line and I don't see that they did that. I see them dropping way down in the standings, maybe out of the playoffs.

The thing about Calgary and possibly Winnipeg is that they both had some injuries that held them back last year. Losing players in the CFL is inevitable but somehow good teams find a way to keep getting better.  If Nichols is back to being the same guy he was in 2017 Winnipeg will be just fine. And if he's the same as last year Streveler will be more ready to run the entire offense this year.   And Calgary had such a rotation of receivers that it eventually started to affect their dominant offense and they had to rely more on defense. The defense won't be the same but the offense could be better than it was. I'm expecting Winnipeg to be even better defensively than they were last season. It took Winnipeg a while to figure out how to employ Bighill and this year the pass rush should be absolutely dominant with the addition of Jefferson. They also have quite a few younger guys who are getting better each year like Wolitarsky, Alexander, Sayles, and Bryant. 

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Man, no respect for Winston Rose or Geoff Gray...  Gray is going to step in and be an all-star for the next two years...  Rose had five interceptions last year...

Somehow assembling Jefferson-Bryant-Nevis-Jeffcoat is also impressive work by Walters

Winnipeg drifted last year because Nichols was obviously injured and playing absolutely terrible football for a stretch...  I expect out QB tandem to be much better and to be deployed as a 1A/1B finally

Another wild card... and something that I think Walters is watching (and NOT spending madly on free agent receivers...) is that Ackie and Lue are still out there - could be huge mid-season additions...

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20 hours ago, Bigblue204 said:

I think it will be their O that carries the team this year. I see their Oline improving with the guys they added...along with Powell. That will(should) take pressure away from Collaros. The rec may still be a question mark. Their D won't be as dominate this year. Maybe for the 1st half, but once that game 12/13 rolls around Hughes will be gone again, and I'm not convinced that Leonard will be as good of an addition as they think he is. Micah will be solid of course, but likely won't put up the numbers he did in CGY...just due to a lack of support from the talent around him. I can see them finishing above Edmonton and maybe even BC...yes even BC....I think they're in for a surprise in just how competitive they'll be this year.

Who did they add to improve that O-line? Labatte another year older and declining..Bladek (who wasnt that good anyway yet) coming off ACL injury and may not be even ready..Clarke just..well sucks..StJohn who showed nothing isnt signed..their 2 American tackles are average at best...Blake is there but isnt a dominant guy by any means and isnt getting any younger and Shepley has shown nothing and is just a rookie who hasnt had live gamecaction since his last year of school.

Factor in mush melon at QB and Roosevalt in a similar situation and that's a whole lot of issues.. Powell will not put them over the top and prob by week 8 or so will wonder why he signed there

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14 hours ago, Floyd said:

Man, no respect for Winston Rose or Geoff Gray...  Gray is going to step in and be an all-star for the next two years...  Rose had five interceptions last year...

Somehow assembling Jefferson-Bryant-Nevis-Jeffcoat is also impressive work by Walters

Winnipeg drifted last year because Nichols was obviously injured and playing absolutely terrible football for a stretch...  I expect out QB tandem to be much better and to be deployed as a 1A/1B finally

Another wild card... and something that I think Walters is watching (and NOT spending madly on free agent receivers...) is that Ackie and Lue are still out there - could be huge mid-season additions...

I forgot about Rose, so it's 7 down and 2 up. Gray is a rookie who has never started a pro game in his life.

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15 hours ago, Colin Unger said:

They lost Walker who hardly played and Duke Williams.  But they added DaVaries Daniels, Greg Ellingson, and Sir Vincent Rogers.  Id say that these three guys can make up for half a season of Walker and Duke Williams full season.  Edmonton has been a bit of a receiver factory. Probably has a lot of do with the coaching. In terms of the passing game I think Jason Maas is right up there right now.  From Bowman to Zylstra and Williams the next guy up becomes a star. 

Bryant Mitchell, Duke Williams, & Derel Walker all left. Daniels & Ellingson are good players, but they're still a big downgrade from last season.

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1 hour ago, Booch said:

Who did they add to improve that O-line? Labatte another year older and declining..Bladek (who wasnt that good anyway yet) coming off ACL injury and may not be even ready..Clarke just..well sucks..StJohn who showed nothing isnt signed..their 2 American tackles are average at best...Blake is there but isnt a dominant guy by any means and isnt getting any younger and Shepley has shown nothing and is just a rookie who hasnt had live gamecaction since his last year of school.

Factor in mush melon at QB and Roosevalt in a similar situation and that's a whole lot of issues.. Powell will not put them over the top and prob by week 8 or so will wonder why he signed there

I think Shepley is the real deal and only see Bladek improving. The one thing I did forget was SJS who isn't signed. I don't think they'll be solid. I just think BC and Edm will be worse. And I have no rational opinion as to why BC won't be as good as they are on paper. just a hunch.

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3 hours ago, Bigblue204 said:

I think Shepley is the real deal and only see Bladek improving. The one thing I did forget was SJS who isn't signed. I don't think they'll be solid. I just think BC and Edm will be worse. And I have no rational opinion as to why BC won't be as good as they are on paper. just a hunch.

Shepley is as much a real deal as is Gray (which is hardly a lock to crack starting lineup)...probably to a lesser degree as Gray was looked at as a better prospect and did survive in the NFL longer..well actually Shepley didn't really survive there..Bladek yes may improve but he may not even be ready until labour as he got hurt right at the end of the season, and returning from a ACL rebuild is much easier for a smaller guy than for a big lineman..so for them to count on him now is a pipe dream.

Also with their pop gun offence, and losing 3 of their big play makers on defense, they will be lucky to be a 4-6 win team...not to mention unproven coaching staff in the top spot and GM

Edited by Booch

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5 hours ago, TBURGESS said:

I forgot about Rose, so it's 7 down and 2 up. Gray is a rookie who has never started a pro game in his life.

Still weird reasoning...  Dressler was pretty much done, Chungh/Goossen replaced by Couture/Gray or maybe Foketi

I do think you'd be complaining if we paid JSK and Loffler what they were asking...  Randle/Fogg - good DBs are always turned up by this crew

Plus Bighill was signed at end of May...   maybe Walters is smarter than we think and saving his money for after NFL training camp or once free agent/futures contracts are settled...

Bombers are in a good spot to pay Chris Matthews, Ackie or Lue...  other teams have blown their budget in February

 

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