Sunday, April 25, 2010

CFL Power Rankings, April Edition, Part 2

5. Edmonton Eskimos
There's not a lot to be particularly confident about going into this season. The Eskimos have a competent quarterback in Ricky Ray, but whose best days may be behind him. The Eskimos have a big question in running back Jesse Lumsden, both in how much he will play and if he doesn't get the ball as much as he likes, what happens. Richie Hall isn't a bad coach, but in the West, Calgary and Saskatchewan are just plain better. The Eskimos also traded receiver Maurice Mann to Hamilton and whether they have an adequate replacement remains to be seen.

6. BC Lions
Surprisingly low ranking for a Buono coached team, but the Lions have a lot of question marks. Last year they crossed over and beat Hamilton in Hamilton with Casey Printers at the helm before being bitch slapped by the Alouettes in the East conference final. How well will Printers do this season? The Lions lost both Canadian defensive end Rickey Foley and import running back Martell Mallett to the NFL which doesn't help for continuity, although import running backs are a dime a dozen in the CFL. Will the Lions be worse than the Eskimos in 2010? Close but I prefer Ray over Printers over the entire season.

7. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Not really a lot to like here, although the coaching change to LaPolice from Mike Kelly should see some improvement. The Bombers had a change to get in the playoffs at the end of the season, but honked it up at home. The Bombers released Michael Bishop which is probably addition by subtraction and picked up former Rider quarterback Steven Jyles and former Lion quarterback and frequent infirmary patient Buck Pierce. Not really a lot to like here, but their defense isn't atrocious and maybe Pierce gets lucky and strings together a few injury free games. Still better than Toronto.

8. Toronto Argonauts
The Argos were abysmal last year with Bart Andrus as head coach and have now replaced him with veteran CFL head coach Jim Barker. This should be an improvement. The Argos ditched all their quarterbacks from last year and the best looking is probably the former Bill third stringer who I am too lazy to look up. The Argos also signed Queen's quarterback Danny Brannigan to a deal, who actually will look OK versus the other dregs the Argos have trolled the NCAA for their second and third stringer. The Argos also lost their import punter and kicker, Justin Medlock to the Redskins. The Argos have a lot of draft choices in the early rounds, and they need at least one of those players to make a difference in 2010. Probably better than than the three wins last year, but the Argos could easily have won a few more games if Andrus only understood the Canadian rules a bit better.

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