Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ticats Release Stevie Baggs, Pick Up Some Fungible Defensive Linemen

So the Cats have gone and released defensive end Stevie Baggs. So much for the Stevie Baggs jersey I bought last year at the season ticket pickup party. I'm a bit surprised that the release was this late, considering they lost Hickman to the NFL and signed former Eskimo Greg Peach a while ago. I assume this is value for money release. Baggs can play, but the writing was on the wall last year when in the final game of the regular season, Baggs sat because of ratio issues.

The Cats have gone and signed three import linemen. Tigercatatonia has always argued that import running backs are pretty much fungible commodities. There's always one waiting to be signed who is pretty much as good as the guy you have now. I'm not sure that's the case for defensive linemen in the CFL, but I guess we'll find out what the pass rush is like this year.

Does Baggs get picked up by another team? I would assume so. He might not be worth his old salary, but he's valuable on obvious passing downs. Maybe the Riders would be interested in getting him back.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 2012 CFL Power Rankings

Who says you can't do power rankings without games being played. Free agents have been signed so why not?

1. BC Lions
BC looked like they were going to lose some key players to the NFL then didn't. Being the defending Grey Cup Champs, having a good young quarterback and not a lot of turnover leaves them the favourites. Plus I doubt the Lions will suck in the beginning like last year.

2. Hamilton Tiger Cats
Losing Justin Medlock tempted me with putting them lower, but the Cats will probably find someone decent (which doesn't include Sandro DeAngelis). Signing Andy Fantuz is huge, and with the Cats having offensive gury George Cortez as the head coach, the offense should be lethal no matter if Burris or Porter is the quarterback.

3. Montreal Alouettes
Is this the year the Alouettes take a step back? Calvillo is another year older and the defence at the end of last season was looking porous. Plus the Als couldn't even win a home playoff game. Marc Trestman will still field a good team and no doubt GM Jim Popp will find some gems in training camp, but don't expect a Grey Cup.

4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Made it to the Grey Cup albeit honking once they got there. No free agent signings of note, but Buck Pierce wasn't injured that much and Paul LaPolice showed that he's a decent coach.

5. Calgary Stampeders
Drew Tate hasn't really shown that much last year to guarantee he's a great quarterback. If he stinks, who's the backup? Still some decent talent.

6. Toronto Argonauts
Getting Ricky Ray as quarterback should improve an Argo team that wasn't terrible (6 and 12) with Cleo "the Party" Lemon at the controls. The Argo receivers still aren't fantastic, but picking up Maurice Mann late last year should help. Defence should still be good.

7. Saskatchewan Rough Riders
The Riders should be better than last year, but how much. Quarterback Darian Durant regressed last year and losing Andy Fantuz to free agency won't help (although he didn't do much for them last year).

8. Edmonton Eskimos
Putting your hopes on Steven Jyles as your quarterback seems like something that just isn't going to pan out. Edmonton was decent last year with Ricky Ray, although most of their wins came early in the season. The Eskimos also lost defensive end Greg Peach to free agency. Maybe Jyles finally proves he's a worthy CFL starter. I doubt it, but he is better than Cleo Lemon

Thursday, March 8, 2012

No More Justin Medlock

So Ticat kicker/punter has signed with the Carolina Panthers. Not great news for the Cats, as Medlock's kicking last year was a big improvement over the kicking of Sandro DeAngelis the year before. Medlock was good for long distance kicks which was certainly useful for the Cats, although the team still ended up 8 and 10 during the regular season.

My prediction, the Cats will miss Medlock in some games, but still have a lot better record. Medlock's punting compared to his kicking was kind of meh.