2011 CFL Season Preview

The 2011 CFL Season kicks off Thursday June 30. Here is a quick look at each team to get you ready for the season. The Odds to win the 2011 Grey Cup are listed at the end of the preview.

Montreal  Alouettes

What can you say about this team the past couple of years, dominant is  one word that comes to mind. The Alouettes have been favorites to win the  grey cup the past few seasons and have delivered behind their QB Calvillo. They  have beaten the Roughriders the past two season to win the Grey Cup. Calvillo  is back again (off thyroid surgery) looking to make it 3 in a row. And if  Calvillo falters back-up QB Adrian McPherson is more than capable. Cahoon has  retired but the Alouettes are still strong at receiver. The big question mark  for them is in the backfield. Coubourne left as a free agent to Hamilton  leaving the ball carrying duties to Whitaker who had just 20 carries all of  last season.

Acquisitions: Sean Whyte K: Sandro DeAngelis K: Dwight AndersonCB: Yvenson Bernard, RB; DeAndra’ Cobb, RB; Prechae Rodriguez, WR; Tad  Crawford, S

Departures: Ben Cahoon, SB: Avon Cobourne, RB: Damon Duval, K; Paul  Lambert, C; Matthieu Proulx, S

Hamilton Tiger Cats

Hamilton will try to make this year be the one they can make it to the  next level, last year’s 9-9 record was a result of an up and down season that saw QB Kevin Glenn be  the number 1. Even with the solid play at QB the Tiger Cats scraped into the  playoffs and once again lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Argo’s.  Once again this season it will be Hamilton’s linebackers leading the way. The  secondary will have to be much better for the Ti-Cats to improve this season.  With Glenn at QB and a solid O line the Tiger Cats should be in the thick of  things come seasons end.

Acquisitions: Avon Cobourne, RB: Renauld Williams,  LB: Daniel Francis, DB; Justin Medlock, K/P; Wayne Smith, OG; Daryl  Stephenson, RB; Carlos Thomas, DB

Departures: Greg Marshall, D C: Otis Floyd, LB: Chris Bauman, WR;  DeAndra’ Cobb, RB; Sandro DeAngelis, K; Alexandre Gauthier, OL; Ray Mariuz, LB;  Jermaine Reid, DT

Toronto Argonauts

Toronto looked to rebound last year and new head coach Jim Barker  delivered a 9-9 record that saw the team make the playoffs and win their first  game to eventually be beaten by the Alouettes. The team relied on tight  defense and special teams, overall, they are looking to build off 2010 and make  some noise this year. If Cleo Lemon and the Argonauts offence can be even  middle of the pack the Argonauts have a chance.

Acquisitions: Steven Jyles, QB: Wes Lysack, S: Ray Cheatham, DB; Dovonte  Edwards, DB; B.J. Hall, QB, Nate Robertson, DT; Claude Wroten, DT

Departures: Adriano Belli, DT: Eric Taylor, DT: Jamie Boreham, K/P;  Ken Dorsey, QB; Reggie McNeal, WR

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Last year was something Blue Bomber fans could do without, they had the  league worst 4-14 record and new coach Paul LaPolice will be feeling the heat  this year if they can’t turn things around. A huge injury to Buck Pierce at QB  hurt the team for the whole season but on another note, Fred Reid, CFL Rushing  Leader, was a great bonus for a team that had a terrible year. The Blue Bombers  need Pierce to stay healthy to have any chance in this tough Eastern Division.

Acquisitions: Henoc Muamba, LB:Kito Poblah, WR: Shawn Mayne, LB

Departures: Phillip Hunt, DE: Steven Jyles, QB: Yvenson Bernard, RB;  Daryl Stephenson, RB; Markus Howell, WR; Taylor Inglis, LS; Ryan Donnelly, OL;  Shawn Gallant, DB; LaVar Glover, DB

Calgary Stampeders

The Calgary Stampeders went into the 2010 season with high hopes. They  met the raising of the bar in the regular season but once again they  disappointed the playoffs, Henry Burris was a stud throughout the regular  season and collected a much deserved MVP award for his efforts. A few tweaks  for the team this season but for the most part they will be a force again in  the West Division.

Acquisitions: Dave Dickenson, OC, Geoff Tisdale, DB, Reggie McNeal,  QB/WR; Tim St. Pierre, LB; Larry Taylor, KR

Departures: Ben Archibald, OT; Dwight Anderson, CB; Brandon Browner,  CB; Tom Johnson, DL; Mike Labinjo, DL; Jesse Lumsden, RB; P.K. Sam, WR; Ryan  Thelwell, WR

Saskatchewan Roughriders

The Riders have been so close the past few years and 2010 was no  exception. They were up and down in the regular season finishing at 10-8, then  with 2 playoff wins they were right back in the Grey Cup Finals. But as fate  may have it, the All’s were too much for the Riders to handle. Gone as head  coach is Ken Miller and in is  Greg Marshall. QB Darian Durant completed 60.7 percent of his passes for 5,542  yards and 25 touchdowns last season. He also added 618 rushing yards. If Durant  can cut down on the turnovers the Roughriders will be a factor in the West this  season.

Acquisitions: Tristan Jackson, KR; Alex Gauthier,  OL; George Hudson, OL; Graeme Bell, FB; John Eubanks, DB; Chris Leak, QB;  Dario Romero, DT

Departures: Ken Miller, HC; Andy Fantuz, SB; Omarr Morgan, CB;  Jeremy O’Day, C

B.C. Lions

A rocky season for the Lions was a result a QB Printers most disappointing  second year at the helms of the Lions offense. This was the result of the slow  start of the season for the QB Printers and the duties were handed over to the  QB Travis Lulay. After a good second half of the season the Lions snuck into  the playoffs and lost to the Roughriders With Lulay starting at QB out of the  gates the Lions have high hopes for this season. They will need a big year from  RB Jamal Robertson to do any damage this season.

Acquisitions: Ben Archibald, OT: Eric Taylor, DT;

Departures: Emmanuel Arceneaux, WR: Yonus Davis, KR: Tad Crawford, S;  Joe McGrath, OL; Sherko Haji-Rasouli, OL O’Neil Wilson, WR; Sean Whyte, K/P

Edmonton Eskimos

The Edmonton Eskimos had a tuff year last year. They started with a 0-4  record that put them behind the pack early on and they were unable to catch up.  The hiring of GM Eric Tillman might have been a step in the right direction for  the team as he used the rest of the 2010 season to look at how the team can  improve for 2011. Hopefully he saw a lot of areas that the team can build on. In  as Head Coach is Kavis Reed and back at QB is Ricky Ray. Ray will need to  improve on his 11 TD’s to 16 INT’s from a year ago and will need Stamps to have  a big year if the Eskimos want to get back to the playoffs. One of the big  question marks for the Esky’s is at running back. Whitlock is not ready to start  the season (foot injury), so look for Daniel Porter to get the ball for the  Esks to start the season. And it is going to be difficult to fix the Eskimo  defence in just one offseason. The Eskimos allowed 388+ yards per game and 30+  points per game last season. Obviously this has to improve a lot, but it isn’t  going to happen overnight. There are a lot of question marks for the Eskimos  but anything can happen in the CFL.

Acquisitions: Kavis Reed, HC: Ted Laurent Scott Mitchell Nathan  Coehoorn all Draft Picks from the draft. Adarius Bowman, WR; Taylor Inglis, LS;  Brandon James, KR; Marc Mueller, QB; Julius Williams, DE

Departures: Adam Braidwood, DT: Mark Restelli, LB Kelly Campbell, WR; Kai Ellis, DE;  Tristan Jackson, KR; Maurice Lloyd, LB; Jason Maas, QB; Kamau Peterson, WR

Odds to Win the 2011 Grey Cup (Courtesy Bodog Sportsbook):

Calgary = 3.75

Montreal = 4.00

B.C. Lions = 6.50

Saskatchewan = 7.00

Hamilton = 8.00

Toronto = 13.00

Winnipeg = 13.00

About JoeMayo99

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