CFL: What’s Hot And What’s Not

Guest Blogger | Updated Aug 11, 2011

Written by Guest Blogger: The Rider Prophet

We are a third of the way through the 2011 regular season, so let’s take a look at the best and worst this year has had to offer so far.

Hot: Winnipeg Blue Bombers aka Swaggerville. It has been a long time since I have seen a defense that can absolutely dominate a game like the Bombers’ D has this year. So far nobody has more interceptions, fumble recoveries, turnover on downs or sacks than the Bombers. They have also allowed the fewest points of any team. With a defense this good they could line up the starting line-up of the Winnipeg Jets on offense (skates and all) and still win games. Not: Saskatchewan Roughriders. The drop from 2 time Western Division champs to the bottom of the standings has been swift and ugly. Their offense can’t score and their defense, while showing signs of improvement, is giving up more points than anyone. This combination makes it extremely difficult to win games. Their offense is so bad that they make the Argos offense look potent by comparison… hell, they make Toronto FC’s offense look potent by comparison.

Hot: Brandon Whitaker. Jim Popp is looking like a genius for letting Avon Cobourne leave over the offseason. Not only is Whitaker younger and cheaper than his predecessor, he is also currently the top RB in the CFL. He leads the league in rushing and yards from scrimmage. As if Anthony Calvillo really needed another weapon at his disposal.

Not: The Argonauts. Last year the Argos were able to mask their embarrassingly bad offense with strong defensive play and game changing special teams. This year however, the defense is starting to struggle and now that everyone knows about all the Argos’ trick plays, their special teams aren’t bailing them out, leaving their lack of a credible offense exposed in a bad way. Instead of taking the logical step and making changes offensively to address their weakness, Jim Barker opted to fire Defensive Coordinator Chip Garber. Its not often you see a defensive coordinator fired because the offense was underperforming. At this rate, I can only assume Mike O’Shea will be the next victim of the woeful Argo offensive attack unless his special teams start scoring soon.

Hot: League Imposed Fines. The rate the CFL has been handing out fines this year has me wondering if this is part of their financial plan to improve profits and fend off the economic downturn. So far at least 8 different players/coaches have been fined. Some have been for excessively rough actions on the field but the majority have been for comments made about the refs. It’s getting to the point where I would be afraid to sneeze during an interview lest the league interpret it as a disparaging comment and impose a fine.

Not: BC’s Secondary. BC has been so easy to pass on this year that they might as well just start 5 cardboard cut-outs in the secondary and save the salary cap room. As a sign of just how bad things are, not only have they allowed more passing yards and TDs than anyone, they also haven’t started the same group of 5 DBs in any of their games this season. While this must make things difficult on the players and coaches, the deeper impact in likely felt by people off the field. People such as the equipment manager who constantly has to stitch new names on the jerseys or the guy or the guy who prepares the depth chart each week, whose workload is double what it used to be.