Sunday, May 3, 2020

Quarterback soup. (NFL)

It seems there is no end to the quarterback carousel going on in the National Footbal League as of late. In the last couple of days, we've seen more moves at that position by teams, and again there is confusion as to why this all went down.

Let's dive in!

1) Andy Dalton. The recently released Cincinnati Bengals QB has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys to join that franchise, most likely to back up starting QB Dak Prescott. This move is a little confusing, seeing as how Dalton always under performed in Cincinnati. That being said however, the Cowboys' offensive line is much better, and can provide Dalton (should he need to come into a game) with something he didn't have with the Bengals - adequate protection.

Regardless, it should be interesting to see how Dalton is used in conjunction with the Cowboys' offence, and whether or not he could alternate with Prescott.

2) Mitch Trubisky. The Chicago Bears have declined this year's option on Trubisky's contract, which will pretty much assure that his tenure in the Windy City will come to an end. The Bears traded up in the 2017 Draft to select him over Mahomes and Watson, and while some see his performance as a failure, some of us in the world of football think that his coach is the bigger problem.

With the team bringing in Nick Foles during this off season, and with an impatient head coach such as Matt Nagy still holding the reins, the writing is on the wall for Trubisky. It's unfortunate, as I personally think he has the tools needed to succeed in the NFL, but needs a proper coach that an mold him into a great quarterback.

Only time will tell how this will play out, and TTS will be paying close attention.

-TTS


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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Reasons why the CFL should get the $150 million. (CFL)

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie of the Canadian Football League has begun to lobby the federal government for a sum of $150 million dollars to get the league through the issues caused by the current pandemic. While there are a lot of people out there (including some talk radio hosts as of late) that argue against this, TTS will provide some of the following reasons as to why the CFL should get said payment.

1) League economics. Unlike the bigger professional sports leagues (NHL, NBA, and the NFL), the CFL doesn't have billions of dollars and massive advertising revenues to draw on when the going gets tough. The larger leagues also have a ridiculous amount of revenue that comes in from overall merchandise sales, eclipsing anything the CFL can up with.

People also seem to forget that the CFL caters to a smaller, more blue collar fan base than the teams in the larger leagues, that bring in a huge percentage of corporate revenue on top of everything.

2) Dollars. The average CFL team normally breaks even, or makes a small profit in the hundreds of thousands to a million, not counting the annual Grey Cup event and festival. The exception being the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who made over $2.1 million last year due to winning the Grey Cup. Compare with any NFL team that rakes in hundreds of millions of dollars (if not more) per year, and you can see the disparity quite easily.

3) Wages. Unlike NFL players and staff that make in the millions, CFL players make an average of $45,000 a year and have full-time jobs away from the football field. The most elite player in the CFL can make $400,000 a year, which pales in comparison to an elite player in the NFL who would make $30 million a year.

4) Canadiana. The CFL is an integral part to the Canadian identity, and should be preserved no matter what. Canadian football started it all on this continent back in the late 1800's, and the history and tradition of it all needs to be respected, and celebrated. We can ill afford to lose such an important piece of Canadian identity, now more than ever.

Considering that PM Trudeau gave $9 billion to students out of nowhere, $150 million is chump change compared to that, and there should be no question of giving it to the CFL.

-TTS


Agree or disagree with this post? Leave a comment below!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Interesting NFL moves as of late. (NFL)

There have been a few moves in the NFL over the last couple of days that has definitely raised some eyebrows among us pundits, mainly because they are slightly confusing, to say the least.

1) Jalen Hurts.

The Oklahoma quarterback was expected to go to a team (via the draft) that actually needed a quarterback for the upcoming season. Instead, he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a very odd move to make for a team that has a franchise quarterback (or so they keep telling everyone) in Carson Wentz, and two backups.

Could this mean that the Eagles' brain trust is slowly starting to lose faith in the often-injured Wentz and see Hurts as a successor? There is no doubt that Hurts has the talent and tools necessary to become successful, but even he should wonder about this one.

2) Jameis Winston.

This is by far the biggest head-scratcher out there right now, and there are questions marks that probably won't be resolved until the start of the season. The Saints already a have the immortal Drew Brees as their top pivot, and a proven backup in Taysom Hill as well. For a team as savvy (usually) as the Saints to bring in the biggest interception machine of his generation, it's quite perplexing.

Winston has shown in his time with the Buccaneers that he is unable to play at the NFL level, his issues going all the way back to his college career. With a terrible decision making process, and prone to throwing into heavy coverage, it's no wonder he puts up the amount of interceptions that he does, and I'm surprised he hasn't thrown more of them.

Sean Payton will more than likely comment on this at some point, and I can't wait to see how this signing of Winston is explained by the long time head coach.

3) Gronk.

All I'm going to say on this matter is the following: He came out of retirement to join his buddy in Tampa, and will watch as they both hit rock bottom. Hard. 'Nuff said.

-TTS


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Friday, April 24, 2020

Analysis of the 2020 NFL Draft. (NFL)

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is now in the books (all four hours and fifteen minutes of it!), and with that being said, I'm going to go over some key points from said round, and offer some critique about certain teams and how they drafted.

1) Cincinnati Bengals / Joe Burrow

Probably one of the worst kept secrets in the NFL leading up to the draft, it was a little frustrating from a fan's (and sports columnist's) perspective to have to sit through 25 minutes of shlock and time being wasted to watch Joe Burrow get drafted. This was one of the main points of contention during the first round, with Twitter blowing up over the fact that the Bengals waited until the end of their time limit to announce their pick, one which the whole freaking world already knew about.

And they wonder why everyone laughs at them, year in and year out!

2) Miami Dolphins / Tua Tagovailoa

It was no secret that the Dolphins needed to draft a young quarterback to build their team around. What was surprising was them drafting Tagovailoa, who has a long history of injuries, and seems to have ankles (and legs) made of glass. You would think that the Dolphins would go for a more durable quarterback, and possibly save themselves the future criticism that will happen when Tagovailoa gets knocked out due to injury over and over again.

3) LA Chargers / Justin Herbert

In one of the better selections, the Los Angeles Chargers grabbed QB Justin Herbert from Oregon. Probably one of the more complete quarterbacks available, this is someone who the Dolphins probably should have gone for. With the departure of QB Philip Rivers to the Colts (where the hell were they at light night?), this was a good call for the Chargers.

4) Wasted time.

In what seemed to be the overall theme of the night, ESPN wasted a hell of a lot of time, with picks showing as being in just sitting there (some for 10 minutes at a time!) while the host rambled on, or an inpromptu commercial break happened. If the pick comes in, GO TO IT.

5) Too much attention to COVID-19.

I understand we are in the middle of a nasty pandemic that has flipped the world upside down, but almost all of us tuned into the Draft because we finally had a way (through our favourite sport) to escape all that nonsense for one night, just to have it rammed down our throats yet again.

Not cool. Aside from that, it was a decent draft given the circumstances.

-TTS


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NFL Draft 2020 - First round results! (NFL)

The following is the run down of the 2020 NFL Draft's first round, being broadcast from Bristol, Connecticut, USA.

1) Cincinnati Bengals select QB Joe Burrow - LSU

2) Washington Redskins select DE Chase Young - Ohio State

3) Detroit Lions select DB Jeff Okudah - Ohio State

4) New York Giants select OT Andrew Thomas - Georgia

5) Miami Dolphins select QB Tua Tagovailoa - Alabama

6) Los Angeles Chargers select QB Justin Herbert - Oregon

7) Carolina Panthers select DT Derrick Brown - Auburn

8) Arizona Cardinals select LB Isaiah Simmons - Clemson

9) Jacksonville Jaguars select DB C.J. Henderson - Florida

10) Cleveland Browns select OT Jedrick Wills - Alabama

11) New York Jets select OT Mekhi Becton - Louisville

12) Las Vegas Raiders select WR Henry Ruggs - Alabama

13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquire pick from the San Francisco 49ers and select OT Tristan Wirfs - Iowa

14) San Francisco 49ers acquire pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and select DT Javon Kinlaw - South Carolina

15) Denver Broncos select WR Jerry Jeudy - Alabama

16) Atlanta Falcons select CB A.J. Terrell - Clemson

17) Dallas Cowboys select WR CeeDee Lamb - Oklahoma

18) Miami Dolphins acquire pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers and select OT Austin Jackson - USC

19) Las Vegas Raiders select CB Damon Arnette - Ohio State

20) Jacksonville Jaguars select LB K'Lavon Chaisson - LSU

21) Philadelphia Eagles select WR Jalen Reagor - TCU

22) Minnesota Vikings select WR Justin Jefferson - LSU

23) Los Angeles Chargers acquire pick from the New England Patriots and select LB Kenneth Murray - Oklahoma

24) New Orleans Saints select C Cesar Ruiz - Michigan

25) San Francisco 49ers acquire pick from the Minnesota Vikings and select WR Brandon Aiyuk - Arizona State

26) Green Bay Packers acquire pick from the Miami Dolphins and select QB Jordan Love - Utah State

27) Seattle Seahawks select LB Jordyn Brooks - Texas Tech

28) Baltimore Ravens select LB Patrick Queen - LSU

29) Tennessee Titans select OT Isaiah Wilson - Georgia

30) Miami Dolphins select CB Noah Igbinoghene - Auburn

31) Minnesota Vikings select DB Jeff Gladney - TCU

32) Kansas City Chiefs select RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire - LSU

End of first round.

-TTS


Friday, April 3, 2020

League news & status, as of April 3rd, 2020 (CFL/NFL/NCAA)

The last thing we wanted to do here at TTS was get into the whole COVID-19 situation, like most other sports blogs and news websites have, but we do want to keep our followers/readers updated on what the statuses are for the three main leagues that we cover. Below shows each league and the key points for them at this time.

1) NFL

- The 2020 NFL Draft will go ahead, but with no public events. Draft will be held with all players and their representatives accepting from home.
- Signings and trades continue
- Mini-camps are set to begin on time
- Start of regular season set to begin on time in September
- League officials are monitoring the current situation

2) CFL

- Training camps have been postponed league wide
- Individual teams are already cutting staff and looking to shrink operations
- Commissioner Ambrosie has said the season might be delayed*
- Draft has been postponed

3) NCAA

- Some programs have already announced pay cuts for coaches and trainers
- Shortened season with only conference games played is being considered
- Early signing period could be pushed back to the start of summer
- Games might be played without fans, but that is a worst case scenario

*It is interesting to note that in the case of the CFL, the commissioner has already publicly stated that he wants to go with the worst case scenario and cancel the whole 2020 season, which the team owners and players (including the CFLPA) are completely opposed to.

In any case, we as football fans will have to wait and see how this plays out in the next few weeks or so. Here at TTS, we hope all goes ahead as planned, but until that happens, we will be putting out less posts for the time being.

-TTS

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Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Breaking down the big QB news from today. (NFL)

Isn't it nice to talk about sports for a change? I think it is, and I've going to break down the three biggest quarterback stories in the National Football League from today!

1) Philip Rivers. The long-time (and I do mean LONG-TIME!) San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers pivot has signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts., which also raises the following questions surrounding the deal:

- How much gas does Rivers have in his tank?
- How will he play on a team that has less of a receiving corps to throw to?
- Is it all about the money for Rivers?

Rivers is slated to make $25 million dollars from this, and that may have been the main incentive. He was rumoured to want to play in Florida, as he and his family had moved there recently. Personally, I think that Rivers will go out with a whimper in Indianapolis. This is the end for him.

2) Nick Foles. The Jacksonville Jaguars traded their quarterback to the Chicago Bears for only a fourth-round pick. This was a quarterback that beat the Patriots in a Super Bowl, was signed by the Jags for $80 million, then got hurt early in the season. With that all being said:

- Where do the Jags go from here?
- Why Chicago? Are the Bears giving on Trubisky already?
- Are the Jags going to make some more moves to bolster their position at QB?

These questions won't be answered until at least the draft. Until then, I got nothing.

3) Tom Brady. I hate to mention this man, because God knows I hate him (for cheating!), but now that he's no longer a Patriot, it's not so bad. Unfortunately for Tom, he's going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are terribad on the best of days. Which means:

- Will the Bucs get rid of Jameis Winston finally? (No-brainer!)
- Are the Pats going to be crap now? (Here's hoping!)
- Does this turn the Bucs into an instant playoff team?

I don't think this does anything to the Bucs right away. That team is a dumpster fire to begin with, and it will take more years of overhauling the roster that Brady doesn't have to fix them.


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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Brandon Bridge conundrum. (CFL)

Former CFL quarterback Brandon Bridge has stated publicly that he is leaving football as a whole to pursue a career in law enforcement, more specifically with the Peel Regional Police. Bridge had apparently made this decision due to the fact that Canadian football players don't get the same chances and opportunities that import players do, and that he was never really given the best shot at being a long-term starter in the CFL.

Unfortunately for Bridge, it's not so much the lack of chances (he's played for five CFL teams since he joined the league in 2015), but in his case, a lack of consistency. While Bridge does have impressive arm strength, and can hurl the ball down the field with ferocity, his decision-making process has been questionable at best, leading to bad plays and interceptions.

Career stats:

COMP/ATT: 225/344
YARDS: 2,769
TD-INT: 14-10
RATING: 90.5

These are not the numbers of consistency, and this is way he was relegated quickly with each team he played for in the CFL. His numbers are average at best, and teams can't take too much time to focus on one player, especially if said team is trying to make a playoff run. The CFL season might be longer than other leagues, but consistency needs to be found at the outset of every season, else a team might be derailed quickly, leading to a sub-par campaign.

Unfortunately for Bridge, he was supplanted at every stop in his career by other QB's that gave their respective teams a better chance of winning. I'm not saying Bridge was a washout, but after his tenure with the Argos ended, we all knew that for the rest of his career, he would mainly start a game here and there while serving as the primary backup.


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League year begins, draft goes ahead! (NFL)

The start of the league year in the NFL is now underway, and there have already been some interesting moves in the last 24 hours. We will begin with some of the more  interesting transactions that have happened thus far, as well as some analysis.

1) Marcus Mariota.

The former Tennessee Titans QB has signed with the Las Vegas Raiders, ending his tenure with the Titans that began with his drafting by the team in 2015. The Raiders were hoping to sign QB Tom Brady, but it looks like they've suddenly gone in a new direction. Could be interesting.

2) Case Keenum.

This one is a bit of a head scratcher, to say the least. The Cleveland Browns signed the former Washington Redskins pivot to a three-year deal worth $18 million, and it's unclear why, as they already have QB Baker Mayfield. But, it is Cleveland, and nothing they do ever makes sense.

3) DeAndre Hopkins.

He's finally out of Houston, having been sent to the Cardinals via a trade. This might just give the Cards' receiving corps a boost they need, as WR Larry Fitzgerald is likely playing in his last season in the NFL with Arizona.

4) Amari Cooper.

The Cowboys top WR has signed a five year, $100 million dollar contract to keep him in Dallas. Don't we all wish we could be on Jerry Jones' payroll? Unfortunately, the Cowboys will probably end up as a .500 team yet again in the coming season.

The NFL has also announced that the 2020 Draft will go ahead as planned, albeit without most of the public events that usually take place in the week leading up to it. We will more than likely see the Draft play out remotely, on television, with the draftees sitting at home instead of in the arena/venue at the same time. I applaud the NFL for keeping the Draft, as for a lot of us sports fans, it's a big annual event that we enjoy immensely.


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Thursday, March 5, 2020

CFL rule changes shouldn't even be an option. (CFL)

For some unknown reason that is unbeknownst to most of us, Canadian Football League commissioner Randy Ambrosie is trying to change as much of the league as he can in a very short amount of time. I'm going to break down two of Ambrosie's latest 'ideas', and explain why they aren't good ideas at all.

1) Playoff format. Ambrosie wants to change the longstanding playoff format in the CFL (in which there is nothing wrong), and have it so that the top two teams in their divisions would get a bye, and the next four teams would be decided by their overall season record, with the before mentioned top two teams choosing who they want to play in the next round after the bye.

Points of contention:

- Having the top two teams pick their opponents in the next round would be a lopsided farce.
- This course of action would also eliminate the Crossover Rule, which makes for entertaining playoff races at the end of the season, and adds an interesting unknown to the playoff picture.
- Because one division is usually better than the other, the top team in the weaker division would choose a weaker opponent in the second round, making for a lousy game for the fan.

2) The rouge. Ambrosie is also looking at getting rid of the failed field goal rouge, and adjusting how the kick rouge (punting) would be adjusted. The rouge is helps to make the Canadian game that much more Canadian, and is something that shouldn't be touched either. It seems to me that Ambrosie is trying to remove as many of the Canadia elements as possible in a way to make the game more American as to possibly bring in more fans.

The problem with this train of thought is that Canadian football fans want to watch the Canadian game. As someone who watches and is a fan of all three main leagues (NFL, CFL, NCAA), I enjoy the distinct differences between all of them. There is no need whatsoever to change any part of th Canadian game. It's the small differences like the rouge and crossover rule that make it unique to begin with, and a treat to watch.

Ambrosie better tread more carefully....



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Friday, February 14, 2020

OPINION: Sanity prevails, and the Eskimos stay. (CFL)

It seems that after a long (one whole year, apparently) process in which many Inuit communities and leaders were consulted by the team, the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League will be keeping their name, and TTS thinks that's a good thing. The fact that this even came for debate is kind of silly in itself, but at least it's over. I will make a few points about this below, and what my take is of it.

1) It's a team name/moniker. The Edmonton Eskimos have been in existence since 1949, and yet this problem with their name has generated more noise in only the last few years. People need to understand that this is a team name for a sports franchise. No one is purposely trying to slag anyone of a certain ethnicity as such.

2) When did we start taking everything so seriously? There was a time when you could joke about things and find humour in them without anyone freaking out and crying foul. Sports teams with certain names these days are facing unwarranted backlash, and/or some sort of issues related to said names. Why are we all so sensitive and unwelcoming these days? Sports teams are not named for derogatory reasons! In fact, I will go so far as to say that some franchises have honoured certain groups or peoples by keeping their names in the limelight, so to speak.

3) Let's all be friends. I have always had great respect for the Inuit, and they have proved yet again with this situation that they are an interesting people that don't seem to get all hot and bothered like other aboriginals over anything. I personally have never once referred to the Inuit as 'eskimos', and I don't know anyone that has. I believe that they see this as a minor thing, knowing that it's a sports team that is not trying to relate the moniker to some kind of politics.

There are no ulterior motives here, and both sides have seen that. Now, let's move on and get ready for June. Football awaits us!



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Friday, February 7, 2020

Argos sign Nichols, Streveler goes south. (CFL)

Nichols signs.

In a somewhat surprising move in the Canadian Football League, the Toronto Argonauts have signed former Blue Bombers quarterback Matt Nichols to a three year contract, effectively bringing him in as the starter for their team. This is both interesting news, and problematic for the Argos, who have struggled the past couple of seasons.

This is the same team who management (Pinball Clemons, et al.) have been telling us as of late that QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson is 'their man', as well as signing him to a contract on Monday. For a team to declare who they want as a starter only to sign another quarterback for a longer deal later in the week makes little sense. Most sports pundits and writers alike (including me) had Nichols signing with the Ottawa RedBlacks, as it had become known that new head coach Paul LaPolice wanted to bring him there, a while before going and signing former Stamps QB Nick Arbuckle.

While Matt Nichols could bring some stability for the Argos' offence, his signing is still surprising, and confusing at this point in time. Will the Argos let go the rest of their quarterbacks on the roster now? Will there be a competition between Nichols and Bethel-Thompson for the starting job? These questions won't be resolved until training camp at the earliest, pre-season at the latest.

Chris Streveler goes south.

In another surprising move, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers granted the release of star quarterback Chris Streveler to let him pursue opportunities in the NFL. Streveler then quickly signed with the Arizona Cardinals. Streveler was a key piece of the 2019 Grey Cup championship team, and it was a little perplexing to see the Bombers let him go so easily.

They should have re-signed him for more money, as he has proven he can carry the team on his back and be the player they need him to be. Streveler has a dynamic that any team could want/use, and it's a shame he's left the 'Peg. While the Bombers did re-sign QB Zach Collaros earlier, they will be hard pressed to find another tank like Streveler.

-TTS

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Thursday, January 30, 2020

NFL Super Bowl LIV prediction! (NFL)

Well, the day of reckoning is soon upon us. The seas will part, the sky will open, and..... hopefully some points will be scored. What? Oh you thought this was something else? Nope, just TTS' prediction for Sunday's SUPER BOWL LIV!

1) The case for Kansas City.

Patrick Mahomes is an extremely dynamic quarterback, and most likely the best in the game right now. He can throw from the side, scramble from the pocket to pick up huge gains with his feet, and toss the long bombs with insane accuracy. Take his weapons into consideration as well (Travis Kelce, et al.), and it's hard to look past this offence at all.

This is also a team that can come from behind and score enough points to put them ahead in the blink of an eye. Head coach Andy Reid has done an amazing job in KC, and looks to win that elusive Lombardi trophy in his second attempt. The main roadblock here is their defence. It's not the most consistent, and has a tendency to dig a deep hole before rebounding.

2) The case for San Francisco.

Mostert, Sherman, Garoppolo, Gould. The 49ers are stacked with talent, have a running game that is second to none, and a head coach in Kyle Shanahan seen as a master strategist that has taken a team that only had a handful of wins last season into a defensive juggernaut that has steamrolled it's way straight into the Super Bowl with Richard Sherman as it's anchor.

Shanahan has shown his ability to adapt from game to game, going from an air attack with Jimmy Garoppolo, to letting Raheem Mostert run wild and grind the game down, eating up clock and yardage at the same time. TE George Kittle has shown he can catch just about anything, and can make the big plays when needed.

3) Analysis.

While the Chiefs might get the opening score and follow up with a quick field goal, expect the 49ers defence to hunker down and start rushing Mahomes, interrupting Mahomes, and sacking Mahomes. The 49ers are also more likely to use Mostert as a mobile battering ram, content to let him hammer through the Chiefs for yardage and points.

Jimmy Garoppolo will make some big throws when necessary, but the ground game is what will count here.

PICK: 49ers

LAST WEEK: 2-0
POST-SEASON: 6-4


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Monday, January 27, 2020

Collaros signs, Khari snubbed? (CFL)

It seems that even in the off-season, there is never a dull moment in the Canadian Football League. As reported on earlier, Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting quarterback Zach Collaros has re-signed with the Grey Cup champions for two years, giving the team much needed piece of mind at that position. Collaros was traded to the Blue Bombers from the Toronto Argonauts at the deadline last season, and helped the team end a 29-year drought and capture the Grey Cup.

This is also a double-edged sword, as former starting quarterback for the Bombers, Matt Nichols, has been outspoken about this signing taking precedence over his own. This will likely mean the end of Nichols' tenure with the team, and he'll be looking for a new home before the 2020 season starts.

A Khari snub? There is considerable debate on whether or not Alouettes' head coach Khari Jones should have been in the conversation for coach of the year, with many thinking it was a huge sub to not include him in the the running for the annual award. Khari did do an amazing job with a team that has been mired in mediocrity for several seasons, but didn't achieve what Orlondo Steinauer did in Hamilton last season.

If anything, Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea should have been a contender for what he did in Winnipeg, as I don't believe the Stamps' Dickenson warranted being in the mix. It is my opinion that it should have been a three-way battle between Steinauer, O'Shea, and Jones.

Touchdown Atlantic. The CFL is staging another regular season game in Halifax, this time holding a contest between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders at Huskies Stadium, which is located on the campus of St. Mary's University. It's always nice to see a game played out East, but the choice of venue is of concern, mainly because the temporary stadium in Moncton had a higher capacity for CFL games.

Still, it could be fun, providing the Argos are much improved this coming season. If not, it will be a Roughriders team running wild. Only time will tell.



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Friday, January 24, 2020

QUICK SLANTS: Manning/Nichols/Jennings/Garrett (CFL/NFL)

It seems we've had several interesting stories pop up across the football world in the last few days, and I'd love to make a detailed post about each and every one, but that would take more time than I have, so instead I'll briefly go into each story below. Welcome to QUICK SLANTS!

1) Manning retires. New York Giants long-time quarterback announced his retirement the other day, bringing his illustrious 16-year NFL career to and end. It's not known as of yet what he plans to do after football (possibly staying in it as a coach), but he does retire as one of the greatest New York Giants in history, leading many categories, and having won two Super Bowls over the course of his career. TTS wishes him all the best.

2) Jennings goes bye-bye. The more surprising story in the football world was the release of QB Jonathon Jennings by the Ottawa RedBlacks yesterday. Jennings hadn't been with the team long, and was expected to become the full-time starting quarterback at some point. It is well known that new head coach Paul LaPolice was interested in bringing over Matt Nichols from the Blue Bombers to be the new starter, but that hasn't happened. The RedBlacks are now without an experienced QB on their roster, and this makes little sense right now.

3) Garrett joins the Giants. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has officially joined the New York Giants as their new offensive coordinator. He takes over the offensive duties on a team that really has had no proper offence for the past couple of season, with every aspect of it struggling in some way or form. Will this improve the hapless Giants? We'll have to wait and see.

4) Nichols gets angry. Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Matt Nichols has publicly expressed his frustration with the fact that the Bombers are prioritizing the signing of QB Zach Collaros over his own. As much as I like and respect Matt Nichols, he's a little out of line in going this route, as Collaros was the one who helped the Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup and end a 29-year drought. Nichols should be happy at the fact that it was his leadership and ability that gave the team a fast start to the season, a while before he was injured.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The CFL and it's 'international' decisions. (CFL)

It was announced today that the Canadian Football League came to an agreement for a 'partnership' with the CBFA, a Brazilian football organization responsible for several tiers of football in that country. In the last couple of years or less, the CFL, at the direction of it's commissioner - Randy Ambrosie - has been making deals and partnerships with other 'football' leagues around the world, including those in Germany, Japan, and Mexico.

It is in my opinion that this could be a very slippery slope for the CFL and Randy Ambrosie, and shouldn't be the focus of a Canadian league that is looking to beef up the game here at home first and foremost, There are several glaring problems with this new initiative, which I will go into detail about right now.

1) Canadian players. Finding talent from other countries might seem like a good idea, but it's not. Roster space has been increased for import players as of late, while roster space for domestic (Canadian) players has either stayed the same, or decreased. More emphasis needs to be placed on developing Canadian players from the CIS university program, which also needs to be upgraded. How many more Canadian-born players do we need to lose to American programs?

2) League problems. Nothing much has happened in Halifax yet to get a stadium built and finally have a tenth team in operations. If and when this happens (and we here at TTS hope it does), we'll have an actual cost-to-coast league we can be proud of. There is also the fact that a couple of teams have attendance issues, those being the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts. This needs to be addressed first and foremost, especially in Toronto.

3) History repeats? Remember the last time the CFL tried to go beyond it's means? In something we will never, ever talk about except in this paragraph, the CFL went bonkers and tried that massive U.S. expansion that was a total bust (save for the Stallions). It was a bad idea then to expand and grow the league outside of Canada, and it's a bad idea now. This isn't the NFL with it's billions of dollars and care-free attitude. This is the CFL, which isn't rich, but gets by on home-grown affection from it's fans here in Canada, as well as it's rich history.

The CFL needs to end this international nonsense here and now, and Ambrosie needs to smarten up else he'll go down as the worst commissioner in the history of the CFL.



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Friday, January 17, 2020

Danny Maciocia/Nick Arbuckle. (CFL)

Today, we're going to touch on two big subjects in the Canadian Football league at the moment, and go a little into depth on both fronts.

Maciocia.

As everyone knows by now, Danny Maciocia was brought in by the new owners of the Montreal Alouettes as their new General Manager. This was initially somewhat surprising, as Maciocia was happily running the successful football program at the University of Montreal, having taken the Carabins from obscurity and into perennial Vanier Cup contenders, winning the top prize in his time there as well.

Maciocia won a Grey Cup in his first year as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, and seems to do well wherever he goes. I believe that the new owners made a statement in hiring him, wanting someone with a winning pedigree to run the team and rebuild it into a contender. This, in concert with head coach Khari Jones (who did an amazing job in Montreal this past season) should bring the Alouettes some instant credibility once again.

Arbuckle.

This one is more confusing than anything at the moment. The Ottawa RedBlacks had acquired the rights to the former Stamps QB, and decided to bring him in for workouts in the next few days or so. Considering that new RedBlacks head coach Paul LaPolice (formerly of the Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers) said on a couple occasions that he specifically wanted to target QB Matt Nichols as the RedBlacks' next franchise quarterback, this move was weird at best.

Yes, Nick Arbuckle is good. Yes, he played behind Bo Levi Mitchell in Calgary. But....Calgary has always had depth on their roster, something that Ottawa hasn't really had. Sure, they've had great players here and there, and had enough stars to win a Grey Cup in 2016. The lack of year to year elite players has been an issue, and one would think they would go after Nichols unconditionally.

This is not a knock against Arbuckle, but rather a question mark hanging above the RedBlacks as a whole. Why say one thing and do another?



Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NFL Conference Final predictions! (NFL)

AFC Final

1) Tennessee @ Kansas City

The Titans shocked everyone last weekend when they handily disposed of the Ravens in Baltimore. No one (including me) saw that coming. This game will be different, however. The atmosphere at Arrowhead is hostile and loud, to say the least.

Chiefs have depth, and them some. They also have far more quality play makers on their team, and have a very dynamic offence that can adapt in most situations. As much as like the Titans' running game, I don't think it will compare with the Chiefs.

This one however, will be a closer game than most realize.

PICK: Chiefs

NFC Final

2) Green Bay @ San Francisco

Aaron Rodgers has done this already, and done it well. Problem is, he hasn't gone up against a rock solid defence as this Niners team when he did. Good against the pass, amazing against the rush, the 49ers have the acumen and poise to come out on top in this one, and at home.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo is gaining confidence as he gets through the post-season, and the defence is stepping up making the big plays. Add their  multi-dimensional run game to the mix, and you have a complete team that can do anything.

This one won't be so close.

PICK: 49ers

LAST WEEK: 3-1
POST-SEASON: 4-4


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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

NFL Divisional weekend predictions! (NFL)

Okay, so this past weekend didn't go exactly as planned, as surprised a LOT of sports writers and pundits out there. Time to get down and dirty for Divisional weekend!

AFC

1) Houston @ Kansas City

Unlike last weekend, where the Texans faced an inexperienced Bills QB and team-in-progress, they go into Kansas City to play a team with an explosive QB and offence that can put up points at will. Add the raucous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium into the mix, and the Texans don't have a chance. They might put up a bit of a fight, but their post-season ends here.

PICK: Chiefs

2) Tennessee @ Baltimore

Same scenario here. The Titans beat up a Patriots team and QB that are rapidly falling from grace. The Ravens, at home, will dismantle them quickly and easily. With respect to Ryan Tannehill, he won't be nearly as effective as Lamar Jackson.

PICK: Ravens

NFC

1) Minnesota @ San Francisco

The Vikings surprised everyone this past weekend by getting by the Saints. Unfortunately for them, their road takes them to the brick wall that is the 49ers defence. Cousins and crew aren't getting past said wall, and will hit it, hard.

PICK: 49ers

2) Seattle @ Green Bay

When Eagles QB Carson Wentz got knocked out last weekend, that was it for them. Seattle will have a much tougher opponent in the Packers, who should prevail at the Frozen Tundra. Expect Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to have a good game as well.

PICK: Packers

LAST WEEK: 1-3
POST-SEASON: 1-3


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Monday, January 6, 2020

Saints out, Garrett out, McCarthy in. (NFL)

What an interesting few days we just had in the National Football League. Just when you think you've seen everything, a whole smattering of crazy events go down.

1) Saints....lose? In a HUGE playoff shocker, the New Orleans Saints lost at home to the Minnesota Vikings. Saints QB Drew Brees through a major interception late in the game to help the Vikings win it in overtime and advance to the Divisional round next week. No one, and I mean NO ONE saw this coming. The Saints were an easy favourite (which we here at TTS picked as well) that rarely lose at home. Just wow is all we can see here.

2) Garrett is gone. The Dallas Cowboys have parted ways with their long time head coach, electing to fire him after another sub standard season at the helm. It has already been announced today that the Cowboys will hire former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy as his replacement. It will be interesting to see how different the offence will be with McCarthy in charge, and whether or not he'll bring in anyone to help out. What the Cowboys really need is for owner Jerry Jones to give McCarthy a healthy level of autonomy to make this all work.

3) Bills blow it. The Buffalo Bills were dominating the Houston Texans on Saturday. For three quarters, the Bills were playing excellent football, and the game looked to be over. Unfortunately, the Bills remembered that they were the Bills, and went on to blow their lead, get taken to overtime, then lose. Texans QB DeShaun Watson really brought his team back from the abyss, and we think that maybe he might have learned a few things in the process.

The Bills were looking for their first playoff win since 1995 (yes, you read that right), but couldn't pull the trigger yet again, and extend their NFL-leading playoff drought by another season. Buffalo looked very good this year, and had the pieces necessary for a decent playoff run. But, as Charles Bronson was good at saying, "No dice."

4) Au revoir, New England!


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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

NFL Wild Card weekend predictions! (NFL)

The NFL playoffs are finally here, and as promised, TTS brings you our predictions on the full schedule of playoff contests, up to and including the Super Bowl!

AFC

1) Buffalo @ Houston

This could be an interesting game for a myriad of reasons. The Texans get defensive stud J.J. Watt back from injury, and he himself can make almost any kind of play. QB DeShaun Watson can  make plays with both his arm and his legs, and usually is quite explosive. On the other side of the coin, the Bills are having their best season in years, and look to keep rolling. Offence hasn't been a problem for them all season, and I don't think it will be here.

PICK: Bills

2) Tennessee @ New England

I smell an upset of epic proportions here. Titans' QB Ryan Tannehill is a different man this season, and the Titans' running game is doing quite well. If their defence steps up big time, they can beat the Patriots, who look very mortal as of late. New England's time at the top has reached it's end.

PICK: Titans

NFC

1) Sorry Minnesota, but you're playing New Orleans, in New Orleans, against Drew Brees. Add to the fact that no one ever knows which Kirk Cousins will show up for the Vikes, and you have all the elements for a beat down.

PICK: Saints

2) Seattle @ Philadelphia

The Seahawks are coming off a season finale at home where they lost to San Francisco 49ers, who humbled them by virtually shutting down Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. They go into Philly to play a hungry Eagles team, who's quarterback has a lot to prove. The Philly crowd should also come into play here as well.

PICK: Eagles

LAST WEEK: --
POST-SEASON: --


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