Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Year in Review)

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The team that can lay claim to the best fan base in the league will not lay claim to the best team in the CFL. The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the Grey Cup Champions as they would continue the trend of home teams winning the Grey Cup. The win would be one that came almost as expected as the offseason would see the Riders build to win. They would add a number of big name players in an attempt to try to win the Grey Cup at home. They would do just that as they would find their way to the Grey Cup and win at home in Regina. They were not the only team that would be looking to get to Regina this year though as plenty of teams seemed to have a better shot. The Toronto Argonauts and the Calgary Stampeders would be the best teams in the league this year as they would continue their run from the 100th Grey Cup. They would use the momentum from the previous season to earn the top spots in the league and both would once again be led by two of the best players in the era. For the Calgary Stampeders this was Jon Cornish who would run for a Canadian record 1,813 yards breaking his own record set a year ago. He was the superstar for the Stampeders again this year and would help the West bring back the running game. Cornish and Kory Sheets would have an old school race to 2,000 yards with neither quite making it but leaving plenty to wonder about for the future of the rushing attack in the CFL. The East would be a different story as the passing game would take precedent with one player taking the spotlight. In 2012 the Toronto Argonauts would see an amazing record-breaking season from Chad Owens. This year it would be an amazing record-breaking performance from their QB Ricky Ray. Ray would become the most accurate passer in the history of the CFL this year with a 77.2% completion percentage for the season. The passing game from the Argos would be spectacular but the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were not too bad either as they would ride Henry Burris to the best passing offence in the league. In the end the two stars would take a back seat to their rivals as Ricky Ray would lose to Henry Burris and Jon Cornish would lose to Kory Sheets. It would be a season where the favorites and the best teams in the league did not necessarily make it to the final game of the year. The teams that were the hottest would make it in Hamilton and Saskatchewan who would ultimately take the Grey Cup and achieve what they had planned for all year. The story of the climb to the Grey Cup was only one story from the 2013 season though as there were plenty of things to talk about and plenty to wonder about for next season.

The season was full of great storylines this year but many of the great stories this year will lead to a lot of questions this offseason. The Montreal Alouettes would be the centre of one of the biggest stories in 2013 and will be one of the biggest in the offseason. Anthony Calvillo would miss most of the season with injuries this year and would be replaced by a promising young star in Troy Smith. The biggest question when it was revealed that Calvillo would not return before the end of the season would be whether or not the greatest QB to play in the CFL would never return. That will be a focus of the offseason as well with the Alouettes and the rest of the league wondering if Calvillo will return. It was not the only big question in the season that will carry over as the Edmonton Eskimos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would once again struggle this season and would end the year by firing their coaches. That leaves the Eskies and the Bombers without a coach and plenty to choose from. The Montreal Alouettes will join Edmonton and Winnipeg in the search for their head coach as the Dan Hawkins experiment did not last too long before GM Jim Popp took over on the sidelines. The coaching carousel will be crowded this offseason with the Ottawa Redblacks looking for their first head coach. With names like Chirs Jones, Marcel Bellefeuille, Paul LaPolice, Mike O’Shea, and Dave Dickenson there could be some interesting options for all four of these teams. Above all at the end of the 2013 season the main talk was about the upcoming expansion draft. The list of protected players will not be made public but there are some obvious options. Teams will only be able to protect a handful of players leaving an emerging group of players exposed. 2013 was the year of the backup QB with young QBs like Jason Collaros, Troy Smith, Mike Reilly, Thomas DeMarco, and Bo Levi Mitchell all looking great this year. Now they enter an offseason where the Ottawa Redblacks will choose at least one of them to be their QB whether in the expansion draft or as a free agent. The 2013 season was another good one with plenty to talk about and many of the great stories will have an effect on what is sure to be a very interesting offseason before teams get back at the grind to make their way to Vancouver for the 102nd Grey Cup.

 

2013 CFL Awards

Most Outstanding Player:
Jon Cornish, RB (Calgary Stampeders)
258 rsh
1,813 yds
7 avg
12 TD

Most Outstanding Defensive Player:
Chip Cox, LB (Montreal Alouettes)
114 tkl
12 sck
4 INT
1 FF

Most Outstanding Canadian:
Jon Cornish, RB (Calgary Stampeders)
258 rsh
1,813 yds
7 avg
12 TD

Most Outstanding Lineman:
Brendon LaBatte, OL (Saskatchewan Roughriders)
– Helped the Saskatchewan Roughriders to the 2nd best rushing attack in the game
– Helped the Roughriders to the 101st Grey Cup

Most Outstanding Rookie:
Brett Jones, C (Calgary Stampeders)
– Helped the Calgary Stampeders to the top rushing attack in the CFL
– Helped Jon Cornish to a Canadian rushing record

Most Outstanding Special Teams Players:
Rene Paredes, K (Calgary Stampeders)
54/57 FG
52 lng
49/50 XP
213 pts

Tom Pate Award:
Kyries Hebert, LB (Montreal Alouettes)
68 tkl
9 sck
0 INT
2 FF
– Founded Ky Cares in support of at risk youth

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