Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 7)

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The CFL is such a unique league in the athletes that play in the league and the rules that they play by in every game.

The league is a call back to the origins of the sport with a more traditional set of rules.

It is much closer to the rugby football that was played over 100 years ago that eventually became one of the most popular sports in North America.

The CFL may not be the bigger of the two leagues in North America but it certainly has its own distinct feel.

One of the biggest aspects of the game that provides that distinct feel is on special teams.

In the NFL special teams are almost a forgotten part of the game with most not thinking much about them until they are absolutely needed.

It hasn’t helped that the NFL has made rules to take the special teams aspect of the game out of the league.

The biggest change was moving the kickoff up in an attempt to make the game safer by essentially eliminating the kickoff altogether.

There is even talk of taking the kickoff out of the game because it has become such an unimportant part of the game.

Kickers constantly kick the ball out of the back of the end zone giving the other team the ball on the 20-yard line.

Most believe teams should just get the ball at the 20-yard line and avoid the kickoff altogether.

In the CFL that is so far from the case as the special teams are some of the most important parts of the game in the league.

It is often the forgotten piece of a game but in the CFL it can change everything in an instant and it often does change things.

The kicking game is so important as scoring can be rapid in a league with such quick-strike offences.

Getting those three points or even getting the singles can help keep a team in the game and come away with something from a long drive.football-sidebar

More importantly and the one aspect of the game that seems to be so much bigger in the CFL than in the NFL is the return game.

In the CFL every kick must be returned in some way as there is no fair catch rule that allows a player to end the play.

Instead, there is the no-yards rule that requires the opponent to give a returner a five-yard halo ensuring that he returns the kick.

For something that is so small it has made all of the difference in the game because it means that teams can’t just throw out a fast guy and wait to see if he gets a little room.

They need to find that player that has the speed but also that ability to move and make their own space.

It has led to some amazing players that have made their way in the CFL as returners above all else.

These players have the ability to change a game in an instant as a kick return for a touchdown can switch momentum so quickly and give the team a boost they need to turn a game around.

It can also completely sink the opponent as they are trying to comeback and make a run in the game.

This year it seems like the returners are better than ever with more great returners make life miserable for special teams coordinators.

In kick returns, Brandon Banks is once again on top as one of the best to ever return kicks in the CFL.

He is followed closely by Kendial Lawrence from Saskatchewan with both players amassing over 500 yards so far this year.

In the Punt return game, Banks isn’t even top three as Chris Rainey has been tough to stop with two touchdowns so far this year.

Stefan Logan, Larry Taylor, and Roy Finch are all above 300 yards this year.

The returners seem to be getting better and in a league where specials teams are so important it could mean some interesting things coming this year.

The special teams may not be the biggest thing for many people but in the CFL they are so important and this year with so many great ones things are sure to get interesting.

Fourth Down:
(More news this week in the CFL)

Canadian Hope No More?
The debate of Canadian quarterbacks in the CFL continues as the biggest hope for a Canadian starter was released by the Montreal Alouettes with Brandon Bridge asked to take a pay cut to go to the practice squad only to refuse and be cut as he looks for a new place to play

Stegall Honoured
It may have taken a while as there was a 2.5-hour rain delay in Winnipeg this week but for many of the fans that stuck around they were rewarded with a win and a glimpse of a Bomber legend in Milt Stegall who was elected to the Winnipeg ring of honour

On the Path Back
Zach Collaros seems to be ready to come back as he has taken first-team snaps all week in practice as he prepares to start against the BC Lions and looks to continue his dominance making the Ti-Cats a very dangerous team

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Week 7:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37-11 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– It took some time to get this game in after a 2.5-hour rain delay but when the game opened up the Bombers came out quickly putting the Tiger-Cats down early and never looking back to take a win as they seem to be hitting their stride

BC Lions 38-18 Montreal Alouettes
– The Lions came up just short the week before but with Jonathan Jennings at the helm and the Lions sticking with him for better or for worse they came through against the Alouettes who continued to struggle this year

Calgary Stampeders 35-15 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Stamps are being very quiet this year with nobody talking about them but they are continuing to be one of the best teams in the league this time easily coming out on top against the Roughriders

Ottawa REDBLACKS 23-20 Edmonton Eskimos
– It wasn’t the prettiest game on the week with plenty of penalties throughout the start of the game but when the fourth quarter began it became a firefight with the Eskimos trying to work their way back but coming up just short

Week 8:
Montreal Alouettes vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Thursday, August 11th; 9:00 pm ET)
– The Eskimos are not having the same type of season they did a year ago as everything seems to be a little tougher for them but they shouldn’t have a tough time in this game with a struggling Alouettes team

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Toronto Argonauts (Friday, August 12th; 7:30 pm ET)
– Winnipeg seems to be finding their stride with Matt Nichols under centre and they take that new attitude into Toronto where the Argos are hoping to take their second win at their new home while looking to Logan Kilgore in his second CFL start

Calgary Stampeders vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday, August 13th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Stamps will travel to Saskatchewan for a quick rematch where the hope is to see the same results as the last time while the Riders are hoping to get over their rough start and see Darian Durant take them to a win

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. BC Lions (Saturday, August 13th; 10:00 pm ET)
– This is the time that the Ti-Cats have been waiting for, the return of Zach Collaros as they hope to see their quarterback come back and guide them to the top of the east but they will need to get by a very good BC team

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