Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 20)

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The regular season is officially over and the most exciting time on the CFL calendar is just about to get underway as the rush to the Grey Cup begins next week.

The league is gearing up for what should be an interesting playoffs with four western teams all having a chance at making the Grey Cup in Toronto.

It should lead to some interesting games and possibly some firsts in the entire 104 years that the CFL has given out the Grey Cup.

Those possibilities are only for the teams entering the playoffs though as the three teams out of the playoffs have some serious questions to answer as they look towards 2017 rather than next week.

In Saskatchewan, the questions aren’t necessarily as big with a team that looked far better in the second half of the year than they did at the start of the season.

They have a coach and GM in place that is working to make the team better and although it didn’t pay off this year, Chris Jones has done this before in Edmonton and he gets a little bit of leeway as he looks to the future of the team beyond the 2017 season.

The same can’t be said for the teams in the east who missed out on the playoffs as Montreal and Toronto are stuck in interesting positions.

Montreal has already begun their attempt to get out of the funk as they have not been a Grey Cup contending team since Anthony Calvillo retired in 2013.

The biggest question is who will be the quarterback of the future as they have struggled to replace the future Hall of Famer under centre.

They have a few options as Rakeem Cato and Vernon Adams Jr have looked good, with Adams taking over and playing very well at the end of the year.

Whether they ride one of these or bring in someone new remains to be seen but bringing in a number of quarterbacks has not worked out for them in the last few years.

The man making that decision will be different for the first time since the Alouettes moved to Montreal.

For more than 20 years Jim Popp has called the shots and he has been very successful throughout his time.

Still when a team continues to struggle something needs to be changed and Popp is the big change right now as the two parted ways this week.

The new attitude will hopefully bring in a new thought process on building a contender with a little more patience.football-sidebar

One of the first decisions will be whether or not to keep Jacques Chapdelaine as the head coach and remove his interim tag, something that the players have reportedly asked for from the organisation.

There are a lot of decisions to be made in Montreal and one has already been made but in Toronto, everything is far more up in the air.

The Argonauts welcomed in Ricky Ray and Scott Milanovich with open arms in 2012 when Ray solved the quarterback issues they had been having since Damon Allen retired and Milanovich brought in an exciting offence from Montreal.

They made due on their welcome winning the Grey Cup that year but since then it has been seasons full of injuries and far less creativity on offence for the pair.

The Ray-Milanovich era may have come to an end this year though as it was extremely bad for the Argos who moved into a new stadium only to win two games at home all year while Ray remained on the sidelines more than on the field with multiple injuries.

The season was terrible and for many the time for a change is now as the Argos try to become a more important part of the Toronto sports scene with losing ensuring that the remain a forgotten team.

Some believe that everything will change from under centre to in the offices as there are rumours that Jim Barker and Scott Milanovich will be fired while Ray is allowed to walk away as a free agent this off-season.

It could be a fire-sale or small changes as Ray seems sure not to start in the CFL although could serve as a back-up, although it is unlikely as he will likely enter free agency to see if he can be a starter and if there is no interest he is likely to retire.

After such a bad season changes need to come for the Argonauts as staying with the status quo won’t help anyone least of all the league that has needed Toronto to be a cornerstone team for years and has yet to see it since the 1990s.

The season is officially over and for three teams it is all about the future of the team while the others look to the next few weeks with the Grey Cup Champions set to be determined in a few short weeks.

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

Durant’s Return
The Roughriders have looked better at the end of the season but their future is uncertain as Darian Durant continues contract talks with the Riders to return to the team but those contract talks have reportedly stalled in recent weeks

Mic Debate Continued
Jason Maas has made no secret of how much he hates the idea of live mic games going as far to refuse to wear them and being fined by the league but this week he decided to avoid the fine and wear them despite his decision to give up play calling duties

In the Record Books
Justin Medlock has become one of the best kickers in the CFL in his time with Hamilton and Winnipeg and now he has solidified his spot as one of the greatest ever breaking the single-season field goal record this week kicking his 60th of the year

Big Leg for the Playoffs
The BC Lions are headed to the playoffs and a familiar face is about to join them as Paul McCallum has decided to come out of retirement to sign the Lions as they will get a veteran presence for their Grey Cup run


Week 20:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33-20 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– The Blue Bombers could only control what they could and they did just that winning their final game and doing their part to earn a home playoff date while Ottawa rested their best players for their Eastern final appearance

Montreal Alouettes 32-25 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– It was a bad season for the Als but it ended pretty well as they beat the Ti-Cats for their third straight win to end the season as they look to next year while the Tabbies couldn’t get the win or any momentum heading into the semi-final match-up against Edmonton

Edmonton Eskimos 41-17 Toronto Argonauts
– The game essentially meant nothing except for those players still looking to make an impression for next year in Toronto but it wasn’t much of an impression as the Eskimos beat up on Toronto possibly ending Ricky Ray’s career with a bad loss

BC Lions 41-18 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Lions had one of the only important games as a win meant they got to stay at home for the western semi-finals and they had a fairly easy opponent to get there which they showed easily beating the Riders to earn a home playoff game


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