Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 3)

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Last week a decision was made that will steer the CFL into the future for the foreseeable future but nobody knows just how.

The league announced that Randy Ambrosie would be the 14th commissioner of the league confirming reports from earlier in the week.

The announcement comes after a less than desirable time at the head office of the CFL with the brief Jeffrey Orridge era ending unexpectedly before the season began.

Orridge was always a bit of a contentious pick as the commissioner with many wondering if someone from that far out of the league could actually do what needed to be done to help the league grow.

There were plenty of people wondering if he fully understood the league and if he didn’t then how could he fix the problems that the league had.

He was a New Yorker that never played football and spent most of his career as a TV executive so he didn’t have much experience with the CFL.wk3

In his first state of the league address, he seemed to be caught off-guard by questions from the CFL media that many have an answer for that know the league.

He never really made a positive impression throughout the league and for an unknown reason, he and the board of governors parted ways after a disagreement on the future of the league.

It left the CFL without a leader to start the year only a few years after going through the search that brought Orridge to the head offices.

It came after a time where the CFL was at its most stable position ever with Mark Cohon at the helm, although he had his own adjustment period as an outsider.

The governors decided on Ambrosie to be the next commissioner and by all accounts, his experience with the league was a major factor in the decision.

Ambrosie was the second overall pick in the 1985 CFL draft by the Calgary Stampeders and spent almost 10 years in the league taking a Grey Cup along the way.

After his playing career, he joined the CFLPA as an executive and then moved on to a business career in Winnipeg.

Now he found his way back to the league as the top guy and like Orridge he is taking over at a great time.

The league continues to grow and is reaching new heights every year with bigger stadiums and healthier teams.

There are still some issues though as the biggest markets for the league are the three that are struggling the most.

BC and Montreal are beginning to fall off from what they once were while Toronto remains unsolvable by everyone who has tried.

It was the main question in his introduction as everyone wants to know what his plan is to solve the biggest and longest lasting problem in the league.

Ambrosie’s answer was not really an answer as he simply admitted the problems that they had but expressed his confidence in the new ownership group.

football-sidebarThere are problems but the biggest thing facing the new commissioner, aside from Toronto, is where to go from this point.

The league is still unbalanced and having ten teams would be a step forward but the debate has gone on for years about where that would be.

There is also the fact that the league is still in need of a few new stadiums, namely in Alberta.

For the CFL the league needs to grow and there are plenty of opportunities for the CFL to become innovators in the sports world.

Whether they want to take those chances is completely up to the new commissioner as he will soon make his mark on the league.

The CFL is in the hands of a former player for the first time in a very long time and for the league, it could be a big thing.

Ambrosie understands the league better than either of the last two commissioners and he understands the problems better than either.

For the board, they are hoping that the understanding he has will help him hit the ground running rather than having that adjustment period.

He also might be more of an old school thinker and might not be too innovative with what they are doing for the future.

There are issues in the league and plenty of opportunity for Ambrosie and without that adjustment period likely not a factor he will define his era soon.

Everyone anticipates what that era will look like as the hope by every CFL fan to continue to grow the league.

 

Fourth Down

Lawrence Returns

After the Edmonton Eskimos lost their top running back for another year a familiar face will return to the Eskimos. Edmonton signed former running back Kendial Lawrence to take over in the backfield for the rest of the season. It should be an easy adjustment back to his former team after being cut. He will look to take over the starting role entirely by himself with John White out for the year.

Als add to Defensive backfield

 The Montreal Alouettes are looking for some help to strengthen their team and truly make a push this year in the division. They will try to do that by adding some extra veteran presence on the team adding Brandon Stewart to their defensive backfield. Stewart was cut by the BC Lions in the off-season but has been around the league for a while as he adds a little experience to the defence.

The Other Draft

The CFL draft is a main story every year as a new group of Canadian players get their chance to play in the league. The supplemental draft is slightly different though as it is the second draft that many don’t pay attention to and that some avoid altogether. It is a draft to take other good players but to take those players you need to give up a draft pick. The REDBLACKS did that taking receiver/running back Austin Reuland and giving up a sixth round pick.

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