Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 5)

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Professional sport is an interesting world as the pressure to win can change everything for teams and people.

For everyone involved with a team, there is always that possibility of losing a job and seeing their lives change overnight.

One day they can begin planning a future in the city that they work in while the next day they could be packing up and moving to the other side of the country.

There is no such thing as job security in any professional league because the only thing that saves jobs is winning.

Once a team begins to lose and lose regularly everyone from the starting quarterback to a regional scout can see their job change.wk5

That is the pressure that everyone is under in professional sports and that pressure can sometimes lead to interesting decisions.

This past week in the CFL the pressure to win may have given rise to a new scandal throughout the league.

Chris Jones has been looking to build the Saskatchewan Roughriders from the bottom up over the last two years and has seen some progress, but things are still slow going.

They are struggling on the field against every team and can’t seem to put everything together to string together some wins.

It is partially due to their lack of experience in a number of areas on the field but according to Jones, there might be something more cynical contributing to their losses as well.

Before their Week 4 game against Hamilton, Jones claims that some former members of his staff might have tipped off the Tiger-Cats, who they work for now.

According to the head coach, there were some things during the game that Hamilton should have never picked up as quickly as they did unless they had been preparing for it beforehand.

That is generally a common practice though as players or coaches that move around are going to give their new team some tips.

It might work out well but it also might blow up in their face should they get their new team to prepare for one thing only to see the opposite because their former team made changes.

Jones took it a step further though as he is now planning to close practices for the rest of the season for fear of spying.

Ahead of the Riders’ game against Calgary Jones closed practice to the public and to media believing that there was a chance that Calgary or any other team might send someone to get some extra information.

Calgary head coach, Dave Dickenson followed suit closing practices as he prepared for Saskatchewan due to the same fears.

It is certainly not a new fear as football has become a suspicious sport over the last few years especially after the NFL’s Spygate.

When the New England Patriots were caught filming practices of the New York Jets a practice that had become somewhat more common was exposed.

The NFL is leading the way in suspicion as they rarely open their practices to anyone but their own team for fear that another team could send some spies to figure out what they are doing.

The CFL has never really done this as they are often more of an open league when it comes to fan access.

football-sidebarJones might be leading the charge for a more closed league though as he is clearly suspicious of the other teams figuring out what they are doing.

Dickenson is not far behind as he looks back to his days in the NFL as a guide for coaching and closed practices might become a more common thing.

After all, there is an old saying in professional sports that “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

Teams are constantly looking for any edge to beat their opponents and get the win in a pressure filled job.

It is almost an accepted thing in sports as most teams know that their opponents are doing something to stretch the rules.

Whether that be a play or formation that is inside the rules but seems like it isn’t or it is finding out about their opponents from former players or coaches.

Even spying on practice, at least to some, is just something that happens in the league as teams try to find that edge.

When someone is caught though things tend to take a bigger turn as the league looks to crack down on those actions and tries to keep the playing field level.

Nobody has been caught in the CFL and maybe nothing is happening but for Jones the thought of it happening to them and it being the difference in a few games is enough to change the way he does things.

Fourth Down

Bowman Sidelined

Adarius Bowman has been a favourite target of Mike Reilly in Edmonton for years but Reilly will be without his top target for a few weeks. The Eskimos placed their top receiver on the 6-game injured list before their game against Hamilton this past week ensuring he will miss a big chunk of the season. He can return but the Eskimos will need to move on without him for the time being as other receivers are about to get a lot more attention with one of the league’s best forced to the sideline.

Lewis Moving Up

Nik Lewis is not your everyday receiver as he looks closer to a lineman than a pass catcher with one of the biggest frames in the league for the position. Yet the bigger bodied receiver is among the best in the league and he continues to move up the rankings on the all-time lists. This week he entered an exclusive club earning his 1,000th reception in the league and moving within 29 receptions of record holder Geroy Simon.

Another Milestone

He may have been known as the best back-up in the CFL but Kevin Glenn has put up some numbers in the years jumping around the league to every team but one. As a result of his long career he is set to move up the all time list and after reaching 50,000 yards in his career is among a small group of the best in the league. With only 500 more yards he will pass Ron Lancaster to become the 6th leading passing all time.

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