Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 11)

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The CFL is ready for their second half as Labour Day is over and a lot has been figured out as the second half is underway.

Teams are all still looking to find their groove within the next few weeks before things get too late as they head towards the playoffs.

That is the nature of Labour Day as it is truly a measuring stick for the league where everyone begins to figure out if a team has what it takes to make a run at the playoffs.

A win or a loss during Labour Day is not the end of the season but there were some big games that are going to mean a lot more as the season moves on.

With division rivals facing off they get the chance at taking a game and getting closer to that tiebreaker.

Those have become all important in a league where the competition is so close that a tiebreaker could mean the difference between going home or to the playoffs.

The REDBLACKS took their chance easily getting by the Alouettes while the Roughriders took a big win against their Prairie rivals.

In the Battle of Alberta, the Calgary Stampeders solidified their spot as the top team in the division when they beat Edmonton.

Toronto and Hamilton played in a marathon game that ended with the Ti-Cats taking their first win of the season after a rough week in Steeltown.

Labour Day is over and many of the big games are done as teams head into the second half looking to continue or change their path as they pursue the playoffs.

For some, it should be easy while others need to figure out a lot in order to keep their Grey Cup hopes alive.wk11

A big part of that will also come around the Labour Day weekend as the weekend is not just big in Canada.

In the USA Labour Day weekend is a bout the time when fans learn who will be on their favourite NFL teams.

Training camps are finished in the NFL and the season is right around the corner meaning that teams have begun to cut players to get down to their regular season roster.

As big of a day as it is for the NFL the CFL also pays close attention to the cuts south of the border.

That is because the cuts in the NFL mean a whole new set of players for the CFL to take a look at and to sign in order to fill the holes that they may have,

Every year the CFL teams take a close look at cut day in the NFL in order to see if there is a player that they can sign in order to help them pursue the playoffs.

Sometimes it can be a player that the CFL teams have scouted for a number of years and who they know to be a bubble player in the NFL.

That player might be a bubble player for any number of reasons, many times it is because of their size which is rarely much of an issue in the CFL as Canadians teams will take anyone and fit them into their scheme if they have the skill.

There is another type of player that the CFL teams are taking a look at though and it is becoming a much more common type of player.

Those players are the players that the CFL teams have drafted in the Canadian draft that left for their opportunity in the NFL.

football-sidebarCFL teams don’t necessarily take these players with their top picks realizing that they may not play for a number of years but every year a few very good players are cut from the NFL giving their CFL teams the chance to sign them.

It hasn’t changed this year as a number of former CFL players and CFL draftees made the trip to the NFL and not all could make the team.

Some like Adam Bighill, Brett Boyko and Frank Beltre were cut by their teams but kept their hopes alive south of the border being signed by to practice rosters.

Others like Freddie Bishop and Stefan Charles could very well be headed back north to play with the CFL.

For Charles, the return to the CFL could be with any team as the linebacker left the Stampeders to try to make an NFL roster but couldn’t make a roster.

Now he is a free agent that many CFL teams will likely try to sign as he was a top linebacker in the league for a number of years.

Charles was one of the top ranked prospects in the CFL draft in 2013 and the Edmonton Eskimos drafted him in the later rounds.

They knew that he was going to get interest from the NFL and he did as he continued to travel around the league since 2013.

The Eskimos own his rights and will likely look to bring him back north of the border to use that top ranked talent, especially with the need s they have after injuries.

The NFL cut day is always a big one and there are plenty of players that will be headed up north as teams look to fill the holes they have as the playoff run begins.


Fourth Down

Butler Leaves the Game

Craig Butler has long been one of the top defensive backs in the league and the fact that he was Canadian helped out even more. After a few years with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, things were not looking great though as he continued to suffer from injuries that kept him out of the lineup. Finally, he decided to hang them up as Butler announced this week that he will retire from the game and join the Ti-Cats coaching staff.

More Changes in Hamilton

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats had a bit of a rough week last week with plenty of news surrounding the team although mostly for the wrong reasons. There was the coaching change when Kent Austin stepped down and June Jones took over. Then the hiring of Art Briles, a controversial college coach, and then his firing after an outcry from fans. Then came another big change as the team sat Zach Collaros and started Jeremiah Masoli for one of the biggest games of the year. The changes worked out though as Hamilton won their first game of the year.

Manziel Tested

 The Ti-Cats continued to be in the news in a story that might have been more of a distraction as it was revealed that the Ti-Cats had worked out Johnny Manziel. The often in trouble quarterback has been considered a good fit talent-wise for a league that loves to let their quarterbacks run wild. The Ti-Cats confirmed the reports but added that there were just too many red flags to sign the young QB after the tryout.

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