With the CFL season beginning on Wednesday, there are many questions being asked as seven teams get ready to knock off Calgary, while the Stampeders look to repeat. Here are some of the big questions in my mind as we get ready to kick it off
1. Is this the year the Tiger-Cats restore the roar???? The Tiger-Cats have been the league's doormat over the past few seasons. Since 2005, this team has won just 15 football games. How much longer can Hamilton football fans put up with what has been happening. Marcel Bellefeuille has a big task in front of him. He is hoping Kevin Glenn or Quinton Porter can lead the Ti-Cats back into a state of competitiveness.
2. Can Jesse Lumsden stay healthy? When Lumsden is on top of his game, there might not be a better running back in the CFL. However, the guy has the durability of a balloon. One pop and he's done it seems. Edmonton has not had much of a running game, and there is no doubt that Ricky Ray can shred defences when he has the time. If Lumsden stays healthy, it could be an MVP season for the Edmonton quarterback.
3. How far do the Lions fall or do they??? The BC Lions don't have the following players from last year. Cam Wake, Stefan Logan, Kelly Bates, Rob Murphy, Otis Floyd, Jason Clermont, Tyrone Williams and Jason Pottinger. It is safe to say the Lions are no longer the dominant team in the West. Wally Buono can usually get the best out of his guys, but losing that many impact players has to have some kind of effect on the Lions. How much??? Could BC be the West's cellar-dweller???
4. How will Mike Kelly do in Winnipeg? Who's kidding who, I wonder if Kelly will be the Bombers coach by the time they come her on Labour Day. It was an interesting off-season to say the least in Winnipeg with him at the controls. This team looks a lot different than the one that walked off the field at the end of the 2008 campaign. Getting rid of Kevin Glenn and anointing Stefan Lefors will either make Kelly look like a genius or a buffoon.
5. How will the Riders "D" perform?? When you lose all-stars in Mo Lloyd and Anton McKenzie and two members of your starting secondary in James Johnson and Scott Gordon, and then add the loss of your long-time defensive co-ordinator, it does beg a lot of questions. Gary Etcheverry has come in and he believes in the schemes he has put together. Will having a Canadian corner work?? Will Rey Williams be an adequate sub for Lloyd?? Can Tad Kornegay work as the "quarter". The new look D didn't look that bad against Calgary but it was pre-season.
Those are just five questions I have going into the opening week. There are more I could put on here and I'm sure there are more I will have after Week 1. Maybe the biggest question of all for Week 1 is do I watch the first two games or do I go to the park to watch the fireworks seeing those first two games are on Canada Day.