Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Around the CFL: June 12, 2006

<p>Zinedine Zidane wasn't the only veteran athlete ejected from a game for losing his cool on the weekend after inexplicably attacking an opponent.</p>


Zinedine Zidane wasn't the only veteran athlete ejected from a game for losing his cool on the weekend after inexplicably attacking an opponent.


In Edmonton, during a 27-20 victory over B.C., Eskimos defensive lineman Joe Montford was kicked out for belting one of the Lions inhis groin.


I guess because there was no shootout after the game, and because the World Cup wasn't exactly on the line, Montford's lack of discipline isn't being scrutinized quite as much as Zidane's was.


But the Canadian Football League's powers-that-bearereviewing the incident and a suspension could be in store for Montford.


And that could be costly as the future Hall of Famer ages.


Montford is 23 sacks away from tying the CFL career record of 157. Every game is precious to him as he closes in on his 39th birthday.


Saturday night's game against B.C. was Montford's firstof 2006.Remember, hemissed the first three games of the season after being waived through the league. He rejoined the Esks after agreeing to a pay cut.





• Another future Hall of Famer, Damon Allen, will be returning from the injury list (broken finger) next week and will be back in his spot as the Toronto Argonauts' quarterback for their next game -- not a moment too soon for a team that has suddenly become beleaguered.


With Spergon Wynn at QB, the Argos couldn't, er,win. There was a reason he was the Bombers' fourth-string quarterback last season, seriously.


But Allen probably didn't do himself any favours when he was on the radioTuesday complaining about the deficiencies of the Toronto offensive line.


The big guys don't like that kind of talk. Over the years, in fact, some of them have been known to make like matadors for revenge reasons.





• Allen was suggesting on the radio that the Argos' O-line has failed to protect Wynn and failed to open up holes for Ricky Williams.


And that's probably true.


In the CFL, however, quarterbacks need to scramble and emerge with impromptu plays in order to achieve success. Allen knows that because he's done it for years. Actually, he's done it for decades.


And the good running backs find their own holes. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Charles Roberts, for instance, understands the dimensions of the CFL's wider field and knows how to use it intelligently even if his linemen fail to create holes for him.


Williams clearly doesn't understand what to do on a CFL field. That's why the former big-shot NFLer is proving to be a sub-par CFLer.



John Avery understands what to do on a CFL field, and he's perfectly healthy these days. It would be sensible if the Argos used Avery for at least a few weeks and gave Williams the opportunity to observe games and watch Avery.


It's time for the Argos to admit that the signing of Williams was, despite all the media hype, a mistake.


Are we all in agreement about Williams now?





• Allen, incidentally, needs 1,217 yardsin the airto surpass Warren Moonand becomethe most productive passer in the history of professional football... Winnipeg receiver Milt Stegall, who actually contemplated retirement after last season but has been brilliant thus far this season, needs five more touchdowns for the CFL record in that department... And Hamilton Tiger-Cats receiver Terry Vaughn needs nine catches for that CFL record.


• Vaughn, with adecent game, could possibly set the record as soon as Friday night when the Ticats and their new/old coach, Ron Lancaster, entertain the formidable Calgary Stampeders.


Replacing the fired Greg Marshall with Lancaster seems odd insofar as the very same Lancaster was fired by the same Ticats not that long ago. I mentioned that in my York Report column in Tuesday's editions of Metro, which prompted this email from a reader:



Marty,


I enjoyed your article entitled, "Ticats take a step backwards", re: Ron Lancaster replacing Greg Marshall. Isn't it amusing that Marshall was canned because, in part, "he lost the room." That's the same reason Lancaster was fired two years ago.


I was a reporter at CKCK Radio in Regina in 1980 when the Green Riders held a news conference to announce Lancaster was being given a three-year extension as head coach. Given that I was a news guy sent out to cover a sports story, I wasn't afraid to ask the obvious question, which was, "Lancaster's record as head coach of the Riders is 4-28 over the past two years (two identical 2-14 seasons). If this wasn't Ronnie Lancaster, a god in Regina, you would have tied the can to this guy. Why did you renew him?"


The President of the Rough Riders stood up and promptly ended the news conference.One hour later, Lancaster resigned.Riders president Gord Staseson came to CKCK and berated me, given that we had the broadcast rights. But my question was a fair one. This incident was chronicled in Graham Kelly's book, "Green Grit", (a history of the Green Riders). Unfortunately, Kelly never came to me for my side of the story. If you have a copy, look it up.


Thanks,






• Deserved: The contract extension given this week to Winnipeg general manager Brendan Taman.


Not deserved: A vote of confidence given to Hamilton offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao. Truth is, the Ticats' offence has been wretched and Paopao deserves the blame. Marshall, however, became the scapegoat in Hamilton and was fired.





• The B.C. Lions looked lousy in Edmonton last week, and head coach Wally Buono is fuming about the team's lethargy, particularly on defence.


Yet, as veteran Vancouver Province reporter Lowell Ulrich observed ,major roster shuffling isn't Buono's style. Lowell thinks Buonois more stressed about the team's loss in Edmonton than about the calibre of his players.


"That's why I had heart surgery, I guess,"Buono said. "What do you want me to do, cut half (the players)? We have a good team. The effort is there. We just have to get more out of them."


Buono made the same remarks last year, when the Lions suffered one of the worst gag acts in CFL history and lost seven of their final eight games.





•Don't accuse the Lions' Angus Reid of dogging it.


Even though Reid tore his knee ligaments against Edmonton last week, he'll line up at his usual centre position when B.C. entertains the Saskatchewan not-so-Roughriders this week.





• The not-so-Roughriders, by the way, are still trying to figure out what the heck happened to their once-respectable defence in their 53-36 loss to the Calgary Stampeders in Regina the other night.


The Riders' defence ranked second in the CFL last season but it has regressed dramatically, allowing a league-worst 122 points in only four games this season.


From Saskatchewan head coach Danny Barrett: "I don't understand it. I can't figure it out. Maybe we have to make some personnel moves."


Yeah, maybe. And maybe also the head coach is in serious jeopardy of losing his job.





• The best kicker in the CFL nowadays is, without question,Calgary's Sandro DeAngelis, who somehow couldn't find employment for a full year before the Stamps signed him last year.


DeAngelis is deadly, making 16 of 17 field-goal attempts thisseason, including his past 15 in a row.


He was a backup at the University of Nebraska, and didn't playmuch at the school,a fact that CFLers now believe was the reason he was overlooked and unemployed after he graduated in 2004.






Message from Marty York:



After about three decades of covering the CFL in newspapers, magazines, on national television and on radio, the folks who run Metro newspapers have given me the opportunity to report on the league in a new and efficient way -- online, right here at

www.metronews.ca

. Here, I will have the space and freedom to cover the league the way that will best serve you. My reports will be updated at least twice a week and will include information you're not likely to find elsewhere. I will also give you my weekly CFL picks. And I welcome email from CFL fans -- send them to

marty.york@metronews.ca

. I'll publish some from time to time. I'm very excited about this venture, and I hope you will be, too.

 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles