More questions about the future of Bombers’ coach Paul LaPolice will be asked if his team can’t get past the Ticats to kick off this week’s CFL play.
Because we have an unlimited budget, we’ve asked a special guest to make this week’s selections and would like to welcome the arbitrator in the Khalif Mitchell hearing as our celebrity prognosticator this week. If these are wrong as normal, blame him, or her, but only if someone would point that person out.
Hamilton at Winnipeg, 5 p.m.
It probably should come as no surprise in a season where they’ve already tried Buck Pierce and Alex Brink, there’s no need to ask why Paul LaPolice is turning the quarterbacking keys over to Joey Elliott, at least until Pierce is healthy again.
The heart of the problem is pointed out by the Winnipeg Sun’s Paul Friesen, who writes the Bombers have gone through no less than 41 quarterbacks since they last won a Grey Cup, which was back in the days when play-by-play man Bob Irving was a teen golden-throat icon.
Elliott has had a chance before, two of them in fact in 2010. But though the Bombers are starting to get some of their defensive mainstays back for this one, including safety Ian Logan, long knives are being pointed in the direction of LaPolice and GM Joe Mack.
Hamilton was spanked at home by the Stamps last week and it will be Simon Charbonneau-Campeau, not injured Andy Fantuz, working as a non-import receiver for Henry Burris. You’d still have to think the visitors should have no problem here. Province pick: Ticats.
Montreal at Edmonton, 6 p.m.
Here’s a little bistro trivia: What number is higher, the one representing the number of players from Louisiana, home of resident Eskimos superscout Paul Jones, or the number of players who formally were with the Argos?
By our count, it’s a tie, with nine apiece, but give Eric Tillman a few more days and surely that will change. Cory Boyd and Claude Wroten are the latest pickups for a team which is slowly starting to discover they actually may have a quarterback in Steven Jyles, who is starting to make his GM look good for the Ricky Ray trade that already was one-sided when it came to mere bodies.
Montreal was already reeling in the secondary but this week injuries may force both offensive mainstays, Brandon Whitaker and Jamel Richardson, to the sidelines. Province pick: Eskimos
Toronto at Calgary, 4 p.m.
A penny for Cory Boyd’s thoughts? The league’s leading rusher is cut and the Argos shuffle their offensive line and scrap their all-Canadian protection front for the time being, with ex-Stamps castoff Tony Washington getting a chance to impress John Hufnagel. B.C.’s four sacks , three interceptions and forced fumble of Ricky Ray had no effect on the thought process whatsoever, no doubt.
Changing the protection can work. Just ask the Stamps. A game after he threw his hoggie linemates under the bus, Jon Cornish went for 170 yards rushing against Hamilton and looked reborn, partly due to his admission he has stopped meditating before games. Draw your own conclusions. Province pick: Stamps
Saskatchewan at B.C., 4 p.m.
No sense wasting any time if you’re wondering who the best team in the league is at the moment. “I will tell you that [the Lions] are the best team in the CFL right now, so the tables are turned.’’ Riders coach Corey Chamblin told the Regina Leader-Post. Being named the top team in the league has mixed results of course. Mike Benevides tried labeling the Riders as numero uno a few weeks back before losing in Saskatchewan, then said the same thing about the Argonauts before the Lions’ last game in Toronto.
Thing is, before Mitchell was ushered to the sidelines by the mystery arbitrator, the Lions might well have been the best, but will have to reprove themselves against Kory Sheets and a decent front seven defensively from Saskatchewan. Mitchell will weaken the league’s best defence this side of Edmonton, but not to the point where the Lions won’t have something to deliver upon playing at home for the first time in a month. Province pick: Lions.
Last week: 1-1 Season record: 12-12