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Author Topic: Blue Bombers roster - 2020-2021  (Read 37751 times)
Blue In BC
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« Reply #285 on: July 01, 2021, 12:14:32 PM »

I?m excited to see what Mike the Leg can.

Nelson can be amazing but needs to stay healthy!

Long snapper is in question to me most.

Benson was a good LS but he's also 34 and I think we will see some of the draft choices getting an opportunity. I don't know if any of them are ST players that could learn to LS.

It is a bit of a concern though.
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NewBlue
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« Reply #286 on: July 01, 2021, 12:50:52 PM »

How does the possibility of one of the new Global guys (Maruo/Oyelola) slotting into long snapper affect the roster?
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #287 on: July 01, 2021, 02:52:44 PM »

How does the possibility of one of the new Global guys (Maruo/Oyelola) slotting into long snapper affect the roster?

In 2021 the league decided to not add the 2nd Global player. So the direct answer to your question is that it won't since I doubt another Global player will unseat Hansen.

The indirect answer to your question if we were allowed a 2nd Global player is still about the same.

The roster was supposed to increase to 45 in order to accommodate that 2nd Global player. It's changed back to 44 only. That's really a decrease from what had been 46 man roster. 2 of those would have been the non dressed on the DR.

I was optimistic about the Global players you mentioned and expected 1 to make the game day roster at LB. Not sure if either would have been a choice for LS.

Let's just say one of them had that capability and we stuck with 2 Global players in 2021. That in theory could have bumped Benson off the roster and created a roster spot for a different Canadian on the roster.

The Global LB might have been more versatile as a LS, LB and ST player than Benson. Might is just another version of IF.

So not sure what would have happened. As I suggested above, one of the Canadian draft choices might get a chance at LS.

Now I wonder how many Global players will show up for TC's around the CFL. 18 positions stays at 9 this year.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 02:54:41 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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NewBlue
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« Reply #288 on: July 01, 2021, 04:09:31 PM »

Thanks, didn't know they weren't keeping 2 Globals.

Ya, that's what I was thinking about - with the versatility of having a LB/LS/ST global guy.  I guess that doesn't really play into it then for this year as I agree that Hansen will win the 1 spot.
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NewBlue
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« Reply #289 on: July 01, 2021, 06:19:52 PM »

Some big WR's in camp this year.  Adams, Bailey & Lawler going to have to prove themselves. 

Some with experience, like this guy they just signed today, will not likely stick around on PR.
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gobombersgo
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« Reply #290 on: July 01, 2021, 06:25:47 PM »

BLUE BOMBERS SIGN RECEIVER CAM MEREDITH

WINNIPEG, MB., July 1, 2021 - The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has added American receiver Cam Meredith to the roster.

Meredith (6-3, 207, Illinois State, September 21, 1992 in Westchester, Ill.) comes to the Blue Bombers with 31 games of National Football League experience - 25 with the Chicago Bears over the 2015-16 seasons and six with the New Orleans Saints in 2018. He spent part of the 2019 season with the New England Patriots.

Meredith began his college career with Illinois State in 2011 as a quarterback before switching to receiver in 2013. Over the next two seasons, he led the Redbirds in receiving and finished 2014 with 66 receptions for 1,061 yards and nine touchdowns in 15 games.

He was signed by the Bears as undrafted free agent in 2015 and finished his rookie campaign with 11 receptions for 120 yards in 11 games and followed that with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns in 14 games in 2016.

In 2017 Meredith suffered a torn ACL in Chicago's third preseason game, costing him the entire season. He then signed with the New Orleans Saints but injuries limited Meredith to just six games in '18 and he was then released in late July of 2019. He then signed with the Patriots but was released in October of that year.

https://www.bluebombers.com/2021/07/01/blue-bombers-sign-receiver-cam-meredith/
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gobombersgo
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« Reply #291 on: July 01, 2021, 06:33:56 PM »

POSITIONAL PREVIEW - LINEBACKERS
JULY 1, 2021 - Ed Tait

THE LINEBACKERS

It's never wise to make assumptions about anything in professional football, especially when it comes to staring at a depth chart and surmising who goes where on the various units.

Yet, it's hard not to come to this rather concrete conclusion when looking at the Winnipeg Blue Bombers linebacking corps: barring injury or an act of God you can pencil in Adam Bighill and Kyrie Wilson. Check that, scrap the pencil and go ahead and use permanent marker.

Make no mistake, there will be changes to the Bombers defence in 2021, especially as the club looks to plug some holes in the secondary and replace pieces along the defensive line. But the two spots in between those units - the middle and weak-side linebacker - are owned by Bighill and Wilson and it's difficult to imagine anyone prying those gigs from their hands (Just FYI: the strong-side linebacker position has been held by a defensive back for eons, and is listed as a Dime in our secondary preview).

Bighill is the two-time Canadian Football League Most Outstanding Defensive Player (2015, 2018) and five-time CFL All-Star whose play and leadership were so key to a defence that was the team's backbone in the 2019 Grey Cup run. At 32 and with his commitment to fitness, he's also entering his legacy years - a time when he could cement himself as one of the league's all-time great defenders.

Wilson, meanwhile, authored a solid 2019 season - his first starting all 18 games - and is coming off arguably his best game as a Bomber in the 2019 championship. Quiet and understated, he might just be the CFL's most-underrated player.

The Bombers have brought in three import players who will battle to provide depth behind Bighill and Wilson, but veteran Canadian Jesse Briggs is available to back up both spots and he made his first start in 2019 at weak-side when Wilson moved over to replace an injured Bighill for three games.

All of this isn't to suggest the linebacker spots won't be studied closely by the Bombers coaching staff. Every position is analyzed and over-analyzed from the moment players first step on the field. It's only natural, too, when the head coach earned a position in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame by dominating at the position during his playing days.

TRAINING CAMP 2021 PREVIEW

A LOOK AT THE LINEBACKERS

The Returnees:


Starters: MLB Adam Bighill, WLB Kyrie Wilson (Sam LB now listed as Dime and included in our defensive back preview)

Reserves: Jesse Briggs*, Shayne Gauthier*

Free-agent additions: none

Departed: Thomas Miles*, Brandon Calver*, Korey Jones, Manuel Hernandez-Reyes (G)

2020/2021 CFL Draft/Global picks: Tanner Cadwallader*, Robbie Lowes*, Les Maruo (G), Ayo Oyelola (G)

CFL newcomers: Otha Peters, Jr., Mason Moe, Jontrell Rocquemore

*Indicates Canadian; (G) - Global player

IMPACT NEWCOMER(S)

The Canadian/Global draft picks listed above. It's not that Bighill and Wilson won't get pushed, it's just that with no preseason games there's an expectation the Bombers will open the year with a veteran-laden squad.

But there are jobs to be won on special teams. Case in point: the Bombers dressed four linebackers behind Wilson and Bighill in the Grey Cup and did so regularly in '19.

X FACTOR: Les Maruo

The CFL adjusted its Global player rule for this condensed season. Teams will no longer be required to dress two, but can do so if they wish (an American would then have to come off the roster, not a Canadian). DL Thiadric Hansen established himself as the CFL's best Global player in '19, but Maruo - who played at the University of Texas-San Antonio and then two years in Japan's X League - could give the Bombers depth both at linebacker and at the Global spot.

BIG STAT
: 675

Adam Bighill's career tackle total, placing him 10th on the all-time list. He trails Kevin Eiben, currently in 9th place by 47 tackles and eighth place Greg Battle by 99.

FYI

Briggs ranks second only to Jake Thomas in terms of games played for the Bombers among active players. Thomas has 137 regular-season games to his name, Briggs is at 91.

https://www.bluebombers.com/2021/07/01/positional-preview-linebackers-5/
« Last Edit: July 01, 2021, 06:36:12 PM by gobombersgo » Logged

Blue In BC
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« Reply #292 on: July 01, 2021, 07:32:42 PM »

Thanks, didn't know they weren't keeping 2 Globals.

Ya, that's what I was thinking about - with the versatility of having a LB/LS/ST global guy.  I guess that doesn't really play into it then for this year as I agree that Hansen will win the 1 spot.

I see below that we can keep a 2nd Global player but at the expense of an American. That American would have been effectively a DI. So we'd still have the same situation with 4 DI's but 1 would be a Global potentially.

Now the question becomes is the Global LB better than the American LB choices?

I don't know but it's an even battle from a ratio point of view and the best choice will win the roster spot. The Globals sounded great but they got more press coverage than the imports.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2021, 05:01:18 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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NewBlue
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« Reply #293 on: July 02, 2021, 04:59:03 PM »

Here's an article I came across on one of the recent OLine guys recently signed.  Sounds interesting, very fast & athletic.

https://www.nola.com/sports/tulane/article_025f82dc-c06b-11e9-bc4e-2be6e96f91b3.html
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #294 on: July 02, 2021, 05:12:18 PM »

Here's an article I came across on one of the recent OLine guys recently signed.  Sounds interesting, very fast & athletic.

https://www.nola.com/sports/tulane/article_025f82dc-c06b-11e9-bc4e-2be6e96f91b3.html


He'll be one of the smallest OL in TC. Athletic with good footwork is an advantage more so than weight, possibly.

OTOH, I believe Hardrick would move to LT if Bryant is injured before a rookie would start. OL that can play LT are not easy to find.

While most OL get work across the entire OL during TC, I think a rookie needs to be effective on both sides. It's not as easy as it sounds but we will see 1 and possibly 2 OL on the PR. If he's really only suited to LT that isn't necessarily a bad thing if he's a very good prospect.

Adjusting to the yard off the ball and speed of CFL game is probably more difficult than being able to play on either side of the line for some? All the imports will have that same adjustment period.

At the moment we have 5 rookie imports and 1 Global coming to TC.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2021, 05:14:14 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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the paw
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« Reply #295 on: July 02, 2021, 08:16:20 PM »

Here's an article I came across on one of the recent OLine guys recently signed.  Sounds interesting, very fast & athletic.

https://www.nola.com/sports/tulane/article_025f82dc-c06b-11e9-bc4e-2be6e96f91b3.html


Reading that article reminds me of Dan Knapp, who was a TE converted to OT in college.  He ran about 285 lbs and played 7 or 8 games for the Bombers in 2013 and 2014.  He got some starts at tackle when both January and Jones went on the limp, but was overmatched.  Very athletic though, and quite strong.

He also got a look at RG when Pencer washed out, but didn't dominate there.

I wish this kid luck, but there aren't a lot of underweight OTs in pro ball.
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gobombersgo
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« Reply #296 on: July 02, 2021, 09:57:56 PM »

Transactions:

2021-07-02   WPG   RIVERS, David   DB   A   Youngstown State   Add To   Active Roster
2021-07-02   WPG   BAILEY, Hakeem   DB   A   West Virginia   Add To   Active Roster
2021-07-02   WPG   KEARSE-THOMAS, Khaylan   LB   A   Arizona State   Add To   Active Roste
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Blue In BC
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« Reply #297 on: July 03, 2021, 12:53:22 PM »

Transactions:

2021-07-02   WPG   RIVERS, David   DB   A   Youngstown State   Add To   Active Roster
2021-07-02   WPG   BAILEY, Hakeem   DB   A   West Virginia   Add To   Active Roster
2021-07-02   WPG   KEARSE-THOMAS, Khaylan   LB   A   Arizona State   Add To   Active Roste

I've lost count but I think we now have 111 on our roster and 29 DB's???!!!

IIRC teams have to be down to 100 players by July 10th?

Bryant Mitchell retired on 03/29 and none are listed as retired since. Every other team seems to have had sweeping retirements hit their rosters in the last couple of weeks.

Can it really be that even our rookies intend to come to TC? Either way we have to clear some roster space and I'm not sure what the team knows and hasn't announced or doesn't know. Flight reservations must be in process for those actually coming in a week.

Hopefully there are no disappointments in any veterans pulling the plug on 2021.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 02:41:42 PM by Blue In BC » Logged

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gobombersgo
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« Reply #298 on: July 03, 2021, 08:58:00 PM »

POSITIONAL PREVIEW - DEFENSIVE LINE
JULY 2, 2021 - Ed Tait

DEFENSIVE LINE

They came flying off the edge, and rammed straight through the middle. They forced fumbles, registered sacks and tackles for losses, knocked down passes, changed throwing lanes, and rushed throws.

Yes, the last time the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive line was seen doing their thing - and that would be the 2019 Grey Cup - the unit was an absolute tour de force that not only made Hamilton Tiger-Cat quarterback Dane Evans' night positively miserable, but was critical in shutting down the Canadian Football League's most potent offence.

The Bombers dominated the line of scrimmage in winning the franchise's 11th title, with the offensive line doing their thing to open massive holes for Andrew Harris and keep Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler upright. And the defence, led by the front, were the game changers.

Returning for '21 are the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player in Willie Jefferson, whose first year as a Blue Bomber was nothing short of spectacular. In addition to posting a career-best 12 sacks, he set a CFL record for a D-lineman by swatting down 16 passes, and led the lead in forced fumbles.

In short, the three-time CFL All Star was exactly the kind of defensive playmaker the club envisioned when making him their marquee free agent addition in the winter of '19.

Jefferson will be flanked by Jackson Jeffcoat - whose Grey Cup performance was arguably his best as a Blue Bomber - at the other end. There's a sense there is more to come from the 30-year-old veteran if he can stay healthy, as injuries have kept him from a dozen games over the last two years. The club has lost tackle Drake Nevis and end Craig Roh to the Toronto Argonauts in free agency, but still has Stephen 'Stove' Richardson to potentially move into the tackle spot he shared with Nevis alongside veteran Canadian Jake Thomas.

Add Canadian Johnathan Kongbo and Global player Thiadric Hansen to the mix and the club has arguably the best D-line in the CFL, although you'll certainly get arguments from two-three other clubs.

Just as a refresher, back in '19 Winnipeg surrendered the fewest yards rushing per game and finished second in forced turnovers and interceptions, third in opposition passing efficiency against and fourth in sacks. And much of that came as a direct result of their dominant work up front.

So, given the D-line depth and stability, by the time these guys get back at it - some 20 months and 12 days since the '19 championship - they figure to once again have opposition QBs across the CFL once again waking up in cold sweats and contemplating career changes.


TRAINING CAMP 2021 PREVIEW

A LOOK AT THE DEFENSIVE LINE

The Returnees:

Starters: DE Willie Jefferson, Jackson Jeffcoat; DT: Jake Thomas*, Steven Richardson

Reserves: Jonathan Kongbo*, Thiadric Hansen (G), Connor Griffiths*

CFL free agent additions: Tobi Antigha, Patrick Choudja (began 2019 with Winnipeg, finished with Calgary)

Departed: Drake Nevis, Craig Roh

2020/2021 CFL Draft/Global picks: Nick Dheilly

CFL newcomers
: Justin Alexandre, Vontarrius Dora, David Kenney, Royce LaFrance, Andree Saint-Amour, Cedric Wilcots, Zach Houghron*, Ezekiel Rose, Casey Sayles, Ricky Walker

IMPACT NEWCOMER: Tobi Antigha

Antigha signed with the Bombers in the 2020 free agency period and brings 46 games of CFL experience with Toronto and Saskatchewan to the club. He's versatile enough to play both end and linebacker, all of which makes him a good fit in Richie Hall's defence where players can be moved around like chess pieces.

X FACTOR: Jonathan Kongbo

His return to the club in early June didn't generate any fanfare, but could potentially be huge for the club. He spent 2020 trying to land a job with the San Francisco 49ers, but an injury late in camp killed that shot. He played one game in The Spring League before returning to Winnipeg.

He has the speed and quickness to play end, but has also taken snaps at defensive tackle. That kind of versatility gives the Bombers so many options, both with the line and with the ratio.

BIG STAT: 64.2

The Bombers defence allowed the fewest rushing yards in the CFL at 64.2. The next lowest was Saskatchewan at 92.6. It marked the first time since 2003 the Bombers D ranked first in this category.

FYI

How much pressure did Jackson Jeffcoat and Willie Jefferson bring in the 2019 Grey Cup? Consider this: the two ends combined for six tackles, five quarterback sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

https://www.bluebombers.com/2021/07/02/positional-preview-defensive-line-5/
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gobombersgo
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« Reply #299 on: July 03, 2021, 09:08:15 PM »

POSITIONAL PREVIEW - OFFENSIVE LINE
JULY 3, 2021 - Ed Tait

OFFENSIVE LINE

No positional group on the roster of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offers more rock-solid stability than along the offensive line.

And, just to be clear, the men who draw the most pleasure from that fact - outside of the big eaters themselves - are running back Andrew Harris, quarterback Zach Collaros and offensive coordinator Buck Pierce.

Just like their compadres on the defensive line, when this unit was last on the field together they were dominant in their work pushing around the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a superb Grey Cup performance in which the Bombers absolutely owned the line of scrimmage.

Their collective fingerprints from that game were all over the 405 yards of net offence the Bombers generated that fateful Sunday, including a jaw-dropping 186 along the ground. Harris earned two individual awards with their help, capturing both the game's MVP and top Canadian honours.

That has been the theme offensively over the last few years: while injuries impacted who lined up behind centre and led to occasional changes in the receiving corps, Bomber fans could always count on Harris and the men up front to grind out real estate along the ground.

While centre Cody Speller has left for the Toronto Argonauts and the promise of more starts - he filled admirably in for regular starter Michael Couture during the playoffs after Couture was injured in the regular season finale - the same crew that bulldozed through 2019 remains intact.

And the fact that that bunch - the durable future hall of fame left tackle Stanley Bryant, up-and-coming guard Drew Desjarlais, Couture, veteran guard Pat Neufeld and steady right tackle Jermarcus Hardrick - will take up their regular spots up front is a big reason why Harris has a shot at his fourth straight rushing crown. It's why Collaros and Pierce are so eager to work together for a full season.

Yes, a healthy, dominant and well-fed offensive line can help everyone around it sleep better at night. It should also be said that in Canadians Geoff Gray, Tui Eli and Chris Kolankowski, the Bombers' O-line depth has never been better. Like, never.

All of this is mammoth as camps are about to open for what will be a 14-game season with no preseason contests. Continuity will most certainly matter, especially for a team that draws its offensive identity from bullying people up front. It's smash-mouth, old-school - however you want to phrase it - but the Blue Bombers have proven it works.

TRAINING CAMP 2021 PREVIEW

A LOOK AT THE OFFENSIVE LINE

The Returnees:

Starters: LT Stanley Bryant, LG Drew Desjarlais*, C Michael Couture*, RG Pat Neufeld*, RT Jermarcus Hardrick

Reserves: Geoff Gray*, Tui Eli*

CFL free-agent additions: Chris Kolankowski (Toronto).

Departed: Cody Speller* (Toronto).

2020/2021 CFL Draft/Global picks in camp: Tomoya Machino (G)

CFL newcomers: Dino Boyd, Tyler Johnson, Kevin Lawrence, Terry Poole, Nolan Ulizio

IMPACT NEWCOMER: Tomoya Machino

It's difficult to imagine much change to this unit, not just with the starting five but with those that back them up regularly. If nothing else Machino will be a player to study during camp.

Selected in the second round, 15th overall, of the CFL's 2021 Global Draft, Machino has the size at 6-5, 299. He's also the description of 'project player' in every sense of the term, having played baseball in high school before not taking up football until he arrived at Kyoto University.

Machino apparently popped off the page at the CFL Combine in Japan and also played for his country at the 2018 World University Championships.

X FACTOR: Geoff Gray/Tui Eli

Gray, the University of Manitoba product and 2017 first-round draft pick by the Bombers, earned 12 starts last season for an injured Neufeld. Eli, meanwhile, spent much of 2019 getting back into football mode after missing 2018 with an injury. There's a sense both men are still just scratching the surface of their potential.

BIG STAT: 36

The average number of sacks the Bombers have surrendered over the last four years -35 in 2019, 36 in 2018, 38 in 2017 and 35 in 2016. We bring this with a point of context and one nugget to showcase the improvement up front ... in 2015 alone the Bombers surrendered a whopping 71 sacks.

FYI: 90

Stanley Bryant has started 90 consecutive games for the Bombers, not missing a single contest since signing here as a free agent in 2015. Given he plays the left tackle position, that's a remarkable run of consistency.

https://www.bluebombers.com/2021/07/03/positional-preview-offensive-line-5/
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