55 Yard Line
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line22 hrs ago
The Montreal Alouettes' announcement this week that they're going to officially retire former slotback Ben Cahoon's number 86 jersey during a halftime ceremony at their July 29 game against the Saskatchewan Roughriders makes a lot of sense. Cahoon, who's currently the receivers coach at Utah's Brigham Young University (his alma mater), had a legendary 13-season career with the Alouettes from 1998-2010 and was selected for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2013. He's one of the most impressive, talented and popular Montreal players in recent decades, and he thoroughly deserves this honour. It's also a great chance to look back at five remarkable facets of his unique career, and how he impacted the CFL.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
The raging fires in Fort McMurray that have already destroyed over 1,600 structures are generating a response from the CFL. The league played two games in Fort McMurray last year, and it's now joining the aid efforts in a big way. Here are the details from their release:
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line1 day ago
Less than a month after offensive coordinator Tommy Condell suddenly resigned, citing family reasons, it looks like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have found a replacement, and from a surprising source that's even already in the same town. Scott Radley of The Hamilton Spectator reported Wednesday that the team appears set to name McMaster Marauders head coach Stefan Ptaszek as their new OC. While there would be a learning curve for Ptaszek in both transitioning to the CFL and adjusting to head coach/vice-president of football operations Kent Austin's offensive system, this could be a great move for Hamilton given the success Ptaszek has found at the university level and the offensive innovation he's shown there. It could also be a benefit for CIS football as a whole, showing that coaching success there can translate into success in the professional ranks (something we haven't seen much historically, but it has been trending up a bit over the past few years). However, this could be a significant blow to the powerhouse Marauders, especially coming this late in the offseason.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line2 days ago
The rising numbers of talented Canadian players have prompted yet another change in the CFL draft. The draft was only six rounds from 1997 to 2012, but was expanded to a seventh round in 2013, and now, it's been expanded to an eighth round. The league announced Wednesday that the draft will also take place starting at 7 p.m. Eastern this coming Tuesday (May 10), and that the first hour of the draft will be aired on TSN2 and RDS2 (with subsequent rounds airing on TSN Go). That's not great TV coverage, but it's understandable given that interest in this draft still isn't huge despite its significance; it's only even been broadcast at all since 2007 and only televised since 2009, despite what The Simpsons would have you think. Here are more details from the CFL's release:
- Chris Zelkovich at 55 Yard Line2 days ago
Darian Durant and Drew Willy are in the habit of crossing paths, both literally and figuratively.
As for the former, they did so first in 2012 when Durant was the starting quarterback in Saskatchewan and Willy was his young understudy. They are doing so figuratively now as both enter the 2016 season trying to rebound from serious injuries that kept them off the field last year.
As a result, both have something to prove heading into a new season.
For Durant, it's showing CFL opponents and fans that after missing 23 of 37 games the last two seasons with a torn elbow tendon and torn Achilles, he's not one of those 30-something quarterbacks who's simply breaking down.
Durant is having none of that.
`` I don't care if you're 10 or 50, if a guy hits you with your arm going forward with that much momentum something's liable to give," Durant said at a recent media availability in Toronto. ``As far as the Achilles, I just look at it as a freak injury."
If he had any doubts about coming back from something as severe as an Achilles tear, a recent mini-camp in Florida put his mind to rest.
- Special to Yahoo! Canada Sports at 55 Yard Line4 days ago
By Jamie Thomas
CHICAGO - Playing quarterback in the National Football League is akin to finding the proverbial needle in the haystack. And that’s even if you’ve been through a highly-regarded apprenticeship program.
Take Vernon Adams and Everett Golson, two QBs who have finished playing in highly-acclaimed NCAA programs at Oregon and Florida State, respectively. Neither player was selected during the 2016 NFL Draft on the weekend, and as of this writing, only Adams has been invited to an NFL mini-camp.
But what about the Canadian Football League?
Both players are around the same height and weight, Adams is 5-foot-10, 200 pounds while Golson is 5-11 and 197 pounds. That puts both passers below average size for most NFL teams.
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line6 days ago
Famed former Toronto Argonauts' running back, receiver, returner, head coach, vice-chair and philanthropist Michael "Pinball" Clemons was named to the 2016 class of inductees into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame this week, leading an impressive cast. Clemons spoke to 55-Yard Line this week, and said the honour first brought up memories of what his family did to get him to this point.
- Special to Yahoo! Canada Sports at 55 Yard Line9 days ago
By Jamie Thomas
Mehdi Abdesmad is waiting to find out if he will keep playing football south of the border and that answer could come as early as Thursday night.
Abdesmad is hoping his name is called at the NFL draft in Chicago. If you ask his coach at Boston College about that, it’s a no-brainer.
“He’s a really hard guy to block whether you are pass blocking him or run blocking him, he’s so long and he can get extension on ya,” explained Steve Addazio. “It’s very hard to get any power into him. He’s a powerful guy but he’s got really good athleticism, he’s really, really long, so that means it’s hard to get into his body.”
The crop of defensive linemen available this year is a deep one, led by Ohio State pass rusher Joey Bosa and Oregon lineman DeForest Buckner. Draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki says in his NFL Draft 2016 Preview that Abdesmad will not hear his name called over the three-day event but should be signed by a team as a priority free agent.
“I don’t worry about stuff like rankings,” said Abdesmad, who has also been ranked No. 3 by the CFL Scouting Bureau for its draft. “I only worry about the things that I can control.”
- Special to Yahoo! Canada Sports at 55 Yard Line10 days ago
By Jamie Thomas
Let’s get something out of the way here.
What David Onyemata has accomplished in five years is nothing short of incredible.
He had never seen or heard of the game of football when he walked into the office of Manitoba Bisons head coach Brian Dobie in 2011.
“He wanted to join the football club, quote unquote,” Dobie said. “Not knowing what CIS football is, he had no idea.”
Since that first meeting, Onyemata officially made the team a year later and became a starter on the defensive line in 2013. He capped what should be his final season of CIS football in 2015 with the J.P. Metras Trophy for Most Outstanding Down Lineman and earned an invite to the East-West Shrine Game. He impressed NFL scouts and NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock with his performance in the showcase game.
" He looks the part. He's a big (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) good-looking kid. He moves well.” said Mayock on his annual NFL Draft conference call. "He has no idea what he's doing, but in the one week of the East-West game, he improved immeasurably, which gives coaches hope that he could translate that at the next level.”
- Andrew Bucholtz at 55 Yard Line11 days ago
Much of the internet is buzzing about Game of Thrones' season six premiere Sunday night, and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' digital team has taken perfect advantage of that, crafting a "Game of Rouges" video that's a spot-on parody of the famous title sequence of the HBO show (based off George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books). In addition to using the show's well-known music, even the theme of flying around to different locations is copied, just replacing cities and castles with CFL stadiums and the names of actors with top players from each team. Here's the Ticats' video, followed by one of the show's title sequence for comparison:
This is very well done by the Ticats, with the house banners and mottos (using coaches as the heads of each house) particularly standing out. Here are all the mottos:
House Austin (Hamilton): "Eat Em Raw"
House O'Shea (Winnipeg): "Fly Bombers Fly"
House Jones (Saskatchewan): "Bring Em Out"
House Maas (Edmonton): "City of Champions"
House Dickenson (Calgary): "Ye Men Of Calgary"