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  #481  
Old Posted May 11, 2018, 5:09 PM
TimB09 TimB09 is offline
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Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
Michael O’Connor is the next great Canadian QB prospect
Justin Dunk 3downnation.com May 9, 2018

Michael O’Connor is the next Canadian quarterback who could rise to pro stardom.

O’Connor is front and centre at the 2018 USports East-West Bowl in Quebec City, the top showcase event in front of scouts from CFL and even NFL teams for the next draft class of Canadian university football players. He came back from the NCAA – Penn State University – to win a Vanier Cup with UBC in his first year back in Canada.

“O’Connor has size and once pro coaches get a hold of him he could really improve,” a scout said.

The Ottawa native has prototypical quarterback size: six-foot-five, 225 pounds. O’Connor threw 51 touchdown passes in Grade 10 at Ashbury College, attended Baylor School in Chattanooga, Tennessee and moved on to play at IMG Academy in Florida under the tutelage of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Chris Weinke, leading them to an 8-2 record in 2013 throwing for 1,804 yards and 18 touchdowns in 10 games. He was the No. 6 ranked high school quarterback by ESPN and played in the Under Armour All-American Game, the only Canadian prospect to be invited that year.

Strong play wherever O’Connor suited up earned him a scholarship to Penn State. Bill O’Brien, who spent time as Tom Brady’s quarterback’s coach and offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, recruited O’Connor and wanted him to play in his pro-style offence. But before O’Connor arrived on campus, O’Brien left the Nittany Lions to accept the Houston Texans head coaching job.

James Franklin took over as head coach and Christian Hackenberg was the starter until he was picked in the second round by the New York Jets in the 2016 NFL draft. Despite O’Connor going 11-for-16 for 81 yards in Penn State’s spring game, he redshirted in 2014 and then transferred to the University of British Columbia. Year one with the Thunderbirds saw O’Connor light up defences while leading the team to a National Championship in 2015.

“Good size, tough and stands in there, poised and calm, he can move around in the pocket and create with his feet. He could still improve his arm strength. Draftable quarterback prospect,” a football executive said.

“He’s just as good as some third-string quarterbacks in our league,” a CFL assistant general manager said.

2019 is O’Connor’s draft year on both sides of the border, so he has another season to develop at the university level. Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon believes O’Connor could play in the NFL. Jesse Palmer, an Ottawa native like O’Connor, remains the last Canadian quarterback to be drafted into the NFL and throw a pass in a regular season game.

With the draft process about to begin in earnest at the East-West this week, the scrutiny of being the next Canadian quarterback hope means all eyes will be on O’Connor. But it will ultimately be his on-field performance that will determine his football future.
He's going to be a good one, whether he plays in the CFL or NFL. O'Connor had numerous scholarship offers to big time colleges in the States and chose Penn State. He saw that he wasn't going to play there and decided to come and play at UBC.

Hope he succeeds wherever he ends up playing.
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  #482  
Old Posted May 19, 2018, 6:33 PM
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So it's finally official: Johnny Manziel signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cf...-cfl-1.4670772

In less big but personally upsetting news, Adam Bighill was released by the New Orleans Saints a few days ago and has now signed with Winnipeg instead of BC where he should be:

http://nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-p...-one-year-deal
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  #483  
Old Posted May 19, 2018, 8:07 PM
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So it's finally official: Johnny Manziel signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats:

http://www.cbc.ca/sports/football/cf...-cfl-1.4670772

In less big but personally upsetting news, Adam Bighill was released by the New Orleans Saints a few days ago and has now signed with Winnipeg instead of BC where he should be:

http://nationalpost.com/pmn/sports-p...-one-year-deal
The Bighill signing is huge for the Bombers. This really makes them a much better all around team. Our offence should be more dynamic with Bowman and this helps shore up an inconsistent defense from last year.

The Manziel signing I hope brings some much needed attention to the CFL in southern Ontario. I hope this rekindles the ticats argos rivalry at a time where TFC , the Jays and Raptors and Leafs struggling/choking to some degree right now the time is opportune for the League to prove once again it is the most entertaining sport in Canada and offers the best entertainment bang for buck out of the major sporting leagues in this country.
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  #484  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 1:38 AM
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^ Bighill will be huge for the Bombers. The LB position has been one of the relative weak spots on an otherwise ascendant team, but Bighill will help change that in a big way.

As for Manziel, I'd give no more than 50/50 odds of him being on the Ticats' opening day roster.
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  #485  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 2:51 AM
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^ Bighill will be huge for the Bombers. The LB position has been one of the relative weak spots on an otherwise ascendant team, but Bighill will help change that in a big way.

As for Manziel, I'd give no more than 50/50 odds of him being on the Ticats' opening day roster.
With the money they're giving him + his own ego, you'd think he'll get a decent amount of chances. I'm sure he wouldn't come up here as his last chance to the NFL if he wasn't assured he'd get the opportunity to take it.
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  #486  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 3:56 AM
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^ Bighill will be huge for the Bombers. The LB position has been one of the relative weak spots on an otherwise ascendant team, but Bighill will help change that in a big way.

As for Manziel, I'd give no more than 50/50 odds of him being on the Ticats' opening day roster.
In my opinion, there's no way he's not on the roster and playing within the first few weeks of the season. The TV networks and fans will demand it - the benefits of US exposure, more fans in the seats and better TSN ratings are just too great. I guess there are things that could go wrong but they are probably long shots.
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  #487  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 12:07 PM
EpicPonyTime EpicPonyTime is offline
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I think people overestimate how many new viewers Manziel is going to bring to Ti-Cats games. There's gonna be one game with higher ratings and that's probably it.
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  #488  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 2:17 PM
elly63 elly63 is offline
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Johnny Manziel’s Ticats contract details
3Down Staff 3downnation.ca May 19, 2018

Johnny Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.

NFL insider Jason La Canfora has the details.

Manziel's CFL contract: $122k base, $10k sign bonus, $18k housing stipend, $10k if active 6 games, $10k for 10 games active. $10k for 14 games active. Another $120k if plays half of snaps. March 1 $75k offseason bonus. 2018 $202k base w/same incentives
3:20 PM - May 19, 2018


That’s a similar deal in the first year as 3DownNation insider Justin Dunk felt would be worked out for Manziel.

But the key factor:

I am also told that Manziel's CFL contract is a 2-year, binding deal. There is no window or escape clause for the NFL in current CFL CBA ...
3:25 PM - May 19, 2018


That means it appears Manziel has – at least on paper – committed to the CFL for two seasons.

Ticats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli extended with the team in January for two years for over $700,000 and included a signing bonus of $125,000. The first year contains $235,000 in “hard money” with $90,000 in playtime incentives while the second features $335,000 “hard money” plus $45,000 in playtime incentives.

After being named Hamilton’s starting quarterback by June Jones on Sept. 4, Masoli led the Canadian Football League the rest of the season in passing yards (3,032) and rushing yards by a quarterback (384) and tied for second in passing touchdowns (15). Masoli went 6-4 over that stretch.

Manziel’s deal would appear to be a high-end backup type of pact when compared to other quarterback contracts around the league.
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  #489  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 2:51 PM
elly63 elly63 is offline
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Prospective Halifax ownership group meets with selected governors
TSN.ca Staff May 18, 2018



The prospective ownership group of a potential CFL team in Halifax met with selected governors around the league on Thursday, according to a report from TSN's Farhan Lalji.



The meeting was an opportunity for current owners to provide feedback on the Halifax ownership group's business plan, according to Lalji, and there is cautious optimism as the process moves forward. Lalji added that a stadium deal is still the key for the prospective Halifax owners.
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  #490  
Old Posted May 20, 2018, 5:41 PM
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Video: Johnny Manziel after first CFL practice
3Down Staff May 20, 2018

Quarterback Johnny Manziel stepped on a CFL field for the first time on Sunday.

The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner and former first-round NFL pick discussed his initial practice experience with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


Video Link
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  #491  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 12:00 AM
khabibulin khabibulin is offline
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Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
Johnny Manziel signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.

NFL insider Jason La Canfora has the details.

Manziel's CFL contract: $122k base, $10k sign bonus, $18k housing stipend, $10k if active 6 games, $10k for 10 games active. $10k for 14 games active. Another $120k if plays half of snaps. March 1 $75k offseason bonus. 2018 $202k base w/same incentives
3:20 PM - May 19, 2018



Manziel’s deal would appear to be a high-end backup type of pact when compared to other quarterback contracts around the league.
I wish that was the terms that the Bombers would have offered to that coward Durant.
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  #492  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 12:14 AM
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I wish that was the terms that the Bombers would have offered to that coward Durant.
Without Durant's cowardly retirement last week Kyle Walters would not have been able to have money freed up to sign Bighill at MLB. So in a weird way it has been a blessing in disguise.
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  #493  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 12:17 AM
khabibulin khabibulin is offline
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Without Durant's cowardly retirement last week Kyle Walters would not have been able to have money freed up to sign Bighill at MLB. So in a weird way it has been a blessing in disguise.
Good point!
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  #494  
Old Posted May 21, 2018, 12:29 AM
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From pro football player to Bay St. executive, CFL CEO Randy Ambrosie has gone the whole nine yards
With rookie training camp starting Wednesday, Ambrosie believes his crossover experience will help him lead the league as it mulls a possible expansion to the east coast
Andy Holloway National Post May 15, 2018

Randy Ambrosie, CFL commissioner: FP Magazine sits down with the ex-Bay Street executive and pro football player to talk about leading the Canadian Football League and the joys of cottaging.

What’s the state of the CFL?

We got a chance this winter to visit every one of the nine cities where we have our teams, and a tenth in the Atlantic region where we all hope one day to be playing, and you just walk away unbelievably optimistic. Our fans are passionate, they love the game, they’re filled with energy and ideas. They’re interested and interesting. Every stop we went I felt more energized.

Entertainment is a crowded marketplace. How does the CFL separate itself out?

We’re focusing a lot of effort on telling the story of our players so fans get to know them as people. We know that’s an important aspect of attracting fans, because our guys are cool and they’re interesting and they’re selfless. Getting them into the communities is another big part of our strategy. I think, pound for pound, there are no athletes in the world who give back more to their communities than CFL players do. I’m absolutely convinced of that. They’re not looking at their watch for when they have to leave. They tend to immerse themselves in whatever they’re doing and they’re making sure every kid gets a smile, that everybody is included. And that inclusion extends into our strategy. We want to make every Canadian feel welcome in our stadiums so that it becomes a perfect representation of what makes our country so fantastic: Everyone belongs and your next-door neighbour can be from anywhere.

What about the future of the Toronto Argos?

It’s part of the human experience to forget where things come from. Building anything is hard work. Look at when teams that were great fall on hard times. So seldomly do you flip a switch and they’re great again. The great news is we have a really big market, and our game is incredibly affordable. Remember, the Toronto Raptors weren’t always the Toronto Raptors of today. If you talk to people who were there in the earlier days, it was bleak, it was a hard sell, it wasn’t popular. It’s now incredibly popular, it’s super high energy and you have to give MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd.) credit for figuring it out. What we’re seeing from our partners at MLSE is that level of commitment to the Argonauts.

How about Halifax?

I’ve had a chance to spend time with Halifax town council, Mayor [Mike] Savage and his councillors, and I feel there is a genuine passion and belief that this is the right time. The economic models for stadiums have evolved from ‘Can the public fund this?’ to much more of an evolved model. What they did in Ottawa with the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group has really created a new way of thinking about the relationship between the private sector and the public sector.

Fans seem to like that you have a connection to the league as a former player, but you also bring in the business background as a former exec at AGF Management and HSBC Securities.

This league belongs to the fans, but what I’m super excited about is that I can relate to the fans because I’m one of them. I could just as easily switch places with them and sit in a seat, drink a beer and cheer for the team the way they do. I can relate to the players because I love them, I know how hard the game is to play. I have a great respect for the work it takes to be a player. And then I look at from the teams’ view and I know how hard it is to run these businesses. Maybe in that way, I’m able to bring some of that experience from my own love from each of those areas to the table and hope that combination of experiences allows me to be a successful leader of this league.

I’ve heard you love being at your cottage. What’s the best thing about it?

The best thing, and I think all offensive linemen would relate to this, is the food. First of all, my wife, Barb, is an amazing cook and that, at least in part, explains why I’m this big. It’s the cooking, sitting together, eating, even the cleaning up. It’s being together as a family. One of our favourite times of the year at the cottage isn’t in the summer. We love having Christmas at the cottage. It’s quiet, the fireplace is on. I don’t think of the cottage as just a summertime thing; I think of it as an all-year place. It’s not so much what time of year it is, it’s that Barb and our girls are there, we’re all together, we’re all in the kitchen making dinner, sitting around the table laughing and telling stories. That’s what the cottage is about.

What’s so special about the cottage?

It’s all about family. The cottage is where we meet. It’s more than symbolic. The cottage has a way of stripping away the frenzied pace of the world. Your dinners last longer at the cottage. They just do. The cottage and families are synonymous with one another. The world is just a little bit slower there.
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  #495  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 12:32 AM
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Nice job by Dunk in this interview

Justin Dunk joins ESPN radio in Texas to discuss Johnny Manziel
3Down Staff May 21, 2018

3DownNation’s Justin Dunk went on ESPN Central Texas AM 1660 and 99.1 FM Unnecessary Roughness show to provide insight into the Ticats signing Johnny Manziel and how the league and city of Hamilton have reacted to the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner coming to the CFL.
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  #496  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 1:02 AM
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Cris Carter has just dropped the mic on all the CFL haterz once and for all.

"I believe every CFL team could beat the University of Alabama, if you want to talk about the quality of football, yes the University of Alabama, the kids are too young, right? They are too young compared to every team in the CFL, that's how I evaluate the talent level that they have to provide."

Q This is tougher competition than the top level of college football in your opinion?

"Yes, absolutely, that's why you see so many people fail with the CFL"

Video Link


This story is getting lots of traction

Video Link
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  #497  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 2:20 AM
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Thanks for posting those interviews, always interesting to get the American perspective.
Good to see CC proclaiming the talent level in the CFL.
Sounds like most of the US analysts just assume Manzel will be the starting QB.
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  #498  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 2:30 AM
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Sounds like most of the US analysts just assume Manzel will be the starting QB.
I don't think the two above said that. Carter had a convoluted way of saying he wouldn't be surprised if JM wasn't the starter. I got the impression he didn't think he would be right away. Can't remember what Sharpe said exactly.
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  #499  
Old Posted May 23, 2018, 2:33 AM
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Good to see CC proclaiming the talent level in the CFL
As I think about it, his kid is in the same situation as Manziel. Duron Carter is an NFL talent with a kid's attitude.

It'll be interesting with JM though, all the signs are positive so far, I hope it has a happy ending.
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  #500  
Old Posted Yesterday, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by elly63 View Post
Cris Carter has just dropped the mic on all the CFL haterz once and for all.

"I believe every CFL team could beat the University of Alabama, if you want to talk about the quality of football, yes the University of Alabama, the kids are too young, right? They are too young compared to every team in the CFL, that's how I evaluate the talent level that they have to provide."

Q This is tougher competition than the top level of college football in your opinion?

"Yes, absolutely, that's why you see so many people fail with the CFL"


This story is getting lots of traction
The only exception might be the Als. They could possibly be worse than last year and that was pretty damn ugly.
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