CFL Quick Fix: The Essentials Approaching Week 1

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CFL Quick Fix: The Essentials Approaching Week 1

Excerpts taken from CFL.ca:

"The Riders will begin their Grey Cup defense Saturday night hosting the Edmonton Eskimos (7:30 p.m. ET). The '08 season officially kicks off with the Montreal Alouettes in Hamilton to meet the Tiger-Cats (7 p.m. ET). It will mark the first time the CFL season has opened in Steeltown since 1977.

The Toronto Argonauts are in Winnipeg for an East Division final rematch with the Blue Bombers on Friday night (8 p.m. ET), while the Calgary Stampeders host the B.C. Lions at McMahon Stadium on Thursday night (10 p.m., ET)."

Questions remain for fans:

"-Can Joseph duplicate his magical '07 season in Toronto this year? The Argos hope Joseph can take the load off a stellar defense that all too often had to anchor victories because of an inconsistent offense.

-Will Mike Vanderjagt be able to regain his form? After helping Toronto win consecutive Grey Cup titles in '96-'97, Vanderjagt bolted to the NFL, where he became the most accurate kicker in league history. But he didn't play football last year and returns to Toronto having not punted since '97, and struggled with kickoffs south of the border.

-The B.C. Lions were the CFL's top club last year with a 14-3-1 record, but had their season end with a loss to Saskatchewan in the West final. Many familiar faces return - including head coach/GM Wally Buonoand it will be interesting to see if the Lions can finish what they started last season.

-In Edmonton, head coach/football operations director Danny Maciocia is in the hot seat after having missed the CFL playoffs the last two years. The Eskimos were active in the off-season and if Maciocia can't get the team into the playoffs, there's a good chance he will be replaced.

-Finally, a feel-good story. Montreal quarterback Anthony Calvillo is back playing football after leaving the game late last year to be with his wife after she had been diagnosed with cancer. Thankfully, she's doing much better and Calvillo can again concentrate on playing. That's good news for first-year coach Trestman.

-Winnipeg isn't sure when veteran slotback Milt Stegall will return to the lineup. He missed all of training camp recovering from off-season knee surgery. But when Stegall does return, he will have one of the CFL's top receiving records in sight. He enters the season needing just under 200 yards to break Allen Pitts' career receiving yards mark of 14,891.

All questions, (Mark) Cohon says, that will be answered on the field."

Credit - Dan Ralph/The Canadian Press

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