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Title - Frederico Sanmartin
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Federico Sanmartin is the Edmonton Eskimos' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Federico was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Eskimos blog - Green and Gold Yardstick. He is an avid follower of both the CFL and his hometown Eskimos. Having followed the game closely for over two decades, you can contact him at fsanmartin@ourhometown.ca as he prepares to follow the Esks en route to the centennial Grey Cup match in Toronto.
CFL - East and West midterm report
Federico Sanmartin
OurHometown.ca

CFL - East and West midterm report
With Labour Day Weekend just around the corner, the “real” season is about to start in the CFL. This is the time when the pretenders begin to be separated from the contenders, begging the question, “who are the real contenders in 2012?”
PHOTO CREDIT - CFL.ca

Edmonton - Aug. 23, 2012 - With Labour Day Weekend just around the corner, the “real” season is about to start in the CFL. This is the time when the pretenders begin to be separated from the contenders, begging the question, “who are the real contenders in 2012?”

The first half of the season has brought surprises and breathtaking sensational finishes characteristic of a product only the CFL can produce.

West (as per the standings):

1) BC Lions - proving to be more than a fluke. Have posted a league-best 5-2 record to date and are once again showing why they may be hoisting the Grey Cup in Toronto come November. Was it any surprise that the biggest off-season addition for the Leos was defensive coordinator Rich Stubler? Only one of the best in the business, the Lions haven’t conceded a touchdown in three matches.

2) Edmonton Eskimos - a bit of a surprise to many that they are in second place and have spent some time atop the West. Predictably the Green and Gold have used a tough “bend but not break” defense (built by the aforementioned Stubler) to keep the team in games long enough for the offence, led by the incumbent Steven Jyles, to figure things out and score just enough points to win. Now that the games become closer, can this philosophy still hold true?

3) Calgary Stampeders = a team looking for an identity following the off-season departure of defensive coordinator Chris Jones and the season-ending injury to QB Drew Tate. QB Kevin Glenn is trying to do his part, but this is a team that will need some players to begin truly stepping up if the season is to be salvaged.

4) Saskatchewan Roughriders - started a promising 3-0 and were evaporating memories of a dreadful 2011. However, reality has struck back. The Riders haven’t won since and seemingly have not been close in each of their last two games. Rookie coach Corey Chamblin is finding out about life in the CFL and QB Darian Durant needs to start proving he is no flash in the pan.

East (as per the standings):

1) Toronto Argonauts - The off-season changes are proving beneficial - first place and an above .500 record. First year head coach Scott Milanovich is doing some good things. However, beneath the surface one wonders what is simmering with the somewhat mysterious release of running back Cory Boyd and the ups and downs of QB Ricky Ray. The veteran has done his thing with 2,073 passing yards (good for third in the league)and a 68.95 completion percentage. But again, finishing is an issue with only nine touchdown passes. Is he indeed over hyped?

2) Montreal Alouettes - little by little, this ever present contender is rounding into shape. Coming off an impressive win over rival Edmonton even without running back Brandon Whitaker and receiver Jamel Richardson, should we be writing the epitaph of their dynasty of sorts just yet? As long as the now 40-year-old Calvillo continues to do what he has been doing seemingly forever, the Als will be a contender.

3) Hamilton Tiger-Cats - still a team searching for consistency. QB Henry Burris and Head Coach George Cortez have been important additions and second-year receiver Chris Williams is en route to becoming as dominant as they come in the CFL. However, there are still too many ups and downs for this team. A sub .500 team that should be showing better. Can they get over the hump?

4) Winnipeg Blue Bombers - following a strong 2011 and a rather surprise appearance in the Grey Cup, Swaggerville is floundering and somewhat quiet. Not surprising given a disastrous 0-4 start to the season and another in a long line of injuries to QB Buck Pierce. Surprisingly, the Bombers are still in contention for a playoff spot. Not certain if they can pull a Lions-like turnaround, but if they get healthy a run into the playoffs is not outside the question.

Stay tuned for what’s in store. If 2012 has proven anything it’s that the unthinkable can always happen.


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