The Green Zone Daily Dozen - July 28th

1.    Darian Durant obliged to sit down with CJME Morning Show host Sam Maciag for a quick interview on his recovery etc. Durant says he’s doing about as good as you can after an achilles rupture. He has to keep his leg elevated about 22-23 hours a day to keep the blood flow down. As for the team, it hurts the franchise quarterback to see this start, even admitting he’s shed a few tears watching his team struggle without him. His response to his head coach getting the heat with some wanting him canned, “Coach (Chamblin) has took me to heights in my career that I’ve never been. He’s always been a supporter of mine and a great coach to me so it’s definitely tough hearing that people want him out of this city. You know, I’ve been through the same thing. It’s just part of playing football here. We have some passionate fans and they want to win, you have to understand that. I think every one in this profession understands that so it’s sad to see it happy to Coach (Chamblin). I think if there is any one who can get this thing turned around it’s him.” You can hear the full interview on The Green Zone tonight.

2.    Jerome Messam is also coming to his coach’s defence on twitter. His series of tweets went like this; “Sucks to be 0-5 but c'mon ppl let's not hit the panic button too soon. #BC2011 … Our coach taking a lot of unwarranted heat and some of the things I hear is silly. The mans been winning up to this point, now we off to a slow start its off with his head? The formula has worked and our staff isn't doing anything different. The wins will come keep the faith.” I don’t remember the players backing up Greg Marshall like this in 2011. Chamblin still has the locker room, but it’s fair to question if he has the horses in there to get the wins. Do we need to look higher?

3.    The Ottawa Redblacks swept the CFL Top Performer Awards; Henry Burris, Chris Williams and new comer Aston Whiteside tore up the Stampeders with sacks, tackles, forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. What a debut for the former Argonaut.

4.    CFL NUMBERS: The East is back… so far. They are 8-5 against West Division teams. The last time the East won the season series was 2004. That’s over a decade the West has ruled and right now with the way all four Eastern teams are playing, I’m not sure the tide will turn the other way. Other numbers: The top QB pass ratings are by first or second year starters (Trevor Harris, Rakeem Cato and Drew Willy), scoring is up 11% from last year to just over 50 points per game (still down from 2013 numbers), The Argos 21-point come back on the road was the third largest comeback by a road team in the league’s history!

5.    OK, I know you want to know about penalties. Last week they were up again. 24.5 penalties per game. The week previous it declined to 23 per game. Hopefully this isn’t the water mark and we start seeing a deep decline when the second third of the season starts in August.

6.    The Bombers look like they will start Brian Brohm against the B.C. Lions. Drew Willy took limited first team reps. They’ll wait until tomorrow to decide who is the number one guy, but on day three if Brohm is taking the first reps, that’s a pretty good indication. Advantage, B.C. I’ve never been impressed with Brohm behind centre.

7.    The story out of Montreal is Michael Sam is getting closer and closer to getting on the 44-man playing roster. That may be one of the most viewed games of the CFL season because the last time we saw Sam play in a game was the pre-season in the NFL and he looked good and then ended up not making the team. I’m not anticipating him lighting the league on fire, but I am interested to actually get an indication of his ability against CFL calibre offensive lineman. We’ll finally get to judge him on the only thing we should, his playing ability.

8.    Tom Brady will be suspended for four games after Roger Goodell agreed with himself that it was the appropriate suspension. The latest news of this story is Tom Brady destroyed a cell phone the day before or the day of his interview for the Wells’ report investigation. Sniff, sniff… yep, that smells really fishy. The league says there were over 10,000 texts and calls from that cell phone in the four months they were able to monitor it’s activity, however, Brady got it whacked before any body could get a hold of what was contained in any of those texts. Brady says he often destroys phones and SIM cards to ensure they don’t get into the wrong hands. I’m sure this is common practice for celebrities… isn’t that the smartest thing to do? However, to get it done the day of your hearing? That doesn’t look good. But still, he took part in a ‘scheme’ (league’s words to make it sound like a mafia hit) to deflate footballs. A one or two game suspension sure, but FOUR? That’s the same suspension they gave Greg Hardy, who the league had evidence saying he damn near killed the woman. Four is ridiculous given those circumstances, as it is for deflating footballs.

9.    This could be it for Roger Goodell. If Tom Brady takes him to court and wins, costing the league millions, I doubt he can keep his job. He is tossing the league’s biggest star right under the bus for deflating footballs in a game that didn’t matter if they were playing with nerf balls or rugby balls. They have a rule in place for a $25,000 fine for messing with the integrity of the football … but they nail Tom to the cross. Weird.

10.    Meanwhile, in a lot more positive news the NFL isn’t totally out of whack. The Arizona Cardinals have hired a woman coach to help inside linebackers during training camp. The story of Jen Welter is a great one. A 14-year star in a women’s football league was the first woman to play a position other than kicker in a men’s pro league. She was a running back and special teams player. And now she’s the first ever female coach in professional football. Head Coach Bruce Arians said coaching is teaching and he needs to find the best teachers for his team and believes she can help.

11.    The Toronto Blue Jays made a blockbuster deal as they get rid of band-aid Jose Reyes and bring in 29-year short stop and perennial all-star Troy Tulowitzki. Tulowitzki is a great hitter and it meant the Jays had to give up three right handers from their prospect list, including Miguel Castro. The Jays also get 42-year old reliever LaTroy Hawkins as a throw in to the deal. It’s the Jays making another big splash on the trade front, that started with the deal that landed them Reyes in the first place. The R.A. Dickey deal was abysmal. The Reyes deal brought in veteran Mark Buehrle which has paid off. Josh Donaldson has been great. But they need arms. We’ll see where this goes.

12.    The Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has another head scratcher of a trade. They dealt centre Nick Bonino for centre Brandon Sutter. They are the same guy, except for Bonino is two years older. So then he throws in Adam Clendening and a second round picks only to get a conditional third rounder in return…. HUH? I don’t think the Canucks got that much better, but they give up another second round pick. Terrible asset management!

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