Poll Recap – The 2015 Grey Cup Champions will come from (PT.2)

In yesterday’s #CFLPApoll recap I began what will ultimately be a week-long look at the 2015 versions of all 9 teams. If you missed the post, click here to see the breakdowns for both Calgary and Hamilton. If you’re all up-to-speed, let’s take a look at another 2 teams. Today we will move one step away from the 2014 Grey Cup championship with the divisional finalists in the: Montreal Alouettes, and the Edmonton Eskimos.

West

Edmonton

Team overview: This season’s Eskimos squad looks as though it is poised to start right where they left off in 2014. Chris Jones will enter his second year as head coach in Edmonton, and will look to reinforce the systems that he put in place last season. Similar to Calgary, Edmonton is looking forward to benefit from continuity. Mike Reilly will lead his offense, Adarius Bowman will catch his passes, Odell Willis and Alomondo Sewell will haunt quarterbacks, and Kendial Lawrence will open up the special teams playbook. There is a lot to look forward to if you are a fan of the Edmonton Eskimos.

Notable 2015 changes:

Intangibles: This team is going to be good. Why? They will be good because they were already good last season, and despite a few losses on the roster, this is very much the same team that troubled the league (safe Calgary) last season. It was announced yesterday that John White has suffered a season-ending injury, which truly is a shame as he was on my list of running backs to potentially lead the league this season. We wish John a speedy recovery. Without missing a step though, Hervey and Jones went and grabbed another proven-beast in Chad Simpson, who in 2012 rushed for 1,039 yards on a team that finished with a 6-12 record. Defensively, this group is among the scariest and deepest in the league. Check the names on D-line: Sewell, Steele, Willis. Linebackers: Sherritt, Kanya, McCoil. Defensive Backs: Foster, Hinds, Lawrence, and Watkins. Good luck to all opposing offensive coordinators.

East

Montreal

Team overview: Coming off a very polar 2014, the Alouettes look to shrug off their early season woes and embrace their late season heroics heading into 2015. Similar to Chris Jones in the previous section of this article, Tom Higgins is heading into his sophomore season with Montreal, which is undoubtedly a better position to be in relative to his freshman foray. Jim Popp made some very interesting off-season acquisitions as well, which should provide the Al’s with an offensive pop that was lacking at points last season. All things relative, this roster looks stronger than 2014.

Notable 2015 changes:

Intangibles: The Alouettes roster is currently brimming with talent. Proven talent at that. With the biggest veteran recruitment effort occurring in recent memory, Jim Popp has managed to acquire several potential hall-of-famers. Does that necessarily mean the team will be unstoppable? Of course not. Does that mean that all of the young Alouettes that struggled to find an identity early in 2014, now have pillars of the game to lean on? You bet. This team will be stronger than last season. Montreal’s defence was a shining point from start to finish last year, and damn if Popp didn’t lock every last one of them up for 2015. Jonathan Crompton will start as the team’s QB1, but this time, his receiving corps is as deep as they come. Look for Montreal to improve from a 9-9 record, and be a real Grey Cup contender in 2015.

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