December 13, 2018

Checking Down: Singleton, Boateng getting NFL looks?

Dave Chidley/`

TORONTO — While some pending free agents are signing contract extensions, others are getting tryouts south of the border.

Elsewhere, there’s plenty of fallout from coaching hires in Toronto and Vancouver, as teams look to piece together their coaching staffs for 2019.

Finally, in Calgary, it appears the Stamps will hire from within to replace departed defensive coordinator DeVone Claybrooks.

Checking Down has your latest off-season news and notes.

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– With DeVone Claybrooks in as head coach, reports out of BC indicate Ryan Phillips and Rich Stubler will be part of the Lions’ coaching staff while Mark Washington could be on the outs (Farhan Lalji and Dave Naylor, TSN).

– According to Moe Khan, former Alouettes receiver Nik Lewis will be the Lions’ running backs coach (Moe Khan, TSN 690).

– For Lions GM Ed Hervey, who got to know DeVone Claybrooks over the last few years, there was no second guessing who would be best fit to replace Wally Buono in BC (Chris O’Leary,

– According to Marshall Ferguson, Mike Reilly going to the BC Lions is a foregone conclusion (Marshall Ferguson,


Esks defensive end Kwaku Boateng reportedly tried out with the Cleveland Browns (Patrick Doyle/

– Canadian defensive end Kwaku Boateng has reportedly worked out for the NFL’s New York Jets following a nine-sack sophomore season (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).

– With their three biggest stars pending free agency and an opening at defensive coordinator, the Eskimos face plenty of uncertainty this off-season (


With DeVone Claybrooks out, Dave Dickenson’s top priority will be finding a new defensive coordinator (

The Stampeders are reportedly set to promote Brent Monson to fill their vacant defensive coordinator role (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).

– Stamps middle linebacker Alex Singleton reportedly worked out with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns this week (TSN via Howard Balzer, Sports Xchange).

– According to 3 Down Nation, Singleton has four more workouts already scheduled for December and more coming in January has he tries to land an NFL roster spot (Justin Dunk, 3 Down Nation).

– Stamps GM John Hufnagel is working on his team’s O-line depth this month, bringing back offensive linemen Nila Kasitati and Justin Renfrow (

– The Stamps have also brought back three more Canadians, as Michael Kashak, Justin Lawrence and Royce Metchie will all be back in 2019.


Ed Gainey was named a CFL All-Star for the second year in a row (Arthur Ward/

– Riders 2018 draft pick and O-lineman Dakoda Shepley has worked out with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns (Howard Balzer, Sports Xchange).

– The Riders have added four nationals to their roster for 2019, including 2017 fifth-round draft pick and Regina product Mitchell Picton (


Bombers GM Kyle Walters turns his attention to a long list of pending free agents (Matt Smith/

– The Bombers have signed national fullback and special teams ace Mike Miller two a two-year contract extension, avoiding free agency (

– With change in the air in Calgary, are the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a position to emerge as one of the CFL’s next great powers? (Marshall Ferguson,

– The Bombers have added two more internationals to their roster, signing defensive lineman Evan Perrizo and defensive back Jimmy Pruitt.


It’s unclear whether Orlondo Steinauer will also handle defensive coordinator duties with the Ticats (

– With Jerry Glanville out, the Ticats have no shortage of options for defensive coordinator if Orlondo Steinauer doesn’t take on a duel role (Steve Milton, The Hamilton Spectator).

– Rich Stubler is rumoured to be going to BC, but according to Dave Naylor the Ticats are also interested in the veteran defensive coordinator (Dave Naylor, TSN).

– As he transitions to offensive coordinator, June Jones believes the Ticats’ offence could set records (Marshall Ferguson,

– While Craig Butler is just 15 months removed from his playing career, the former defensive back is considered a rising coaching star and a possible special teams coordinator as early as this year (Steve Milton, The Hamilton Spectator).



– New Argos head coach Corey Chamblin wouldn’t name a starting quarterback during Monday’s introductory press conference, alluding to a possible camp competition between James Franklin and McLeod Bethel-Thompson (

– Chamblin says he will act as both the Argos’ head coach and defensive coordinator this coming season, replacing Mike Archer at the helm of the defence (

– For Chris O’Leary, the Argos hiring Chamblin was like a simple quarterback sneak on third-and-inches — an easy call to make (Chris O’Leary,

– With a coach in place, the pressure shifts to Argos GM Jim Popp to get the team back in the playoffs in 2019 (Frank Zicarelli, Toronto Sun).


Receiver Julian Feoli Gudino will be back in REDBLACKS colours in 2018 (The Canadian Press)

– The REDBLACKS have signed extensions with pending free agents Ettore Lattanzio, Julian Feoli-Gudino and Richie Leone (


The Alouettes will have their starting offensive tackle back in the lineup for 2019 (Johany Jutras/

– With Mark Washington seemingly on the outs in BC, a reunion with his former team would be logical as the Als have an opening at defensive coordinator (Rick Moffat, TSN 690).

– Als GM Kavis Reed says recently-extended Tony Washington is ‘one of the best offensive tackles in the CFL’, fortifying the Alouettes’ O-line (

– Mont Tremblant, Que. will be the host of this year’s annual off-season meetings, where head coaches and general managers will be available to media throughout the week from Jan. 8-10 (