June 7, 2024

Ferguson: 5 thoughts ahead of Stamps vs. Ticats

CFL.ca

When the 2023 CFL schedule came out, many people, current company included, were a bit disappointed by the lack of a true Bo Levi Mitchell return to his old stomping grounds out West.

Well, things have changed this season, as the Stamps will host Bo and co. in year two of his Black and Gold foray, which leads me into five looming thoughts smashing around inside my football brain as we set a direct crash course for Week 1 football.

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BO LEVI’S RETURN

We can not understate the impact Bo Levi Mitchell had on Calgary in his time there. I had a unique perspective from a 2013 Calgary training camp experience as the (then CIS) U SPORTS QB internship program. Bo was entering his second season with Drew Tate and Kevin Glenn both ahead on the depth chart, but the talent, and his future as the starter, were inevitable.

From there I saw Bo’s story grow as a member of the media until he moved to my current hometown of Hamilton. Anywhere you go in these parts, everyone wants to talk about Bo, his health, and the impact he can have on making Hamilton a very real contender, when healthy.

It’s reminiscent of Bo’s Calgary peak and speaks to his ability to draw in football fans far and wide from both sides of the country. Pitting Bo against his old team, and backup Jake Maier, in Week 1 is THE story of season kickoff festivities to me. A masterclass in engagement and intrigue to get Friday Night Football ignited for 2024.

WILL FLOWERS BLOOM IN TIME?

 

One of the great eye popping performances last season was Carthell Flowers-Lloyd becoming one of the CFL’s very best special teams performers. The numbers were great in a discipline which is often difficult to evaluate properly, but watching him work the field with such skill and vicious pace in person is really what impressed me.

Carthell is currently listed on the injury report as dealing with a hamstring injury and has been ruled out for the contest. No Flowers-Lloyd means a less effective special teams unit for Hamilton as they get set to take on one of the CFL’s most consistent third phase teams.

MAIER’S NEXT STEP

For Jake Maier, 2022 was a feeling out process. 2023 was an evolution that fell short.

What is 2024?

It has to be a step forward and Week 1 at home against your old teammate is the perfect time to show where all the hard work over the winter has taken his game. Jake is steady and consistent, but it’s the three or four plays a game which separate quarterbacks from average to great and Maier has to find a way to make more of those to leap his career into the next phase.

STEVEN DUNBAR JR.’S ALBERTA ADVENTURE

Steven Dunbar Jr. burst onto the scene in Hamilton, cashed in with Edmonton and flamed out in completely unexpected fashion. Well, back to Hamilton he goes with more motivation than ever and a quick trip back to Calgary continues his Alberta adventure as he once again pairs with Tim White in what was a special 1-2 punch a few short years ago.

Dunbar’s game has typically been all about the home run with a monstrous average depth of target. Will he strike out swinging in Week 1 or be the difference?

TIM WHITE TONE-SETTER?

One of the CFL’s very best pass-catchers since entering the league has been Tim White. Without him as a centre piece, I’m not sure Hamilton could have strung together their win-loss records of the last couple years and White, rightfully, decided to push for more money this off-season.

Well, he got more and now the team needs more of Tim White in order to rise in the CFL.ca Power Rankings and East Division standings. He needs more targets, more catches, and more touchdowns to close the deal in score zone situations.

The more Tim White is involved, the better off Hamilton and Bo Levi Mitchell will be. If Tim is going to chase greatness again this season why not kick it off with a bang in Calgary.

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