CIS Countdown 2010: Alberta Golden Bears

In 50 words or less: The Golden Bears are coming off their first postseason berth after a three year drought, but they'll be in tough to make a return to the postseason with a relatively inexperienced CIS quarterback in Julian Marchand. They've shown glimpses of a team on the right track at times, but still lack the consistency of a perennial playoff team.

Burning questions:

CAN Julian Marchand step in and provide the Bears with consistency as QB?

WILL the Bears improve on their discipline after being the most penalized team in Canada West in '09?

HOW will kicker extraordinaire Hugh O'Neill fare in his draft year as a potential first round pick in the CFL Draft?

WHO will step in and fill the void left by last year's starting running-back Tendayi Jozzy?

2009 recap and record: (4-5) After an up and down regular season, Alberta met second place Calgary in the Stampede City for the Bears' first playoff game in three seasons. In the playoff version of the Battle of Alberta the Dinos came out with a dominating performance with Calgary easily handling Alberta in a 45-13 contest.

The Bears struggled at times again last season with turnovers at inopportune times, especially from the quarterback position where starter Quade Armstrong threw 16 interceptions – tied for the most in the conference with Regina starter Marc Mueller. Couple those turnovers with a conference high 95.9 yards per game in penalties, and the Bears were too often their worst enemy.

Departures: Quade Armstrong (QB), Symon Pfau (DB), Jeff Wollin (RB) Mike Wasylyniuk (Rec), Tendayi Jozzy (RB)

Arrivals: Eli Hankinson (OL), Shawn Walter (OL), Mike Wojcicki (REC), Bradley Quartel (REC), Jeff Vela (QB), David Berg (DB), Jon Mora (DB), Tommy Tsoumpas (LB), Steven Giang (DL) and Delano Tennent (DL).

Keep an eye on: QB - Julian Marchand. After not seeing a great deal of playing time last season, Marchand's ability to lead the Bears' offence will go a long way in determining if this team is ready to take strides forward. He showed flashes last year of a dynamic play maker especially with his running ability. With only 48 pass attempts a season ago, a lot of questions still remain about Alberta's new starting pivot, but without a doubt he will be one of more exciting players on the Green and Gold.

Coach and coordinators: Head coach Jerry Friesen is entering his 10th season as head coach, and also acts as the team’s defensive coordinator. Friesen has compiled an overall record of 36 - 43 as head coach of the Golden Bears, including a 3 - 4 playoff record, and was the 2004 CIS Coach of the Year.

Jeff Stead will be in his third season with the Bears as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Stead's major project this year will be helping new #1 QB Julian Marchand become the dynamic playmaker the Bears have lacked for the last several seasons.

From last season's preview: “A large part of the Bears' success will hinge on whether or not a true number one quarterback emerges, but they should be better this season. Predicted record: 3-5.”

Stock up or stock down: Down. After going 4-4 in the regular season in 2009, the Bears look in store for a slight down turn this year in the ultra competitive Canada West. They have brought in some new faces who should make an impact in the years to come, but they're still not ready for a breakout season. Julian Marchand's development was stunted by a lack of playing time a season ago and that could slow his rise.

Schedule (all times Mountain):

Saturday, August 28 @ Calgary - 7 p.m. (pre-season)
Saturday, September 4 @ British Columbia - 1 p.m.
Saturday, September 11 @ Manitoba - 2 p.m.
Saturday, September 18 vs. Calgary - 1 p.m.
Friday, September 24 vs. Saskatchewan - 7 p.m.
Saturday, October, 2 @ Regina - 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 16 vs. UBC - 1 p.m.
Saturday, October 23 vs. Manitoba - 1 p.m.
Saturday, October 30 @ Calgary - 1 p.m.

Next PostNewer Post Previous PostOlder Post Home


Post a Comment