East Division

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

MONTREAL ALOUETTES

LAST YEAR: 10-8 (lost Grey Cup to B.C.)

COACH: Jim Popp (First season)

KEY RETURNEES: QB Anthony Calvillo, SB Ben Cahoon, WR Kerry Watkins, OL Scott Flory, OL Dave Mudge, RB Robert Edwards, P/K Damon Duval, LB Tim Strickland, DE Anwar Stewart, CB Chip Cox

KEY DEPARTURES: DT Adriano Belli (free agent, Toronto), DT Ed Philion (retired), WR Thyron Anderson (trade, Saskatchewan), WR O 'Neil Wilson (trade, Winnipeg), DB Richard Karikari (trade, Toronto), LB Duane Butler (released), KR Ezra Landry (released), DB Ricky Bell (released), FB Eric Lapointe (retired)

KEY NEWCOMERS: DT Steve Charbonneau (free agent, Edmonton), SB-KR Keith Stokes (trade, Toronto), LB John Grace (free agent, Calgary), WR Elijah Thurmon (free agent, Calgary), RB Jarrett Payton (NFL free agent), DT Eric Wilson (free agent, Winnipeg), CB Coby Rhinehart (trade, Montreal)

STRENGTH: Calvillo and Cahoon remain one of the top tandems in the league.

WEAKNESS: The defence took a hit with Philion's retirement and Belli's defection. Also Popp has never been a head coach for a full season.

PREDICTION: The Als always find a way to get it done. First in East.

WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS

LAST YEAR: 9-9 (lost East semifinal to Toronto)

COACH: Doug Berry (second season)

KEY RETURNEES: SB Milt Stegall,RB Charles Roberts, QB Kevin Glenn, WR Derick Armstrong, OL Obby Khan, OL Dan Goodspeed, DT Doug Brown, DE Tom Canada, LB Barrin Simpson, DB Kelly Malveaux, DB Anthony Malbrough

KEY DEPARTURES: DB Stanford Samuels (free agent, Edmonton), LB Ike Charlton (free agent,NFL), DT Ron Warner (trade, Edmonton), DT Eric Wilson (trade, Montreal), OL Garrick Jones (trade, Calgary), CB Omar Evans (released)

KEY NEWCOMERS: WR O'Neil Wilson (trade, Montreal), OL Alex Gauthier (trade, Calgary), OL Andrew Greene (free agent, Saskatchewan), DT Nate Davis (free agent, Saskatchewan), LB Corey Jenkins (NFL free agent), DB Davin Bush (free agent, Saskatchewan).

STRENGTH: The defence was one of the top three in the league last season and it 's looking even better in 2007.

WEAKNESS: Despite the numerous -- and dangerous -- weapons at his disposal, Glenn's offence still ranked near the bottom of the league. Can he take it up a notch?

PREDICTION: It's all up to Glenn and he'll be better. As long as he stays healthy enough to play every game. Second in East.

TORONTO ARGONAUTS

LAST YEAR: 10-8 (lost East final to Montreal)

COACH: Pinball Clemons (seventh season)

KEY RETURNEES: QB Damon Allen, QB Michael Bishop, WR Arland Bruce III, LB Kevin Eiben, CB Byron Parker, P/K Noel Prefontaine, RB John Avery,LB Mike O'Shea, DE Jonathan Brown, CB Jordan Younger, S Orlondo Steinauer

KEY DEPARTURES: RB Ricky Williams (released), DE Eric England (released), OL Jerome Davis (released, Hamilton), LB Antonious Bonner (released), DB Clifford Ivory (released), WR R. Jay Soward (released), SB Keith Stokes (trade, Montreal), OL Bernard Williams (released), QB Spergon Wynn (released)

KEY NEWCOMERS: OL Steve Morley (NFL free agent),OL Taylor Robertson (trade, Calgary), QB Mike McMahon (NFL free agent), DT Adriano Belli (free agent, Montreal), RB Jamel White (NFL free agent), LB Willie Pile (NFL free agent)

STRENGTH: The Boatmen's stingy defence is still experienced and talented -- a dangerous combination.

WEAKNESS: Not having a solid No. 1 quarterback could cause problems.

PREDICTION: The QB situation will cause problems. Third in East.

HAMILTON TIGER-CATS

LAST YEAR: 4-14 (missed playoffs)

COACH: Charlie Taaffe (First season)

KEY RETURNEES: QB Jason Maas, RB Jesse Lumsden, RB Corey Holmes, DB Tay Cody, WR Brock Ralph, OL George Hudson (injured to start the year), S Wayne Shaw

KEY DEPARTURES: DB Jason Goss (trade, Edmonton), RB Josh Ranek (released, Edmonton), WR Kamau Peterson (released, Edmonton), DE Tim Cheatwood (released, Montreal), DE James Cotton (released), SB Terry Vaughn (released),OL Wayne Smith (trade, Saskatchewan), WR D.J. Flick (trade, Saskatchewan), LB Rob Hitchcock (released), SB Mike Morreale (released)

KEY NEWCOMERS: DE Nautyn McKay-Loescher (free agent, B.C.), QB Timmy Chang (free agent), OL Jerome Davis (free agent,Toronto), WR Chris Bauman (draft), P/K Nick Setta (free agent), QB Rocky Butler (trade, Saskatchewan), DB Richard Karikari (free agent, Montreal).

STRENGTH: If anyone can turn around the hapless Tabbies, it's Taaffe.

WEAKNESS: Where do we begin? Maas was a wreck last year, the defence is full of newcomers and of the team 's top six receivers from last season, only Ralph remains.

PREDICTION: It will be tough sledding once again for the Tabbies. Fourth in East.


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