Exercises in drudgery

PAUL FRIESEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:48 AM ET

So much for the CFL's resurgence in scoring.

After a one-year bump last season, the 2009 campaign is right back in the dumpster when it comes to high-flying offence, despite rule changes designed to produce more points.

Last weekend's exercises in drudgery -- six of the eight teams didn't even hit 20 points -- leaves the average points per game this season at under 50 (49.9), just like in 2006 and '07.

It's not as bad as the '06 season, where the 46.7 points-per-game average was the lowest in 21 years.

But teams are averaging a full touchdown per game less than the 56.2-point pace set a year ago.

While the league touted the '08 season as the sixth-highest scoring in history, it's not likely to flaunt these numbers.

Last weekend's scores reflected perfectly the lack of scoring punch: 15-14, Calgary over Hamilton; B.C. over Saskatchewan, 19-16; Montreal over Toronto, 27-8.

When the offensively challenged Winnipeg Blue Bombers are your highest scoring team (27 points, same as the Alouettes), you know you've had a bad week.

The Stamps won without scoring a touchdown, the first time they've done that in 14 years.

Teams are scoring a combined 4.4 touchdowns per game, compared to 5.3 a year ago.

Already seven times, a team's been held to single digits in scoring.

Hey, I'm all for good defence. But with our wide-open field and three downs, aren't we supposed to see a few more touchdown celebrations?

We're still a touchdown per game up on NFL games, which are averaging 42.4 points so far this season. But many more weekends like the last one, and that gap will shrink.

The main culprits: the Bombers and Argos, the only teams not even close to breaking the 300-point mark through 13 games.

They're a large reason the average passing output per game has dropped by 75 yards, too, from 581 to 506.

This is officially a trend, with three of the last four years producing paltry numbers.

This season the league tweaked some rules, making kickoffs mandatory after field goals and moving kickoffs back after conceded safeties, in an effort to enhance field position and promote scoring.

It might be time for more than a tweak.

GLENN GRUMPY: Can't help but notice what's happening in Hamilton, where we're told backup quarterback Kevin Glenn isn't happy with his lack of playing time.

TSN panelist Milt Stegall let us in on Glenn's feelings, something No. 5 rarely, if ever, did.

Ticats coach Marcel Bellefeuille probably didn't appreciate that little breach of locker-room security.

"He had no direct quotes from Kevin, so either it's something that Milt's pontificating on or it's something that was said between two friends," Bellefeuille told the Hamilton Spectator. "And as some of the guys in the NFL are starting to find out, sometimes you're speaking to a member of the media and not a friend."

A couple weeks back, Stegall also told us silent receiver Romby Bryant already wanted out of Winnipeg early in the season.

What's next, Stegall speaking for the late Marcel Marceau?

BARRIN WASTELAND: It's come to this for Barrin Simpson: the locked-out Bomber linebacker desperately calling around the league in an attempt to work out his own trade.

The Vancouver Province reports Simpson called B.C. Lions boss Wally Buono, the man who unceremoniously released him after the 2005 season.

If there are two coaches Simpson will never play for again, you would think they are Buono and Winnipeg's Mike Kelly.

It shouldn't end like this for a player like Simpson.

But it appears it might.

Contact Paul at paul.friesen@sunmedia.ca or call 632=2788


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