by the way...

Could also look at a guy like Crandell as Q.B. coach, assuming he does't end up with another offer as a player somewhere. He already lives in Regina and has some business interest their, aside from football, so it may be a good fit.

Teale is not our property.
Orban not abandoning CFL dream

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Hopefully ET can update us on that situation. I thought we owned the rights of a player who returns to college, so my question is, why did we release him if that is the case? And are we going to take another look?

Last article on Marcus I saw suggested he still thinks he can play. I am thinking the wounds might still be a little too fresh for him to coach for this team.
Someone suggested Dunnigan? As Et said somewhere, he is making far too much money and living far too comfortably to take a job as a QB coach. He might consider a HCing position someday for the challenge, but QBC? Not gonna happen! I don't really see Allan as a good coach. Never know though. Dickenson is still with Calgary, isn't he? Maybe Drew Tate needs a job?

So you’d rather find a new rookie, to have another “rookie” season at WR … or gamble with somebody interternal, who had an unspectatular rookie season, than entertain the idea of trading for a proven WR ?

You’ve got too many players for the reciever postition. If you’re getting offers for some of them, you should at least be considering it – rather than refuse the offer and end up releasing that same player after pre-season.

You’re almost as bad as Mike.

We have a very specific and detailed plan (at every position on the team) and it will unfold in time, with a few minor modifications as we go. But, we are not "looking for players"...our neg list is prepared to go after specific players we have already targeted and have been speaking with (or their agents)...outside FREE AGENTS excluded. And, no, it does not include trading players we expect to help us in 2009. By the way, Zbest, do you know who the inquiring team asked for? I do. Do you know what we were offered in return? I do. And, if we didn't think it was to our benefit, we should still "consider it" because of the depth we have???

This is the bottom line: We KNOW our group, strength and weaknesses, and feel they will be part of a much improved offense in 2009. And, after winning 12 games back to back, SOME will give us the benefit of the doubt until the season begins.

You and the coaching staff have doen a remarkable job with the team!! Two home playoff dates and a Grey Cup..keep it coming.
Just had a few questions.
What does the future hold for Matt and DJ??
When are these coaching announcements coming?? I thought today??
How impressed are you with Dalton Bell? Is he the real deal??
Status of Paul Smith??
thanks, Keep up the winning ways!!

Wow, after some of these posts , you should change your name to "its not easy being green"... :?

If you explained it the way you did in that latest post, instead of the original one, we wouldn't have to hammer you for clarification.

I think that's a lot of what Mike's problem is ... ducking and jiving from questions and not being clear about things.

Tell me this, Zbest: how many other GM's come on two open forums and answer questions from the fans! So, you ducking and jiving comment is not only's insulting! If you don't understand some of what I say, or if the media reports partial aspects of what I say, it's NOT MY PROBLEM that you don't get that from either perspective. And, if you want to challenge me on any front (in terms of honesty), go right ahead. I'll take that challenge!!!!!!!!

You know, I was with Kent last week at an Ole Miss basketball game and we were talking about a couple of situations and the reactions they created. He said, "You can have four consecutive winning seasons and some people are just gonna BITCH because that's how they're wired. Keep winning and laugh it off..."

...although indirectly hinted at, the 'ducking and jiving' comment was directed at Mikejth, not yourself mr. green...

Why do you feel the need to hammer anyone about anything??? (edited - no insults) so you can understand....., why would we consider trading for a HIGHPRICED receiver when we are already deep at receiver (at much lower cost). Like Eric said, this isn't fantasy football (edited - no swearing). We already have a younger and cheaper Adarius Bowman who IMO has just as much upside as Derick Armstrong ( guess what Bowmans projected recieving yards were for the season once he got hurt) and whatta ya know, he is already familiar with our system. I said it once and I'll say it again, think before you post.

close, three edits in a post and that earns ya a 24 hour suspension

thank u happy to be green for answering my comments
i tell you I dont know whose job is more intense yours or my favorite hockey team (Bob Gainey)
Both I bet are dream jobs but you will always have fans wanting perfection.

For all you naysayers, we finished in second in last 2 years.
Our team is strong, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
I for one is enjoying the ride, we arent the laughing stock in the league.
Teams are actually lining up trying to get some of our FA's
Im looking forward in watching our 3 qbs and our awesome receivers

In Eric we trust :rockin:

I find it interesting…me being referenced in this thread on a number of occasions. I guess that is what happens when you shoot from the hip and don’t drink Kool-aid from

In terms of who the bombers are shopping and if riders should be interested. In terms of KG, I don’t think he fits our offensive scheme, he doesn’t scramble and he isn’t that effective sprinting out. As the Marcus experiment showed last year. We would need to revamp our offensive scheme to meet have someone like KG play. However, that is not to say that he could be a valauble asset to Montreal a team that has an offense built around a pocket passer. I fully believe last years problems in Winnipeg for KG were not of his doing, look at the team as a whole to see how disfunctional it was. There is reason why the coach is gone, the gm is gone. When one player refuses a trade, I mean come on.

There have been a significant number of comments being made about developing our young quarterbacks. Well, imo, that is what we should have done last year. To sit there and believe we should be going with young three quarterbacks, who combined have less then full season real game time behind them is putting the best possible team on field is just drinking more kool-aid.

In terms of Armstrong, the downside to bringing him in is salary. But if we look at it from a rationale prespective, Matt D, while appears to healthly is a big question mark, so is DJ if we can resign him we still don’t know if he is fully recovered. There is a significant amount be said about Dressler, yes he is good, but frankly he is big and most teams have that big WR that can go over top of the defenders. While AB, showed some promise, he also showed he was wildly inconsistant. If you are bringing a young quarterback around you need a good stable of solid experienced receivers to help him out.

In terms of Canada, while he is good, he is problem and wouldn’t touch him

Eric, I get the sense the from a couple of your more recent posts that you think the 2008 season is something that as fans we should find acceptable. I know you are going to state winning our second straight home playoff game and second straight 12 wins in a season as being great accomplishments. However, neither of these should be considered acceptable when the objective is winning championships. IMO the 2008 ranks below the 1988 in terms of being major disappointments, we had a team that at the end of 2007 season looked solid.

We are now about to enter the second full season after winning the cup, and we still have the same concerns that identified at the beginning of 2008 season. We still don’t have a proven quarterback or a replacement for Perry. While I can understand your pre-occupation with have a solid core of Canadian talent, it doesn’t mean jack, if we don’t win cups. Really having the “two best back to back seasons since who cares” doesn’t mean jack unless you are winning cups. I am old enough to have been around to witness the 1st rider cup win and the 4 cup appearances over the next 10 years. I know how it felt to have really solid teams not reach the top.

I know some of you are going to say I am to hard on the team. Let me clear that up right now, yes injuries played a big part of the 12 win season. But when you look at the projected started line-up at the beginning of the season and the one that played the semi final. The only two positions impacted by injuries at that time were Flick and Matt D. So what happened, it was the quarterback problem and a lack of consistent pass rush. Both that still exists today.

It is interesting, Kelly, Marino, Meredith, Tarkenton all had great seasons with great teams but could never put it together to win the big one. So you don’t want to talk about NFL, how about closer to home AC with Montreal or Ronnie L with Sask (only one win in 5 attempts as a starter). No body cares about how good the team played in any given year, if they don’t win the cup it doesn’t matter. In 10 years, you ask the average NFL fan about last years Superbowl, they will say that is the year New York won, Eli Manning, Peyton’s little brother was the star. As a footnote, some might mention oh year that was the year New England went 17-1 the only game they lost was the superbowl.

Mike, I read your post with great interest. You are, of course, entitled to any opinions based on your perspective of football, life, etc.

I would respond to your disatisfaction with 2008 as follows:

  1. I agree that 2008 was, in some respects, a disappointment. Our performance in the western final was far from our expectations. But, in saying that, let's give full credit to the BC Lions...who flat out beat us!!!

  2. I do feel, though, that given the circumstances (league leading injuries) which occured, winning 12 games WAS a significant achievement. As, Wally told me recently, he had never seen a team in all of his years as a player or a coach have the number of major injuries we suffered. Seven or eight broken bones, pretty much says it all. And, that of course, is not counting a torn achilles, broken ribs, and a couple of serious knee injuries. It was truly the season from hell...

  3. The basis of number two (the positive aspect), of course, is taking history into account. As I look at our media guide, this franchise (prior to 2007) had won TWO CHAMPIONSHIPS since 1910!!! As such, if anything short of winning the Grey Cup is failure, then we must have set a record for misery and frustration in this province. And, based on those numbers (two championships in 96 years), I don't feel winning one in two years is something be angry about. If so, goodness, how must they feel in Winnipeg, where it's now 19 and counting.

  4. And, again with a review of history, when this franchise had finished 9-9 for THREE CONSECUTIVE SEASONS, I do feel back to back 12 win seasons is something to be proud of. I know how hard our players and coaches worked, and I respect the merits of what they accomplished. If you don't, again, that's your right.

  5. And, lastly, with a historic perspective, yes, I AM proud of back to back home playoff games. Since that had not been achieved in Saskatchewan since 1975-75, I, too, feel it is monumental. It impacted our bottom line very favourably, and has gone a loooog way toward changing the perception of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Around the league, this franchise is respected, and our fans (who are remarkable) should love every second of their team reaching a new level.

In closing, Mike, I realize some people will be angry and disappointed if we have two more winning seasons and don't win a Grey Cup in '09 or '10. Or, heck, some will be discontented even if we win it this year, and, then, finish third in 2010. That's life in the "fishbowl," and various attitudes and personalities are what they are. We all see the world differently. For example, some see Montreal's season as a failure with the home Grey Cup disappointment. I, however, view it as a remarkable accomplishment for Marc (as a first year coach) and for Anthony (who dealt with so much personal adversity with his wife's cancer).

Enjoy the balance of your weekend. I'm off to dinner with Richie Hall.

Eric let us deal with your points

  1. I suspect that most fans would be willing to express serious doubt that the riders had their best team on the field to start the game. Most of my friends, were commenting the moment it was clear that Bishop would start, that the game was lost. His performance in the two games against in September was poor to say the least. While we might not have won with DD, at least he would of gained some valauble experience.

  2. As I said look at the projected starters from the beginning of the season to the team we fielded in the semi final. With the exception of having a bonafide qb starter and someone to replace Perry, we fielded almost all of our starters, DJ and Matt D, being the exception. While I agree the injuries were considerable, they were not considerable enough to stop the team from getting 12 wins.

  3. See there again you go and use a word like "angry". Yes, I would say fan in Winnipeg are very disappointed 19 years is a long time. However, given the riders had a solid starting qb in 2007, decided to go backwards 2008 to point where we don't even have starter now, well let us say that is major disappointment.

  4. You want mention the 9 - 9 seasons, fine let us look at them. 2006 playoffs the riders were 1 and 1, as underdogs, they they beat the highly regarded Stamps, but lost badly to BC. Some have said they left everything on field in Calgary for Danny and didn't have enough for left over for BC. Overall most accepted it as done deal because the change was in the works. 2005 they were 0 and 1, as a cross over team. This year was another year where injuries played a big part of the season. Most would likely rate this as a disappointing season give the results of 2004. Another 1 and 1 post season, if it had not been for a missed field goal the riders could very well have been in the cup.

From team overcoming odds point of yes the 2008 regular season exceeded these 3 years. From being a competitive going into the play-offs with a believe we could win 2008 falls below the 2005, I suspect most fans that can remember the hype and the team would say they had more confidence in 1988 team winning that play off game.

  1. Eric, I hate to break your bubble here, it hasn't been the two home games that have lead the respectability factor returning to Saskatchewan from around the league. That is a process that was started by Shivers and Barrett. They were the ones that turned the team around they were the ones who encouraged good players to come to Sask because the team would be committed to winning. When I look at that attendance figure going back years you can see the change starting.
    1991 - 22,597 1992 - 21,704 1993 - 23,851 1994 - 24,455 1995 - 28,500 1996 - 22,376 1997 - 27,038 1998 - 24,141 1998 - 24,141 1999 - 19,327 2000 - 24,715 2001 - 22,097 2002 - 24,226 2002 - 24,226 2003 - 29,352 2004 - 24,783
    2005 - 25,454 2006 - 25,293 2006 - 25,293 2007 - 27,457 2008 - 29,996
    I will give you and mostly Austin credit for taking a team with a significant amount of potential and moving it next to level in 2007.

There is a reason why the riders had a large number of mediocre years in from mid 70's. It was because as team they were willing to accept a second string or down and out quarterback to start it was because the riders couldn't compete or didn't want to compete with some of the salaries. There is no reason for that.

I noticed you once again used the word angry, in your summation, while there may be a rabid fan out there that take this serious enough to get angry. I suspect that vast majority of fans who are willing to admit that dispite the odds the riders had a good 2008 season but are disappointed that two key areas that were major question marks before the season are still major questions marks going into 2009 season. IMO, the riders would have been better off giving the reins to Jyles and DD from Labour day forward and let the chips fall where they did.

Mike, for what it's worth, at dinner tonight (we had a small dinner for Richie and his family, visiting from the States) Richie spoke and said what we accomplished THIS YEAR going 12-6 may have been just as impressive as either of the two Rider Grey Cup championship teams he was on (as a player and as a coach). But, he's dead wrong, too, right? And, so is Wally Buono (based on your argument)...regarding what he said in the previous posts relative to our record in the injury ravaged season we just experienced. But, hey, what does Wally Buono know about football???

Mike, if you wish to continue arguing that ONE WINNING SEASON (2003) IN SEVEN YEARS is somehow better than back to back 12 wins seasons, then type your fingers off. You are entitled to your opinion, even when you want to suggest that Richie Hall is mistaken in his evaluation of 2008, too!!!

But, the facts are the facts...

2007 and 2008 were the best two seasons in Rider history since 1969-1970! And, 2007 and 2008 were also the first two back to back home playoff games since 1975 and 1976. And, during those years we've had a coach of the year, a rookie of the year, and, oh yeah, a Grey Cup championship!

I can’t find Wally Buono’s comments or previous posts in this thread. Are they in another? I also will add that if anyone thinks that going 12-6 with all of our injuries isn’t a large achievement, they don’t know football. Last year was one of the worst spate of injuries I can ever remember happening to any professional football team. I’ve never heard of 6 or 7 broken legs on one football team in one year. Just ludicrous really when you think about it.

But where are Wally’s comments?

I alluded to Wally saying he had never seen a team suffer through injuries like we did. By inference (I should have made it much clearer), I ASSUMED the balance was clear: Wally was saying Kenny Miller did one helluva job dealing with unparalled adversity. That may not be verbatim, but it is pretty darn close to being word for word for Wally said to me on the field AFTER the western semi final.

And, to clarify one more point (sent Mikejth continues to bring it up): Who started at quarterback, and how they were utilized is NOT my call. Kenny Miller is the head coach and he makes those decisions. Right or wrong, I followed through on the suggestion to acquire Michael Bishop. And, right or wrong, I made the decision to cut Michael two days after the western final. That does fall in my domain, after the season...and, as I told Michael, I take full responsibility for the decision and the timing of it. Period.

And, lastly, for what it's worth, I'm very excited about how we're positioned at quarterback. With Darian, Steven and Dalton, I believe we have talent and depth.


It is interesting how you want to state/imply that Wally B's and Richie H's opinions are fact. The only thing that is fact about them is that they said them. Yes, riders had a sucessful regular season given the circumstances. That is a reflection on the players that were able to step and the quick start the team got.

However, just as Wally B and Richie H said the riders had good a regular season. They are both on the other side of the fence right just waiting to play the riders who haven't improved at the two positions they were weak at last year. Once again going into training camp both the quarterback position and Fred Perry's position are weaknesses. It that weakness that made us underdogs in our own stadium in the semi final. If you think fans should have been satisified with the way the season ended, then I find it ironic you dumped Bishop so fast. That to me doesn't sound like a person who was satisified with the outcome.

Now I know you are going to come back with some witty little comment or some other little duck and weave strategy. But I will point something out to you. I fan been a fan of the saskatchewan roughriders, longer then wally b, richie h and even you have been involved in the cfl. I will still be fan of the team after the three of you are gone (retired, moved on, fired whatever). Do I know more about football then wally b and richie, no, does that mean my opinion should count any less no.

I will make this so simple even you will be able to understand.

  1. With the improvements that the team started to show in 2000, the showed they were moving in the right direction. From 2002 onwards, I truly believed, in any of those years the riders could have gone to cup and won. Despite their record 9 & 9 record three years in a row, I believed the riders had the chance to win. In 2004 we were a field goal away, from going to the cup. Was 2004 a better year, in terms of regular season wins no. But it was year when the riders lost their starting quarterback and we still came back and made it interesting in playoffs.

  2. 2008 was the first year in the last 6 years, where I had a doubt about the riders ability to win. The primary reason, while Marcus was a good back up he clearly had been a starter in years. Going into this year with the exterme lack of progress and I would even venture to say major step backwards in the quarterback position, I honestly don't see us competeing for 1st. If Toronto bounces back, it could be hard for Sask to make the playoffs. But as a fan, I have to hope and believe that maybe DD will be able step it up and win.