In an interview with BT on the sportscage the question was asked where Isaac will fit in. His answer is at Will LB to battle with youngster Peters. For Isaac that would mean a position change from SAMLB to Will LB.
The conflict comes from an early question that the Cage had about Sam Hurl with the Riders coaching staff. The answer was he is still here, healthy, and ready to take over at Will LB for the departed Butler to Hamilton. This makes sense as well as they have reaquired Shomari Williams another Canadian whose best time on the field with the Riders was when he was at Will LB and has always been a valuable Teams player on coverage teams
Hurl also had a great rookie season on Teams but also was excellent subing in on 2nd and long passing packages for the final 9 games of the season.
Game on. If anyone thought that the Riders defense would take a hit on defense with departing players that is some very very good talent at Will LB to battle competition in TC
I do not disagree. I am one of the people who feel that they are just as good as last year even with losing some key players, they already had players on the roster to replace them or they have or will acquire such players.
Sholo was a huge hit along with Evans. Agfain Taman has said they will just fo import at that spot now. From what I see at least there is nothing to suggest otherwise.
The Will LB slot though could be either or with the Hurl/Williams Combo or what appears now to be the Isaac/Peters slot.
It could also be a swing position where both Import and Canadians will play in different packages
Moving Isaac grom Sam to Will is something that we saw before. It often does not work because SAM LB no are converted DBS(CB/HB) and moving them to a true traditional LB position often are undersized a bit in weight.
A hard hitting safety, like Butler, seems to be better for a swith of positions from DB (Safety).
Also they lost their starting MLB mid way last season and had MLB by comitte.
The last two seasons at least they played a very modern defensive scheme using a lot of players in a rotation and different packages.
Officially probably will name 6 Canadians on offense and one on defense for the ratio minimum but using a lot of different Canadian players in different packages
The MLB spot looks to have 3 well resumed pro calibre players. Ivy Morty was signed last July so he knows the system. Even if mcCoulough does return for another season I am not sure he would even be in the mix.
With Hurl and Williams Peters ( who they have brought along slowly) and Isaac I expect to see different packages as well as a rotion. All 4 are qualified CFL players now. Hurl was the 2nd and long LB in for Lobo 2 years ago so he has been in the system and Williams has started at WILL LB (When he did not do that well as a MLB)
It will be a good competition with some very good football players to see who plays where and when the 2 LB spots.
I would expect to see at least one of the new import LB's in reserve on the 9 game to start the season and possibily another younger one on the PR.
Both Hurl and Williams should be on the roster IMHO playing teams which they are both good at and earning a role on defense.
Along those lines I though they would have taken a Canadian safety in the Draft but chose a DE/LB instead. That would leave Hugo Lopez to pick up Newmans role as a second safety and teams guy. Or I wonder if Woldu could see some time on D this season.
Geez who said they will be hurting on defense or with Canadian depth is crazy
Intersting that Hurl is working for the MLB spot. I always saw him as a WillLB. Peters seems to be the Guy at Will so far. Morty Ivy is very good and being able to keep himlast season helps him a lot. Kilgore is also very good. In fact he and Peters workout together in the off season.
Shamari Willlimas has been hurt all camp
Not worried about LB at all. Its the most athletic and instinctive position on the field. If you're a good athlete with a motor, you can probably play LB. There are tons of guys out there who can do this. For the most part, one is as good as another.
The keys to strong defense are d line and secondary. If you have 4 guys who can control the line of scrimmage and get consistent pressure up front, and you have 4 or 5 guys who can play man coverage at the back, then just throw the best athletes you can at LB.
The Riders have lots of guys who can play man very well (probably best secondary in league), and as long as they come up with someone who can replace Sholo at DT then they will have a top 1 or 2 D-line as well.
The defense has only ONE question mark - defensive tackle. That's it.
Yes the Canadian content is not their on defense. The offense is a plenty loaded with talented Canadians that will place 6 ratio spots on offense btween the Oline, receivers, and the regular use of TEs and FB/Hbacks.
Foley will start but the other two DE would be Chick and Taylor. I just do not see Woldu being successful as a FT field CB. First he would be a huge dropoff and is more or less a Teams player now. Other teams do have Canadian DB who are starting to emerge as effective field CB but the Riders do not have any.
Hurl may be as good as Morty Ivy but at the Will Spot Peters seems to have that locked down. Shamari Williams cant seem to stay healthy and Kilgore is also a fine LB. Lee was acquired spcifically as a back up for Chick but not ideal to see that much time.
I don't think they were planning on losing Zack Evans who would have played perfectly into the Dline rotation rotating in at DT whetehr it be with or without Foley in at the same time and still have no real dropoff.
It will be a ratio by comittee spot on defense with the major players taking those roles likely to be packaged with Foley, Lee, Hurl, and Likley Lopez(in a dime package)