DE status - Odell Willis

Now we know why no interest in Baggs ---> :smiley: REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders acquired all-star defensive end Odell Willis on Thursday in a trade with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

I don't know if I like this trade, we kind of needed that 8th selection in the draft to replenish our receiving corps, but this could mean we draft Chambers first overall and passing on Heenan, which I wouldn't be overly upset about, seeing as how the interior of our O-line is one of the strong points now after acquiring Labatte. But we also needed to get a proven DE who we know can play. Hopefully one of these prospects we brought in can fill the other side, or Hawkins find a way to stay healthy.


Although the parting shots that Winnipeg gave in their official statement raises a lot of questions about his attitude, right now I'll take him. Not all that steep of a price either.

Hopefully this ends the whining and pining for Stevie Baggs. I think HC Chamblin knows his player-type people and I trust that he and the coaching staff will know what buttons to push to get the most out of this guy on the field, and he will quickly become a fan favorite when they see what kind of fire he can light under the Rider defence. Bravo to all who made this happen.

I'm not sure how I feel about this move. Yes, they got an outstanding lineman, but they have some great prospects to. The Riders are really heavy in a pile of positions going into camp. I mean, why did they just bring in Ellis?

13 WR/SB
10 LB
11 DL

It is awesome they are bringing in talent to compete, don't get me wrong, but they are going to have some crazy hard decisions to make here. That #8 draft could be a big hit, but they do have some promising youth at both the WR and OL, so if there was a year to lose out on CIS draft, this is it...I would still be pretty surprised if they do not pick Heenan...If nothing else they can trade him for just about anything thy wanted, and they do have a could younger NI WR in the system if need be.

What makes me scratch my head is you now have Chris Ellis, Odell Willis, Shomari Williams all fighting for regular playing time. Williams will be around as he is a NI. Dave Veikune and Kenny Rowe are hot young prospects...can they keep both? Veikune for sure I have to think is going to be around. I would hate to see either of them go.

Tearrius George will likely be gone, as will Brent Hawkins, and Romero might be as well with the introduction of Boo

Rowe and Ellis can also play LB, Rowe might end up as Freeman's replacement.

I would imagine that this had something to do with him getting benched at times last year. he is a QB crusher, not a run stopper, and he took a lot of flack because he was not stopping the can't always have both.

Good move. Everyone has been pining for an acquistion like this and now we have a bonafide QB sacker. The key to his success with the Riders will be the ability of the coaching staff to temper the Swaggerville mentality, which does not fit into the Rider way of doing things, without taking the edge off his play. Kudos to BT.

With a new, young HC, who knows what the team mentality and approach will be. The club does have a couple hot heads that coaches managed to keep under wrap last season

Romero stays. He was fantastic last year. After Freeman he was easily their second best defensive player. But not only that, as weak as the Riders have been at end the past 2 years, they have been very strong at tackle with Romero and Shologan - VERY strong. Keeping the middle stable will allow a pure talent pass rusher like Odell to pin his ears back and do damage. I firmly believe that Willis was as successful as he was because he played next to Doug Brown. brown is a much MUCH bigger loss to the Bombers than Odell. But the good news for the Riders is, Odell will get the same strong support next to him from Romero and Shollie.

The way I see it Willis starts at end, and the other end is Hawkins' job to lose. I'm really hoping he does well. He has so much talent, a quick big lanky dude, if he can mature skillwise, keep better contain, pursuit angles, be patient on play action etc, he could be a fine player for several years. But he has to show the improvement. Again, more good news, Odell at the other end will attract a LOT of attention, the opposing line's best tackle and also blocking RBs will generally look to his side first. This could be a big opportunity for Hawkins (or whoevver else lines up over there) to make plays.

The camp battle seems to be shaping up as whether Rowe, Veikune or Ellis can take Hawkins' job. Shomari is also in that mix but the ratio works against him. If Shomari starts, he has to have an NI or DI backup.

Romero has 2 things going against him
1 - hot headed / penalties though he kept them pretty checked last season
2 - age…Romero is 34, Boo is 25
but yes, I will give you that…there is higher potential for Romero sticking around as there is not a pile of depth at DT…as i said, he ‘might’ be gone.

George is a long shot for making the club, and I think Hawkins will require a sensational camp to make the squad. Fact is they have what…7 DE, and maybe 5 openings. Williams takes one off the hop as a NI, so really there might be 4 openings. Hawkins has a repetitive shoulder issue, so already has a black mark going into camp.

It is going to be an extremely competitive camp! can’t wait to check it out. At the end of the day I think the D played pretty well last year for how much field time they had, and the 3 biggest questions are:
1 - Can they replace Simpson reasonably (hoping McCullough gets some more action)
2 - Who is the poor soul that has to measure up to Freeman. They have some potential candidates for sure.
3 - Do they have that one more DB who will step up? Will Nick Graham be that guy, perhaps Fudge, and I hope that we see some extra preseason action from Eddie Russ

The real problem last season was of course an assortment of issues on O

  • no faith in backup QBs and thus keeping DD in in situations he should have sat due to injury. Also, I hope the new staff is not afraid to pull him if he struggles then put him back in so he can see things from another angle…I really think this would benefit him.
  • either roll the pocket or better blocking. The O-line has been vastly restructured, and it looks like they know that the lackluster running game killed the pass attack.
  • do they have the NI talent on O? Andy is gone, but Bagg is back (hopefully in form)…if not, hopefully Sisco can step up. Only 1 NI RB and 1 NI FB might be a concern. This could be remedied if they feel that Nick Hutchins, Dan Clark or potentially Heenan could make the transition to OT and bump Goodspeed

If I was in charge George would be long gobne already. He needs to lose about 40 lbs to be effective and if you think Romero is hot headed, Geoger is a disqualification waiting to happen.

1 - Can they replace Simpson reasonably (hoping McCullough gets some more action)
Not an issue in my eyes. LB is an instinctive position to play and is the easiest spot on the depth chart to fill.
2 - Who is the poor soul that has to measure up to Freeman. They have some potential candidates for sure.
Minor issue, as above except that Freeman was so exceptional last year. If the dline plays well then the LBs won't need to be such heroes.
3 - Do they have that one more DB who will step up? Will Nick Graham be that guy, perhaps Fudge, and I hope that we see some extra preseason action from Eddie Russ
This is the issue now. It is huge. The Riders have no one who can play man or press with any consistency at all. Graham was re-signed. He was their worst DB last year, probably the worst starting DB in the league last year. I repeat ... they RE-SIGNED him. The Riders are the ONLY team in the league that does not have anyone capable of playing man coverage.

I love Tristan Jackson, he is easily their best DB, but he is still not ideal for man coverage.

The Lions were 0-5, Geroy WALKED past Nick Graham for a 50 yd TD and the Lions LAUGHED at Rider Nation. Arland Bruce, 100yd TD because he knew it was man and the RIders couldn't cover him. There were countless plays like that.

A lot of that had to do with ZERO pressure on the QB, but even if they manage some pressure this year they are still nowhere near good enough.

Although I do welcome Odell with open arms; I am a bit concernd on our NI ratio. An that #8 pick would’ve helped put me at ease. I’m thinking either Heenan to replace Goodspeed, or Chambers to be in the rotation at WR/Slot.

This camp will be VERY competitive, please anyone that goes there PLEASE post notes to those of us who can’t get there. Anything would be appreciated.

Well for one it is nice to have the problem of so much talent being brought in so make it a tough job for the coaches on who they keep. That is a very nice position to be in. Good job Taman, I won't complain so much this year.

I think it was a very good move to get Willis. CFL draft in 2nd round is over rated. Question is will we be able to resign Willis next yr as a FA? I think he will love playing here, hope he stays. Can't wait for Labour Day and the Banjo Bowl.



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Well that's kind of a p*ss off, thankfully Roger Goodell isn't our commish and he probably won't be suspended :lol:

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Oh great.

The court system should be handling this, and not the CFL. A lot of people make the error of drinking and driving, and do not lose their job if a license is not a requirement. Barring him being denied access to the country I see no reason he should be penalized. This is not an illegal substance, which I feel is a whole different ordeal then. This is not a shining example, but an error in judgement.

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More will be known on May 22 when Willis is to be arraigned. Hope it works out for Odell.


Agreed as well ... BUT - the whole question with Odell is his character/attitude. 3 weeks in and already this ... one has to hope that it's not a sign of more things to come.