How Many RBs In 2010 ?

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"The Riders have had negotiations with Cates' representatives and it's believed he remains part of the team's plans."

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The Riders have Szarka, Charles, Foord, and Hughes under contract as well as Dominick Dorsey whom they acquired by FA. If they sign Cates that means we have six RBs heading into the 2010 season. That seems like a lot of RBs to carry on the roster. Any thoughts?

planning for another season of broken legs? Not sure. Will provide good competition in TC though

Szarka has one good year left before heading off to greener pastures..... We could use another large FB in camp though.

Dorsey is a SPT player, who MAY excel in the backfield when platooned with the likes of Hugh "flip" Charles.....lots of if's and but's here.

Lavarus Giles, Thomas Thigpen and the others will provide major TC entertainment for role as featured back. I'm sure one of these new guys will really shine.

Riders have Cates by the ball. He's "too old" and wants too much money to be considered by other teams, and yet, Cates could be the key player on offense to get us back to the cup in 2010.

Stu Foord and Neil Hughes are good special team players who can be occassionaly used in the offense. I was not overly impressed with Hugh Charles, as he had a hard time keeping a firm grip on the football. Dorsey will probably used primarily as a return man, allowing Armstead to be used in the offence a little more this season. Szarka is a full back, and playes a different position then the others.

I firmly believe that this team could do just as well as we did last year without Cates.

He is aging, he's not as he used to be..

plus when you have guys who are younger and more athletic, they should be given a chance.

besides, you never know when you might find the next Mike Pringle in one of these guys, how do you know unless you give them a shot?

we can't be like the Riders of Old and keep people around over their time.

Davis retired when it was time, he knew.

I didn't know that the Riders had Giles in camp. When was he signed?

Very valid points. . . and it's good to keep in mind that running backs seem to have the shortest shelf life of all the positions on a football team. . . and they're one of the easiest to replace; there's always a good crop of running backs coming out of college each season.

Cates is done. He doesn't have that first step anymore and can't do more than hit the holes. He's not going to break off plays on his own with any regularity. It's too bad but that's the reality of playing the single most punishing position in football.

On a side note, and from the standpoint of fairness, running backs should be paid more than any other player. The amount of physical punishment they endure will seriously affect their quality of life after they retire, and their careers are so short that they don't make comparable dollars over the long haul to, say, an O-lineman, quarterback, receiver, or DB. To offset the short career and brutal physical abuse, they should get more money.

After Qb's, RB's usually are the highest paid players. I don't think there are many would disagree with that position.

Really? It's my impression that receivers and DBs make more dough on average. I could be wrong, though.

They might, because they play longer. Young players tend to make less. And, lots of receivers and DB's can play 8-10 years, not many RB's can.

Those of you who say Cates is done don't watch his actual contributions. Our offence isn't geared to open up running lanes as much as it used to. Cates is an excellent pass blocking back (the best we have on roster by far) and is a HUGE reason that Durant had the breakout year that he did. Without Cates picking up linebackers we don't make the Cup because Durant doesn't do nearly as well. Charles and Stu simply don't have this ability, and Szarka and Hughes don't bring nearly the same threat of running the ball. We don't have a more complete back on roster and saying he's washed up is foolish.

And apparently so does Taman as he was signed today

This part makes no sense. Just what is our running game geared to do?

And, how has it changed? We've used the same, one, running play since Kenton Keith was here.

When Cates had his big season, we had another dimension with Joseph behind centre (not necessarily better, just different), which opened up more opportunities for Cates since the D had to stay honest with the threat of Joseph running the ball. Once Miller took over and Joseph left town, we decided live and die by the pass (see the windy Hamilton game last year) but that put Cates in a different role. He's being used more as a pass blocker/receiver with a few draws mixed in to keep the D honest now because that's the best way to set up the offence they want to run. Cates is still a top back, and no other top back in the league would be able to do that much more with how the offense is set up. The player hasn't changed, the plays have.

And I wonder, with LaPolice now in Winnipeg, will the Riders be running a bit of a different offence this season?

I think it will have to be different. Berry has to have his own schemes from his Montreal days. What will be interesting to see is whether our offence adopts his terminology, or if he adds his stuff to the offence using its current language.

But that's wrong too. Cates' big year was 2008, Joseph was already gone and Miller was the coach. And, given our QB carousel and dearth of healthy receivers in 2008, every team knew they had to focus on Cates. Any other theories?

Cates numbers werent terrible last season (932 yards, 4.8 yards per carry). He missed the first few games last season and probably would have had over a thousand yards had he played the whole season. He only had 866 yards in 07, although his yards per carry average was 5.7. 2008 was by far his best season, almost rushing for 1300 yards.
Both 07 and 09 we made it to the Grey Cup. As was pointed out earlier, Cates does alot more than simply rushing the ball. He can pass block. Durant and Joseph do not have the seasons they had if it wasnt for Cates.
Has he lost a step, maybe. He is still an asset in more than just running the football.