RB Jermaine Thomas and WR Chaz Schilens signed today. Nice big receiver at 6'4" and a very quick RB from Florida State. Hopefully they can fill some of the gaps. Welcome to the Riders. :rockin:
This will be just the beginning. Complaints about Taman doing nothing while players are being poached is false. The players that were poched by the NFL Sheets and Dressler will be replaced by players coming from the NFL more than likley.
Same with the DT spot in which they have the flexibility and have stated they can make that an import spot.
Hurl and Shamari Williams will fill Butlers spot.
Bartell for Shmitt
Watched some Jermain Thomas highlights. Has a similar running style as Sheets. Makes people miss in the hole and has potential to break off big plays on every carry. Shilens has some NFL experience.
Thomas has great break away speed and open field awareness / abilities, the questions with him are:
- does he have the endurance, or can it be developed (this will definately need developed)
- how serious was his injury, will he bounnce back (I tend to think he is fine)
- can he keep his head screwed on right off the field (who knows...I am hoping he has got his head on straight now)
- can he do something when he doesn't have a hole big enough to drive a truck through...I question that...time will tell
Thomas has a lot less seasoning than Sheets had with the NFL before heading to the CFL sheets had roster, PR, and TC experience seemed in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Thomas is coming to the Riders younger and less of the expereinces that sheets went through. So I would agree he will need to develop more so as a pro rookie where Sheets had developed but needed a place to play to polish those skills and boy did he.
Unless he really turns out to turn it on like Chevon Walker he may be a 9 game IR or a PR player depending on just how good he is. Remember even though Walker strarted offlike gangbusters lacked a lot of other skills and was basically a change up Home Run RB.
IMHO cortez misused he and Cobourne by not having them both on the roster with Cobouren starting and Walker as the Change up guy. With him not being the HC here in Regina I don't think that mistake will be made again.
The Riders will search until they find one if not two or three RBs that are ready to start
RB is the deepest talent pool in football. There are tons of talented ball carriers out there. Now the Riders will be hard pressed to find a guy as good as Sheets, but I have no doubt that they will find someone perfectly capable of carrying the rock for 1200 yards and keep the defensive schemes honest - maybe even be a better backfield blocker than Sheets too. Remember, it's the oline that earns 2/3rds of your rushing yards. The line is strong. Pay some talented kid 80k to rush for 1200 yards. As long as he protects the football the run game should be fine.
I have to agree with Prairiedog here, RBs are honestly a dime a dozen. Every couple years in the CFL there is a new all-star RB that comes up and dominates the league. The RB turn around in this league is crazy, I don't worry about the Riders ability to find a running back, because honestly when was the last time we didn't have talent at the RB position?
Even as Wes Cates was fading out and we still had Hugh Charles on the roster and he was damn good (was sad to see him go) and we actually the last year before Cates retired we had Marcus Thigpen in training camp. I remember watching him with my Dad and saying "He should be starting over Cates!" He went to hamilton was a ridiculous returner/RB then he ends up in the NFL as one of the top returners in the league. His return averages are some of the best in the past two seasons.
So at one point we had Cates, Charles, Thigpen, West and Stu Ford on our roster.
I wish we would have kept Stephon Green around last year as I thought he had a tone of talent and it would have been nice to have someone with roster experience around even if it was only PR, however I have every faith that we will bring in someone fully capable at the RB position. Though I am very sad to see Sheets and Sanders go.