I must say that the FA season seems to have been pretty good for the Riders and their staff, and they do deserve a big kudos. I do however wonder if they dropped the ball fairly large on the Emry/Foley trade. In fairness, hindsight is perfect, but even at the time there was a lot of pondering by many people if it was a good move.
- I can't fault BT for the move, he had to get a LB, and he had to cover his arse. If there was a gap there, he would have been crucified
- He probably should have got more for the trade, as everyone new the Argos needed to move an import LB.
- It was stated Curran was not going to be re-signed by the Esks. Now that can always be a ploy to drive signing value down, so it needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
- This Feeman LB they signed...he looks like the real deal. Would have been perfect to work into the D over time had Curran been signed.
- There were other options out there, like Bowman for instance, so going into FA season it is VERY unlikely they get skunked.
- Now they have a position, DE, that the club has build pretty nice NI dept for, and not much for LB.
- Foley really liked play for the Riders. That is huge.
- This rather hurts the Ratio with no Canadian starter on the DL, and no legit NI backup at LB. As it stands now, one of the starting DLmen will likely have to come out when Emry does.
- Now don't get me wrong, exchanging Foley for Emry at surface, player to player value is a fair trade, but you add all of this up and I am not so sure. This could work out in some master plan, or could really sting.
All of this, to me, is bad management at that role.
Now looking further at just a few things...
- Brett Smith, IMO, is a pretty big signing. If this guy hadn't declared for the draft early he likely ends up getting a NFL shot. Bad advice. I know it is hard to label a guy before he has thrown a pass, but I think he could be a keeper.
- BT did a good job of moving Bastien and picking up a developed Canadian in Watson. They actually have a few promising young Canadians, so moving someone made sense, as much as I like Bastien's potential.
- WR depth...I liked Swain, but so be it, he is gone. They have kept players from last season to integrate further (which is relieving) and brought in a few new faces. Some have injury issues, historically, but are great when healthy.
- The club has not yet made a splash at a RB. No new names and losing Toston...weird, usually it is the backup QB who is the most popular man in town, seems like it was him lol. Still time for that though.
- Signing Hall on D was a pleasant surprise, and getting the core back was pretty big. Not sure where they are going to line a guy like Brown up, as it seems likely TBrack will likely be returning to LB. Seems to me that the Argos need a NI DE to back up Foley...so they either pick up Lee, trade a draft pick for a little experience, draft a rookie and roll the dice, or find someone else......somewhere.
- They have too much money in the receivers. 4 guys likely equate to over 700K (14% of cap) in Getz, Dressler, Bagg and Watson. That is a little scary...someone may have to move.
- Coach movement. Chamblin basically tossed out the old staff. Cortez, sure he had issues, but he is still a great football mind. I think Chamblin's youth and inexperience may have made managing a guy like Cortez difficult, as he has piles of experience over CC and is stubborn to begin with. The revamping of the D was a little surprising, as it was pretty solid last year. I get that he did not find Hall aggressive enough for his liking, and honestly, I didn't like the secondary under Miles. The total failure at LB obviously meant a new LB coach, but the DL was pretty solid, so that move is somewhat surprising, though I can't fault him for wanting Mike Sinclair. OC...well...we will see...I, like most, am skeptical. At the end of a day, if this staff doesn't pan out, Chamblin made so many moves that his head will roll, without any doubt! Really weird level of coaching staff movement for sure. Funny enough, ST had a horrific season and Dyce is still around. really strange. I still like Dyce as a coach, ST, I am not so sure.
- Kicking game...well, Milo came off a stellar 2013, and was bad at times in 2014 and came into camp out of shape...badly. Bartel has been replaced. So at least they are making efforts there. That said, they presently lack speedier NI fullbacks and so may still struggle on coverage. Steinhauer is actually solid on coverage for a DLman, but there are some overall question marks there still for sure.
Things I would love to see:
- A better NI backup for Emry
- Wondering if they should go after Pottinger as a backup to Emry. He has some experience actually in the spot and played it fairly well. I don't think he is an every down guy, but on a rotational basis, sure.
- There is pretty solid NI depth at WR. I would love to see one redeveloped into a SB. This would make them diverse and give Getz a legit Canadian backup. I think Alex Anthony could be a good option there. He runs superb routes and in the little action he has seen seems to get open in the sweet spot and block well.
- Move Ainsworth and/or Steinhauer. Unless they can see one of these guys moving to LB it seems they are a bit of a waste for National depth. Don't get me wrong, I actually like both of these guys and think they could be contributors beyond ST, but with Foley gone, how realistic is it that they get a pile of opportunity to develop into a starter or key rotational player?
- Well, at this moment it is looking like there will often be 2 Internationals at OT (Adcock and Fulton). That likely means dressing 3 international OL, which stings. Can't see that changing unless they come up with something unforeseen for a NI starting tackle. So that puts standard package OL at 3 NI on the line (yeah, there will probably be 4 at times, especially when using a TE).
- 1 NI SB in Getz. Again, no legit backup, so someone will need to rotate in there...like I said, I hope they transition someone.
- 1 WR in Bagg/Watson. Now they, with Bagg and Watson, actually go with 2 NI WR at times...which is really nice.
- that puts it at 5 on O, when normally they have had 6 for the past 2 seasons.
so now that pretty much means 2 on D.
---> pretty tight for ratio.
- Well, Emry is a given, and I imagine when he is out they will at times rotate a guy in on the line. Gotta wonder if they trade those NI lineman off as they really don't fit here and now.
- this pretty much means they need to start a Canadian Safety...MacDougall, and that means moving Tbrack up to LB. That is actually a pretty solid group at LB...TBrack/Emry/Brown, with pretty solid international support outside.