Into 2015

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?

Ratio:

  • 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.

Is it June yet ?

Do you see any National FAs that are going to be ratio changers? Not really. Sure, there may be some additions, but barring a trade, what they have is likely what they have. The only Canadian sitting as a FA from last season that could truly put a bit of a twist in it is Pottinger, and I mention that. There are a couple other NI LBs out there that I personally would go after and look at dumping Williams contract and replace him. The only other one is maybe LaRose for NI depth in the secondary. Anyone else is basically replacing a depth/ST guy with a depth/ST guy.

I'm going to give the team a B+ on the whole FA deals. An A on keeping the players they did but a B- on some of those they let go or got away. The Emry deal will take a bit of time to tell if we got the short end of the stick there or not. Yes I really really liked Foley and yes he wanted to stay but it seemed like he was seriously considering retirement not that long ago so who knows how long he will play. If they can get Emry to play aggressive but smart it could be a big addition to the team.

Now for the coaching moves this is a big question mark, some of the people we brought in do not have a great recent history and all eyes will be on them and dissecting every move they make. Hiring Chappy's kid really raises an eyebrow with me. Personally I think it stinks. How they handle the situation if he is not up to snuff will be interesting.

I like that they got Glenn but I do hope they use the younger back ups more and get them some experience. Letting Toston go really rubs me the wrong way and I have stated my reasons for this in another post. Still think that this one may burn us bad.

Not sure how this year will play out as there are still a few spots that are questionable. The kicking game while it was addressed I'm not convinced the way it was done will be better. Schmidt is or at least was available from the last I heard and with no one jumping to grab him his asking price may be a fair bit lower.

The defense looks solid but the O as last year will be the telling of how good this team does this season. Losing Heenan while not shocking still stings. It will be interesting to see how the line handles the run and pass protection. Durant can not keep getting pounded and stay healthy. Yes he has been great at bouncing back after getting flattened but he is getting older and those licks are going to take their toll. The combination of the O line not being able to give Durant enough time and Durant not getting rid of the ball quicker when teams bring the house has been an issue the last couple of years. If they don't get it figured out then teams are going to do it almost every play and have success. This is where I think Glenn may be beneficial. He has been good at reading defenses in the past and getting the ball out quickly and he may be able to help Durant pick up the reads quicker and better. All you need to do is burn a defense a couple of times when they all line up on the line and they will back off.
If the injury bug stays away then I see no reason for the team to be fighting for a playoff spot and should be battling with the Stamps for first. Winnipeg will be a l lot tougher this year but I don't see enough improvements in the Lions for them to be a factor. Lulay is highly suspect whether he will be back and the back ups have not been proven as of yet. I look for the Lions to struggle again this year. Edmonton will certainly be in the mix also.

So now we wait and see and yes I wish it was June too so we can get back to it.

Well old Hugh Campbell was asked by Kay Stephenson to allow Hugh's son, Rick, to join the coaching staff, he was given a flat out no. However when Don Matthews asked again, Hugh caved and it turned out all right.

everything will be ok chamerlains onto of it, why so much dissecting of every move .... riders will rock. " go riders "

Whats is our drafting position like this year ? I figure not too great.... ... and are there some good young picks we are looking at? Whats the talent pool heavy in this year?

Lol that is what us Rider fans do. And if Chappy or anyone else on the team doesn't know it they sure will find out fast. It's no different then say the Habs fans or the Leafs fans. We are all just very intense when it comes to our teams.

That is why the Rider's have so many followers across the country and out sell all other CFL teams combined in merchandise. The Rider's in fact sell are the 3rd highest amount in merchandise sales in Canada behind the Leafs and Habs. That is how passionate we are. The dissecting of the players, coaches, management is part of the package though and while some can't handle it if they do over come it then they love the Rider fans.

I guess my point is the whole questioning of each and every move will not likely change and if it does then you know the team is in trouble fan wise.

Cold winters

The team has a couple drafts....um...yeah.

6 26 42 50 59 and potentially an unknown conditional. so basically, 2nd and 4th rounders are gone.