More moves on defence

Well here we go again.

Adriano Belli has signed in Toronto; if Popp wasn't just blowing smoke a week or two ago, this means he'll be going after Nate Davis; frankly I'd rather have Davis anyway. He may be older than Belli but he doesn't take as many silly undisciplined penalties, can be a fearsome force in the middle of the line more than Belli ever will be, and while he may have had a problem with injuries that should not be a factor with us because we won't overwork him, rotating him with Philion, Haywood, and Romero.

We also signed FA defensive back Paul Masson from Calgary. Don't recall seeing play last year, but he should help with the ratio if nothing else.

We also re-signed Patrick Dorvelus, although for the life of me can't really understand why. He's been around for a few years and never impressed particularly, but for one nice fumble return....sort of a carbon copy of Botterill, who is not missed after his departure.

But again, this is all on the defensive side of things. It's about time the brain trust addressed the offensive personnel (i.e. find a quick runner to complement Edwards and give us a dual threat backfield, find a fast deep threat receiver from some US college, and maybe some young offensive lineman or two).

Just have to wonder how much is left in the kitty to address these concerns.

I think Dedrick will have a chance to shine this year.

Belli and now Davis!!
What are you talking about!
You ACTUALLY think we NEED more DL for REAL!?!?!
We already have all these guys on the line. We play a 4-3 so we just need 6 to 8 guys MAX and we have 11 already!

Hey don't yell at me; I was just referring to what Popp had said a few weeks back about going after Nate Davis if he didn't re-sign Belli.

Don't shoot the messenger.

MadJack speaks the truth...Popp did say that. The Gazette reported this morning that he has been in contact with Davis' agent. Do we need 11 linemen? Of course not. But if there is one thing Popp likes to do is bring in a whole lot of bodies to compete for the jobs. Don't be surprised to see big names get cut if they don't measure up. Popp is not one of those GMs or now coaches who plays a guy out of loyalty. If you don't produce and someone else can fill your shoes, you're gone.

Which of course raises once again the mystery of Thyron Anderson's continued employment................

Well, now Haywood and Butler are gone, so the picture is getting clearer.

I’ll say.

I’ll miss Butler, I always liked his enthusiasm coming off the edge on a blitz in our pressure defence. He was ideally suited for that role, but in a more conventional defence he’s out of place at linebacker (he was a DB originally, after all; same applies to Strickland).

To be honest the writing was on the wall for him. He lost his starter’s spot to D’Wayne Taylor last year (not that any scribe ever mentioned it at the time, nor provided any reason for the move), and now with the signing of John Grace, it was clear Butler wasn’t in the plans for 2007.

I don’t think we’ll miss Haywood particularly; he’s adequate but no star. Edwards I am disappointed to see leave, he showed some flashes last year that he could develop into a decent receiver.

As for Mr. Anderson joining that crowd at the receiver spots in Saskatchewan, good move getting a draft choice getting for him (which may turn out to be nothing if he doesn’t make the Riders…and there’s every possibility of that happening, given the logjam they’ve got there).

MadJack, the thing with Butler was that he couldn't really function in pass coverage as a linebacker, whereas Strickland can go one-on-one against any receiver in the league. Strickland is just a smarter all-around player. I too loved what Butler brought on the blitz, but his time was up. We need at least one bigger body at OLB and Taylor performed well in that role.

You're absolutely right discipline. Hamilton used Butler as a DB and released him because he couldn't function in pass coverage. When we used him on blitzes he was great, but you're right in a conventional defence he doesn't cut it. Grace was the outstanding defensive player in 2005, I can't believe he lost it all in just one year, so I expect he will be the starter at weakside LB with Strickland on the strong side, Ellis at MLB and Taylor backing up all three spots with a little help from Mackey and maybe Boulay if they don't shift Boulay to the secondary...which they might want to look at doing what with Cox, Bell, and Karikari all gone.

I think he sealed his fate when he started courting the AFL while still under contract. Just my opinion though.