New Season....New Team

wow.. now McElveen gone. and I read earlier that Sheets is now an Oakland Raider (terrible choice BTW)

We have lost a ton o talent since winning the cup last November............

What would you say are our biggest holes, and of available talent, who might we bring in ?

Brendan,, you had better have a good magicians hat as it looks to be a required miracle now to repeat, or even to compete
this new season :roll:

Obviously the biggest hole is RB.
I could see them trying to land Will Ford or Chad Simpson from the Bombers, as well as Jock, and then 2 new guys to compete. Hughes might see some more action as well. Hughes / Sanders could be an interesting combo in itself.

Followed by 1-2 DT.
George / McElveen would have been nice. This will be amplified if they can not land Hall.

Really, those are the only 2 spots I am a concerned with proven depth. It is unlikely they will have a starter ready NI DT, unless they move Foley inside and back him up with one of their tackles. That said, Steinhauer may prove to be a valuable player on the line yet. He has the intensity.

DTs are not terribly hard to come by, NIs are another story.

Next I would maybe say WR...but really, this team is still in pretty good shape, RB aside.

They still have pretty good dept at LB actually. That said, Robert McCune may appeal....they just have a pile of depth there though. Their Secondary should be as strong or better than last year as Rod Williams is there from camp on.

always tough after a championship. Combine that with a CBA year, expansion team and being pretty heavy on players to start...it is going to happen. McElveen has been a perpetual all-star...his departure seemed inevitable with reduced play. Butler was not 100% on board with how he was used.

a few gaps, and this team should be pretty solid. Sheets is obviously the glaring concern.

Geroy Simon will be a bigger role in the offense this year at receiver so I'm not worried there. Running backs are usually easy to find, though I'll admit Sheets certainly was a gem for this team. Our O line is still in tact so anybody will look good in the backfield as long as they stay healthy. Defensive tackle... maybe they sign Keron Williams who is still a FA and move John Chick back inside? That Lee could be a good pickup as well as he is Canadian, young and seems fairly athletic. That d line had a lot of talent and depth last season and are really only one solid d lineman away from being just as dominant. Back up qb... I have always said that Sunseri is the future of this team. A few more years developing under Durant and Cortez and he will be ready to slide right in once Durant decides to move on.

What I am happy about thus far is nobody is flying off the handle blaming Taman/O’Day, etc.

Reality last year we went out and filled holes with developed talent, proven talent. That aloowed instant success, put it pushed the cap and increased our average age.

You had to know we’d lose experienced guys given the cap. And it is dangerous to ride with an older average age and then get to that point where the cupboards are bare. We were really balanced last year, experience, youth. Now we deploy some young players that we have developed and bring in more to develop.

But it is now different. We’ve lost good youth (Butler) and we’ve lost leaders, Dressler, Sholy. But is it glass half empty or half full.

Chick, Terrius, Foley, Hylee Taylor. Rey Williams, McCullough, Hurl, TBrack, Mazer, Dwight,

Same goes on offense but there are two big holes, RB and Dressler’s spot.

But lots of talent remains, and a lot of it is 25-28 year olds who have a long shelf life. Guys like Brack, Anderson, Maze, Chick will be leaned on for leadership…same for Geroy, DD, Best, LaBatte, Fulton, Getz will do on offense.

This is where Taman, and O’Day come in. Getting ready to draft 6-7 new prospects. Finding 8-12 imports to come into camp. Maybe pluck a few more free agents that are there (ie, Schmitt, Jock Sanders).

When you look at who is gone…yes it is scary.

When you look at who is here…its not that scary.

Good post - I agree. There are some 'fans' who have lost their spot on the bandwagon though. Maybe it's been the long *itchy winter we've had so far ....

I honestly don't thinkk that anyone left on the CFL free agent market will draw any interest from the Riders. Like when they got Sheets they will tap into some new talent to the south.

They may have lost some starters but really they had quite a few starter that were not even on the roster.
Hurl should be able to fill in at WIL LB in place of Butler backed up again by trstian Black giving the Will spot a ratio spot. Hurl like Butler a young hard hitter who was CFL ready right away. Forgotten from 2012 when he led the team in ST tackles, He also was brought in at LB in passing down packages. So he has already quite a bit of time on the field playing defense. Foley at DE and David Lee was brought in to rotate and probably be the run stopping part of that DE spot.
Unless they can find a Canadian safety to fill in Newmans role Woldu should be able to fill it.

The The whole starting d backfield is back including a couple of guys who could be starting elsewhere and Macho was on of those starters that was not evn on the roster last year.

Etienne addressed a need for aother Canadian Receiver. Bagg staying healthy all last season was bigger than most may think.

Back up QB. No idea what they are going to do there. Could they call back JT Osullivan out of retirement?

A lot of receivers and RB imports that will be looking for jobs.
If he is 100% healthy for sure the only CFL FA I would go after would be Chad Simpson. Like Sheets he was dominant until he got hurt. With the Oline and how fast Simpson hits a whole he will be 5 yards downfield before anyone touches him and in 2012 he often drug that guy for another few yards

IMHO

I agree that Dressler and Sheets are huge gaps. I have yet to be convinced that Butler was all that successful. Good but certainly replaceable.
I don't believe that either Dressler or certainly Sheets will stick in the NFL (Sheets comes from a very mediocre NFL short career) and both will be back. I don't know the NFL well enough to predict when that might be.
Sure we lost some good talent but no where near a significant part of it notwithstanding sheets/dressler.

I believe that we have some good capable personnel to replace or try to fill most spots except at RB..... monstrous huge, huge holes there, and we dont even know if Sanders will be back... so at this point we have fullbacks, but not a one running back....
Could Chad Simpson be on his way here? We do seem to do a a fair amount of exchange with Winnipeg .... Failing that , what exactly is Cory Boyd up to these days?

at least its only February (I hate February)

Yes they lost Butler but I think they were ready for that. The confidence they showed in Hurl in his rookie season will pay off IMHO. He saw plenty of tine on defense the second part of 2012 season as well as being special teams leader.

The thing about the Riders is yeas they have lost some starters but IMHO they had starters that they could fit on the roster. Hurl being one of them.
I think the glass is half full is the better approach. As stated above they will have Rod Williams now for a whole season so that will be an upgrade in an already good secondary through out last season.
Macho Harris is another like Hurl. Was injured but was most likley healthy for much of the end of season stretch and through the playoffs but could not fit on the roster.
They seemed to have a goup of these guys who were on the 9 game on the side lines for each game and now that some space has opened up will be ready to step in.

I see all three
Macho
Rod Williams
Hurl

all able to rplace some talent that was lost.

Signing Canadian DE David Lee looked at as not that big of a deal for some but he did start an entire season for the Argos last season. This is only his third season in the CFL and will provide some Canadian depth lost off of last years roster as he can play ST as well as being a package rotating player behind Foley.
Levi Steinhauer also a great athlete and football players. His special teams play as well as his long snapping skills got him onto the roster and will also be eased into Some Defensive packages at the DE spot as well.

As I said above aside from Chad Simpson the Riders will look south for a RB. Remeber this is the same way Sheets got in. So I would not be overly concerned about Sheets replacement(s)

The Riders also have the luxury of grooming some Junior football players from the Toppers and Thunder.
Newman
Evans
and OL Dan Clarke who was key as a solid Back up Canadian Olineman and a great role with the jumbo Package.
The Riders quietly last year rotated him for a bit with all Star Labbatte at LG.

Rider fans need not worry

A lot of good posts here..

I too believe the glass must be half full. Does it sting that we lost a lot of youthful Canadian Talent in Butler, Newman, Evans, Shologan? Absolutely! But fans must put their faith in the scouting staff of the Riders, and that they will do a good job to replace the talent that is gone. If Sheets and Dressler get cut from the respective NFL teams, the team can't look to them as saviours of the upcoming season... Just look at the Fantuz situation. He came back and got hurt right away from not playing everyday. So now it's time for the scouting staff to earn their paycheques and find some talent. And I personally believe that these guys can get the job done. Some of it takes a little luck too... Wasn't Sheets almost cut at his first training camp with the Riders? Good thing the coaching staff took a chance on him...

Lastly, Once the CFLPA and the league get the contract sorted out, and establish a new a salary cap level, I think Taman and O'Day will a do a good job getting everything in place again to lock up key pieces and take another run at the Grey Cup.

Fans must also understand that a team can't win the Championship every year. The reality in professional sports is that the CORE of any team must always change somewhat...

Your right. I dont think this group will be waiting for dressler or sheets to return. Thet will be moving forward and in someways already bagan loading up with talent during last season. Had some CB issues and guys were hurt and did not wast time getting Rod Willimams bringing back Jackson who played very well at CB. Good reason why they kept Harris on the IR and wasted no time resigning him.
Eddie Russ who was arguably their best DB in 2012 was cut but brought back spending his time on the PR.
Wedone Brown was having an All Star season at SAM befoe getting hurt.
Carlos Thomas got onto the roster as a back up but was really a starter.

Evans was probably one guy they thought they would not lose. Spent half a season on the 9 game but eventually got onto the roster. With Sholo gone going import at both DT spots is fine but there are only so many DI spots and to have Evans on the NI part of the roster and rotating in would have been a perfect situation.
Steinhuer was the one that kept Evans off the roster for awhile is back and also signing David Lee will replace the loss of Evans but only as a DE

Somari back ... I like this deal I think, as long as he has recovered health - wise :cowboy:

Yeah, I don’t really get this trade from the Ti-Cats perspective. Loss of 2 NIs for essentially a 2nd round pick. They must have really not wanted either player.

Good move by the Riders if they really think Schmitt is gone. I am indifferent with Shomari Williams at LB…I think there is already better on hand, but FFS…3 Williams on D…oiii

lol

Now its clear,, the plan is to confuse the hell out of all other teams by acquiring all players with the same name(s) !! LOL

À mon sens, la seule façon de l'expliquer est qu'Austin estimait que Bartell et Williams ne faisaient plus partie des plans de l'équipe, et il préférait en tirer quelque chose plutôt que de se retrouver le bec à l'eau en les libérant au camp d'entraînement.

I like it as well for a few reasons
First they lost 3 Canadian players that were a huge part of their defense. Shomari Williams adds one of those spots back. He may have yet to live up to his number 1 overall pick but if memory serves me right in 2012 he did not work out too well with his move to MLB but did play very well when moved to Will LB

second they lost Butler playing the Will LB spot and have not only acquired Williams but also have Sam Hurl who was the forgotten guy last season among the plethora of starting type players he was injured and there was no room on the roster so he finished the season on the 9 game. Dressing both Hurl and Williams both are starting matirial at Will LB as well as Canadian depth and both top special team players.
Will LB is a position that is short of Canadian starters and usually played by an import and backed up by a more special teams type Canadian.
The Riders now have two Canadian starting will LBs.

3rd getting a proven and unique NI punter in Josh Bartell, who oly lost his job to an MVP type Kicker in Medlock

4th Being able to idedtify that Milo was much much better not having to do all duties. Milo also has a strong enough leg to handle kick offs as well place kicking.
I am not one who is a big fan of a do it all one kicker unless they truly posses both skills at a high level.

This trade alone fills two needs that they have or may lose.

:thup: :thup: as Taman looked and appeared hleples as teams were cherry picking players from his roster but got right back to busisness

Well, yeah an interesting trade.

Martel punts like Schmitt did. He can really hang it up............allows cover team to get down there. Instead of guys than can book it but you only get 3 second hang time? Martel can hang em high.

Shomari..........we needed to get back some Cdn talent and a pretty decent teams guy. Will Shomari start at LB, DE........doubt it. But he played teams well. He is fast and they can't bulk him up like we did 3 seasons back. He did nothing in Hamilton so don't know why he did not fit, was it a nagging injury that held him back?

But.......we can't let him play for the reported $120K that comes with him?

But I see his in the mix replenishing Bulter/Newman who were important on the teams.

Draft year this year...........lots of informed folks saying not a talenented or deep year? If this is the case.............I could see Taman shopping the 8th pick unless they are confident there will be a player there waiting at 8th????? I can see him shopping the pick for a proven Cdn player?????

Hurl spent most of last season on the IR similar to Williams. So coming into 2014 I can see Hurl looking to start at Will LB with Wiliams behind him and both are excellent on teams.
So while Hurl and Williams do not play the same exact positions in the same way they are both quality players to replace the loss of Butler and Newman.
Signing DE David lee, who started for the Argos last season, will be able to fill a role that Evans did as a Canadian rotation guy and special teamer.
Remember also that Levi Steinhuer beat out Evans for a roster spot which ended up placing Evans on the 9 game IR with no room on the roster and off the PR where someone could have plucked him off.
Can't see any reason why Woldu cannot take the defensive packages that Newman played as well as special teams star
Heck Hurl is more of a natural Will LB so he could end up being better than Butler

The D seems to be filling in well, and agree with what most have said thus far. My concern is why has Sanders not resigned given Cory is gone. Also who can fill the spot left by Weston!! that will also be a hard spot to fill at least to what we had in WD. Gonna be an interesting season and who will the Riders bring in to spring camp!! Will we find another Sheets an Dressler out there!!

Kierrie Johnson just signed with the REDBLACKS. So tthe Riders have some other import Receivers in mind to fill the hole left by Dressler.
leaving Eron Riley as the only import rec on the roster aside from the two starters, smith and Simon.
So it may be that not just a gaggle of RBs but also import rec will be brought in.

As for Sanders, he went from being very highly thought of in 2012 to in and out of the doghouse in 2013. I suspect that they may have their eye an some other hybrids. Whether it be via a trade from one within the league or a new import.
Also they may have an eye on a hybrid in the draft. Anthony Coombs out of U of Manitoba. We shall see