O-Line

with the release of OL Travis Bond I am starting to wonder what is going on with our O-Line.
in the last 2 years we have signed 2 all star linemen in Derek Dennis and Travis Bond. Dennis was a non factor last year and subsequently being released only to return to the Stampeders with whom he played with the previous year.
upon his resigning he issued this statement,

“Now I’m back in a situation where I know people want me, care about me, and I’ll be successful."
this statement in itself speaks volumes to me.
can anyone inform me as to how he is doing being back in stamp land, as I haven't heard ?

Travis Bond another all star O-Lineman the previous year for the Bombers didn't make it past training Camp

How can 2 all stars the previous year with their respective teams turn into nonfactors with the Riders ?
another O-Line prospect Jeremy Zver abruptly retired
Is it coaching ?
Is it offensive line schemes ?
Is it player personnel problems ?
what is it ?
It just doesn't make sense to me, but then I am not a Football Guru.

Bond was simply beat out. No knock on Bond...he had a very good camp. IMO he should have won but others felt differently. It was a close battle and contested decision amongst coaches. At the end of the day, Bond had a better camp at OG but Harrison also took reps at OT, so offers flexibility in game should someone go down, all while not dressing another international and burning a DI spot. He would slide over...Bladek would take his spot.

Dennis was just simply never a fit....blame that on OLC if one wants. He never looked very good while here.

thanks dpop

what is the rational behind the team carrying 6 O-line men for 5 positions and 9 D-Line men for 4 positions ?

I have always wondered about that same fact also! Depop??

Short answer is that 6 OL is fairly normal...9 DL is heavy but not unheard of.

Long answer is a lil more complex...

I am not concerned about the 6 OL....when was the last time you have seen a situation where you said "wish we had that 7th OLman." I bet the Riders have carried 7 OL in a game maybe a half dozen times over the past decade...you will see 7 on a 46, but not as much on a 44, so one is sitting. It is a pretty common thing around the league. You don't rotate the OL...chemistry is too key. Further, you have at least one DL who can can sub in on the OL, but very rarely can an OLman cross and be effective. In the Rider's case, first man up is Steele...who has actually started as an OG in the past a few times.

For the Riders specifically...Harrison can cover either OT spot if needed and then Bladek would move in as RG (this is why he was kept over Bond...because head to head at OG Bond won but is less versatile OT wise) and would not need to be a DI because he is already starting. If there was a second OT that went down LaBatte would move to one of them and Steele would play OG.

The theory with being heavy on the DL is always having fresh legs...which can be huge late in a close game. You are seeing teams dress 7-8 pretty commonly now actually. For example...Toronto has 9 DL tomorrow as well. I believe they have 2 less receivers and one more DB and one more OL...otherwise it looks pretty similar. In a pass heavy league where a big Rider strength is receivers...I don't mind keeping more of those weapons dressed.

next part is special teams...especially punt coverage. You want a few guys with size to block but who can also cover. OLman covering...nope. This is where being heavy on exterior DL and LBs comes into play.

Also on STs...long snapper specialist. Most of the time, this eats up a roster spot and they play nowhere else. a kicker doing all duties...we start to see why this can be so huge and why Wally likes it.

I would like to see an extra DB dress....but that likely comes at the sacrifice of a WR and right now Carter is the extra DB. At the moment Marshall was not the best newcomer DB in camp...hence me wishing they dressed another...but his potential is really high and he can play probably any position in the game including QB very well....he could legitimately be in the rotation, outside of OL/DL

Another point is Thigpen...
....expect to see 9 DL for 2 weeks and then probably 8. There are a few guys fighting it out for a spot. Hughes and Jefferson are locks. Antigha is likely as well and would need to play himself out of it. Striker can play LB well, thus has that ability to roll back in a Jones D...so he is probably ahead right now. honestly...he is listed as a DE but is more of a LB. none the less...he is in competition with Geter, who is more of a traditional DE, and Maggitt...who I suspect might get a start next week. so there are 3 or 4 of those guys around fighting for a spot.
...this is where Thigpen comes in. Seeing as he is suspended for 2 weeks, it gives the team a chance to let a couple guys fight it out for a roster spot.
...the wildcard is Reaves...who came in and had a strong camp and is a solid special teams player. Not sure what will happen there, but he provides a lot of ratio flexibility. They can bring him in and have all import LBs or move an import inside on the DL. If Judge and/or Teitz show well...Reaves job security decreases down the road and that would be one less DL as well.

Just not as good as expected/hoped
Ugly show in Ottawa

Harrison has been awful in 2 games…an international OG needs to be playing at allstar level. He is not even coming close to acceptable CFL level. I mentioned I didn’t agree with the release of Bond and I said so to certain “brass” at the time…based how he played in Edmonton I stand by that statement. I understand the appeal of a guy who can play OT if needed…but frankly he looked worse there in camp than he did at OG. IMO this move goes down as one of the greatest blunders for personnel decisions I can ever recall seeing at this point. I say at this point because hey…maybe Harrison turns it around. I look at the OL coach squarely as a big part of the issue.

Agreed.

No team goes to the Grey Cup that can't protect the QB.......and given Colloras is already highly 'gun shy' and he is imo a 'project' that still needs to be settled one way or the other.
All this considered, I'd say "at best" we are not sitting good at all, at worst well there's always next year.
Personally I thought we were more ready "to get at it" then what I've seen.

They will make some moves...don't anticipate that they will leave things as is. Surely if there is one thing you know about Jones it is that he will move players in and out. Cutting Bond was a massive mistake...it happens...but they will figure something out...perhaps Campbell./

The O-Line has been an issue for basically 2 seasons, where are the game savers?
I'm sure changes will come.
New people come in, takes time to know the system, even more time to generate chemistry.
The concern for me is this is beginning to look like where we were in "the Building Process" this time last year.....Team with new people trying to learn the system and build chemistry.
How much time is there while all other Western teams are looking extremely solid not to mention Ottawa and Hamilton.
In addition, having been a Rider Fan forever, fans need to be able to associate with players they are familiar with, that have been around for awhile and this in turn develops Team Identity.
I would say if the Riders don't totally dominate the loosing Montreal team here at home then for me the situation becomes very concerning.
I think all would agree, a team that has a continued revolving door with new players continually making the circuit, is imo not going to the Grey Cup.

I totally agree GC, one thing I want to add is, I hope the Carter DB experiment has ended, put him where he belongs, catching balls and TD's. Jones did this with Francis at safety, he has become an ok player, but not at safety. If ya need him at DB he is always there to step in, in a pinch. I seen comments about Bridge after the game running him down, but hard to get it going when you are always running for your life. Jones has made some bad calls on the O-line, seems he is still making them. I am looking forward to next game, as I am going to be there.

Here’s the facts. Because of Jones’ proclivity to snatching away young players from other teams PRs, no team is leaving anyone available for to potentially snag. Teams are stashing way more Canadian offensive linemen than ever on their rosters and Sask is left hanging in the dust.

Ottawa is absolutely loaded at the position. Desjardins drafts one high every single year and he hasn’t missed on one yet. With Johnson, Korte, Lauzon and Mateas all playing Jones would be wise to put in an offer for MacMillan. Injuries have derailed things somewhat and if Jones is willing to part with something tangible, I could see a deal getting down.

The only other real veteran depth they could move for would be Greaves and BC and with all the youngsters surrounding him, unlikely BC would do that.

WPG may have the best line in the leauge, but they’re not the deepest. Calgary as well.

1 - Who has he taken off someone else's PR? Dillion Guy? Who else. Perhaps a name is eluding me
2 - Teams can block it from happening by putting them on the 46 for a week
3 - Teams generally hide OL prospects at the first sign of someone chasing them.
4 - Pretty rare to see a known OL national on a PR...always been that way, always will be.

JSJ going down yet again rather hurt and Zver retiring was an even bigger kick...he was in the plans for this year to see some action. The idea was to move Blue to C and the international G to left and Bladek to RG with Zver being on the 46. If that worked out, then Blue would go back to G and Bladek either staying RG and Clark to C or Bladek to C and testing Zver at RG. What can you do.

OL coaching is NFG on this team as well...IMO. Don't agree with the methods being pushed and don't agree with his evaluations. Not a fan. Lack of a short game / rush will not help....but the OL coaching is a concern. There have been a few Canadians over the passed 2 years that have the past couple seasons that had what it takes...the coaching is just brutal though. Bladek actually regressed from the start camp to the end of camp because of that coaching. Maybe this guy will turn out to be some superb coach in time, but right now, not a fan.

Bombers have the best? Cmon now. you jest right? They have some great prospects, no question...but when Pat Neufeld is starting I get a giggle there. He is playing well at the moment, but doesn't exactly have a great track record.

Greaves? Pass. Worst case is that Dyakowski gets a call.

I'm willin to cut them some slack on the last game... short prep week, travelling East bites...but they had better perform this week at home. I also get that it takes time for an Off Line to gel, but, that said I'd be very happy to see Dyakowski (spelling?) back. The Carter experiment should stop too. Jones has done a good job upgrading our overall talent leve (IMO), why the heck can't he find a suitable corner to replace Marshall.

Gelling is one thing....an international OG getting absolutely dominated on the LOS on clear one on one battles is a massive issue. Backpeddling like he is on wheels....pushed straight back and onto his butt within 2 steps...swim moves on an OG should never work in one on ones

The corner thing...that one pisses me off because there were guys that were good enough in camp. There were guys that were arguably ahead of Marshal...actually, I will say straight up that they were ahead of Marshall but Marshall was a guy who did a little better every day, is a stunning athlete, and can play a lot of spots...LB, DB, WR, QB....that is a guy you keep if it is close. That said...Johnson and Gainey are FAs after this season and Johnson is getting up there, so it is always a concern...they probably should have kept a couple extra DBs and more national OL instead of dozen DL. I get that DL and LB largely fill the special teams, but I don't agree with compromising at DB and OL. You need to rely on the Radford's of this world for stuff like that.

What would the situation be with Campbell. Would his 2 game suspension be over if they were to re-sign him or would he have to sit out 2 once under contract?

I think he has to sit 2 under contract.

This is simply not true.

Ese Mrabure Spent a few games on the Lions roster in 2015 and the rest on the IR. In 2016 the Lions opted to 46 Maxx Forde and offered Ese a PR spot. He refused. The Riders signed him the next day.

Guy refused to sign onto the Lions PR as a rookie at the same time as Ese and both were signed by the Riders at the same time. They offered him base PR pay while the Riders offered to 6 game him...full pay.

Zyver also refused the PR spot for the Lions in 2017 and was then signed by the Riders.

Wally = base PR pay most times

Most of league = full pay as if they were playing or a big chunk of it.

Wally has chosen to try to retain PR guys for peanuts at times and it has cost him.

........so............one player.