Riders rounding out their Oline

Last season the riders secured a nice tight Oline unit through the draft free agency and trades
Patrick Neufeld a draft pick entering his second year in 201 elevated his game to starting RT returning RG Chris best acquiring Center and LG Picard and Labatte and acquiring a much needed young stud import LT in Fulton then drafting Ben Heenan first overall gave them a nice 6 man unit with Heenan able to add starting depth to the interior.
Local product Dan Clarke will be back to secure a back up spot.
Drafting another interior Lineman in Watman who can play both Center and Gyard left the Riders with only depth at T.
Yesterday they got that depth.
Jose Valdez who followd the smae NFL path as Fulton spending 3 years on NFL practice rosters will be ready to come in and be the Back up and have the ability to start at either Tackle spot.
True rookie Kyle Hill was a 4 year starter at LT for Duke in the ACC. Duke is not exactly a football powerhouse but the ACC does have some tough football programs that he has faced. look for hill to secure a Practice roster spot and be ready for duty if needed in the second half of the season.
Although the Riders will start 4 Canadians on the Oline Chamblain has staed that they have plenty of flexibilty where the Back up OT will be an import for either fulton or Neufeld and Valdez appears to be that guy.
I would also keep an eye on Matt Vonk for the future he may be a camp body this year but the expereince he will take back to waterloo will help him in making the Riders next season when someone is taken from the Oline in the expansion draft.
Vonk may be that Canadian back utility player that can play both G positions as well as RT

I gotta say I'm impressed. In 2011 we had arguably the worst O Line in the league and possibly the worst we had since 2006. The average age of those guys had to be well in the 30's. Now we have young guys jelling together a solid balance of recurring players, free agent pick ups and draft picks. Now they just have to perform. The performance they put on for the WSF last season was a joke and Durant was all over the place he still threw 4 Td's. The talent is there they just need to perform.

The OL was definitely improved last season, but for what they have into it, it needs to be better. I do lay a lot of that on coaching...I never felt Sweet was the man (though I thought he did well with the run game coaching), and after a 1 year exodus, apparently other staff agreed.

People say well, it was a fairly new set of faces, and there was a lot of youth...well, look what Wally did, for example in his last couple of seasons...basically ALL new faces, struggled at the start, and were the best in the CFL after that. The Rider's OL was consistent all season, not improving a pile. Not playing horrid, but never superb.

BC 30, MTL 30, CAL 34, TOR 36, HAM 41, SSK 43, WBG 44, EDM 48
Those were the sacks allowed last season

Some of that is play calling, some of it is on the line. The heavier portion, IMO is on the line. I recall several occasions that DD was sacked 8 yards back in 2 seconds...and that is all OL

OH...and as a basis of comparison, here is 2011...the 'hell' year...

BC 29, MTL 34, CAL, 34, HAM 35, TOR 40, SSK 41, WPG 46, EDM 46

...yea...that's right...2012 was worse than 2011 for sacks. It was 43 in 2010 as well.

the Line consisted of only two players from 2011 and one was just a reserve the other 3 starters plus the 6th guy Heenan was jsut a rookie and none of them ever started together. look for more continuity this year for sure
Plus going into camp they really did not have any idea that the two starting OTs would turn out to be Fulton and Neufeld. That Unit will be going through camp together Clarke has proven to be a good back up and extra lineman when on the roster for short yardage. Watman will be ready to play quickly if they sign him and they were very selective in bringing in the two import OTs one an NFL Free Agent and the other a rookie four year starter at duke mostly at LT.
Last year they grabbed a bunch of guys and had to wait for them to fall into place especially at OT. This season they have their base and vision on what to build behind them.
Big difference

Sounds like a lot of excuses to me. What was the issue the season before? And before that? And before that?

Reference the Wally note...he had 0 returning starters, went with youth over experience and warn out knees. He had the 2nd lowest sacks surrendered in a season in CFL history.

The Riders have shelled out a lot of coin into that line, and I will give them a pass for 2012, but it better shine for 2013, or it would seem money wasted to me. Center aside, the line was about equivalent as the previous year. Heenan is the only one who MIGHT have an excuse for allowing ~2.5 sacks a game.

Anything more that ~38 sacks this season is a fail.

The difference before the year before 2012 and the year before that is that they stunk.
I do not see that the Riders Offensive line was terrible last year in fact they were rather good and now should be even better this season

hey steve. . .it's your thread, can you correct the title please? There instead of their is starting to grate on my nerves. . .

Gee I can't wait for the season to start !

Just calling it as I see it. I do not see how anyone can say that there Oline play last year was bad.
In fact in a rebuild year the first thing they spent their money on was investing in the Oline and now are adding to it

Well, I would not say it played well. There were a lot of times, as said that DD was sacked in a couple of second, or had pressure on him. When I QB does not have time to even consider throwing the ball away that is an issue, and that happened a fair amount.

Question: was that pressure generated with a four-man pass rush, or via blitz pressure? If the latter, then the onus is on Durant to audible a change in protection schemes at the line and/or get the ball to his hot read ASAP. The onus is also on the hot receiver to recognize blitz and break off his route to give his QB a quick target.

If the former, I agree with you that the line is to blame primarily.

O-line was okay last year. Needs to be better this year.

There is a lot of veteran all star talent..............rebuild won't cut it. These are not rookies.

This line should dominate. Fulton, LaBatte, Picard, Best, Nuefeld. The only guy here not ever an all star is Patty Nuefeld and it was his first time starting last year at the more difficult position (tackle).

Heenan might take a job. Seriously, on paper this line should be the envy of the league (outside of Montreal). Now they need to show it.

Exactly the Riders signed the right guys but they cant play for them. They will have to go and do what they are supposed to do as a Oline that is now together for a second season.