This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2021/12/28/riders-sign-micah-teitz-nick-marshall-extensions/
Teitz is a good signing...
That's a relief. I thought Marshall would go to Edmonton
Agree on both fronts. Teitz & Marshall are very good signings for the Riders. O'Day is locking up some key guys early.
Teitz is a nice signing, not sure on Marshall. Sask need a reboot in the defensive backfield, both Gainey’s and Marshall’s better days are behind them. I could be mistaken, but didn’t Sask allow the most yards per pass this season? And this is with a DLine that was able to pressure the QB.
I agree in many ways here. The Riders D is getting old, maybe time for changes, but Marshall isn't the issue , he will only be 30 when season starts
Great signings, Teitz should have been an all star last year.
Good point Mack. I believe they were 2nd last in passing yds/game & last in big passing plays given up. Marshall is a ball hawk but gets beaten deep. They also had some young guys who played well. Teams gotta figure out when's the time to get younger. Because the GC is in Regina this year, I think the Riders will try & keep most of their veterans because it worked in 2013. A bit risky. What do you do with LaBatte? He has 1 more year on the deal he signed in '19 & may want to play with the Cup there? But he hasn't played in 2 years. Cutting him would probably be unpopular, especially with the OL problems this past year. Henry, Clark, Micah, Powell - all coming 34. Decisions, decisions.
I'll be surprised if Leonard isn't in Edmonton next year. He was Jones' protege when he brought him to Sask and changed him from receiver to Defensive end.
Leonard and Jefferson would be an insane duo
The loss of Edem was huge last year.
I think Bouka can fill in but he hasn't shown an ability to stay healthy.
As for oline, Labatte is done. Even in 2019 he was out most of the year. Hopefully Shepley finds his way back or they should go hard in free agents to try and address the tackles. The interior had a stretch of solid games but those tackles need an upgrade.
Micah Johnson has a few solid years left. It was noticeable when he didn't play.
The Riders need to find a back sort of like we had in Thigpen in 2019 to be a change of pace guy. That's what I think we missed the most this year on offense is those guys who were home run hitters.
In general when you hit 34, like Micah, like Ted Laurent, like Sewell (35 next year), the drop off can be substantial from 1 year to the next. At their ages it's 1 year at a time, not several. As I said, I think the Riders will keep some older veterans around. I would keep Johnson & Clark for sure but you have to have replacements on board. Dabire has been around for a few years but has underwhelmed IMO. As for Henry & Powell? Powell's avg yds/carry was a full yd/carry behind the good RB's. In the CFL you gotta be around 5 yds/carry. Powell didn't look the same & that wasn't just the OL. And Henry? He's 35 in 3 weeks. I'd be seriously looking at a replacement there. Too many old guys is not a good thing with the exception of QB's & kickers. Johnson has been an elite DT, Henry a good journeyman.
Gainey and Marshall weren’t the problem. Our backfield issues were the result of injuries, starting with the loss of FS Mike Edem.
I forgot the GC is in Mosaic this season, so I can see the Riders keeping many vets to try and make a run. Only thing is the defensive backfield was a strength of the Riders D a few short years ago and they regressed in a big way this season. Some feel that injuries were part of the reason for the poorer play but I don't think so. Look at the Bombers for example, everyone was claiming at the start of the year their DBs were going to be a weakness. They have only 3 of a starting 5 coming back, lose 2 All-Stars in Rose and Sayles, pick up Johnson who gets injured in camp and then put 2 rookies in 2 of the hardest positions to play in the CFL. Their very first series on D, Alford gets beat for a TD but from then on he and Nichols shut the door on every receiver they faced, 14 games plus playoffs. These are rookies playing the same position Marshall and Gainey play. The Bombers rebooted in a training camp, Sask isn't winning the GC at home with their same roster they have, IMO.
Agree with your take on Johnson, Clark, and Henry, but I think it’s too early to pull the plug on Dabire – he’s only played 22 games over his 2 years with the Riders (little more than a regular season). Perhaps rookie newcomer Cimakinda will give him the push he needs.
I also agree it wasn't just the OL responsible for Powell’s drop off – though it was a BIG part. Learning a new offense also played a role imo. I think he’ll improve with an upgraded OL and another year in Maas’ offense. Mind you, he still finished 4th in rushing this season, and there’s little wrong with his blocking and receiving.
You’re probably right about Labatte – I had forgotten about his injury issues in 2019 (only played 6 games).
A healthy Vaughn sure would’ve helped our OL this season. Hopefully he’ll be in camp this spring. Perhaps newly-signed Tommy Champion will be a fit at RT.