Saskatchewans QB situation

Arius said "At the time, signing McGrath gave us arguably the best offensive line in the league---the highest paid as well. How formidable did you want it to be?"

Extremely formidable! At the expense of everything else! I would like to have both McGrath and Goodspeed! In that senario we would not have had to bring any other linemen into training camp. Next year when Durant and Jyles are more experiencerd we could have traded a couple of high priced linemen and drafted several to replace them. IMO you cannot have a good enough line when you're going with inexperienced QBs!

What would be the difference if those two got hurt instead of Johnson and Smith? The problem is not who we did or did not have - the problem is that at one point 3 of the 5 starters were hurt.

Exactly right Ron.

DD and any of our other young QB's success at this stage of the game all hinges around the O-line.

Lets not forget the early struggles of Cates either.

No time for SMS BS. The Riders have trimmed enough fat.

You would have Jonson and Smith to fill in if those two guys got hurt! What I’m saying is this is not the year to be developing lineman. You go with seven or eight quality linemen this year and then trade a couple next year and draft to replace them.

No you wouldn't!

Look, immediately prior to Smith's injury, our o-line looked as follows:

O'Day
Makowsky
Parenteau
Smith
Johnson
McGrath
Rempel

plus assorted backups, kids, draft picks, etc.

That's about as good as you can do, and that's "7 or 8" quality linemen. From a practical point, you're not going to be able to keep (or pay) any more than that. So, plug in whoever you want and take out whoever you want - you're still going to have 7 good linemen, of about equal quality. Now take away 3 due to injury, from either list, I don't care, and you're in the same boat you are today.

The problem was not that we went cheap on the o-line - quite the contrary. As Arius pointed out, we probably headed into camp with the most expensive (and arguably the best) o-line in the country.

Instead of Rempel lets go with Goodspeed.

O'Day
Makowsky
Parenteau
Smith
Johnson
McGrath
Goodspeed

Take out Smith and Johnson because of injury. We can;t take out three because there are only two who are injured.

O'Day
Makowsky
Parenteau
McGrath
Goodspeed

I like this starting o-line much better than what we're going with at the moment!

I meant 3 injured because of Makowsky, but you have him back in both scenarios, so fine.

You can’t do anything about McGrath - he just bailed. Kinda hard to pin a day 4 of camp change of heart on the organization, and so he would be gone from your list as well. It’s not like we cut him, or gave another o-lineman up to get him.

Therefore, your argument boils down to the Goodspeed trade, which gave us Rempel and a pick. Bear in mind, that at the time the trade was made, both Johnson and Smith were healthy, Harris was signed and McGrath hadn’t gone loco, so we really had 8 o-linemen PLUS Goodspeed. From that perspective, moving one was not an absurd decision. And even at that, we’re talking either Goodspeed or Bell, which at the moment, is probably not that easy a choice… as Bell has played well. Well enough that I’m not sure what we do with Belton when he’s healthy.

Bell or Goodspeed? That’s an easy choice for me to make! When Belton comes back he goes to backside tackle. Harris and Bell fight it out for the other tackle position.

Why is that such an easy choice? Compared to Goodspeed, Bell is bigger (he's downright huge), younger, and cheaper. And, after only 3 games, is playing solid at tackle, and will only get better. Plus, as an import, he's way easier to replace if he gets hurt.

The point of my original post was that this is not the year to be developing linemen! Not when you’re developing QBs.You go with the best you can get your hands on and I’ll take an all star in his prime over a rookie anytime. I think Bell is going to be a good one but will he beat out Bobby Harris? I really don’t know.

And your original point was correct. But I think the team did exactly what you wanted. Again, at the time of the goodspeed deal, the tackles were McGrath, Johnson and Smith. You're not keeping those 3 plus Goodspeed through camp, so one went.

I don't think it is fair to blame an organization for failing to predict that all three of those players they kept would be unavailable by week 2.

McGrath is supposed to be able to play guard or either tackle position. You know you are going too have injuries before the season is over so why not keep all three? In a year when we are developing QBs I do blame an organization for not having the forsight to forsee this.

The Riders lost Smith and Johnson to injuries. Weren’t they supposed to be the 2 tackles. Then they lost McGrath. Now they are starting Bell and Harris. So the Riders lost 3 tackles before they played 3 or 4 games. And they lost Makowsky to who could play tackle. How do you blame the coach or gm for that?

That was my whole point. Ron feels we should have anticipated this. Hence our diagreement.

Miller said in the paper he didn’t want Kevin Glenn. He did want Michael Bishop. So go figure. But if Durant and Jyles or Bell are playing good at the end of the year Miller was right. The Riders have to develop some young qbs. We have seen so many come and go. Slack, Jones, Graves, Mason, Burris, Greene, Butler, Joseph, Crandall and more.

How? And on the Goodspeed trade don’t the Riders get Winnipeg’s 1st pick in 2011? That’s 2 years but it could be a good player if the Bombers aren’t much better.

I agree. Plus Rempel, a local o-lineman, who's currently on the 9 game list.

This turned into some kind of pi**ing contest which was never my intent! Artie and Arius are both very knowledgable and insightful and I very much enjoy their comments! I feel my point was valid but I won’t bother making it again because we have done that to death. Suffice it to say that while we disagree we remained cordial and respectful and never sunk to name calling or rudeness. I respect that. Arius and Artie are gentlemen and I will always read their comments with anticipation. In this instance we didn’t agree but I respect their position and as always I find their arguments to be enlightning!

And the point is, we were NOT developing any linemen. Again, the projected starting 5 before wayne Smith was injured were all veterans, and all potential allstars. We didn’t keep Goodspeed because to play him we would have had to sit Belton Johnson (or Wayne Smith). We had the BEST and likely most EXPENSIVE line in the league. Exactly what you were asking for. We loaded up on quality. Still not much one can do when due to injury and a defection, 4 of your 5 starters are gone. The only projected starter after game one that was left was O’Day. ET did exactly as you say they should have. And yet you find fault.

As for Bell beating out Harris, based on what I’ve seen thus far, done. When Belton comes back, unless Harris improves dramatically, he goes straight to the PR.

Why not have nothing but allstars in a year when you’re developing QBs? I intended to put this to bed (see above post) but since you want to keep it going I’m in! The Riders planned their season and their draft selections based on the belief that McGrath was here! He could, should have been made to honour his commitment! Bobby Harris may go straight to the Pr but he was Miller’s choice to start the season comming out of training camp. Do you start the season with a PR player in a year when you’re devloping QBs? I have great respect for Belton and Wayne but will they ever be allstars? IMO Parenteau will never be an allstar. Add Goodspeed to the roster and even with Wayne and Belton injured your starting o-line today would be McGrath , Makowsky, O’day, Parenteau and Goodspeed. Yes, you have seven very high paid players…well maybe not Parenteau but in a year when we have inexperienced QBs it’s worth it in my view! You might have to forgo signing a Jason Clermont which I would be loath to do but when you’re developing QBs the o-line takes precedence over all other positions! We went into games with rookie starters such as Hutchins, Harris and Bell along with a training camp cut in O’Meara who the Riders traded to Winnipeg for a seventh round draft pick in 2007! i think we should have placed a lot more emphsis on the o-line this year.