Tyron Brackenridge's Role

As the season is getting closer and closer, I am more and more convinced that Brackenridge will be the leader of the defense and a team leader in the locker room. While he is not a "rah rah" guy or a guy that does a motivational speech before each game, he lets his play do all the talking on the field.

With the loss of key members to the defense, it's his time to step up and lead. I know that he always wanted to return to Rider Nation and even with other offers from CFL teams, he choose to stay partly because of the fans and partly because of the opportunity to win a Grey Cup.

I think he is about to have a breakout year!!

IMO there is little doubt he will be a leader on the field.

In the Locker room I believe LaBatte and Sholo need to step up. Locker room dynamics are difficult to predict though.

I hope you guys are correct. If he plays and leads as you guys suspect.............he could have the ability to be like an Eddie Davis. Davis wasn;t a rah rah guy but his on field play was quite great, especially when you needed someone to emerge.

Hope so.

No argument here, grubber, Eddie Davis is far and away my all-time favourite Roughrider.

He was definitely awesome. We need a veteran leader like him again.

He is now in his 7th season of pro football his first four were spent in the NFL were he played all of 3of the 4 seasons with only his second sesonin the NFL where he spent very little time on a roster. He was not a practice roster player and when he was he was released by Tthe Jags in the end of July in 2011 he signed quickly with the Riders where he saw limited time coming in in August. His second season in 2012 he made the very hard move to SAM LB and was outstanding and now in his 3rd season and competing his first full season as a top Sam LB he will be one of the best players in the league and his pro experience and success will make him a great on the field leader for the defense which will include two CFL all star free agents in Canadian Ricky foley playing a comfortable spot as a rush end and the colorful yet great CFL CB over his CFL career.
Jay Alford should provide a lot of leadership as well a big time player at Penn State and a super bowl champion in a solid NFL career and came back to the riders midway through last season back in football shape and a second chance at a pro football career Chamblain loves him.
Sholo is a stadard on the Riders interior Dline now entering his 6th CFL season he is a classic Canadian DT. So while the Riders have some young talent and some new imports they have plenty of experieced defensive players for a great balance.
Lobo's health will be a concern but he is a difference maker at MLB and coach Cahmblain had a second and long package which limited Lobo's snaps and allowed Young super special teamer Sam Hurl to get some action as part of that pass package.
Another Canadian DT will secure a nice unit on the interior line to go with Alford and Sholo and back up NI Zack Evans. Stephan Charles would be a great addition to a DT rotation. If unavailable the ESKS are overflowed witabout 5 young NI DTS.
The DE spot will be filled with several import DEs with some decent NFL experience.

D is looking good. Can't wait for season to start

D was essentially 2nd overall last season to BC, and looks to have improved. We shall see at MLB and DE, but everything else is consistent or improved for sure.

I see our DB's being vastly improved over last season.

LB's- Over start of last year, much improved, over end of last year, I would say a wash, or slightly improved. I am not a fan of Williams, but if he can play well and stay healthy, we should be good. Kromah and T-Brack are good, but look for them to be pushed by some new comers. I have high hopes for that Peters kid!

DL- If Alford is back, Foley, Sholo, Mick Williams, Rowe, and some new comers can make for a scary dl rotation, but that is let to be seen, it is all basically potential right now. Not sure where George and Hawkins fit in to this new D look. George may be safe due to his being able to play DT or DE, I think Hawkins is a goner, which kind of sucks, because when healthy he is a force, but his but he hasn't been able to stay healthy for long periods of time.

LB - Much improved? The slightly improved statement later I would potentially agree with. The only real change is Williams for Lobo, and it is up in the air if that is an upgrade or not. definitely Williams is a guy who seems to be able to play more downs, so agree there...knock on wood

DL - Rowe hasn't seen much action, though he will likely see more this season...or be gone. I do believe Veikune will see more snaps, which I am pumped about because I have really liked what I have seen from him. IMO he lined up as the best DE last season for the Riders (still unsure why he is listed as a DT, even though he can play both). George, yes, is in for a fight in camp! Alford, Sholo and Evans are givens, and I tend to think Mick Williams is as well (was not a fan out of the gate but he finished stronger). Veikune and Williams are going to really lock horns for a 5th spot! What I like about Veikune is he really seems like the type of DLmen that could drop back into shallow coverage, which opens a lot of interesting maskings on blitz packages with LBs.

At DE...I believe Hawkins is safe, but I can see him being gone by week 6 once they figure a few things out (week 6 having financial implications on releasing a vet). Hawkins has played well, and deserves a good shot to prove himself. His run/outside containment is really second to none, but is not the greatest rush end. His experience with the club is definitely in his favor. The DE battles should be the most interesting thing to watch in camp / pre-season in 2013.

I was saying much improved from the start of last year, where we had Shomari lined up as MLB, compared to R Williams. That's why I said over the end of last year it was closer to a wash.

ahh…yes, I see that for sure.
Shomari was rolled over at LB

Rey will be impressive I think. Shomari is no big lose. He took a lot of dumb penalties.

Shomari always seemed like he was scared to get his hands dirty in my eyes.

Foley is the biggest signing of the entire off season league wide. This is huge.

I am shocked on two fronts.

1 - that Foley even wanted to come here.

2 - that Taman actually made a fantastic signing. EASILY EASILY his best move as GM probably in his career let alone with the Riders.

Don't worry about the LBs. Their job will be a lot easier with Foley up front. Now if they had just kept Dario Romero in the middle the line would be in great shape. But it's looking a lot better now.