Upon Further Review: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Upon Further Review is a series that looks back at each team’s 2021 season, their key free agent additions and other staff and roster changes and looks ahead to their 2022 campaign.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/2022/02/22/upon-review-saskatchewan-roughriders-2/
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Looking far better than the average fan is thinking and much better than the usual gang of gong show naysayers seem to always have proof that the riders will be in last place.....

The Rider receiving group can stand with any in the CFL assuming the top 3 imports are healthy. Even with Lenius & Jana gone the National contingent is pretty good. Fajardo needs to return to form, possible with a healthy OL though RT is a concern & there have been some questions on Vaughn's health @ LT. If Morrow is the starting RB, that is a roll of the dice with 9 carries to his name. Remember after 2019 Shaq Cooper, fresh off 2 years in Edm, was a top 30 free agent. What happened? No guarantees on Morrow.

Defence is pretty much taken care of in the comments above. Whether the switch on DL will pan out by compensating with a terrific LB corps remains to be seen. But, to quote a popular author, this gets "curiouser & curiouser".. With Purifoy taking insult to his contract offer why not keep Gainey in a Cup year? A backfield that ranked 2nd last in passing yds & big gains allowed managed to overcome this somewhat by creating turnovers. Gainey is a vet who has done his share in that regard & Purifoy was the Rider nominee for D MOP. Furthermore, if you're looking at young guys to fill the gaps, why are the likes of Campbell, McCray, Hendy & Dearborn not signed? Bouka, a high draft choice from the Jones' era has been auditioning there since 2016 in various parts of the secondary & is now in Calgary. Should this not have been an opportunity to take the next step in Regina?

IMO the Riders still have the personnel to rank top 3 with Calgary & Winnipeg & there are still changes to come before July. But should Edm or BC get some traction out of the QB position, one of them could surprise the presumed front runners.

Wish them well but Riders are gambling big time on Shaq Evans being back to 2019 form. Kyran Moore not starting the season is another concern. As it is right now Duke Williams can count on being doubled on every down. Maybe Ricardo Louis will step up or maybe Paul Jones brings in new talent.

Fajardo will miss Powell and his ability to read plays and block imo. Morrow is more of a threat but also more of a liability.

Secondary is messed up but it is early. Nelson Lokombo showing up healthy will help. They have good depth at linebacker.

Kicking game is looked after. Coaching is solid as well

To be honest I have to wonder what O'Day and Reynolds are thinking but know it is early and will wait to see how it shapes up. Nice to think Mason Fine can step in and play at a high level but that is to be seen and if not and Fajardo goes down Sask is done.

Third place team today.

Quote from the Article "Saskatchewan made their sixth playoff game appearance since 2017, more than any other club. "
1st) Sask in 2017 & 2019 were the crossover team in playoffs - that is really a consolations position because the Eastern teams were weak. Not really a playoff position. 2nd) between 2017 & 2021 there is only 5 years and in one(2020) there was no league playoff due to covid. 3rd) Calgary have made a real playoff position (not a crossover) every year since 2005. (16 times) So how does one say Sask made 6 playoffs in 5 years the most of any team? By my count in one sentence in the Article there were 3 false claims. And to top it all off, Sask hasn't won the Grey cup (the only thing that counts) since 2013 and that was only their 4th in history, the least of any team.

Like most QB's an extra split second of time makes a big difference. Not mentioned in the article was the play of our young O-Line last year. I am betting on some improvement and that will benefit Fajardo and all the receivers.

Evans will be better next season. In an interview this winter he talked of his injury not being a 100% when he returned. If Williams is double teamed, Evans will have a good year.

Also not mentioned was Schaeffer-Bakker. He is a stud and I love the YAC yards he gets. I am expecting big things from him....1000yards is not out of the question for this guy.

Fajardo reminds me of Kerry Joseph in some ways. Passionate, emotional and determined leader, lives on the edge with his scrambling more so then his passing game. It concerns me that Chris Jones says he is not good enough to play here...he is a good coach and I respect what he says. Hopefully Cody proves him dead wrong, I expect the Edmonton /Rider rivalry to be in full display this year given the comments made by Jones and now Elk, Gainey.

Picking the Riders to finish a close second to Winnipeg. Stamps and Elks fight it out for third and Lions a distant last place. Can't wait!

I guess if the Grey Cup is the only thing that counts then it would only make sense the Bomber fans do all the talking. If the Rider OT win in the semi final is obviously not a Grey Cup win I will not bring it up.


Stampederfan - Let’s consider a few items - - shall we:

  1. Since 2017, the Riders had a competitive team which made the playoffs ever year (not 2020). Making the playoffs is the goal of every team – because then you have an opportunity to win the Grey Cup. Suffice to say that the team with the best win/loss record during the season does not automatically win it all. History has proven this true many times – in every sport!

  2. In 2017, they were the crossover team, however, you are wrong regarding 2019. They were 1st in the West Division that year with a 13 – 5 win/loss record.

  3. If, in your determination, the crossover playoff spot is not a “real” playoff spot – then we can look forward to the Stamps forfeiting that playoff spot the next time they find themselves in that position? Sounds good to me!

Just to be clear, I’m not a Rider’s fan – but it’s great to see competitive teams in this league. Makes the football more exciting! As I’ve said before – 8 different teams have won the Grey Cup since 2010. No ONE team has dominated – and that’s a good thing!


No it's not. Defense has huge question marks. Whoever wrote that article (I guess Nye?) totally missed the boat (which would be the usual for Nye if it indeed was him).

Changing the focus from D-line to linebacker (if that really is what they are doing) is a huge mistake. It won't matter how good the LBs are if the D loses the line of scrimmage in front of them. They lost Woodard (you know, the league sack leader?) and let Micah walk. This means that Freddie Bishop (the forgotten man) is the wildcard. He could be great but he also hasn't played a down in over 2 years. It also means that Garrett Marino inherits the middle and he takes a lot of penalties, although Dabire takes Makana Henry's spot so that is good, but when overall D-line looks like a downgrade, that's an alarm bell!

Then there is the secondary. They are suddenly very young back there. They had 4 big vets in Gainey Purifoy Marshall and Edem. Of the 4 of them Marshall was the weak spot and he's the one that they kept, letting the other two walk. Edem is still there and he's great but he's also the safety so he rarely handles 1 on 1s. I do very much like Blace Brown, J Clark and Damon Webb, but I'd feel a while lot better if Gainey or Purifoy was still there. Veteran presence in the secondary goes a long way.

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Not sure what league you were watching in 2019 but Sask was first in the west and hosted the west final ...

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All you have to do to sound like you got foot ball smarts is to fake it.... Add some stats and skew some more stats and suddenly the Stampeders are be all end in the CFL

You are right, Dog. The issue of the DL was largely glossed over in the article & for my part I didn't discuss the possible ramifications of the re-focus to LB very well. You covered that very well. The Riders were very good vs the run last year & Micah, as well as Henry, were a large part of that. And that young secondary may be under a lot of pressure if there is not enough pressure up front ie. the DL loses the lOS.

Good points. I stand corrected. Thank you for the update.

I stand corrected, I can't explain how I entered 2019 but , yes , that is incorrect. However, the Rest of my post was correct. How can a team since 2017 to 2021 get 6 playoff games in 5 years (2021-2017 = 5) With 2020 not played by league. And since the Stampeders have been in the playoffs EVERY YEAR since 2005 (2021-2005 = 15 Years (again 2020 not played)) then Riders are not the only team to be in the playoffs for 6 years (or more) Bombers were in 5 years in a row (Since 2016 with 2020 not played)! Again at best the Riders were in playoffs for 4 years (2020 was not played.)

Let me help you out here. 2017 Sask. played Ottawa and Toronto, 2018 Sask. played Winnipeg, 2019 Sask. played Winnipeg, 2021 Sask. Destroyed Calgary and then played Winnipeg. Now go back and carefully add up the games they have played and stand corrected again. Seems to be the norm for you.


that's the problem with trash talking trolls they seldom fact check themselves when they just want to troll or seldom stop to think that trash talking a team that routinely out-preforms their own team come playoff time just does not matter when the goal is trolling

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Ahh such clarity <chef’s kiss> – thanks Taleback! – Our friend from Stampederville doesn’t always do his homework before posting his thoughts.

All good! The Stamps have been a model of success. Winnipeg went something like 29 years with out a

All good, I enjoy reading your posts. As long as the personal bashing on these threads is not part of the correspondence, I enjoy it.

The Stamps have been a model of consistency. Much like the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings were. The Bombers went close to 30 years without a Grey Cup and the Edmonton Eskimos were a Dynasty in the 70's and 80's. Not so much anymore. Last year I wrote, on a thread that I believe, the Stamps are nearing a decline. It is bound to happen. The law of averages demands it. BLM had something like a 750% winning percentage. The Stamps have made the playoffs year after year. No one is exempt from the law of averages...at some point they are going to catch up to everyone.

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rider01.1: Name calling again ! Is that your trademark on this site? OK you're ashamed of your Riders lack of success and jealous of the Stampeders success. I get it, but doesn't justify you attacking others.

Taleback: HA! HA! You claim the Riders destroyed the Stampeders in 2021. Really? Well you certainly have a different definition of destroy than the majority of people if a point differential of just 3 points is how you determine that word. So, what do you say the Bombers did to the Riders in the Western Final of 2021 when they won by a score of 21 - 17? (that's a 4 point differential)? Or how about in 2019 Western final when the Bombers again won by a score 20 - 13 (A Difference of 7 points)?
And then in the Semi final in 2018 when Winnipeg got 23 , Riders 18, (5 point differential)? That's the same year Calgary won the Grey Cup 27 Ottawa 16 (11 point differential)! That's in the important championship GCgame by the way! That's OK I know you exaggerate when you talk about the Stampeders because it is rare you have an opportunity to see the Riders get a win over the Stamps. But it is even rarer to see the Riders in the important championship Grey Cup game.

You missed the 2019 West Semi-final where the Bombers beat the Stamps 35-14 (21pt differential). Now that was a beatdown and really the start of BLM irrelevance.