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Friday, January 15, 2016

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to the usual set of Friday thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.

-- WOW!! It is safe to say January 14, 2016 will go down as a bellweather moment in the Chris Jones era. If he didn't know how the Rider Nation can be infuriated with just one move and go completely off their rocker, he did at about 3:17---two minutes after the release came out stating John Chick and Weston Dressler had been released.  I didn't like the writing on the wall for Chick after he stated during a Sportscage visit this month that he hadn't spoken with Jones, but I will admit I was floored to see WD7 get his walking papers. I don't know what type of season Dressler would have had if Darian Durant were throwing him the football, but it would have been a lot better than what he had and he still just about 1000 yards receiving. Dressler has a lot left in his tank as far as I'm concerned, but his salary and I hate to say it, but his size had a lot to do with it. I'm not going to speak for Chris Jones, but he likes big receivers and Weston while tough is not big and obviously doesn't fit into what Jones has planned for this team.

Like the rest of this province, I am a huge Weston Dressler fan. How can you not be? The guy just gets the job done and is as tough as can be. You can't replace a player of his calibre, but Jones and company will try. As tough as these moves are, they are moves that have to be made to improve a 3-15 football team. If you had your choice between keeping Chick and Dressler and going 3-15 again, what would you take? I think the answer to that one is clear. I don't like it, but I understand it and I accept it. Many of you will as well, but it may take some longer than others.  The bottom line is we fall in love with players as fans, but the game is a business and sometimes that business does some things we don't like.  John Chick and Weston Dressler are no longer Riders (but they could be at a cheaper price somewhere down the road), but their time in green will not be forgotten and when the time comes, they will be Plaza inductees.

Many are now wondering what is next. Shawn Lemon is apparently part of the Rider plans as he has reportedly signed a deal, but more moves are coming. Do we have to start wondering about Darian Durant's future in green?  I would say right now as I said yesterday on the Cage, I think everything is on the table and nothing should surprise anyone now.

More CFL lower down in today's column!

-- The Canadian dollar is sitting at 70 cents. That is not good news for the NHL, but is it going to mean a return to the last time the dollar sat in such a bad position. Back then, the low dollar meant it was tough for Canadian teams to keep marquee players. I think the overall economic picture of the NHL is a lot brighter now then it was back at that time for the Canadian teams, but how big of an impact will a low loonie have when it comes to companies who have luxury boxes, tickets and other things. Will it slow down talk of Quebec City getting a team back. The question as to how big that impact will be won't likely be felt until we find out what the salary cap will be for next season and how the Canadian teams deal with their big salary players. The same can be said for the CFL as well.  A low dollar won't help when it comes to trying to recruit players north of the border.

-- Naheed Nenshi is certainly getting some ink for basically telling Gary Bettman to stuff it when the idea of proceeding with the massive Calgary NEXT project was suggested by the suddenly scruffy-looking Bettman. There is no way the 890 million dollar project Ken King wants is going to happen, but at the end of the day, there will somehow be a new rink for the Flames to play hockey in.  King needs to scale back his project and find another location that is more suitable. He may also have to scrap plans for a new football stadium as well. That would reduce the price and perhaps make the cost a little more friendly to a city which continues to reel from the price of oil and the cost of the dollar.

-- Timing certainly is everything. You can't tell me the new Mosaic Stadium would have been built if the idea to do it came now instead of when it did. The same can be said for Edmonton's new rink. The timing was right to get those facilities up and built and the benefits will be felt for a long time.

-- Could Duron Carter end up back in the CFL? After what happened yesterday in Riderville, is there any chance of him wearing green. My spidey senses say no to both,

-- Could Alabama quarterback Jake Coker be a CFL'er. I don't know if Carter comes back to the CFL, but I think Coker could have a nice career here if an NFL team doesn't take a flyer on him. Who has his rights?

-- Now that Paul Lapolice and Mike Benavides have coaching jobs, who replaces them on TSN? That is a segment the network needs to continue. Could we see Tom Higgins on "the panel"?

-- The New York Yankees have very quietly assembled the best 7th, 8th and 9th inning bullpen in the American League if not the majors. They may be heading back to the playoffs sooner than you think. I would rather have that pen than what Toronto has and that includes Drew Storen who to me is no better than what Casey Janssen was. Time will tell!

-- Is there a better player in the WHL right now than Regina's Adam Brooks?

-- The more I watch Russell Wilson, the more I wonder if he is related to Houdini. That play to get Seattle off the canvas in Minnesota where he found a wide-open Tyler Lockett after having the snap get past him is just amazing to watch. 5 guys were bearing down on him and he casually picked up the football, avoided the five and lobbed one to Lockett to send Seattle on their way.

-- It was good to see no idiot threatened physical harm or dumped manure on Blair Walsh's driveway after his unfortunate gaffe to end the Vikings season. Whatever happened to the guy who did that to Paul McCallum way back when?

-- If you get caught jaywalking in Nova Scotia, you could pay a 700 dollar fine. When the bars let out in Halifax, the cops must get writers cramp handing out tickets. That's just a little insane.

-- Speaking of insane, someone texted in during Thursday's Sportscage (of course it was from anonymous) saying I was a corporate suckup because I was siding with Chris Jones with the moves made. A corporate suckup??!! You can call me many things, but a corporate suckup?? I need to see if I can get that put on a business card.

-- That's all I got. Have a great weekend! Oh yeah, GO SEAHAWKS!! I'm taking Seattle, Arizona (in a tight one), the Chiefs and Broncos.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

heck even #99 got shipped for $$$$ reasons...no is untouchable! where was the "loyalty" when these two sought greener pastures down south,declining to restructure their "fat" contracts...change is inevitable...i.e. 3-15!!

Anonymous said...

Tough day as a Rider fan yesterday. But after sleeping on it, as a team it totally makes sense.

The Riders had almost half of their salary cap tied up in about 6-8 players.

Dressler, Chick and Durant themselves make up over 20%. A horrible model for any team success.

The thing fans always need to remember about every player, they all want to play in Saskatchewan but only if the money is right.

Anonymous said...

Both Chick and Dressler will sign with other CFL teams very quickly ... for a lot less money than they were making here.

So ask yourselves as fans. How BAD did they really want to be Riders.

Anonymous said...

One always has to remember that Jones traded Fred Stamps out of Edmonton and Stamps was equally as loved in The City Of Champs Edmonton as Dressler is in Winerville Saskatchewan.i hated it at the time and i still do but the ESKIES went on to be 2015 Grey Cup Champs in 2015.

Anonymous said...

yes there is ..he is in Moose Jaw B, Point

Anonymous said...

Taman may be gone, but his fingerprints are all over yesterday's move!

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, you nailed it on the head yesterday when you asked what do you want, another 3-15 team with Chick and Dressler on it or a team that is more competitive without. What John and Weston have done for this team won't ever be forgotten and they are two of the best to ever play for the team, but everyone's time comes up.

I don't want to see those two play elsewhere, but I want to see a football team which can compete for the Grey Cup. That wouldn't happen with the money these two were getting paid as it hurts other areas.

Jones knows what he is doing.

Kyle

Anonymous said...

Great Column this morning. I trust Reynolds and the board in giving Jones the power to right the ship.We have to trust the Jones Regime as they are in the football business.. Time will tell and I firmly believe Jones/Murphy will find the right players for this franchise Many thanks to 7 and 97 but we will move on. This new group has not lost a game yet and now has to replace probably 75% of the defence. I still think as an almost expansion team we will make the playoffs and win it all in 2017 with the opening of the New Mosaic Stadium. Go Riders Go.. Polkabill from the Peg

Anonymous said...

Anybody want to bet Bagg won't be back as a receiver with the Riders?

Anonymous said...

I'm not supersized by it, but the irrational green colored glassed view by some is amazing. Most sports team fans want it all, but Rider fans expect it all. They want change, a winning product, but don't want it to come at the expense of their favorite players or the notion of loyalty. They want a new stadium (some anyway) but don't want to give up their seats, they demand to know the status of their QB regardless of personally privacy because of their overwhelming sense of entitlement.

The team owes me one thing and one thing only in my opinion..... to entertain me. Last year they didn't do that so much, and they took the steps to fix it. But still many can let go that sense of entitlement or the notion that it should be done as they see fit.... They hang on to this notion that their favorites will be good forever, and should stay forever cause they will surely play at the same level forever, despite age or injury (see Korey Sheets).

The league is changing, the rules changed and the finances are about to as well. We jettisoned many Db's as they could either not tackle, or cause they could not play man coverage very well. Perhaps, perhaps we are going to see WR's cut loose because they thrive in zone and can't beat man? Old vets will be replaced by young and hungry rookies. It's going to become a zero complacency team, and perhaps league..... see the New England Patriots.

Buckle up, complain less, and enjoy the ride..... as this is what you asked for during all those blog rants, radio call in shows and various other shots taken at good football people who only wanted to provide you with a winning product, and form of entertainment.

Reece in Regina

Anonymous said...

It appears the Rider Nation has taken a few deep breaths and for the most part understand the situation. Dressler and Chick were great players, there contributions will not be forgotten, time to move on. The hater(s) will continue to hate, the trolls will troll.

Doovy said...

Scruffy you comment about Jones wanting size in WR's has nothing to do with Weston being gone. Did you not listen to Jones' interview? MONEY. It's ALL about money.

willy said...

Let's just make DAMN SURE that we have a well experienced back up for Durant when the season begins because I believe that Durant will now be "Injury Prone" . If we have a Major injury to start the season again, we will end up where we ended up this past year down at the bottom. Durant is not a kid anymore and he won't be able to stand up as he used to. It should be interesting, but on the other hand , "Will he still be here when the season starts" ?

Anonymous said...

Now that the shock of it all has passed, let's look at this rationally. Who would you rather have? John Chick; age 33 making well in excess of $200K or Shawn Lemon; 27 and playing for what I hear is $175K?

As many have stated before me, Taman gave these guys a bit too much money and that is why they aren't a part of the plan going forward. And beware Rider fans, I have a feeling that if Jones, Murphy and crew can bring in someone to provide stability and competitiveness at the QB position, Darian Durant may not be too far behind. Two injury riddled season, getting older and making a lot of money. After yesterday, I am prepared for anything. That being said, if it makes the football club better on the field, I'm all in.

Section 24



Anonymous said...

I was wondering why Chick and Dressler were owed bonus money. What did they accomplish last year to earn more than their base salary?

Anonymous said...

Look forward to hearing what the Ol' 96er has to say about the end of the Dressler era today on the Sports Cage's 4 Seasons Football Friday! Will he take the level-headed Mitch Blair approach and rationalize the decision by the new Rider management team, or will he go ballistic over the way his former teammates were shown the door?

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

TSN will have a "GM's Corner" in 2016 with Brendan Taman in the chair is what I heard.

Anonymous said...

Look at Jones' history and tell me he has had small receivers. Money had a lot to do with this, but so did size. If WD7 was the size of Stafford or Bowman, he would still be here.

Anonymous said...

IF WD7 had the size of Stafford and Bowman, he would not be the great and much loved WD7.

Anonymous said...

What did happen to the guy who manured McCallum's driveway? Perhaps Obama wannabe Kel in Victoria wants to chime in in the douche-like fashion he does.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest...Seattle isn't winning this weekend. If not for a shank, they're already at home licking their wounds. The Seahags have been awful 2 of the last 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy you are not a corporate suck up. You are Like a mangy old puppy dog by the same name. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Just heard the Thursday podcast. The RN became somewhat unglued. Great show!
Corporate suckup! LOL

Tim