Realty One

Access

Regina Rams Football

Friday, February 12, 2016

MURPHY ON FREE AGENCY, BACK-UP QUARTERBACKS

Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Football Operations and Player Personnel John Murphy was in studio on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Thursday to discuss the team's wave of signings and trades during the 2016 free agency season and their plans at back-up quarterback behind Darian Durant.

The club added over a dozen players through the first three days of free agency while releasing a pair.  While the team is far from done retooling its roster before training camp, Murphy's happy with what's transpired.

"We've made a lot of good improvements," Murphy said.  "It's a slow process.  We're still looking ahead including the free agent workouts that we'll continue to do this month and then meet in Toronto for Evaluation Camp.  It'll be our coaching staff's first chance to lay eyes on the prospects and poke and prod those players.  We'll also have the minicamp in Florida in April (Vero Beach April 8-10).

"Those will be a lot of guys that fill up our roster, the guys that are in these camps.  Jeff Knox Jr. was a guy who went to an open tryout a year ago and look at what he produced.  These guys will be on our roster and practice roster, and more importantly when injuries pop up like they do, a lot of these guys that are trying out for us in these camps will be the first call-ups.  It doesn't seem as important as the last three or four days but it's equally important if you want to perform at a winning level all year."

Murphy was asked by co-host Kelly Remple what they're hoping for game-to-game in the 2016 season.

"There's nine teams playing and the expansion team made it as close to winning a Grey Cup as anyone else last year," Murphy reasoned.  "If a team that's only been existence for two years can get to that point, there's no reason to say that we can't.  But I think the work that's gotta be done both on and off the field before then to be competitive is tremendous.  We need to continue to develop the Canadian talent and the quarterbacks for the future.  We'll have an excellent competition in training camp at lot of positions.  We'll evaluate that talent at the end of training camp and then at various points throughout the regular season."

Many in the Rider Nation are wondering what the Riders will do at the back-up quarterback position behind Darian Durant.  Kevin Glenn was shipped off to Montreal at the trade deadline and the club finished the year with rookies Brett Smith and Keith Price.

"I would argue there is a CFL-experienced quarterback right here when you look at the circumstances under which he played," Murphy said.  "Why is it such an anamoly that Brett Smith is not that guy?  15 touchdowns, nine interceptions, second- or third-leading rushing quarterback, and again, taking it into context, if there's so much excitement over Jon Jennings in B.C., why is there so much criticism of Brett Smith?

"Down the stretch, the game in Hamilton, is that a young quarterback forcing the issue because he's being pressured?  Yes.  There was a lack of a running game at that time, guys dropping balls and receivers in and out, that was a guy pushing out there.  Can you judge a guy who was out there trying to make a play?  A guy who was putting it out there on the line every play even though he was getting his butt kicked?  I liked the factor that he showed some oomf.  Maybe not the talking back and the body language, but he didn't want to come out of the games.  He wanted to fight with his teammates.  He earned a lot of respect from people.  Smith's also one of the three or four youngest players on the team.

"B.J. Coleman has done some real nice things for us in the workouts and has a nice pedigree.  He did some things in the NFL.  He had an excellent run in the Arena League and we're still evaluating Keith Price plus we've looked at five or six other quarterbacks.  Until otherwise noticed, I don't think there's anybody else out there who could put us in a better situation to be successful than Brett Smith."

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brett Smith is a fine young QB that's going to star in this league. The only question that remains is whether it will be with us or for another team in the CFL. Playing on a crap team who did nothing to help him, Smith still fought like a warrior. I agree with Murphy that we have someone pretty special here and we should damned well recognize that.

Anonymous said...

I would hope they give Smith a chance. Last year he was on an island. He showed he would do anything to try to win. With the help of a quarterback coach and some structure I think he will show a lot of promise.

Darcy from Regina

Doovy 49 said...

I agree with Darcy. Smith was under more pressure than Tom Brady faced vs. the Broncos. No qb can function under that kind of pass rush. With a much improved O-line he'll do fine.

Anonymous said...

Smith has the stubbornness to try and also the tools to succeed. I was very disappointed when he pouted on the sidelines last year because it showed his immaturity and lack of respect for his coach but he is a man who knows his capabilities and I believe this year he will shine like Bo Levi and Travis Lulay. We have Darians backup and in time his replacement if he is handled properly.

Anonymous said...

Smith did make some beautiful throws while rolling out. A young, talented QB with some skills along the lines of Arron Rogers. Just needs time to learn the game more and gain some confidence like Aaron did during those years behind Brett(Farve).

Anonymous said...

I don't blame him for being upset for getting pulled... anyone who is a competitor is!! Same as in baseball how often do you see a starting pitcher get upset when he gets yanked? What was he suppose to do go skipping off the field with joy? That whole game was a joke in Ottawa. I would not judge him by that game. Chamblin had lost the locker room at that point.

Darcy from Regina

Anonymous said...

We've seen the Jonathon Jennings thing and we've seen the Trevor Harris thing. Lets hope that the Brett Smith thing happens here. He did show some immaturity last season but young guys often do that; ala Cam Newton! Maybe it speaks more to his desire to win than anything else. I didn't think he should have been pulled and neither did most of the TSN commentators. He made a mistake and should have been handled better by the HC. I doubt that Jones would have done that to him. This season I believe we will see a huge upward trajectory of Smith.

Anonymous said...

when did Smith pout on the sidelines?

I remember seeing a guy on a really bad team throw one bad pass and get benched. Is he supposed to simply accept that?

Christopher Evans said...

I like Smith as a QB, but he needs a little time to develop. Young QB's will often freelance from what they are supposed to do... it's VERY tough as an o-line to block for a kid who's supposed to stay in the pocket and decides to roll out because he's trying to make something happen. Sometimes you need to play within the system to be successful! He needs some time to mature and become a reliable QB... not that he can't become or was expected to so early in his career, but let's not get all too gushy over a QB that still needs to prove himself... he did some good things, he also did some foolish things.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Rodgers has a cannon for an arm, Brett Smith does NOT. Let's not get too carried away. There are a lot of other good, young QBs State side.

Craig said...

What a breath of fresh air after the previous regime's stifling attitude toward Smith! I was worried that Chamblin had squandered an opportunity to develop the next face of our franchise, but it looks like Jones, Murphy, O'Day see his potential and are doing everything they can to make sure he knows it.

Anonymous said...

Sunseri stayed in the pocket like he was "supposed to", and how did that work out for him??

FG

Anonymous said...

No one could have stayed in the pocket and lived! Our o line last year was supposed to be one of the best and they might as well have used pilons and saved the money

Anonymous said...

Let's see Smith pull his sideline tantrum act this year with Mr Jones in charge and see where that gets him, (released). Smith's player evaluation says he's lacking a few marbles upstairs.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god don't even mention club foot Sunseri. I just stopped having nightmares.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Evans;

I like your comments. You still drink green cool-aid but you pause and taste it too. Many others just drink it no matter what and if anybody questions them they label you a 'bandwagon jumper'.

Mike Morgan

Anonymous said...

Brett Smith a loney toon ! Please find a competent backup quarterback

Dave said...

What happened to Shultz not being on the cage on Fridays?

Anonymous said...

This is the first chink I've seen in the Rider staff's armor. I have a tough time believing Brett Smith will ever put together a solid game. Lord I hope Darian stays healthy.

Anonymous said...

the o line only looked bad because they didnt know where to block. thats why there was so many holding penalties. your trying to block to form a pocket if your qb rolls out right away when he is not supposed to the only thing the o lineman can do to stop the d from just releasing and chasing the qb is to hold him or just let him go either way your screwed and it puts the o line in a bad position and they look bad. if brett can be taught to look for the open guy in the pocket until he feels the pressure he will be a good quarterback. the only thing for me is that keith price looked very comfortable in the pocket and i think might be easier to teach doesn't seem to have as big of an ego as smith.

bill johnson

Anonymous said...

The 2 comments on here that Brett Smith is not all there are ridiculous and have no merit. In fact the people or person writing those comments should be concerned of their own mental faculties. Brett needs some grooming and he will be a great back up. Will he ever make it to be a starting quality QB. Only time will tell.

Reginald of Regina

Anonymous said...

Remember Bill J., all great quarterbacks have big egos, some keep them in check better than others. It takes a huge ego to lead a pro football team. Smith will watch and learn from a great role model in Durant.

KJ