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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

MURPHY ON THE RIDERS

Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy appeared on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Monday to update fans on the team's off-season progress.  The club is in the middle of staging a series of free agent tryout camps in the southern U.S. and also congregated at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama last week.  Here are Murphy's comments:

WHAT'S THE LATEST?

JM:  The last time we spoke we were moving from Florida and headquartering out of Alabama.  We had a good workout in Montgomery on the way to Mobile and then had the majority of our coaching staff and the majority of the guys that are going to be considered to be scouts for us both in the U.S. and in Canada there.  We made the journey to Mobile for Senior Bowl Week.  We met Monday and did a bit of an introduction and an initial seminar.  Then we watched practices Tuesday and Wednesday and had meetings at night time with them.  We think we're on the right track with the people we've found.  It's a combination of guys that Chris, Jeremy and myself had either for or worked with in the past and a few have playing backgrounds, a few have coaching backgrounds and a few are guys we just feel we'd like to get involved in the organization in some way, shape or form.  At some point between now and the spring time we'll go into further detail and do a release on it but we want to get all our I's dotted and T's crossed.  We just wanted to get all these guys sharing a room over the course of three days and share information.

HOW MANY SCOUTS DO YOU PLAN TO HAVE?

JM:  It's not a number.  It's been reported that we had 20-odd folks down there which is true.  We'd like to have as much of the U.S. covered within a 3-5 hour driving radius for the scouts and then have Canada broken up into four scouts as well.  By the time we're done, you're looking at the mid-twenties in terms of numbers.  Chris, Jeremy and I will cover the NFL camps and the Canadian Draft will fall heavily on us as well.

WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF SENIOR BOWL WEEK?

JM:  Obviously for the NFL, for the guys that'll make a lot more money than we can offer, it'll be an interesting (NFL) Draft.  It's a very heavy front-end in terms of O-line and D-line.  There was very good quarterback play and then I thought there was a number of good pass-rushers.  You're gonna see that heavily-laden again with the under-classmen kids and this makes for a very interesting NFL Draft.  For us, it's just pressing the needs that we have as an organization, talking about the changes and developments we have going on with us.  If there's a guy who slips through the draft, maybe he'll think of us later in the spring and we can get them to camp or after they're cut, or next fall once the rosters expand.  That seems like a long ways away but it's really not when we want to identify players.

WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON THE NEW MAJOR LEAGUE FOOTBALL SPRING LEAGUE?

JM:  The pro is guys are getting to be active which is better than sitting on the sidelines or hoping to come to an open tryout.  The negatives would be guys that are hoping to play there right now would not be elligible to come to a minicamp that we'd be doing in April.  If the league goes forward after their draft, we're not the only team that would feel a knock.  The other eight CFL teams and Arena League would feel the pressure of that.  They're talking about an eight team league and an 8 or 10 game schedule.  It would be over by May or June so in the big picture maybe we'll get some film on a guy to look at after training camp has started but in the big picture, I'm gonna say a league that's been in business for 60 years like ours and has written hundreds of thousands of paycheques to players versus a start-up league that I still have never seen a game, never seen a practice, if you can't make a decision on which way to go with that, you may not be smart enough to play for us.

DOES QB BRETT SMITH FIGURE INTO YOUR PLANS?

JM:  We've spent a lot of time watching film of both Brett and Keith Price as well as their college film and getting as much background information on those guys.  It was a unique scenario where Calgary got to play Saskatchewan down the stretch so they were more familiar to me than the Edmonton guys so we have a pretty good handle on what we think of those guys and how they can work in our new system.

I thought Brett did a number of good things last year.  You could see obviously by the production that's there.  What wasn't there was the wins and losses and the turnovers were concerning and sometimes maybe the accuracy in terms of intermediate accuracy.  He made some big plays rolling out of the pocket sometimes but you want to make sure that some of these younger QBs could've gone to the checkdowns instead of running as often as they did.  You don't want to have your starting quarterback or developmental quarterback running so much out of necessity.  You only wanting them running on designed plays or when the pocket breaks down.  We understand the situation that those guys were playing under at that time of the season so you don't want to be too hard or critical at the end of the day.  Starting quarterbacks are judged on wins and losses and that was a component that just wasn't good enough there but Brett did a lot of good things to make you realize the kid was only 24 years.  Brett, coming out of college when he did, was only 21 years old and has already been with two CFL teams.  Having a full training camp will be a difference-maker for him and how he plays in training camp and the preseason.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Outstanding coverage of the team.

Anonymous said...

24 more people on the payroll. Jones and Murphy have no respect for the Riders at all.
Get ready for the fund raisers and telethons !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rod. I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

To Anon #2 Really! This was the best news I heard in regards to the scouting department FINALLY!! This should of been done years ago. This will payoff huge in the future. Hopson's way of operating things is starting to show more and more!
Ron - Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Anon # 2, you are an utter and complete idiot. Stay away from this blog!

Anonymous said...

Well he certainly looks pleasent.

Anonymous said...

At last. People in charge that actually know some other football people. This is a 180 from the past. Go Riders Go.

Anonymous said...

Anon EE fan #2... Please go away with your stupidity!
The Riders organization is wealthy and is not worried about paying 20 part time people. Having Scouts on a part time basis all over the USA is nothing but spectacular.
Telethons will not be a factor in the CFL for at least 8 out of the 9 teams. If Toronto dosent catch on at BMO they may be in trouble.
Man I cant wait for the 2016 season.

CM said...

Jones and Murphy know how to set up a system to find players. Its all good news for Rider fans. Well those that want to see winning football as opposed to just cheering for certain players.

Anonymous said...

Don't sweat it. It's just Eric Bischoff (aka Rod) posting nonsense on his own blog to get the masses pissed off. He just laughs when the insults directed at him start flying.

Speaker Ryan

Anonymous said...

You got that right CM. Hard to believe that anyone could think that such a system like the old administration had was the right way to go. Murphy should show up in Bulyea and debate Hopson on how to build a football team. I'd pay money to see that. In fact, I'll pay for Murphy's ticket!

Gundersons Yorkton

Anonymous said...

stay way from this blog...more like stay way from a computer....what a idiot !!!

Anonymous said...

Love the new Riders direction! But remember, we can only say its an improvement after this regime wins a Cup ... or two. Until then its only different than the previous.

Anonymous said...

And you obviously have no self respect saying such stupid things in public.

The riders are by far the wealthiest team in the league. They can afford a robust scouting department.

Your fears are groundless, your complaints are moronic.

Anonymous said...

Posters on this blog are absolutely amassing. If someone post something you do not like you erupt in vile name calling and swearing. You should all be locked up for life in a mental asylum.

Anonymous said...

I am a little worried about the money these guys are spending already. We have a new stadium that is going to cost us a whole lot of money plus we still need to find some players to play on this team and I know they are looking for cheap players but still they are going to have to spend some money to get anyone worthwhile. We have a new coach/GM that is getting one heck of a pile of money, not to mention was Murphy is getting paid which is probably pretty substantial. Who knows how much the growing numbers of administration and football staff are getting paid. Now they want to hire 20+ scouts. Pretty sure that the revenue will be down for last season and the expenses are climbing. A little scary for sure!!

Anonymous said...

The old administration operated on this basis: Who needs scouts when you have a direct pipeline to the Blue Bombers' recycle bin?

Anonymous said...

Does the Superbowl qualify as a "must-win" game??

Anonymous said...

The Rider could cut costs to pay for the scouts by cutting staff starting with Gainer. No new taxes!! LOL