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Friday, March 25, 2016

SCRUFFY'S THIS 'N THAT

Welcome to Friday!  Good Friday!  Here are the weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they come in no particular order:

-- The question has been asked several times over the past few months. What do you think about what the Riders are doing? I state time and time again---I LOVE IT! Change was needed after a 3-15 season and while it does suck to see guys like Weston Dressler, John Chick and Chris Getzlaf continue their careers elsewhere, I get it. The game is different under the salary cap and as Chris Jones has stated so many times before he is not here to win a popularity contest, he is here to win championships.  We are quite a ways from training camp, and I do have some questions at this time---questions that I'm sure will be answered by the time everyone converges on Saskatoon.  Here they are

1) WHAT IS THE PLAN AT QUARTERBACK

Darian Durant will be back for 2016, but what is the plan when it comes to who the other QB's will be. Will Brett Smith definitely be the number 2 or is there a plan to bring in someone else with CFL experience and if so, who? James Franklin would probably top that list seeing Chris Jones knows what he can do, but there are others as well who could be called upon if there is to be a competition for number 2 at camp. I was hoping Keith Price would be back. If he had, I think he might have had a leg up on Smith because he appeared to be a little more polished than the improvisational Smith. That wish came to an end when Price went to BC. If he is given a chance, I say he flourishes there.

2) WHO CARRIES THE ROCK

Jerome Messam is gone, Anthony Allen is gone and  Kory Sheets is history (get used to that because he is).  I love the Matt Walter signing, but I don't know if he can be a starter or not. Stephen Houston could be a CFL running back as he fits that criteria, but we didn't see a lot of him. Terrence Cobb should be a Sheets 2.0. If Saskatchewan trades down in the draft, could they grab the University of Calgary's Mercer Timmis. Curtis Steele is also in the mix.  Running backs are said to be a dime a dozen, so maybe this isn't that big of a problem, but I would think the braintrust are seeking some more experience back there which makes me think Steele goes in to camp with it being his job to lose.

3) WHAT AREA(S) STILL NEED IMPROVING

Chris Jones and John Murphy have revamped what was a putrid defence by releasing guys like Tyron Brackenridge, Terrell Maze, and Jake Doughty, trading Andre Monroe and not re-signing John Chick. Tearrius George, Jeff Knox and Tyree Hollins are still around, but there isn't a lot leftover from the disaster that was 3-15. The line is solid with the additions of Justin Capiccotti and Shawn Lemon. Knox will have Greg Jones beside him in the linebacking corp, but even though guys like Otha Foster and Ed Gainey have been added, I'm still unsure about the secondary.

The bottom line here is the expectations one has about the 2016 Riders. I think it is too much to even consider this team to be a Grey Cup contender at this time. Yes, the West has been weakened somewhat, but I don't see the Riders finishing first or second as they battle Winnipeg for that 3rd spot in the West. There is nothing saying they can't do what Ottawa did last year, but realistically, I think you have to hope for an 8-10 win season which would be progress after last year. Hell, even 6 wins would accomplish that wouldn't it.


-- The new /=S=/ is the old logo with a twist and I'm OK with that. I will admit when I saw the release come over from Ryan Pollock on Wednesday afternoon, I wasn't sure what I was going to see when I opened the picture of the new (old) logo, and I was somewhat relieved to see the new (old) logo was just the iconic "S" being modernized somewhat.  Many other teams have changed their logo without changing it. After a season of change, I don't know if Rider Nation would be ready for a new version of the "S".

-- Brad Wall and Cam Broten went at it Wednesday night in the leaders debate. While both tried to get their point across, the debate (yelling session) only reinforced in my mind who I will vote for on April 4. I hope it did for you as well.  Neither would come out and say they will get Weston Dressler back in Rider colours though. I guess this truly means he isn't coming back. SIGHHHHH!!!

-- At the end of the day, I am guessing the WHL East final will feature the Brandon Wheat Kings against either Red Deer or Calgary meaning the WHL final four will be void of Saskatchewan for another year, but I am looking forward to what should be two great first round series in this neck of the woods as the Pats play Lethbridge and Moose Jaw beats Prince Albert.  I think the Warriors should be able to handle the Raiders while the Regina-Lethbridge series is one I think will go the distance.  The addition of Colby Williams to the Pats blueline will be a huge factor in this series and it may be what pushes Regina over the top.  Lethbridge may have a better group of forwards from top to bottom (and that is certainly debatable), but Regina has a much better collection on the blueline and that should get them into Round 2.  This is the best time of year if you are a hockey fan so get out there and enjoy the twists and turns of what the playoffs bring.

-- Thumbs down to the WHL for their "new" website.  That isn't what this junior hockey fan is looking for.

-- Saskatoon Tourism wants a downtown sports facility. This just in-----they had a chance for that years ago and it got put out on Highway 16. How's that been workin for ya??!! Where was this thinking years ago. What's next, a decision to have a casino in downtown Saskatoon too? No, this isn't a Saskatoon-Regina thing as some of you want to constantly make it out to be. I would think many in Saskatoon know and realize a downtown sports facility is something that should have been in your fine city (which it is) many, many years ago. I hope you get it, but I also hope if you do, it doesn't swallow up the events Sask-Tel Centre has and wants.

-- The World Womens Curling Championship will wrap up in Swift Current this weekend.  It has been another solid year for the sport thanks to TSN.  The Scotties final in Grande Prairie drew 825-thousand Canadians while the Brier final drew 1.1 million. That is more than many CFL games got this year. Is that a sign of curling's popularity or waning fan interest in the CFL? I think it is a little of both. Some will ask how curling can get so many viewers. The answer is easy----the curlers are miked and you can hear what they are thinking and discussing. You can then react and if you have any knowledge of the game you can openly debate what is about to be done. You can't do that in the NHL, NBA, NFL or CFL with consistency. I don't see those leagues opening the door as wide as what the curlers do so those leagues will have to find other ways to keep the fan engaged. Three of the four are doing it, but the 4th isn't. You can decide for yourself what league I am talking about.

-- Say what you will about Jack Eichel in Buffalo, but the Sabres best young forward is Sam Reinhart. If his brother Griffin can be as special in Edmonton as what Sam is in Buffalo, the Oilers problems on defence won't  as large as some perceive it to be. Alas, Griffin has a long ways to go before he gets to Sam's status.

-- RIP to Joe Garagiola.  Before the advent of cable television and MLB TV, the NBC game of the week with Tony Kubek and Joe were the only way to watch baseball games which didn't involve the Montreal Expos. He was great at what he did and he made me a fan of a game I still have a tremendous amount of passion for today.  Thanks Joe!

-- Is RG3 really the answer for the Cleveland Browns? Is there any quarterback out there who is the answer for that team. Bring back the ghost of Bernie Kosar!

-- That's all I got. Have a great Easter weekend! Don't tell your kids you are having rabbit stew for supper Sunday night---it may not go over well!


31 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really think the Eskies will let Franklin come here better quit dipping in the kool aide

Anonymous said...

Losing Price hurt. Smith doesn't instill any confidence in me. Hopefully a veteran arm is brought in.

Anonymous said...

So you are unsure about the Riders secondary. Well here's a personal guarantee that they will be better than the group that were disguised as football players last year.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they will bring Joseph back.

Anonymous said...

Oh Saskatoon, why do you make me laugh so.

What Remple said on this issue yesterday was bang on!


Matt

Anonymous said...

I thought Buffalo would be a lot better this year with guys like Eichel, Reinhart, Kane, Bogosian, etc. etc. They've been more disappointing than the Oilers. That being said, after their tank job last year and not getting McDavid like they hoped, I hope the ping pong balls don't fall their way this year as they don't deserve Mathews either.

Anonymous said...

Downtown arena in Saskatoon ....really!!!! I guess they are hoping one of the political parties in the election campaign will promise Saskatoon a new shiny arena to buy votes. Saskatoon is to Saskatchewan what Quebec is to Canada, a drain on the provincial finances.

Anonymous said...

Why do I see Saskatoon starting over and doing what they should have done years ago with SaskTel Centre getting bulldozed. Very Saskatoonish!

Anonymous said...

Who's Remple?

Anonymous said...

If these thoughts come in no particular order "as always," is there really a reason to mention that every week in every article?

As always, I won't leave a name. (just felt the need to mention that)

Anonymous said...

How can a team be more disappointing than a team that is currently the worst in the NHL, again.

Anonymous said...

Typical sound of Oilers rebuild ... if, if, if.

Chick wasn't re-signed because the Riders cut him.

Anonymous said...

"No, this isn't a Saskatoon-Regina thing"

Lol, pretty sure that's what you are trying to accomplish.

Anonymous said...

Why would the Esks just let Franklin walk on over to the Riders. That comment makes no sense. And why would the Riders trade for Franklin and I assume give up something substantial. If we are living a fantasy why don't we start saying Reilly, Mitchell, or Collaros for back up to Durant.

Just because you don't know it doesn't mean there isn't a plan. My call is Brett Smith is released at at end of camp.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget about the savvy pre free agency singing of Derrius Brooks to bolster the secondary

Anonymous said...

Regina got a new football stadium, why shouldn't Saskatoon get a new downtown hockey arena.
Regina crybabies!

Anonymous said...

Not sold on Brett Smith, agree with you on Steele and Cobb. Regardless of thoughts on secondary, it will be MUCH better than last year. Good read today Scruffdog!

PS: I am also thumbs down on the WHL website, but I love their playoff video.


Jason

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, Rod is too much of a big deal to have curling mentioned on his blog. Please refrain from doing so because he is too ignorant to acknowledge the sport in a positive manner. That's somewhat surprising considering his small-town Saskatchewan heritage, but it shows you again he thinks he is bigger than what he actually is.


Anonymous said...


Cmon Saskatoon. Be better! You had your chance to do this years ago and failed. With the economy being what it is, this won't happen. It won't happen in any city right now because of what is going on and what will continue to happen thanks to Canadians being fleeced by Justin Trudeau as evidenced in this week's budget.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you missed that final game in Montreal Mitch! Ask Roddy about it. Brett Smith was superb while Keith Price was far from that. Smith has what it takes to be Darian's back-up.

Anonymous said...

To all you Regina dudes yakking about having a chance to put the arena in downtown Saskatoon years ago. Most of the voters who voted against it 30 years ago are all likely dead and gone so dont you think us young-uns should get a chance to vote again and make it right?

Mike from the 540 said...

To Anonymous,

Saskatoon doesn't need a new downtown arena for the blades they cant fill the one they have now. There is a difference between the age of Mosaic Stadium and that of credit union center like almost a hundred years difference. Mosaic stadium is a shrine. Must be from Saskatoon. Keep dreaming Saskatoon what next an NHL franchise. Hey you guys can inherit those losers from Edmonton. The oilers would still suck and blades management can take over. still would be losers

Anonymous said...

Because Saskatoon dosent have a professional sports team to dictate having it. Dumb dumb

Anonymous said...

wah wah wah Regina is getting a new football stadium so Saskatoon should get a new downtown arena. Big difference Regina and Rider fans are paying the majority of the cost. Only way it happens in Saskatoon is the usual way ... a government hand out.

Anonymous said...

I guess if Saskatoon wants a new arena than Regina should get a new one too since the Brandt Centre is 10 years older. Regina deserves it if Saskatoon thinks they deserve it.

Greensoup said...

Curling verses CFL viewers, when watching curling you don't have to listen to Rod Black and Glenn Suitor, nough said!!!

Jim said...

Regina is a government town full of government handouts.

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Just thought I'd comment on that.

Anonymous said...

man up scruffy