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Monday, August 8, 2016

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


REGINA -- Apologies this morning for the upcoming word-vomit.

I'm just going to open up and let it fly, with no real idea of where it's going to land.

Here goes:

So hopefully training camp is now over.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders seemed to use the opening six games of the 2016 CFL season as just that: an extended version of training camp.  And no one around here seems to have a problem with that, given the fact Chris Jones and Co. took over a franchise coming off one of its Top 3 worst seasons in franchise history.

So through these opening six games and the accompanying 1-5 record, have we learned anything about this bunch?

I'm not sure.

Thursday's 35-15 loss to the Stampeders in Calgary was more deflating than debilitating.  Through three quarters the stats were virtually identical, and up until the final minute of the third period it was a one-point ball game.

But over the final 16 minutes, Stampeders quarterback Bo-Levi Mitchell said, "Enough's enough.  Time to get serious" and Calgary when on to fairly easily post 19 unanswered points and put the game away for another Rider loss in the Foothills.

Pshaw.  The current Rider woes really have nothing to do with Bo-Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders even if the Riders' regular season losing streak at McMahon Stadium now dates back to August of 2009.  (That streak is hollow by the way, given the fact Saskatchewan won the 2010 and 2013 West Finals in Calgary but no one over there seems to remember that).

But back to the matter at hand.  The Roughriders took Thursday's loss as hard as any I've seen in quite some time.  Several years in fact.

And when players and coaches stare straight ahead in a catatonic trance after a game like that, I often want to ask them what they're thinking about.  But of course I never do, and settle instead for looking out the window on the bus or plane all the way home.

So what have we learned through the opening third of the season other than the fact Saskatchewan sports the CFL's worst record?

Well, using last week's game as a great example, the players are simply not making plays at this time.  The Riders are last in sacks, defensive takeaways, and are on pace to give up a record number of points.  That's as alarming as it gets, for the time being.

If the Rider brass is wondering what the fans are unhappiest about the most, it's the sack issue and lack of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  So far, this has not been the Chris Jones Defense we expected or have become accustomed to over the years.  His is a pressure defense that seems to blitz more than 50 percent of the time but more often that not when I look down from the press box, the Riders are employing three down linemen on defense.

On Thursday night in Calgary, the Riders had 69 plays on defense.  They blitzed on 20 of them, or 29% of the time.  On the 49 snaps where they didn't blitz, they deployed a 3-man rush on 28 plays or 57% of the time.  They used a 4-man rush on the remaining 21 plays.  They didn't register a single sack on the night.

Is Jones not comfortable with his personnel?  Are the newbies not picking up the coach's favourite schemes?  Is Jones saving those calls for the fall months?   I'm not sure, and frankly am hesitant to ask.

But as far as this team not making enough big plays goes, that's the issue.  And they're not rookies!  For the most part anyway.  It's one thing for 12 new players to play together and know each other's responsiblities, but it's an entirely different thing to still be learning the Canadian game.  Sam Eguavoen, Kevin Francis, Jonathan Newsome and Justin Cox can be given a pass on that but Buddy Jackson, Shane Herbert, Justin Cappicciotti, Greg Jones, Otha Foster, Corey Irvin, and veterans of that ilk cannot.

Veterans on offense were on the hook for their share of gaffes against Calgary as well, like Darian Durant being unable to connect screen passes to Rob Bagg, or Bagg's costly fumble in Stampeders' territory midway through the second quarter.

Interestingly enough, the Riders have better first down success (7.2 yards) than anybody else in the CFL.  However again the culprit seems to be the defense, where Saskatchewan Winnipeg have given up the most big plays so far this year (21 each).

However the other surprising side of today's story is that fans in the Wheat Province are vastly more positive than anyone would expect right now.

Bright and early at the coffee shop on Friday morning, the smiling young girl behind the counter said to me, "What did you think of the game last night?  I listened to you right up to the fourth quarter and we were still in it!  Maybe we can win this week!"

That one shocked me.  I was in a ball cap and sunglasses and if I could've found a fake nose and moustache, I'd have been wearing that too.  I was prepared for the usual barrage of, "'Why aren't they doing this?'  'Why are they playing him?'  'Why are they doing that?'"

It gets very draining and maybe that's why I was so deflated after the loss in Calgary; it meant one more week of being asked for answers that I simply don't have.

But that never happened over the weekend.

Peoples' heads are up around here, smiles are on their faces, and for the moment at least, they are positive.  They are still following this team's every move, and have not given up on them.

Will it translate to ticket sales for this Saturday's home game against the Calgary Stampeders (5:00 pm kickoff)?

Who knows.

There are many, many reasons to come to this game including the fact it's the last-ever "summer" game at the old Mosaic Stadium during this Farewell Season because the Labour Day Classic is next up and that's the annual kickoff to autumn.

To my knowledge the Riders will be honouring the 80's era this weekend and there will be some very exciting franchise legends from the 1989 Grey Cup team flying in for the game.  Listen for details on the SportsCage on 620 CKRM this week, plus interviews with these guys.  The forecast calls for another sunny day, and 26 degrees Celsius.

Most importantly, Saturday's game is the back-end of a home-and-home series with the Riders' biggest rival and the game represents the kickoff to the "middle third" of the season.  The season is not lost in any way, especially when you consider Winnipeg and Edmonton are within the Riders' grasp.  (Winnipeg is two wins up and Edmonton is only one game up with a whopping 12 games to go).

Who predicted Winnipeg and Edmonton to be scrapping it out in the mud when all is said and done?  Ah, never mind.

Maybe it's this sunshiny summer that has everyone so upbeat and optimistic around here.  Maybe there's something about Chris Jones that inspires Rider fans and makes them believe the next miracle is right around the corner.

I don't know?  But for this week, I'll take it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to mop this mess up.


5 MONDAY LATE HITS

1 - THE CONSULTANT SAYS...:  I've often wondered why football teams (the good ones anyway) employ a consultant.  But it's for the same reason that all good companies do: an outside set of eyes that sees things perhaps you don't when you can't see the forest for the trees.

For the past few years I've been using my own football consultant.  He's a long-time assistant coach who's won multiple championships and now in retirement, is happy to pass along what he sees regarding the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  I should point out that he's never been in the Roughriders' employ.  Don't bother guessing who he is, because you never will.

So when I contacted him on Sunday for an assessment of the Green & White, he immediately launched into a tirade over the fact Corey Chamblin should have never been allowed to jettison Richie Hall and George Cortez.

However once I calmed him down by advising that's all water under the bridge now, he offered these points:

"The offensive line has been decimated.  What kind of results can you expect after that?"

"Maybe they were too afraid to blitz Bo-Levi Mitchell because he's just too smart."

"They've started a different tailback almost every game."

"If you asked 10 people in Saskatchewan to name the Riders' starting offensive and defensive lineups, nobody would be able to.  That's the key problem right there."

"It's time they make a decision on who they ultimately like, and start building from there."

"The good news is Calgary has little room for improvement while Saskatchewan has lots. That should be encouraging for their fans.  But they need to start improving in their next game because they haven't improved that much each game this season."

A lot of those points sound like what I wrote in the column above, which incidentally I penned on Saturday morning before we even had our chat.

Anyway, it's food for thought.

2 - BURRIS GOES OFF:  I missed Saturday's Edmonton-Ottawa CFL game because I was floating on a pontoon boat but my phone started blowing up immediately after RedBlacks quarterback Henry Burris went off on the TSN panel during his halftime interview, and then again after the game.

Hoo boy.  There's so many ways to go with this.  As soon as I got home I looked up the interview and it was readily available online.  Henry hasn't been that upset in years and if you haven't seen it, you'd better check it out pronto.

First off, it's amazing the amount of support Burris has received nationally for his rant including a ton within Saskatchewan where he's been Public Enemy #1 for the longest time.  Rider fans felt Burris had a right to defend himself from the barrage of criticism he's received from the likes of Dunigan, Climie, Stegall, et al.

Saturday night's panel seemed to be knocked on their heels after Hank's one-sided blast, and Dunigan correctly pointed out that Burris can't be so thin-skinned.  But for those of us who know him so well, that's just Henry being Henry.

I'm not sure but it sounded like Chris Schultz made a comment to the effect of, "If he doesn't like it maybe he should go back to the States."

Somebody else - perhaps Milt Stegall - said it's incredibly rare for a pro athlete to go after a national television crew like that.  Maybe, but it sure was entertaining!

And who can forget the time in 2004 when Rider receiver Travis Moore had to be restrained from tearing apart Jock Climie when the panel traveled to Taylor Field for a game?

Ahhh, good times.

But as far as the talk on the panel goes, it's all bunk.  All you need to do is watch the games and that's all you need to know.

TV panels, sports radio and blogs like this are all just noise.

3 - MURPH ON THE RATIO FINE:  The Roughriders made big news last week when they were slapped with a $15,000 fine for not deploying enough Canadians for a series of plays in their game against B.C. a few weeks ago.  Riders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy addressed the matter on Thursday's pregame show at Calgary.

"I can't talk to why they decided to go forward with the fine," Murphy said.  "Somebody else makes those decisions.  From a commentary standpoint, it boiled down to early in the game they had a sub package, our guys did a sub package, they pulled one guy in and one guy out, and I think it was just a numbers thing of 'run a guy on, run a guy off' and not realizing it was two for two.

"Later on in the game, due to injuries that we had suffered, a Canadian guy that was normally a back-up - so the substitution would've been one for one - came off instead of the America guy coming off.  Again, it's just something of inside a game where injuries occur, the bottom line is at the end of the game does it add up to why the violation should or shouldn't have been fined?  Absolutely not.  That's the league's decision to make.

"We played eight guys 51% that were Canadian that day but by the particular individual rules of play-by-play, I guess they felt that there were certain plays were there weren't enough Canadians on the field."

4 - THE OLYMPICS AND CANTON, OHIO:  The Rio Games have been a joy to watch.  With the beautiful weather, the MMG hasn't been stapled to the couch watching wall-to-wall coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics on NBC, CBC, TSN or Sportsnet but it was a joy to catch some Beach Volleyball, Canada's upset of the USA in Mens Volleyball, and the grotesque injury in Mens Gymnastics.

Living half my life on social media, it was impossible to miss the fact the daughter of former Regina Pat Colin Ruck was part of Canada's relay team who won the bronze medal in the pool on Saturday.  Ruck played 52 games with the Pats from 1989-1991, which was five years before my time with the club.

However it was a downer Saturday night to watch the Womens Beach Volleyball match between China and Switzerland go to video review.  Just like the CFL, we were left twiddling our thumbs while replay officials determined that a Swiss player in fact went under the net and thus nullified a point.  The Swiss players then complained to the referee - who was Canadian - that the infraction occurred too early in the rally and the overturn was overturned.

SHEESH!  Enough of this already.

Meanwhile on Sunday evening I was in a panic to find out which network was carrying the NFL's annual Hall of Fame game from Canton, Ohio between the Packers and Colts.  The Riders' Jeremy O'Day was there but like the thousands in attendance, he had to go home early because the game was cancelled due to an unsafe playing field.

So it really didn't matter which network it was on, because the game wasn't played anyway.

The broadcaster in me felt sorry for whomever was scheduled to call the game because NBC's Al Michaels - who's called play-by-play of the Hall of Fame Game for years - was in Rio for the network's Olympic coverage and clearly was unavailable.

Whomever was lined up to replace Michaels likely was bouncing off the walls to get his big shot, only to have it blown to smithereens.

And from the looks of the hours and hours of coverage on the NFL Network from Canton, the culprit was a negligent field crew who improperly laid down the Pro Football Hall of Fame logo at midfield.

How do you screw up a grass field in Ohio in August?

5 - FORE!:  The Regina Pats - remember them? - will hold their annual Wickenheiser Golf Classic benefitting Regina Palliative Care on Monday at the Royal Regina Golf Club.  620 CKRM's SportsCage will be on hand broadcasting live from the RRGCC from 4:00-6:30 pm.

Lorne Molleken always said that as soon as Buffalo Days are over, it's Pats season and training camp opens in about 16 days at the Cooperators Arena.

Can't wait!

------

THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO ...
RP
@rodpedersen

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

No sorry Rod, not everyone has a smile on their face and is happy. That game was pathetic. Been a fan since the 70's and I never thought the dark days would return but here we are. Expected a lot more from Jones. As an example, why is Qudarious Ford not here?? Speed kills and we need guys like that. Really unhappy Rider Fan here...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize how dreadfully bad this team is in the 2nd half? This season they've put up a whopping 16 points in the 3rd quarter. And 7 of those came on the last play of the quarter against OTT. In the 4th quarter they've been outscored 72-31. They have just 10 4th quarter points in the last 4 weeks and they've been shutout in the 4th in the last two games. Again, I find it difficult to find reasons to be optimistic.

-Jay

Anonymous said...

Ford looked great in camp. I'd like to know why he isn't here either?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, where is Ford and all the talented guys we found in the "free agent" camps? Sure beats the lacklustre of Kendial Lawrence and Dempski.

Steve Johnson said...

Thanks for telling it like it is, Rod. I agree with your evaluation of the team right now. Frankly, they are not close to winning and the way they are playing does not show improvement, passion, fight, effort or desire to make plays. The one game we won (by the skin of our teeth) had to come down to a make or break field goal against a 3rd string QB. Yikes! It takes time to rebuild from a putrid season like last year, but it's very discouraging to see a lot of similar trends and patterns and not see a better compete level. People definitely shouldn't be smiling about this start, nor about the team's play. To me, that tells me you're content with losing and accepting not winning games. I hate hearing, "I don't care if they win or lose, as long as it's entertaining." Seriously? What a dumb mindset that is. It's all about winning every week, having a winning record and winning the Grey Cup, no matter what, with whatever roster you have. Figure out how to win with what you've got. It's been a frustrating go lately, but I appreciate you Rid allowing me to go off on a rant to clear my mind ;) Here's to better success and days ahead in Riderville!

Anonymous said...

No - it is not a good season and I am not happy. I have been a rider fan for over 50 years and I know terrible when I see it and the Riders and Jones are terrible. Alot of rider fans were very excited by the Jones hire. After all he was the sexy hire - just winning the GC but they ignored the real facts of Jones and Murphy - Now they simply are scarred to admit that they were all wrong and Jones was and is the wrong choice - for they do not know who else they could get. But there are alot of good and better HC and GM out there than Jones but people do not want to admit that they are wrong and the wrong choice was made.

Anonymous said...

We'll be lucky if we win another 2 games this year. That's how bad we are especially on D.

polkabill504 said...

With the horror show last year, I would have been happy with 9-9..Worst case 6-12.But anything less is not at all acceptable. With supposedly good and knowledge people searching for players,there is no reason to accept less .I feel Cortez or Chapdelaine would run this offence a lot better.But the real problem is defence..Jones strong point at least up to this point in his coaching career.Hard to figure.Thanks for the great MMG as always.Polkabill from the peg

Anonymous said...

Rod... The only upbeat response that you get on here are the suck holes that want to be on your side so that their made up story and name can be published. I want to also be on your side and at times I am but again this year there is NOTHING happening out there that makes me feel good about this whole team and organization. Jones has been the same as every other Losing Coach, excuses after excuses that is all we ever hear after every game. Get some Talent in here and Teach them the game the way it should be played. As far as this game this week end , who really cares about it being the last summer game in this stadium. WE WANT TO BE THERE FOR WINS AND NOTHING ELSE AT THIS TIME IN THE SEASON.

Anonymous said...

I have a been a long time fan also. After last year I am more than willing to give the team a pass till we rebuild the talent. Our Canadian depth was lacking after trading away picks or letting guys like Butler, Evans and Shologan all get away. Rather than bringing young players in the old management team felt we could fill the holes on the team with aging veterans. The result was a depleted older football team. No way can you replace 11 starters on defence and expect to win right away. It is going to take time. If building a winner was that easy every team in the league would be winning the Grey Cup every year and no one would ever lose. I think we have the best fans in the league when we win and the best whiners when we lose.

Cheers,

Darcy from Regina

Anonymous said...

NBC wasn't airing the game, ESPN was. But granted, Mike Tirico is now on NBC too. So...I'm sure we'll meet his replacement soon enough.

Anonymous said...

We have season tickets and we expect to be entertained. But, everytime we want to complain, someone tells us to shut up, we're rebuilding, etc and etc.

My money is supposed to go towards a capable team. Not a team who is perpetually rebuilding. So, we sit here, with a brick in our stomach; say nothing; and hope this misery soon quits. And, while we sit here, we don't feel like going to one of the Rider's stores and spending our money.

Sad but true.

Imagirl

Anonymous said...

The disintegration of this team started a couple years ago when the management let too many guys go. They traded away too much Canadian talent or failed to retain that Canadian talent. Like everybody was all cheery when fantuz and Butler left; saying oh they just wanted to be closer to home. A few years of that kind of losing kills a team. Labatte and Best seem to be injured every year but we dare not say anything about that even though Labatte's injury may have been done at home. So much for putting the team first. There may be a reason why the O-line is struggling. That may be why DC is struggling.

I believe Jeff Knox Jr has only started one game, and he knows the CFL. The biggest thing happening is that DD hasn't played up to standard. Many of the vets on both sides of the ball are under performing. Jackson is brutal in the secondary and he's not alone. Foster hasn't been good but really nobody has been good except maybe Gainey. Lawrence has been less than his billings were, in fact his returns are very bad. Demski isn't much better. Lemon looked to be the real deal but he left. Cappicotti isn't bringing much. I believe this is why there is a lack of pressure packages.

When Jones took over Edmonton they had just come off a year like the Riders did. He made a bunch of changes and they had a winning record that year. The guys he brought in seemed to get it but this crew it appears doesn't. Their O-line was playing better and healthy plus Rielly was playing up to potential. Our O-line has been decimated and DD isn't playing up to snuff. It all begins and ends at your QB spot.

Anonymous said...

I think the people aren't really caring because the sun is out and it's a great summer!!!

I don't remember when the last time I haven't made plans to watch a Rider game, and this year, it's been lackluster entertainment at best. One game, I actually fell asleep during it. There is no excitement! The CFL in general has put a sleeper hold on their fans with all the silly flags and reviews. I would rather have a referee miss a call, than have a referee miss a call, then go to a review, see that the call should be reversed, AND THEN DON'T OVERTURN IT! ***snore***

The whole farewell season thing, enough already, it won't sell any more tickets to the game or guilt me into going to a game. It's a gimmick, and that's it. You wanna sell tickets? Put a good product on the field. The only way you have so many season ticket holders is to guarantee their spot in the new stadium, that's it. After next year, watch the season ticket number fall off. Well, that is, if you don't turn this season around. Which you could, you have the talent to do so, and the coaching. (so you tell us)
So what's the problem?

Anonymous said...

Henry finally showed his truen colors, as it's alway been about him and nobody else. I know someone who played with him and was glad the day he left because of his *me* attitude.

Anonymous said...

Roughriders aging starting qb has'nt been a factor three seasons now. That position needs to be addressed soon rather than later (someone groomed to take over) or the continued losing will run into the forseeable future along with discontent fans not reflecting well on the franchise. CJones and his staff need to step it up a notch and find the solutions to current team woes before riderville runs them out of town as they are apt to do sending the organization further back into the abyss. CJones and company we trust.

Go Roughriders!!!!

Anonymous said...

Rod - fans are not happy! They are just not saying much because the Riders are so bad that they are losing interest. As a long time fan we are not even looking forward to attending the next game. The games are not worth going to.

Anonymous said...

"The games are not worth going to"

Sorry pal, but you would not be saying that if you were present at the last home game when we beat Ottawa. The old park was rocking. Each home game thus far has been a fun time. Winter will soon be here and with it no home games, so enjoy them while you can.

tskware said...

The consultant is just common sense. i would think a consultant would provide more insight.

tskware said...

Minimum acceptable record in any season even a rebuild season is 9-9. This is the cfl after all!

3RD and 1 said...

I agree 110% with the last comment that fans are losing interest. Not permanently, just right now... This is the 2nd and a half year that we have a terrible team. People are far more interested in enjoying the beautiful summer we have. Our Monday morning football discussions at work have been sent on holidays. No one is talking CFL football and truthfully no one is even wearing the allowed Rider Tshirt or jersey at work on game day.
I think people have realized that the less involved you are the less dissapointment comes after each loss. People want to care and they want to have that competitive feeling. Right now everybody feels like the kid that gets picked last on the playground for the scrub game. Basically no hope and that is truly a sad thing.
Once this warm gorgeous summer ends and the Riders are still sitting in the basement of the CFL. I'm sure the home game attendance will sadly drop off even more. All anybody is asking for is a competitive team. One that gives you hope. A win every third game. Not this hot mess we have right now. Knowing darn well it dosent matter who they are going to play. Even if they are up at the half. They will lose the game in the fourth qtr.
I agree that Darian isn't playing as well as Darian can. Then again the players around him are not playing well either. It seems the only guy on the offence that truly seems to give a dam is Rob Bag. Even Rob who always secures the ball well fumbled this last game. It just shows you just how out of whack this Rider team really is.

tskware said...

Of course building a GC team isnt easy Darcy. Thats why they brought in the most expensive coach on the market and gave him whatever he wanted to succeed. I think its fair to expect a a playoff team in year 1.

Anonymous said...

Grey Cup or Bust!

H. Burris

Rudyman said...

Not sure what games you guys are going to, but everyone one I have been to has been pretty good entertainment wise. Yea I wish we had won more of them, but each one has been exciting and entertaining.
The foundation work of any project has to be the worst part. Slow, aggravating, sometimes you even have to go back and start from scratch. However the work laid in the planning, and foundation, can hold up the end product for many years. The most successful projects I have ever seen had a majority of time and effort placed in the foundation work.
I was planning on throwing away the first six games of this year. I expected as much. I would suspect this might even go to nine games. However soon, I believe we will start seeing the benefits of this plan that the team has.
This team is not playing complex football, it is playing training football. Slowly expanding the playbook and both offence and defense. Gathering film on techniques and trends for the teams they play and how our players react to each down. I believe they are making it challenging on the players each game to see if they have the physical and more importantly the mental stamina to play at a high level. I would even expect the coaching staff is looking at games with the mindset, “This is a team with the best running back, we will setup our defense for the run and evaluate our players on how they play against the run in the formations we provide them. If they pass, they pass, we are focused on learning the run defense this game”
In todays throw away world, the “it doesn't work out of the box, you throw it away” mentality really doesn't work in a team sport environment. Training, hard work, mental toughness and learning from your mistakes are what build a strong foundation for team sports.
There isn't any possible means to determine all those traits in a player in a 2 week training camp. Remember this is a new team, with a new management, with a new coaching staff, and new players. This is not a team of 48 guys who have played together the last three years. Patience will be rewarded. We just have to have some for now.

tskware said...

Im still optimistic but disapointed with the start. Hopeful but losing hope. 1 win by labour day and the season is shot. Riders have apparently spared no expense to build a good team this year so a 3rd place finish should be entirely possible. Anything less is a disapointment.

Anonymous said...

At a glance, Durant's numbers are just fine. This isn't something to pin on him. He's got a 66% completion percentage, 7 TDs and ZERO interceptions. He's managing the games and not turning the ball over (not to say he's absolved of all fault).

I think the biggest difference this year is the lack of running game to balance the passing game. And obviously a patch work O-Line can't help things.

Anonymous said...

Jones did not get brought in by Chris Jones in Edmonton...Ed Hervey and Paul Jones did...there was most of the core guys there when Chris Jones was first hired there so quit lying to yourselves.

Anonymous said...

All Rider fans are not walking around with smiles. They expected more and they are not getting it. Right now the team (especially defense) is worse than it was last year. Will try to keep the faith but unless they start performing better (not necessarily winning but looking like they know something about playing football), the faithful will become more upset and that is not going to help sell tickets and merchandise.

Anonymous said...


If you truly think Rider fans are OK with what is happening, you should grab a cooler and a lawnchair and then set up shop on the Scarth Street Mall over the noon-hour tomorrow. Cmon Rod! Admit this season could be just as big a disaster as last and consider a mistake just might have been made.

Anonymous said...

All the Rider fans I know are well adjusted, happy people and do walk around with smiles in their Rider T-shirts!

They know above all else that every day above ground is a good day!

These folk seem to know that, as with most things in sport, the situation is, as always, totally beyond their control and hope that better days will be ahead, if not this week, then perhaps at some point soon.

The best thing they have learned is to avoid the whiners, haters and pouters and stay positive, after-all negativity becomes a habit and serves no useful purpose.

JJ

gman80 said...

NO! YOU'RE WRONG! it's called a rebuild for a reason and I know your the impatient type who doesn't understand that Jones and his staff are doing what they can with the players they have and are rebuilding this team for more than just one season! It's been 6 games into the first season for Jones and Co in this rebuild and your already down his throat saying he's the wrong choice! The smart fans know that it's not going to happen overnight! There are going to be bumps along the way and the time to start blaming Chris Jones will be next year if nothing has changed (BUT NOT THIS YEAR! FOR PETE'S SAKE!) Yes it's hard to watch the Riders struggle at 1-5 and yes there are areas that need work, but you know What??? I believe in Jones to get in turned around MORE THAN AN IMPATIENT FAN! ..oline has been decimated, Secondary is still learning to play and gel together and learning to play and succeed as a team takes time with a team in rebuild mode(and YES THEY STILL ARE IN REBUILD MODE!) .. Now step away from the edge and cool off, this team will turn it around, but it'll take patience and time!

gman80 said...

"The coaching staff is not the problem!!" - that's the main point that I'm getting across! ..cool down, have a beer and enjoy the CFL season!

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, just get Rod to "admit there was a 'mistake'" and poof! fortunes will turn in the team's favour. LOL... And what would this mistake have been? Not keeping Taman and Chamblin in place? Not hiring Paul Lapolice or Mike Benevides?

The Riders hired the best available coaching and management talent available to turn the 3-15 loss team around. Who was available and who could have they hired that would have had better ability to turn this big old ship around?

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Anonymous said...

It is a misconception that they hired the best coach and management team. They hired a good coach and let him become a rookie GM. As has been shown with some of the trades for retiring players other veteran GMs have targeted this the same as a coach that targets a rookie corner. They will get better,but they are rookies.
We can pretend anyone can be a GM but it's not true. Some of the teams that are always good have had Gm's that have been around the block a bunch while the teams that have been bad had young Gms (edmonton a couple years ago, WPG and Riders this year) Chris Jones is a smart guy but he threw himself into the deep end by rebuilding as coach and GM. Some of the other GM's have bent him over the trade table and let him bite the pillow

Anonymous said...

Nice feature video on Peter King's MMQB site today - Carolina Panthers invite to their training camp for a day a high school football team.

Anonymous said...

Any rebuild I have ever witnessed. The new Coaching staff usually keep a core group of players from both sides of the ball. I understand our defence was bad last year. Most of that came from Chamblin demoting the D-coordinator. Then hiring a puppet as the D-coordinator so that he could really do the defence himself. Chamblin wanted to be like Chris Jones. Yet he had a puppet around to blame it on when things went bad. Last years defence had few good players. They were stuck in a bad scheme and were not trained in the new non contact after 5 yard system. The amount of Pass Interference penaltys became unreal.
The Oline with Bag and Durant just isn't enough of a core group. This team is much like the 1st year Ottawa Redblacks.