|Gainey, Jefferson and Jones on Garbage Bag Day|
You may recall during the early stages of this Canadian Football League season there was speculation being spewed from this corner.
Now that the regular season is over, we get to do a little speculating and assessing again.
If you recall, the point was made the bar of deemed success would be set ridiculously low for the Riders, based on their prior three win total. Would five to seven wins manufactured by the newly minted $2 million coaching, managing and personnel crew be considered a successful season?
Well, here we are.
Out of the playoffs early and two more wins than the last dismal season.
I find it unfortunate this final season in old Mosaic Stadium was also a year when the Riders again qualified for the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP).
Even up to the final game of the season, Roughrider players were strolling around the locker room introducing themselves to one another. There were about 100 of them wearing Rider green and white this year, including about nine tailbacks and eight quarterbacks and, I don’t believe they have found a backup for Darian Durant yet, in spite of all their searching and grabbing from the NFL’s discount bin.
These poor can’t-miss players have been brought in and then shipped out within days. It seemed that when the Roughriders found a good player, he lasted a week, or two games, whichever came first. The great players lasted a month.
It’s a sorry state when the place-kicker and a wounded half-season receiver are your candidates for players of the year and the punter and one receiver are the only familiar names on the periodic active roster. The rest of the names, I believe, were taken from the Regina and District phone book. It’s difficult to feel connected to this crew of never-was's since so few of them were given an opportunity to prove their skills. It had to be a dead-end season for diehard Rider fans. There was no bandwagon, not even a bus or a tricycle to jump onto this year.
We also recall how this team’s brain trusts blew through the cash, handing out tens of thousands of dollars for non-performers and even one no-show, plus a few fines. This was the same team that claimed they couldn’t afford Weston Dressler’s contract and promised bonus or John Chick or … oh, you get the picture don’t you?
They were running through the money faster than a Quebec construction company working on a federal contract.
At least the Regina Airport Authority made some additional change and the Rider laundry service probably benefited, while the training staff put in for some overtime hours spent stitching names on the backs of jerseys every three hours.
This management/coaching/governance team claim they want to re-sign Darian Durant.
Our advice to Darian? Don’t take any lesser amount than you did this year, even if there is an appeal to take one for the team on the salary cap side, so they can build a winner.
Dressler did that and he was sent to purgatory.
Double D, the same could happen to you, and seeing as how the cash is obviously there to be spent, we’d like to see you get at least a little chunk of it before it’s spent on another phone book guy who catches footballs only on occasion, or plays patty cake with opposing linemen.
Take the money Darian, get those nine or 10 wins next year with the Riders and then look for something with a little job security attached to it. We won’t blame you.
That’s all we’ll say about the Riders in 2016.
- See more at: http://www.estevanmercury.ca/opinion/columnists/winners-or-whatever-1.2539997#sthash.4YY5GDXc.dpuf