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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

MURPHY ON BUILDING THE RIDERS, AND RECEIVERS

Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy appeared on 620 CKRM's SportsCage to discuss the team's moves in free agency, and what may lie ahead.

The Rider Nation has been buzzing over the club's ever-growing stable of receivers which was increased by Tuesday's signing of Bakari Grant.  He joins Rob Bagg, Kadron Boone, Duron Carter, Ricky Collins, Joe Craig, Nic Demski, Armanti Edwards, Caleb Holley, Thomas Mayo, Chad Owens, Naaman Roosevelt and Joshua Stanford as receivers all under contract.

Many fans are wondering if the Riders are acquiring assets with the notion of building an attractive trade package.

"I think you can say that, but you always have to look at what other clubs have been through, one or two injuries was critical in changing how certain teams' passing games looked from the beginning of the season to the end," Murphy said.  "You can look around the league and see where that happened.  Knowing that we have Naaman Roosevelt coming back, and what would having him healthy down the stretch have meant last season?  Had we not been able to find Caleb Holley and Ricky Collins and have that support behind us, I think it's something to be very wary of.  The minute you think you're healthy at one position, you'd better have a fifth and sixth guy that can compete along side your top four.  You could have success early on but if somebody goes down and you don't have someone ready to go, you're in trouble.

"Caleb Holley was a rookie, Ricky Collins was a rookie.  If you let Bakari Grant compete with those kids, it makes everybody better.  He's tough as nails, he doesn't mind playing special teams, doesn't mind blocking, can run routes from every position on the field, and if your young guys get beat out a guy like that, they'll be better players for having competed against a guy like that.

"To give Ricky Collins the chance to return - and have him learn from a guy like Chad Owens - and have them be the yin and yang on a weekly basis, means your return game should be up to snuff.  You heard Chris Jones say it the other day; our return game was several yards behind other teams last year.  That's change of possession, that's making a big play to change momentum, and that's something we need to improve on.

"If you look at our roster last year, we didn't always have the ability to dress the best 44 guys and that's something where you can't afford to go into a game not having offensive players playing special teams or a defensive player who's only on the field if there's an injury.  You have to spread your reps around and last year we had three or four guys last year who were repping 70-80 plays a week.  They had a downslide in the second half of the season.

"The closer you are to having all 44 guys competing to play on a weekly basis, the better your chance is to compete all the way through the season.  We had a lot of opportunities - even with the things that went on last year - to finish games in the fourth quarter.  A lot of these guys that you're seeing now come from winning programs, have won a lot in their career, and make that tough catch, block or make that game-winning touchdown.

"That'll play well with our young guys.  We'll have 20-odd guys that are in their 20's coming to camp.  It's not a bad thing to insulate them with veterans who've been with teams who were perennial contenders.  They'll show the young guys those jobs aren't guaranteed, and might even like to have those jobs for themselves."

*We are into Week 2 of CFL Free Agency and Murphy said they may not be done with their signings just yet.  He said they're in the "kicking tires" stage with several free agents.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good points made by Murphy about young rookie receivers. Lessons had to be learned by the Riders who gave up too soon on receivers named Adarius Bowman and Jamal Richardson. Collins and Holley are future stars in the making and they need to be groomed accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Murphy makes good points but also good trade bait. Too many qualified starters who won't be happy sitting on the bench.

Anonymous said...

Whatever.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone trade for these guys when they could have just signed them in free agency

Anonymous said...

I would dearly love to package deal dumski/baggage to eskimo land for their 2nd, 3rd stringer frankie.

mr joenzzz

Anonymous said...

Have fun with getting Franklin rim the Eskies with receivers...they have a lot of depth in receivers and Franklin is sounding pretty happy being where he is at this point and know this from his own comments...he will end up in the double blue if anywhere seeing only Willy is there. Sign 15 receivers and only quarterbacks of 33 and 38 years old...makes sense

Anonymous said...

Only people that half pay attention think the Riders have "too many" receivers.
Put it out on paper you dummies.

Scott154d said...

Esks need defensive help especially at the db, cb, and safety positions. The team is stacked with receivers.

Anonymous said...

Exactly..."Why would anyone trade for these guys when they could have just signed them in free agency?". The only thing that makes sense is that the Riders were loading up on receiving depth to make Roosevelt available. Another argument that Roosevelt is now available is that he's not a Jones "guy" and Jones is intent on purging any player, coach, trainer or front office staff who was there before him.

Anonymous said...

Murphy or Jones could give the speech of the year and I still wouldn't believe a word of it.

SWC

Anonymous said...

I agree about the trades. People talk about Riders signing players to stack a package to make a trade. I dont get it?

And all the trade talk is about getting Franklin. Never seen him play. All I have to go with is whats on the internet. And his bio is nothing special. Yet people spout that he's the "next" great one for us. Maybe he is but I've seen nothing to indicate that.

Anonymous said...

To all the know nothings; now who might be a good trade partner for Edmonton if they need to trade some of their receiver strength for defensive help from "another" club? Who might have some extra receivers that they could need? The world doesn't center around us, and teams do trade with other teams. Good receivers are always a valuable commodity.

Anonymous said...

How is sales down at the Rider Store?

John Knight said...

To the idiot who says Riders only have a 33 and 37 year old signed, they have 1 28year old, 1 37 year old and 3 24 year olds. What are you looking for?

Anonymous said...

John Knight you know a lot...actually you don't because all you are doing is looking at a web site. I guarantee you most of them qb's your talking about are just bodies at the training camp and the riders are very interested in signing a 33 year old Vince Young. Also go by birth date for Kevin Glenn and you would realize you have a 38 year old qb before the season starts wise guy...so if your talking about idiots John then go stare at yourself in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

John Knight who is the 33 year old? Or was that speculation on Young?

I'm liking the youth in the QB core, I personally hope that Bridge has a great preseason and if he isn't starting is backing up Glenn, or having them run in some sort of a tandem.

Bennett, Kinne and Waters might turn some heads at training camp/preseason as well. If we pick up Young he will need to be in game shape, and learn the game quickly. If not he's a flash in the pan and gone.

Only time will tell, lots more time until the season starts.

Is it June yet?

M7A0S8T8E5R

Anonymous said...

Vernon Adams Jr. will be the QB that Jones is after, not Franklin. And yes, the Als would love to get a Roosevelt in a trade for Adams.

John Knight said...

Read it again. I said 1 28, 1 37 and 3 24

w said...

Talk is cheap in February.