Realty One

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy spent Canadian Thanksgiving as a guest on 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Monday.

His club has won six of its last eight games to stand at 8-6 and sits in third place in the CFL West Division with four games remaining. Saskatchewan is coming off road wins at Ottawa (18-17) and Toronto (27-24) and now gets set to host the Ottawa RedBlacks (6-9-1) this Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.

Murphy pointed out that it was Thanksgiving weekend last year in which the club was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

"If it says anything to you, it shows you - a calendar year later - where the process is at," Murphy explained. "It's not exactly where we want to be but it's closer to what we're hoping for. Now we've got three out of the remaining four games at home. The main thing is knowing how our games with Ottawa have played out the past two years. It's three games that have been decided by 7-10 points.

"We can't really slow down or look back at we've accomplished," Murphy offered. "We have to keep concentrating on the fact that Friday's another two big points after being away for a few weeks. Having not performed well at home prior to that (a 15-9 loss to Calgary), we want to set the mindset that we've played well at home all year - with some great offensive performancs - and we want to get back to that."

The Long Island, NY product emphasized the fact that the team is not satisfied with anything yet. They sit two wins behind the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10-4) and will battle the rest of the way to finish second and clinch homefield in the Western Semifinal.

"Still, as realistic or unrealistic as it is, there's still a very good opportunity to push Winnipeg to the brink of having to win all their remaining games if we continue to win ours," Murphy proclaimed.

Still, the Riders have forged an impressive road and overcome a lot of adversity the past two weeks. Both of their top two quarterbacks won games and the club overcame a handful of injuries to earn four valuable points on the road.

"The injuries that we had both last year and throughout this year, being able to get some guys playing time that they received early, we were able to cover injuries to the backend," Murphy said. "Getting a big physical kid like Rakim Cox helped create a little bit of a different look against a Toronto team that wanted to run the ball between the tackles. There was a little bit of improvement there last week.

"I think the tackling needs to improve at the point of attack. We've got to be able to improve those plays at - or behind - the line of scrimmage. James Wilder and Ricky Ray for Toronto were able to make some plays by getting out of harm's way and getting first downs. Little areas like that can improve, but you can see when guys got to sub in, they played well and fast. Christion Jones has come back and played great, and you can see what Naaman Roosevelt means to our offense. It's very difficult for teams to key on somebody when you have four or five different quality weapons like that."

The CFL Trade Deadline looms on Wednesday and we asked Murphy if his team figures to be active over the next 24-48 hours.

"We expect to be active everyday," Murphy advised. "I don't think the trade deadline aspect changes much for us. If there's something we can do to improve our football team, short term or long term, we'll examine every opportunity. If it doesn't, I feel we have more than enough here to compete at as high of a level as we want to the rest of the season. But I do think you have to look at everything."

That may or may not include Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros. The high-priced pivot has watched from the bench the past several weeks while Jeremiah Massoli has gone out and won games.

We asked Murphy if he expects there to be a market for Collaros's services.

"I think there's a very good person who can answer that and he lives out in Hamilton," Murphy chuckled, referring to Ticats V.P. of Football Kent Austin.

The Riders return to the field on Tuesday with a closed practice at Mosaic Stadium.



Anonymous said...

That's a perfect picture of Murphy.

Anonymous said...

I would be shocked if Chris Jones signed Zack Collaros. He is a free agent this off season. His Contract dollars goes against everything that Chris Jones believes in. I’m sorry but Zack is not playing like a $550K QB. Little loan the enormous amount of stipulations the contract is loaded down with. Now Hamilton has paid all but 4/54th of the contract. However Zack will be looking for a new contract in 2018. A contract that most teams are not prepared to write. Except maybe Kavis Reed. He can dump Durant and sign Zack. Even if Reed was willing to pay Zacks asking price. Collaros would be smart to sign somewhere else for less. 1 unstable year at $550K or 3 stable years somewhere else at $400K is probably a better bet.
Knowing Chris Jones as well as we do now. If Chris is able to sign a proven top tier CFL QB. He will probably design it similar to Bo the Twitter Ho’s contract. Right around $360 with the ability to achieve several different incentive bonuses.
I would agree that a young QB should be able to do well with that type of contract. This guaranteed BS money for play or not play plus 50% up front each season that Durant’s agent was requesting is going to be a thing of the past.
Think about this for a second Darian was paid $550K for 2014 & 2015. Then $500K for 2016 and $400K for this year. So if you take the last 3 years. Darian sat for all of 2014 then won 5 games last year and 3 games this year. So Durant has been paid $1.45 Million dollars for winning 8 games in 3 years. Sure about $600K did not go against a teams cap. Still who wants to dish out that amount of quid for very little. I’m sorry but CFL teams just can’t afford that.
Time for all teams to copy Huffnagels QB pay model. That’s one reason why Calgary is so successful.
On a quick note. It’s a HUGE stretch for SK to take over second place. Winnipeg can only win 1 of their last 4 games and SK would have to win all 4. Even if SK wins all 4. If Winnipeg is 50% in the next 4 games. They win as they have the tie breaker.

3rd and 1
(Should we punt or go for it)

Anonymous said...

Nice rant 3rd and 1 ... ummm, Collaros actually isn't a free agent which is why he is so difficult to trade. He's not a rental and would likely need to renegotiate with any team that is interested.

Most QB contracts have a lot of off season money, so if he was a FA he'd actually be very cap friendly to add as he only would have four weeks salary left.

Whats hufnagels QB model? Pay one number on the books then have a private company pay another chunk of cash.

CJ Evans said...

Agreed. Collaros's contract is WAY too rich for most teams... they'll wait until free-agency or set terms that a new deal must be reached at an obviously reduced salary. Desperate teams pay big contracts.

Murphy said the Riders would push Winnipeg to win their remaining games & challenge for 2nd place... not being 2nd place. It's still a big hill to climb for the Riders, but it is possible (if management doesn't believe, then we have the wrong people in place!).

Winnipeg may be in tough if Nichols' hand injury keeps him out a week or two. The Riders are set up nicely to have 3 of 4 remaining games at home!

I am curious as to how the Rider QB situation plays out. Glenn< i expect, will be on a short leash & Bridge has shown he has moxy! Hopefully, his stock keeps rising and we don't need to run out and spend bigger money on QB's in the off season.

Anonymous said...

I said a few weeks back the Riders could finish 11 - 7. Only tough game is @ Calgary, no reason why they should lose at home to Ottawa and Montreal. Last game vs EDM could be meaningless for both teams. If Nichols is healthy WPG has two home games against the hapless Lions, which will guarantee them 2nd, and a week 18 game in Calgary where the stamps will sit majority of their starters by half-time. Book your hotel room and get your tickets for the West Semi in WPG!!!

Anonymous said...

The Riders will have to spend bigger money regardless because Bridge is a free agent after this year and he has certainly upped his worth in the last several games. He won't sign for the same amount again because probably would be some interest from other teams.

Anonymous said...

Riders still working and building to get to #2 in the CFL Power Ranking. Anyone who would have predicted that the Riders would have been #3 in the rankings this season would have been deemed a fool.

Anonymous said...

Winnipeg is overrated! Hamilton proved that!

Anonymous said...

Uhhh...your figures are very suspect. Im pretty sure Durant took a paycut to stay with the Riders in 2016 after coming off back to back injuries, he did not get $500k for that season. He renegotiated and the terms were not released. Jones expected him to agree to what amounted to a second consecutive paycut after 2016, which is why negotiations died.

Alot of unsourced figures yure throwing around here.

3RD and 1 said...

Just an FYI... Darian Durant received a 3 year $550K contract after the 2013 Grey Cup. He did in fact take a $50K pay cut under 1st year Chris Jones for 2016 the season and the last year of his contract.
Whether some people (fans posting on here) like it or not. Through corporate sponsorship. Sometimes off the record discussions happen at events or after hours over a few wobbly pops. Information of the recent past often becomes topics of discussion. Simply because it no longer carry’s the stigma or privacy issues of something current. Therefore numbers often float to the surface. Numbers might not always be right to the dollar figure. However they are always damn close!
I’m not sure why but often comments by some seem to feel others are angry or ranting. When all they are doing is discussing football. Not everyone is mad at the world. Maybe some posters grab numbers out of their rear end and throw them in here to see if they stick. I can assure you that is not the case here. What’s wrong with sharing information. Why do some take it so personal and feel that since they don’t have the information. They feel no one else should either. It’s just simple discussions on here.
Again whether we like it or hate it. We can speculate all we want that Huffnagel must be cheating to be so successful. Or... maybe he has a way for those around him to by into the system. IE; do you want to be a part of a championship calibur team for years to come. Or do you want to be 1 of 4 or 5 players over paid. Have minimal success and limit your time here. I would suggest that Chris Jones is in fact taking the Huffnagel approach by ridding the team of several way over paid individuals.

Anonymous said...

So your sources for those figures are some dude after some drinks? I rest my case.