Wednesday, December 13, 2017
10 THINGS I THINK I THINK FOR PEDERSEN RECOVERY
They were in agreement that an extension was in order, and that they'd pick up talks after the season. What would've happened had the Riders won the Grey Cup in between? It would've been win/win for everybody.
2 - REYNOLDS WRAP: Lost in the commotion this week is that Craig Reynolds' own contract is up for renewal. He was asked about it at Tuesday's news conference but the Foam Lake, SK product just smiled, winked, and said, "I think that'll work out fine". Perhaps the deal has already been signed! To look back at his tenure, over the past three seasons Reynolds has brought this franchise back from the dead, overseen the move into the CFL's finest stadium and locked up the top football man in the league (Jones) for at least two more seasons. Here's hoping Reynolds got a raise!
3 - THE GOAL: In a one-on-one interview I was fortunate enough to do with Jones after the news conference, the Rider boss said their goal from here on in is clear: to finish first and clinch homefield in the West Final annually. The common characteristic between this year's Grey Cup combatants was that both the Argonauts and Stampeders clinched their divisions and only had to win one game - at home - to advance to the championship. That's the goal.
4 - TENNESSEE CHRISTMAS: Does Jones ever get a break? Yes. He was headed home this week to hang his Christmas lights before holding free agent camps this weekend in Orlando and Miami. Then he'll return to Tennessee for Christmas and take a break until January 1. Then football business picks up all over again.
5 - QB'S: It's still impossible to predict who the Roughriders' starting QB will be in 2018 and Jones was careful on Tuesday not to mention the names of any potential free agents due to the CFL's tampering rule. "We'll have a good group of QBs no matter who it is," Jones said, alluding to their current five pivots plus players on other teams. If Jones isn't worried about that position, I see no reason for anyone else to be worried.
7 - SO LONG SCOTTIE: After two years with the Roughriders, Scott Annand is heading back to his home in the Maritimes. The long time Canadian football man served as the Riders' Football Operations Coordinator for the first two years of the Chris Jones regime but now the Truro, NS product is moving on. If Scottie made a mistake the past two years, I never saw it. He's a top-notch individual and we wish him well!
8 - WHAT A STEEL: We'll start to have a better idea how the Pats' Sam Steel and Josh Mahura are faring at World Junior camp over the next two days. That's when Canada will play a team of U-Sport allstars in southern Ontario for their first exhibition games. I'm hoping for the pair to make the team but Steel hasn't had a great year. Granted, I haven't seen the Pats play in a month but in the games I saw, Sam was missing nets and fanning on shots regularly. He's still working hard and in the right place, but it wasn't happening for him. Is the "C" too heavy for him? Hopefully he'll shrug that off at Canada's camp.
9 - SEE FOR YOURSELF: The Regina Pats are 20 points behind the 1st place Moose Jaw Warriors and find themselves as the talk of the town these days. If things don't change (record-wise), historians say the Pats will be the 4th-worst team to serve as Memorial Cup host since the inception of the tournament format. What's their problem? Check them out yourself and get back to me. The Pats host Kamloops on Wednesday, Saskatoon on Friday, Lethbridge on Saturday, and visit the Blades on Sunday. I'll be calling Friday's and Sunday's games on Access TV. Let's get to the bottom of this!
10 - FEEL THE RUSH: The NLL season is upon us! The Saskatchewan Rush and the SportsCage have entered into a partnership so be listening for some very exciting promotions between the two this winter. The Rush open the season on Saturday at the Toronto Rock and then host their home-opener on Dec. 23 against the New England Black Wolves. Let's see if the Rush can make it four straight Champion's Cup appearances!