Realty One

Friday, February 16, 2018


Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Football Personnel John Murphy joined 620 CKRM's SportsCage on Thursday to discuss the team's moves so far in the 2018 CFL Free Agent season.

Murphy said they're pleased with the way their roster is shaping up.

"When you look at the age of our football club, it was mentioned at the beginning of last year as a question mark and then leading into the playoffs it was considered a positive at an average age of 26," Murphy explained. "All of these kids are in the prime of their careers. Sometimes when you come into Regina you're not sure what you're getting yourself into but now we know who these people are that we're putting in that locker room because their talent is unquestioned.

"Zack Evans was eager to seen as soon as the opportunity was presented to him. It didn't take a lot of convincing. Sam Hurl had some options but chose to go with us and Jerome Messam was the same story. Our fans speak for themselves and our facility has done wonders attracting players. From what everybody has seen, our organization is always going to be first class."

Murphy was asked if the Rider braintrust is comfortable with where their roster sits today.

"We wouldn't be comfortable until that last car of the Grey Cup parade pulls into the parking lot," Murphy quipped. "You can't sit on last year or sit on the fact that we were 2:37 away from advancing to the Grey Cup. You have to look finitely at the areas of games where we didn't perform at the level we wanted or get where we wanted to go. Being able to get first downs rushing the ball in short yardage, getting a consistent pass rush with four guys, those are the areas we've attempted to upgrade in free agency and via trades."

Murphy also said it was tough to release high-priced veterans LB Henoc Muamba and OL Derek Dennis this week.

"Incredibly difficult," Murphy offered. "From the Henoc perspective, it's what he brought to the table. When we weren't a balanced team by any means, he accepted what we offered back in 2016 and offered a lot for a year-and-a-half as a strong defensive player and the added bonus of being Canadian. We all know what type of person he is away from the field. He enjoys doing things in the community so you're not anxious to remove a person like that but we have salary cap implications. Since Henoc was drafted #1 overall, the Canadian linebacker depth in the country has exploded with talent. Whereas at Canadian defensive tackle, Zack Evans is probably the next-biggest name to Ted Laurent. There's a lot more Canadian linebackers getting to the big dollar range.

"In the past we paid for what we wanted to buy and tried to strengthen both sides of the line. Derek Dennis was a big part of that. It was very important in that time frame to do what we did but we've reset and seen where we're at. Our main job is to find the best available roster and if we can't find a quality American lineman, there's something wrong with us. You draft and trade for the best Canadian linemen and find a quality quarterback but the good young American linemen need to be brought in and developed. Every team in the final four in the past few years has played with a good, young American lineman that they've found."



Anonymous said...

If I was a high school math teacher, I would want to bring in O'Day or Murphy to speak to my class on all the number crunching that goes on in a CFL team's season on the salary cap. Math applied to real life scenarios.

Also, someone with more brains than me should develop a new game called "CFL Armchair GM" whereby each player has a team that they have to build using the cap limits, including variables like the injury lists, practice rosters etc.

Anonymous said...

You want to educate kids on how teams address the CAP by going out & overspending on shiny toys & not honoring commitments previously made to other players you show the door, Anon #1? How about doing some lessons on real life budgets? Sports are greatt. Kids should get involved but really wiggling around the CAP has little to do with managing your $$$ wisely in the CFL, NFL or elsewhere. The sad reality is the stars get paid handsomely & the bottom of the rosters get what's left over. The lesson, buy that 60" TV & we'll pay for it out of our monthly food budget. Hardly a good lesson for high school students. Hardly a "real life" scenario.

Dick Rubnutz said...

Always enjoy when you bring Da Murph on to talk football.

Anonymous said...

I love the armchair GM game idea. These idiots that think they know it all know very little about the game and what goes on behind the scenes.

Just keep buyin those tickets and t-shirts though!

Anonymous said...

Wiggling around the cap is good business and you are correct that the stars get the top end of the salary but remember also that is the good players put asses in seats and lower paid players play to half full stadiums.

Anonymous said...

Even older NHL video games have all the GM stuff built in. My 13-year old son has the 2011 Oilers at the top of the league!
The CFL just needs a good video game in general.

Anonymous said...

Can you tell us what happened in Duron Carter's court case in Winnipeg yesterday?

Anonymous said...

To Anon #2:

"The sad reality is the stars get paid handsomely & the bottom of the rosters get what's left over."

....this is called real life and if your kids wanted to get a life lesson on reality it's this - show up, do good work, seek your validation in other places and you better be looking out for #1 and planning your next move because you are owed absolutely nothing.

Players can be cut at anytime as can employees.

Now if you don't like that arrangement encourage your kids to go to the U of R. Get on at the City of Regina, Regina Public Library, Government of Saskatchewan, Credit Unions, where else...Federal government - ease into a cubicle, do no thinking, do redundant work, learn nothing, use none of your so called education and in 35 years or if you meet the rule of 85 you can retire on a 60% pension.

There are 2 types in this world - the play it safe types who want it given and are entitled, and the others that go out there and make their bones.

As for players this should be a wide awakener that there is no such thing as giving home town discounts.

Anonymous said...

Obama is that you spewing your tripe again?

Anonymous said...

2:37 away from a grey cup appearance = moderately successful. Sure hope you're not resting on that. Good job on throwing it into the discussion there though.

If you had invested in a real qb last year and didnt need to make 3 qb changes in a playoff game you might have gotten the job done.

Anonymous said...

"sometimes when you come to regina you're not sure what youre getting yourself into, but now we know who these people are"....huh? That makes zero sense.

Anonymous said...

Sam Hurl in place of Henoc is a huge downgrade and I have never ever been impressed with Hurl. Very disappointing if he is our starting MLB this year and just ask any Bomber fan they will tell you how bad Hurl is.