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Monday, August 13, 2018

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: MOVING ON


BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

Duron Carter.

There hasn’t been a more polarizing player on and off the field for the Saskatchewan Roughrides in recent memory. His short time in Riderville ended on Saturday night with a tweet, and then an official release from the Roughriders.

The official reasoning from Roughrider head coach, general manager and vice-president of football operations, Chris Jones was, in summary, “We wanted to go in a different direction with our football club.”

On Now At All Sask Famoso Locations!
It’s incredibly easy to try to read between the lines (scroll down on rodpedersen.com and read the full transcript) but it comes down to any one of - or combination - of four things: salary cap room, team chemistry, something irreconcilable happened within the doors of the Rider facility, or another off-field incident.

As a cool Monday dawns on Rider Nation the question now is, "What happens next?”

For Duron Carter, he will more than likely sign with another CFL team. (Much like Loucheiz Purifoy's release from the Ottawa Redblacks last week was immediately welcomed with a contract from the Riders).

Just how many chances will Carter get, who knows? The combination of rare football ability with the constant on and off-field distractions is what the next CFL front office will have to deal with. Carter will probably receive a contract for the rest of the 2018 season and from there, who knows.

But let’s leave this with the words of B.C. Lions defensive end, Odell Willis. He summed it up nicely with a tweet Saturday night, “Man if Jones can’t handle u who can? {shoulder shrug emoji}.”

Now to the Saskatchewan Roughriders:

They lose their top offensive weapon. Time after time in 2017 and in spots in 2018 (like in Edmonton on his great touchdown catch-and-run on a Zach Collaros underthrown ball) Carter bailed out Rider quarterbacks with incredible play, after incredible play.

What we saw from the Saskatchewan offence during Carter’s time at defensive back is what we will see the rest of the season. One can only hope offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo can move around his top weapons (Naaman Roosevelt, Marcus Thigpen, and Tre Mason) to find some matchup opportunities. Also, try to find a way to use the middle of the field which has been missing since day one of the regular season.

Who will be the player to step up and lead this Rider offence for the final 11-game stretch of 2018?


And now to Chris Jones:

There is no question he is one of the top head coaches and defensive minds in the CFL. But there will come a time when Chris Jones the head coach will no longer be able to make up for Chris Jones the general manager and vice president of football operations.

When the dust settles on the 2018 season, because of all the titles before his name, Jones will ultimately be judged on just 18 days (games). The VP can’t fire the general manager without firing the head coach and defensive coordinator.

Here’s the pressure he is currently under: To make a run for the much-cherished home playoff berth the Riders will need to go undefeated or win four of their last five home games. They also have to play over .500 football against a gruelling West Division that now includes a suddenly above-average B.C. Lions club.

It all begins late-Sunday afternoon at Mosaic with another date against the undefeated Calgary Stampeders.

The Stampeders sure feel ripe for the picking after a few grind it out wins over the Riders and Lions.

It will be up to the Rider offence to crack a Calgary defence that gives up just a hair over ten-points per game. The defence and special teams can’t bear the brunt of filling the scoreboard, but they will need to force the Stampeders into enough mistakes to make it easier for a much-maligned offence.

It will be interesting to see how the players rally around each other Sunday and into the rest of the season. One has this real weird feeling that the players will use this week to step up and hand the Stampeders their first loss of the 2018 season.

AROUND THE CFL

- Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel looked better in a 24-17 loss on the road in Ottawa Saturday night. His defence however, not so much. The Alouette defence gave up over 600-yards of offence and if it wasn’t for a myriad of fumbles on the part of the Redblacks offence, it would have been incredibly ugly.

As for Manziel, he was more patient and eliminated many of the mistakes that plagued him a week ago. Next up will be to start making those game-changing plays.

There are those cheering so hard for his demise. It doesn’t matter if you like him, hate him or hate the constant deluge of TSN narrative, if Johnny Football has success in this league it can only mean good things for the CFL.

- How much fun is the Winnipeg Blue Bomber offence to watch? Paul LaPolice has such a deep and varied playbook that it’s become must-see football.

Various motion plays, using Nic Demski and Andrew Harris in multiple areas of the offence, deep attempts in the middle of the field and even a play or two with Matt Nicholls under centre. No, not on short yardage, or having a short yardage package right after picking up a first down, but an old-school under centre drop and give to Andrew Harris for a huge gain.

Their dynamic play on both sides of the ball makes the top-three in the west of Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg difficult to crack.


U-SPORTS

The Canada West football season is set to begin in three weeks. Camps across the prairies and B.C. are getting ready for their first pre-season action.

The Regina Rams will host the Manitoba Bisons on August 22nd at Leibel Field in Regina. The Calgary Dinos will take on the Alberta Golden Bears on the 22nd at Great Chief Park in Red Deer. The Saskatchewan Huskies will play their green and white game on August 23rd at Griffiths Stadium.

PFC

The Prairie Football Conference is set to kick off their regular season next weekend. The Saskatoon Hilltops drive for five begins against their provincial rival Regina Thunder at Mosaic Stadium Saturday night at 7:00pm while the Edmonton Wildcats head on the road to face the Winnipeg Rifles at 7:00pm on Saturday night.

Canadian to watch in the NCAA

Mike Beaudry
QB – University of West Florida (Rs. Soph.)
6’5”, 245lbs.
Oviedo, Fla.
High School – Hagerty H.S.

The Saskatchewan born Beaudry has dual citizenship. His family moved to Florida when he was 11-years-old.

He helped lead the West Florida Argos to the NCAA Division II championships in just their second year of play in 2017 but lost in the final to Texas A&M Commerce 37-27.

Beaudry will lead a dynamic offence and is a pre-season candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy, given to the top college football player in Division II.

He was also one of 40 of the top college quarterbacks in the U.S. invited to the prestigious Manning Passing Academy this summer.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

11 comments:

John Knight said...

Carter is/was a negative distraction on the team. He did many selfish things that hurt the team BUT he had tones of talent and certainly have helped the team. More focus MUST be placed on McAdoo. Carter was not used for his potential and that was glaring while Collaros was injured and Bridge was QB. The my way or the hwy is no way to operate an offensive scheme. You can't make a round peg fit a square hole! If McAdoo can't adjust to QB skill set, he must go rather than players. Quite likely some of our popular players that were let go were likely on McAdoo's recommendation. Time for him to do his job or get out

Helix said...

I couldn’t agree more. McAdoo is the problem with the Rider offense. Either he picks up his game or the Riders are finished for the season. Last game when Carter was finally allowed to play receiver he was totally under utilized. It’s almost like the coaches are trying not to play offense! WTF!

SWC said...

After two and a half years you finally said it:
"But there will come a time when Chris Jones the head coach will no longer be able to make up for Chris Jones the general manager and vice president of football operations."

Thank you, thank you very much.
Elvis


Darren Muller said...

Great comment Helix. Carter imo was underutilized. A talent like him should be seeing the ball at least 9 to 12 plays a game. He's an amazing talent and now he's gone. Yes he was high maintenance from what it appears but maybe more balls his way would have alleviated that. I agree our offence is less than exciting. Hopefully we start to see more imagination and big play capability as I believe we still have some very good players here. If that happens no reason why we can't go 8-3 get to 11-7 and just maybe snag a home playoff game. Go Riders!!

gman80 said...

The whole season for the Riders comes down to these next four games! Unfortunately the team has put themselves in a situation where now Calgary is a MUST WIN game and if Saskatchewan wants any chance at a home playoff date in November, this team must look inside themselves and decide if they want to be a winner or a loser! The next 4: Cgy, B.C., Wpg and Wpg. With the Duron Carter fiasco hopefully now behind the Riders, how will the players respond? will they Rally together and set the tone for the rest of the year? Or will this team just choke and fade away.. I hope to hell the Saskatchewan Roughriders start turning it on, like a light switch that goes CLICK!.. WE SHALL SEE!.. GO RIDERS!

Football Fan said...

On Carter-
Good and generally accurate comments except his release doesn’t make sense as a cap issue, because there is no indication that we have cap issues and if we did there are better candidates – see Jovon Johnson or perhaps Dan Clark, who are both arguably good and adequate in their current roles but likely fairly highly paid and replaceable, and near the end of their careers in any event. I think the likely reasons are 2 and 4 on your list with 4 being a “last straw” kind of event for Jones. And Carter may have been our best offensive weapon but not by much. Roosevelt may even be a better pure receiver. Holley has shown flashes and now with Carter gone and Collaros back he gets his chance, and the two new guys have looked very good as well, Evans and JWL. We’re not lacking offensive weapons anywhere other than arguably QB, and as long as Jones is our GM we can now say confidently that we’ll never be lacking for talent.

On Jones-
This is a bizarre section indeed. “There will come a time when Chris Jones the head coach will no longer be able to make up for Chris Jones the general manager and vice president of football operations.” Um, what? To state the obvious, Jones the DC wouldn’t be having the success he’s having if Jones the GM hadn’t found him the players to be successful. We’re just over two years into his time here and he has completely rebuilt our defence, and we now have arguably the best defence in the league. And many of his acquisitions have been pure genius. Look at Antigha and Leonard who are converted TEs. Look at Jovon Johnson who was out of the league but Jones saw that he had something left. Look at NFL vets like Butler who have never come to this team in the past. There is no question that Jones has solidified himself as a top tier GM in this league. He’s going to be the next Hufnagel or Buono in his prime. That much is clear at this point. The only position on this team Jones arguably hasn’t filled yet is the toughest one, and that is a top tier QB. And Collaros may be that guy, so maybe he’s even filled that role, but Collaros got injured and Bridge struggled and that’s why we’ve struggled to this point year. A setback, but the road to the top is seldom a straight line. There is usually some adversity on the way. Collaros’ injury, however, which was his third career concussion, may raise some questions about his long term durability. But lucky for us there are a bunch of top tier QBs hitting the FA market at the end of this year, including Mike Reilly, who has been sacked 7 times in the last two games behind that failing Esks OL. We’re going to need to make sure that Jones is locked into a long term deal by at the very latest shortly after the end of the season, so that any FA QB will know that he’s here long term. Players want to play for him and Reilly in particular won a GC with him, but the top ones are going to sign here unless they know he’s going to be here long term. Players love to play for him and they follow him around, and God forbid if we ever lost him they would follow him to his next team, and we’d be back in the basement in two years, and finishing behind his new team for the next 10 years.

SWC said...

@ Football Fan;

What relation are you to Chris Jones???

John Knight said...

Football fan, are you implying Jones can walk on water? Yes he has improved the defense but you need offense also and letting Glenn go was a monstrous mistake. I don't think he is irreplaceable as you are implying or are you actually Jones himself writing your comment

Justin Case U-win said...

This comment comes as a rebuttal to Football fans long winded pat on the back of Chris Jones. No mention of any of the following. I’m sure I will miss out on a lot more that happened. These are ones that simply come to mind. So I will lay it all out. As it should be said.
I’m not sure exactly what it is or why it is. That Chris Jones the GM and HC is allowed to use the Riders as a testing area for his own personal spotlight.
In his short tenure as the boss of the Riders I have never felt as embarrassed as I have over the past 2.5 years.
The unwanted attention of serious fines and tongue lashes from the previous commissioner was incredibly and nationally embarrassing. The way in which this team had to use telethones and bottom of the barrel scraping just to stay afloat. To have a GM-HC come along and light that money on fire and watch it burn away in fines was ludicrous. A slap in the face of those who saved this franchise.
His business practise of pre-paying Players bonus money to come to SK only to have them take the money and run. On several occasions again was a nationally embarrassment. To bring in proven Vets like Lemon, Capricotti and several others to release them in record time. Then turn around and bring in an old washed up NFL QB and every other washed up NFL player he can shows something isn’t quite right. Those moves had to be self serving. Still embarrassing. The only take on such ludicrous moves is a GM Looking for attention.
This has to be near the top of the list. He releases Glen after he puts all his eggs in the basket of a QB that became the worst kind of injury prone. Zack is a great person but Concussions and QBs are a deadly combination. Then sure as shit the 1st game the QB plays he gets his bell rung. Then dosent want to say anything until he gets his bell rung again. BOOM.... 6 game IR. Pulls the QB off after 4. Has to count his whole salary. Then after protecting and defending Duron Carter for 1.5 years. Plays him out of position for 4 games then inexplicably unceremoniously dumps the player like a hot potato. Again it’s embarrassing.
This mans reasoning is unreasonable.
I am in my late 50s and have been a Rider fan since I was 11 years old. The only other time I have felt embarrassment like I have with the Chris Jones regime. Is when a Rider player knowingly was HIV positive.

Football Fan said...

@ SWC and John Knight
Lol! You can tell that a hater has run out of spin when ...

But that is a new one on Glenn, however, John. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say they thought Glenn was a championship QB. You’re the first! Or are you Glenn himself? /s

Football Fan said...

@ Justin Case U-win
There’s nothing there that’s coherent enough for me to respond to. Why is it that all these haters sound like they’re half way through a 40 of rye? It gives you a pretty good look at the mentality of a hater in any event.

I’ll tell you what Rider Nation thinks. In fact I can just show you with the hard numbers, 33,350 selling out New Mosaic three days in advance in the middle of the summer. Merchandise sales up 10% last year, and I’m sure they’ll be up again this year. After the contract scandals and the incompetence and failure and shame of the previous regime - and in fairness the meddling that caused that came right from the top – Jones has restored professionalism, competence, and pride to Rider Nation! Rider Nation loves Chris Jones. He’s more than proven himself at this point, and #inJoneswetrust!