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Thursday, December 13, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

1 - THE QUESTION: We need to give it a rest until at least the New Year. "Who's going to be the Riders QB in 2019?" is the only question floating around the Rider Nation right now and people call into the SportsCage with the quiry daily. It's the #1 topic on coffee row. It's been a month solid of this talk but we won't know the answer for likely another 4-5 months. Can we take a break?

2 - THE ANSWER: Of course Saskatchewanians can't take a break from it because there's nothing else to talk about so here's who I'm going with as the next Riders QB: Jonathan Jennings. That's a completely uneducated guess because the team isn't saying anything, but I'm getting tired of shrugging my shoulders and saying "I don't know". We're told landing Mike Reilly is a long shot (although I'm not totally convinced of that) so, to me, Jennings is the next best available. And that includes trade scenarios for James Franklin or Johnny Manziel. Please discuss.

3 - SAMMY: Free agent Rider linebacker Sam Eguavoen is on an America-wide tour working out for a dozen or so NFL teams. Most recently, the Rams and Bears. Wherever he signs, they're going to get a helluva story. The Garland, TX product completed Police Academy and was working at a Foot Locker when he saw an online ad for a Roughriders free agent camp in Dallas in 2016. He showed up, paid $100, and made the team. I remember not knowing how to pronounce his name as a rookie but his play forced me to get it down pat. The next stop for Sam is the NFL!

4 - PERSPECTIVE: Eventually I'll come to accept the CFL football operations salary cap but it's difficult right now when you look into the eyes of someone who's lost their job. And the out-of-work football people know there's nowhere else to go in the CFL because of the limit on staffs. In Calgary they call this the "Rider Rule" while someone from Winnipeg called this an "Anti-Saskatchewan" move. Why wouldn't we take offense to that? However on the flipside, I understand controlling costs and not allowing spending to get out of control. It all depends on which side of the cookie you're on.

5 - GROWTH: It remains to be seen how the coaches salary cap will affect the league. There are few who think it will hurt the CFL but it makes me wonder how new, young coaches are to be introduced into the league. Which head coach is going to take a chance on a young guy when he only has 11 spots on his staff to fill? Most would hire a proven coach instead. There needs to be a provision for developmental spots or else one day we'll end up with no new coaches at all.

6 - KOCH HEAD: Receiver Cary Koch (pronounced Coke) spent little time with the Roughriders (2010/2011), but it was memorable. This week Cary was announced as one of Baton Rouge, LA's Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 for the Baton Rouge Business Report. #84 is the Executive Director of Louisiana Craft Brewers Guild among other things. You always knew he'd be a success.

7 - KICKING MISHAPS: TSN's Top 10 Kicking Mishaps this week failed to remember Paul McCallum's 18-yard field goal miss in overtime of the 2004 CFL West Division Final. How do you miss that?! That "miss" still comes up on a weekly basis around here, and across the CFL! It's another heartbreaking chapter in Roughriders lore.

8 - OIL COUNTRY: The Edmonton Oilers are a whopping 8-2-1 under Ken Hitchcock since he took over from Todd McLellan last month. Is this the customary spike in performance after a coaching change? Or is it a sign of things to come? No one wants to wager a guess on that. Hitch doesn't seem to have changed much, but who knows what he's saying in the room? We all love Todd McLellan and it seems his only downfall was failing to bust the Country Club and negative culture the Oilers have become known for. However Hitch has come in and split it with an axe.

9 - HEART & SOUL: Less than a week after launching Heart & Soul of the SJHL - A 50-Year History, we've had worldwide reaction. People are calling it a "work of art" and for that, I thank Regina publisher Printwest. Now's a good time to thank the team of writers I hired to bring the project together: John Cairns, Corey Atkinson, Rob Hart, Dave Leaderhouse, Kelly Provost, Mike Stackhouse, Jamie Neugebauer, Greg Nikkel, Clark Stork, Greg Buchanan, Marc Smith, Kevin Shaw and George Bowditch plus an army of photographers including Marla Possberg in Humboldt. When Kevin Garinger - the former President of the Humboldt Broncos - gave this book the thumbs-up, that was the only approval I wanted to hear. His note provided a huge sense of relief.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Forget about expansion to Regina. The NLL has bigger plans. They announced an expansion franchise in New York City this week. ... Lacrosse is the fasting growing sport on the continent. Society may have changed but human nature has not. Kids still need a place to take out their agression. ... Letterkenny performed another soldout show on Tuesday in the Queen City. Hey - it's Regina. How can so many people not make it on time for a 7:00 show? ... It's not yet Christmas, yet people are writing off the Regina Pats in terms of a playoff spot. So what? It's the penance we pay for the last two historic seasons. The Pats and Warriors collide in a home-and-home this weekend and I can't wait to go! ... People say they aren't excited about the World Juniors in Vancouver and Victoria this year but because of Moose Jaw's Tim Hunter, I am. Eh Oh Canada Go! ... Is there room enough in Winnipeg for the NHL, AHL and WHL? If any city can do it, it's Winnipeg. ... Further to last week's 10 Things column on how the NHL in Seattle will affect the Silvertips and Thunderbirds, upon further reflection, it says here the more hockey in one market the better. An NHL expansion team in the Emerald City will be a boon for the WHL as well.

Happy Holidays,
RP
@rodpedersen

10 comments:

Football Fan said...

Not sure why someone would say we're not getting Reilly. The only thing that could keep us from being the leading candidate to get him is if we failed to lock Chris Jones into a long term contract, and if that happened we'd have a whole lot more problems than just the QB.

Gryllsy said...

When i travelled to Canada to watch the riders for the first time in 2010. I came and watched practice, they held it over at the University this time, and Cary was still on the practice roster he made a point of coming over and having a good chat and was such a nice bloke. To this day there is a picture of our meeting on my office wall. It proves that good things happen to good people

Helix said...

Yes I agree Jennings is worth a try. But Franklin? I am still waiting to see him perform. Please someone tell what film to watch where Franklin makes plays. Even Scribler makes more plays IMO. I though Manziel showed steady improvement last year. He moved around well in the pocket and seemed liked by his teammates.

Helix said...

I meant to say Streveler.

Scott Thompson said...

That’s a fact.

Old Rider Fan said...

Design the O to the strength of Jennings and Bridge. Would be entertaining ... don't know if we would win but fun anyway. Like Burris's first year here.

Dan said...

NO BRIDGE

Football Fan said...

So, I generally really like Marshall Ferguson's pieces on the CFL site, but he sure has a dud on there right now. Or more likely he's just baiting Rider fans. The piece is about who he thinks the "three emerging powers" over the next 5 to 10 years will be, and he says they will be BC, Hamilton, and Winnipeg. The Riders, as we all know, have gone from 3 wins to 5, 10, and 12 and second place in the league last year, but somehow Ferguson does not see us as an emerging power?? That is so patently ridiculous that if it wasn't Ferguson writing this I probably would have stopped reading right there, but I went on and Ferguson has a "reason" why he doesn't think that our 12 wins and second place in the league makes us an emerging power. He says that QBing is extremely important and he points to the fact that we didn't make it out of the first round this year as proof. Unfortunately for Ferguson this next attempted troll crashes and burns a couple of different obvious ways as well. The first is that our starting QB did not play in that game. He was taken out the game before by a dirty hit by Willis. Had Collaros played in that game I'm sure we would have been the favourite and I think we probably would have won. The second is that last year we DID make it out of the first round without a top tier QB, and we almost made it to the GC game as well.

Ferguson's fail fiesta goes on, however. He goes on to say that he thinks Reilly will end up in BC this year, and again you can tell he's trolling by the nonexistent logic he uses. He says that Reilly is a good friend of Lulay's and that's a reason why he'd go to BC. Really? He's a good friend of Lulay's so he's going to go take his job? Some friend. That is one of many reasons why he almost certainly WON'T go to BC in fact. Add to that the fact that BC has a rookie head coach who he's never played for, a huge turnover in the coaching staff, probably a lot of player turnover as well, and an OL that was only middle of the pack in sacks given up last year. Compare that to a team that was second in the league even without a top tier QB, tied for the least amount of sacks given up, and has a coach and OC who he has already won a GC with. Hmmm, which team looks like the better option for Reilly? The one qualifier I would add is that if we don't get Jones signed to a long term contract I don't think Reilly will come.

Christopher said...

Rod, When Durant was a free agent and was about to walk. What did the riders do? They traded him to Montreal. What do you think the Esks are going to do with a much more valuable asset, the #1 QB in the league is going to leave? They are going to trade him and who would they trade him to?... well no team is going to trade for Reilly if he says he is not going to resign with them in February. Reilly's team of preference is the Lions. His offseason home is Vancouver, his parents and his wife's parents live in Seattle. His best friend Torey Hunter is the Head Scout for the Lions. He is friends with Ed Hervey. Travis Lulay is his fishing buddy and the #1 reason... His wife wants to move home. Happy Wife, Happy Life.

Ok, so Reilly is going to be traded to BC. What is Edmonton going to want in return? They need a QB, one with talent and CFL experience. Cue Jonathon Jennings. I would wager Jennings ends up in Edmonton and soon. There is an off chance that Edmonton may and/or grab James Franklin.

Bear in mind that Calgary is also looking for a #1 starter in anticipation that BLM sticks in the NFL. So, you can bet the Stamps are vying for Jennings as well. IF he is gone, then Franklin is the next bet for them. Personal I think Collaros will end up in Calgary. At least they have an Oline to protect him.

Football Fan said...

Oh dear Christopher! Are you a Lions fan? Reilly's best friend is BC's head scout therefore he's going to sign with BC? Huh? His wife wants to move home? Do you have a reference for that? Didn't think so. Seriously dude, if you feel like you have to make stuff like this up to try to make an argument for why he'd go to BC then you've pretty much made the argument for why he WON'T go to BC. In the CFL the Riders and Stamps make the most sense, and there's even a slim argument for Edmonton, but I can't think if any real reason why he'd sign with the Lions. A 33 year old QB in his prime does not want to go to a rebuilding team with a rookie HC - one who he's never played for - with a marginal OL, to state the obvious. The NFL, otoh, is now another competitor, but I would think it would have to be exactly the right situation for him to go there.