Realty One

Monday, January 21, 2019



That was one hell of a week in Riderville!

In just seven days the whole direction of Canada's Team changed and, with it, a different type of excitement for the 2019 season.


Let’s begin with Chris Jones leaving the football club to become a senior defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns under newly minted head coach Freddie Kitchens.

This is an incredible opportunity for Jones to begin a potential NFL coaching career under a man (Kitchens) that Jones has known since he was a grad assistant at the University of Alabama and Kitchens was a quarterback.

Like Kent Austin before him (who left after winning the 2007 Grey Cup to become the offensive coordinator at his alma mater, Mississippi under Houston Nutt), this is the right opportunity at the right time for Jones.

He leaves this team in a great spot with the league’s lowest number of free agents to re-sign and a string of current and potential stars.

There are many Rider fans that are still angry with Jones for leaving, but most of them didn't like him to begin with.

Some say that's because he never signed a quarterback, or failed in the playoffs, or they just didn't like his general personality. What it all comes down to is the fact Jones never really embraced the Rider brand.

A big part of the job, especially with Jones who was the general manager and vice president, is the rubber chicken circuit. He didn’t have to do every small-town dinner and fundraiser but if he did some of the small fan engagement things needed during the offseason, it may have bought him a lot of slack with fans.

But if it didn't factor into wins, Jones wasn't interested.


That brings us to the new man at the helm of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on-field product, new General Manager Jeremy O’Day.

He is by far and away the best man for the job. O’Day has been under the tutelage of some of the best as a player and then in football operations. He also understands the brand and what the Roughriders mean to the passionate fans in this province, across Canada and around the world.

Three things that O’Day will more than likely keep at the top of the list when it comes to building on what Chris Jones has done:

1 - A renewed emphasis on Canadians and the CFL Draft. This is one of the key components that Jones was not successful in. O’Day will want to win with Canadians and not just trying to survive with Canadians.

2 - With his background and where football is currently going, O’Day will place an incredible emphasis on offensive and defensive line play.

3 - Find a quarterback for now and in the future. Fans want a quarterback for right now, but it is incredibly important to try to develop a quarterback within the Rider system. Fans love quarterbacks that win like Kent Austin and Kerry Joseph but when a pivot is developed and stays in the province like Ron Lancaster and Darian Durant, they are placed into legendary status and help the team on (wins) and off the field (selling them jerseys!).

O’Day’s first big decision will be to hire a head coach. This is incredibly tough considering the timing, the cap on coaches (he needs to hire both a head coach and defensive coordinator and the Riders already have 10 coaches and can only have 11) and the current staff is a tight group. Chris Jones was their leader.

We are going to have a little fun with this because no one really knows all of the names O’Day has in mind.

We begin with the many names floating around the social media-sphere.


First knock two offensive coordinators off the list. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers denied permission for the Riders to talk to Paul LaPolice and the Redblacks did the same for Jaime Elizondo, so the list continues to thin.


The first name that pops up is former Toronto Argonaut head coach and offensive guru Marc Trestman. He is used to coming to a team later in the off-season which is what he did with the Argos in 2017.

He has the most head coaching experience among all the potential candidates and because he is out of work right now, no permission is needed to bring him into the fold. There would be a shake-up of the Rider staff if Trestman is the man. He would take over the offensive play-calling but there would still need to be an offensive coordinator.


Next is current Rider special teams coordinator Craig Dickenson. He is one of the most experienced coaches on the staff. Dickenson has been an assistant special teams coordinator in the NFL with both the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, a running backs and receivers coach and a coordinator for four CFL teams, including the Roughriders.

Dickenson is a heart and soul type of guy and at times was the voice of reason with this current coaching staff. He also fits well because he can be both the head coach and special teams coordinator.

The one reason why he may not want to take the position is that Dickenson loves his lifestyle off the field. He loves his life in the Montana mountains and cherishes his off-season time away from the game. In January 2013, Dickenson left the Roughriders because Corey Chamblin wanted Dickenson to be around the team on a year-round basis. Things may have changed but this is a huge factor.


BC Lions offensive coordinator Jarius Jackson is another familiar face on the list. He was a part of this current Roughrider staff as a quarterbacks coach and would keep some cohesiveness. His lack of experience may hinder his hopes, but he's regarded as a rising star in BC. The Riders would also need permission from the Lions to talk to him which, as we've seen, has become a problem.


The other easy hire would be to hire a defensive coordinator and name McAdoo head coach as he keeps the OC job.

Jeremy O’Day has a three-year contract and may want to build his own staff in the future. Because of the timing of this situation, this may mean that Year 1 may be a bit of a bridge year.


A great head coach for a short-time basis may be Philip Lolley. His name has also been bantied about the media types as a potential candidate. Lolley is an incredible football man with one hell of a resume.

Chris Jones was Lolley’s protégé in when Lolley was a high school head coach in Alabama. The bulk of his career was spent with the Auburn Tigers, first as a strength and conditioning coach in 1998 under Tommy Tuberville, then as an assistant coach under Gene Chizik, then finally as the director of football relations with Gus Malzahn.

Lolley might be one of the most in-shape 65-year-old on the planet so his age is not a factor and he is also well versed with what the current staff is doing. He can also fill both the head coach and DC duties without any shake-up

The one problem is that he was just named the Edmonton Eskimos defensive coordinator at the beginning of the month and getting permission to talk may be difficult.

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Now for a name from left field…Jerry Glanville. The long-time coach said he would be interested in taking over the spot left by Jones. He was the Hamilton Ticats defensive coordinator last season, so he is now a little more familiar with the CFL game. At 77-years-old, his age would be a factor but man would it be entertaining!


When the week began two names that crossed the minds of the Out of the Tunnel staff were Steve Sarkisian and Tom Clements. Both have Roughrider ties and have extensive resumes but Sarkisian is going to return to Alabama as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator and Clements was just named the Arizona Cardinals primary offensive assistant in charge of the passing game.

This is fun to banty names around and if you have a wish list on who you want as the next head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, comment below and have some fun!

It’s never a dull moment in Riderville!!



Anonymous said...

Regarding, Jerry glanville, if we wanted somebody that old, why wouldn’t we get old guys who are familiar with the Canadian Football League, like Ken Miller or John Gregory.

Steve said...

A name that came to my mind was Danny McManus. Under the restraints & complications of the coaching salary Cap.
McManus could be a type flight OC being a former CFL QB.
Move McAdoo to HC if they cant unload him or his salary. But releive him of OC duties.
It may be time to give Shivers his DC shot under these difficult circumstances.
The defense & Special Teams for the Riders were first rate. It was the offense that is suspect. So this could work.
McAdoo will be plenty busy doing off & inseason HC off field duties. While he allows his coordinators to coordinate

Anonymous said...

Two names that are well under the radar in the HC search: Ryan Dinwiddie and Marc Mueller. Young unknowns who have connections to Regina and have quietly honed their coaching skills in Calgary over the past few years. Plus they both have quarterback backgrounds to help build an actual offence in Sask.

Anonymous said...

Bob Dyce for Roughriders head coach. He and O'day have a relationship with past unfinished business. Bet they'd like to reunite and finish what they started. Bob Dyce the man for Riders head coach.

Jasso Hendrivks

Murray said...

NO Macagoof! No Dyceclay! And no Granpaville!

Steve said...

I had also had mentioned that Dinwiddie would be a nice fresh yung guy with new ideas to build a great O.
I also agree & like the thought of Marc Mueller.
Its time for a changing of the guard. Out with the old & in wit the new.
No more recycled guys

Anonymous said...

Michael Bishop is my top choice.

Steve said...

Hmm Bishop. Interesting since his final season in 2011. Does he have any coaching experience?

Mike said...

Hey Steve,

All fans seem to think if they played they can coach. Everytime we cut or release a player they say bring him back as a coach lol

Enigma said...

It seems Vanstone from the LP was concerned about the new GM buying a house and living in Regina. Jones didn't and neither would Dickenson! As a matter of fact he has shown he wants nothing to do with football after the season ends. He was willing to walk from his job in favour of his off season stuff. He won't be the guy. Floating all these ridiculous names is well … ridiculous.
I would bet the name is in the list provided right after the two guys who weren't allowed to pursue the job. Everyone seems to making a lot over the left over coaches from Jones, but really there is no need. They will either do what the HC wants or they will be fired. Additionally it won't be long at all until one or two are probably brought on board by the Browns through the Jones connection. Mark my words. The group here now won't be the group in a years time.
The new HC will need to have a ton of experience at that position and be able to work with and fuse all the coaches and personalities together. Someone who can come in late and still produce. He needs to have great experience with QB's because we will likely have a new name in town. Put money on Jennings. Reilly was possible but less likely now unless O'Day can work magic. And most of all somebody who knows how to win as a HC.. When push comes to shove there is really only one guy who checks off all the boxes…...

Brady Y said...

Wow some of you absolutely amaze me. The same people who hated Chris Jones, one of the best coaches in the league, and are calling for the likes of Mark Mueller and Ryan Dinwiddie to suddenly become head coaches. Good Lord.

John Knight said...

What a bunch of "EXPERTS" Give it a break! We have a GM who knows far more than you morons do

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why doesn't O'Day hire himself as the Riders head coach? He supposedly has all the prerequisite football background to his resume to handle the job. This would eliminate all the hassles going on by his infringing on other teams contractual personnel. Jeremy O'Day for head coach. Do it.

Cory Huber said...

I agree on the Marc Mueller and Ryan Dinwiddie. I think if this conversation would happen 2 years down the road (and it might), those two will have more experience and sought after. Don't focus in on CFL retread coaches.

O'Day will have his hands tied with this silly coaches cap. He really needs to find two coaches in "1" spot. Limits your choices.

Also the coaching staff is in place for two years, so the coach can't hire his own staff.


Anonymous said...

Why couldn’t Paul LaPolice resign from the boo Bombers and then hire him in Riderville?

Steve said...

Cory. Does anyone know how much McAdoo is making?
Also if they fire him & pay out his contract will it still count against the ridiculous cap?
The Argos Dumped Trestman & his 600K salary. If that still counts against the Argos cap they are in worse trouble

Steve said...

Again I cant agree more. But with the cap with limited $$$ to spare. As well as teams not allowing coaches to leave for a HC promotion....
It is so limited

Steve said...

Ya know I think that could be the best solution to wat has become a very complicated issue. Idk if they can pay out McAdoo & unload his salary to make more room in the cap.
Doed anyone know if thats possuble

Steve said...

Thats a great question. But idk wats in the fine print under the sudden extremely low coaching staff

Steve said...

I witha on that. Thats why I asked if Bishop has coached anywhere since he retired. NCAA , Arena league watever. Apparently he has Not.

Steve said...

It seems as if im not the only one who knows that ruling. Does anyone know under this new coaching cap system. If the Riders dump McAdoo & pay him off will that open up cap space?
Does anyone know wat his salry even is. Cause i surely dont

Anonymous said...

Well, I think hiring jones was the absolute worst move the riders made, They still haven’t won anything, and now he left them to fend for there own at a crucial time of the season. If he would have left at a proper time , I would be a bit more convinced. Now we will probably waste another year untill the club can get the preferred coach, and then they will start the rebuild again. Sad day, poor choice, never hire a guy who goal is to leave you at the first chance. Loyalty is much better, another guy would have had the same 3 years to build a team, now.- how many of these players will actually want to stay with new systems coming aboard. ?

Ben Schuler said...

@ Steve - i don't know what macadoo is making in total money. But the new coaches cap states that if a coach is fired or let go or what ever, the money they are owed in their contract, is paid out in either (A) paying him the full amount in one year, or (B) you can spread the payment out over 5 seasons.. but if the Riders do this you can only do this for one coach in every said 5 year span.. hence if we choose to do this with macadoo we would not be able to buy out another bad coach for 5 seasons.. At least that is how Craig Reynolds explained it in their press conference. hope that helps.. and by the way hell no to Michael bishop!@! guy was terrible QB so i'm sure hes not a very good coach either lol.. i would say the best route would be to promote Jason Shivers to Defensive coordinator, and then find an offensive minded head coach to hold macadoos' hand for this final year of his contract so we don't have to eat that coaches cap space.. that way we would have a better offense and the defense wouldn't change barely at all with Shivers, and he could continue to coach the DB'S as well.. and i will also say I'm a fan a coach Craig Dickenson as a special teams coach.. but not my head coach.. just sucks Paul Lapolice wasn't allowed to take the job.. just my two cents.. GO RIDERS GO!!

Ben Schuler said...

just had a thought.. hes old.. but he was one of our best coaches.. back to back grey cups in 2009 and 2010 .. BRING BACK KEN MILLER!! was the head coach when Paul Lapolice was the offensive coordinator those same years.. ken miller is a great leader and players love him... also a offensive head coach!!! GO RIDERS GO!

Steve said...

Ben thanks for that info. It seems as though this low ball coaching cap comes wit a secret set of rules. Crazy thing Jones extended his contract to include his
" Escape Clause " lol.
I agree to be able to bring in an Offensive HC to hold McAdoos hand. Lol.
Dickenson experiences under some great Head Coaches is my only argument to place him in that slot to orginize the roles under him to the roles they will be in charge of. However, that will mean he will have to be in Regina year round. Something he doesnt want to do. So he is happy in his role as one of the top ST Coaches in the CFL.
So as for McAdoo....
Appently the GM Chris has him locked in for two years!
So idk but since it is two & not 1 year. MAYBE it may be best to unload that dead weight & his salary now. Idk.
So i do agree with the choice to keep a young Shivers on as DC. As it was the Offence is what is inadequate of the three phases.

Anonymous said...

That’s what I was going to say. Miller for hc. Granville for dc, 2 grandpa’s To get us through the rough patch.

Steve said...

I can see where your coming from with Ken Miller.
But again another guy at 77yrs old. The daily & yearly grind as a HC at this point in his life....

Steve said...

Like everyone has said. Riders will need to leave this up to O'Day & Reynolds. To make the best of a bad situation.
They have already reached out to Bombers & Redblacks for two OCs that could be HC.
But have been denied.

Anonymous said...

Steve, information regarding the coaches cap as per 3rd Down Nation:

"The CFL has implemented a salary cap on non-player football operations costs for the 2019 season. It’s set at just under $2.59 million for 2019 and 2020, and will be reviewed after that.

Coaches and other football operations staff, including general managers, scouts and equipment and video personnel, fall under the cap. Teams are capped at 11 coaches and 14 other football operations staff."

"There is a cap on coaching salaries, meaning that anyone the Riders fire ahead of the 2019 season will count against their spending limit for the season. This makes it virtually impossible for an incoming coach to assemble their own staff, lessening the appeal of the job."

3rd Down Nation also reported: O’Day says Riders assistant coaches signed to one-year contracts, not two.

"All of our current staff are just on ONE YEAR deals." - O'Day refutes an erroneous report earlier of coordinators being on 2 year deals."

Steve said...

Thank you. That clears alot up for me. My philosophy is that if I dont know. I need to ask.

Steve said...

That said, & this is just my humble opinion, in regards to this difficult Riders Crunch.
Stephen Macadoo has been the OC as well as asst HC to Chris Jones.
Before that a couple yrs with Jones as OC in Edmonton. He has been in coaching in the NCAA since 1996. As well as stints with The Als & Argos before joining Jones again in Edmonton.
Ive been skeptical of His OC skills. But a former olineman & an Oline coach as his strength. Thats the kinda O Jones wanted. A strong running game & passing secondary.
I cant beleive imsaying this. But McAdoo would likely be the best to move to HC to keep Chris Jones continuity in place.
The Riders could than sign an QB coach with CFL experitence to add a better passing game to the base of strong Running game, Strong D philosophy, & top Special teams.
Unlike Dickenson. McAdoo would stay in Regina year rnd likely.

Steve said...

Ryan Dinwiddie spent 2013-2015 in Montreal where his coaching rolls included offennsive Quality CONTROL, asst OC & QB coach, RB coach/OC.
Then the last 3 seasons as Stamps QB coach.
So being promoted to OC is not a stretch.
Marc Mueller is Currently the Stamps RBs coach. Not a stretch for him to climb the ladder in Calgary to add QB coach to his resume.
The Stamps whether everyone in Riderville may hate them. Would not likely stand in the way of Dinwiddie to get promoted to an OC job in CFL

Anonymous said...

Well the fans have to have something to do while they wait for the hire, I guess the club to give out incentives that don’t count in the cap. Like other teams have been known to do. Teams that you know don’t have the money from there fan base. That’s funny how that works.

Steve said...

I surely agree with that. There is always away around cap situations. In watever pro sport everywhere.

Steve said...

Well I remember in 2013 when Geroy Simon came to the Riders. A big time real estate guy in the Regina area gave him a condo for the season to live in as part of an endorsement deal.
Since Simon already had a home in Vancouver as he was a long time player there. & this was a one year thing for Simon to help get the Riders to win the GC at home. There has to be local businesses that would sign a coach to an endorsement deal to subsadise his pay.
Or say if the Bombers give in for Lapo. Since he and his family own a home in Winnepeg. There could be a realiter that could do the same for an apt / condo.... In exchange for him to be a spokes person.
Chris Jones badically lived in a hotel(s) when he was coach.
Im sure he didnt have to pay. & im sure his room was a suite. Not just a room with a king size bed

Steve said...

Heck with the great Rod Pederson moving on from the Sports cage it could take on a new format at 620 ckrm.
Instead of Rider Mondays.
It could be Rider ______ coaches show. With said HC receiving a salary for his Monday coaches show. Its done in plenty of other pro leagues & teams