Realty One

Friday, January 18, 2019


Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they are in no particular order:

- How was your week?

- Chris Jones dropped a bombshell on Rider Nation Tuesday with word he is heading to the Cleveland Browns.  The "who is going to be the quarterback" talk has certainly slowed to a trickle as the conversation revolving around Canada's team is what's next in the wake of the Jones departure.

Many want Paul LaPolice, many want Marc Trestman, the most logical choice because of the inane coaches salary cap may be current special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson who does deserve an opportunity.

At the end of the day, it will be a decision made by Jeremy O'Day.  It is highly expected O'Day will be promoted to the GM position.  What he does will obviously very important when it comes to where this team is going to go moving forward. What that person does with a staff he probably doesn't want because they are not his guys and what type of team he wants is another question.  There are a million of them out there.

- As for some other questions out there.

*Did Chris Jones bail on the Riders?   No, he didn't.  He took an opportunity that was presented to him to advance his career.  It is something everyone of us would do.  If you are going to be mad at Jones, be mad at every other Rider who has tried his luck in the NFL.  It is THE league and if you think you are good enough to be in it, you take every chance you can.

*Did Jones know about this before signing his extension?   He says no.  By all accounts, the Browns reached out to Jones on the weekend by asking the Riders permission to speak with him.  Whether or not Jones had had any previous conversations with Freddie Kitchens before that call was made was something we will never know.  If he did, I am guessing he wouldn't be the first one to have done such a thing.

*Did the move surprise me?  Yes and no.   As I said on the Sportscage this week and as I said in this column last week, I thought 2019 was the end of the line for Jones no matter what happened.  The interest was there.  What happened was something I expected, but I expected it after the season and not January 15.

*Does Craig Reynolds have to take blame for this?   Yes he does! I have a great deal of respect for Reynolds, but he has to wear this one.  That being said, when he signed Jones to that deal that shook the CFL after the Eskimos won the 2015 Grey Cup, he had no idea what the future would hold when it comes to the coaches salary cap. Had he been able to look into a crystal ball, I am sure he wouldn't have made such a grandiose move.  One person suggested the "out" in the contract extension should have been something that took effect after the 2019 season ended. That's a valid point, but I don't know if that is sound business.  While I do say Reynolds has to shoulder some of the blame, would I do it again if I were him not knowing what the future would hold.  Yup!

*What is Jones' legacy?  I think Sportscage's Derek Meyers put it the best Tuesday shortly after the news came down when he said he was "moderately successful". Jones was 27-27 as the head coach....22-14 in the last two seasons though  While the team did have growth each year in wins going from 5 to 10 to 12, the team only won one playoff game and that game was an Eastern Conference playoff game.  We can debate whether or not the Riders would have beaten Winnipeg in last year's West semi with a healthy Zach Collaros, but the bottom line is he didn't.

At the end of the day, the Riders have gone from a team that I think was ready to go to the Grey Cup to one that I think will slide no matter who the head coach is.  There is a lot of time between now and training camp, but this team has taken several steps backward in the last week.   Oh, its never dull in Riderville.

- Don't look now, but here come the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  Don't tell me they haven't created some noise by first signing Adam Bighill to a three-year contract and then Stanley Bryant to a one-year deal thus avoiding free agency with both.  The Bombers think they are close and with a Western Division in a state of upheaval, they are perhaps the most stable team in the West right now.

- Darian Durant is in Saskatoon this weekend for the Rush game against Rochester.  I wonder what Doubles thinks about the goings-on with his old team.  I am guessing he is OK with the fact Jones is no longer the coach of it.   I wonder how many will ask him to trade Rush green for Rider green this weekend.  I don't realistically see that happening, but hey this is the CFL right?

- Championship Sunday in the NFL should be fantastic.  The top two teams in each conference going at it in Kansas City and New Orleans.  I can't bet against Tom Brady, and I'm not betting against Drew Brees.

- The Regina Red Sox let it be known on Sportscage that former Blue Jays outfielder Matt Stairs will be their guest speaker at their 2019 dinner in April.   While that was news enough, team president Gary Brotzel says the discussion about a new baseball facility for the city has not been put on the shelf.  Hmmmmm!!!  I think it is time Regina put Currie Field to bed much like they put Taylor Field. The city and the Red Sox deserve a new home.  It doesn't has to be splashy, but something that we can be proud of and something which be great for a baseball community which is growing.  By the way, I can't wait for opening day

- The Regina Pats have lost eight in a row going into their game against Saskatoon tonight.  That being said, John Paddock has to be credited for what I think was a tremendous job in restocking the draft cupboard.  I do not know if the Pats will have the horses to be a playoff team next year, but they will certainly be on the rise which is refreshing considering how long it took to become competitive again after the last Memorial Cup appearance.

- Talk that Michael Ferland could be an Edmonton Oiler intrigues me.  The guy is a grit guy who can score and get under your skin.  Edmonton needs that.  What will it cost them though!  I wonder if they could pry Nolan Patrick from Philly for Jesse Puljujarvi as some have recently suggested.  It would probably cost Edmonton a little more, but I would take that deal.

- Jarome Iginla will get his jersey retired by the Calgary Flames before the season is over which is more than deserving.  The same should be done with Theoren Fleury.  Those two are without a doubt the best two players in the history of that franchise with an argument that could be made saying Fleury is better.  Hopefully 14 follows 12 in short fashion.

- The "Birdbox Challenge" is just dumb.  2019 is known for that and 2018 was known for having to say don't eat dishwasher pods.  What a society we have ladies and gentlemen!

- That's all I got.  Enjoy the weekend and Championship Sunday.

(Follow Mitchell Blair on Twitter at @scruffyregina)


Bruce Evenson said...

No comment on Rod Pedersen stepping down as the voice of the Riders. Rod is the best play by play man in the league. Having coach Jones step down hurt but not having Rod around really hurts. Any ideas what is going to happen to the sportscage.
Bruce Evenson

Dex YQR said...

Jones knew a month ago, when LaCanfora reported it. He then wanted an out clause in the extension. He also signed the coaches to 2 year deals (unheard of in the CFL). What coach will come here without being able to choose his staff?

Could riddance Jones!!!

Enigma said...

The signings likely don't kick in until the old ones expire. O'Day is a pretty smart guy and when a good coach is hired, and he will be an experienced coach, that guy will pick his staff. This process won't take long. Jones wan't certain he was going to the Browns and wanted to coach here with the guys he was comfortable with. The new coach will likely sweep clean particularly the OC. If someone like LaPolice were ever hired he would want that individual around? Some folks just don';t get it..!!!

They have fired HC's and GM's before with contracts remaining so I don't think they will have any problem showing anyone the door that the new HC doesn't want. Jones only downfall was he was too good. Too many quality guys he found made NFL rosters. Maybe if we had a slug like so many wanted that wouldn't have happened.

Congratulations to Jones. Just another great coach who will excel in the NFL. He earned it.

Brady Y said...

No dude you're wrong. The contracts kicked in the minute they were filed at the league office as their old contracts expire after the season so whoever the new coaches is tied into all these guys. The only discrepancy is whether it's one year or two years if it's two years then Jones has a really screwed us if it's one that would be bad enough but don't expect some new guy to come in and clean house and bring his own guys cuz in it ain't happening.

Steve said...

Agreed. With Jones gone. Its time to unload McAdoo. Open up cap space on the coaching staff & just pay his salary.
If this unreasonable low cap wasnt put in in the first place. The Riders woulda paid McAdoos salary 5 times over on staffing

SWC said...

Face it folks, on his way out the door Jones screwed the Riders big time by signing McAdoo for two years. Unbelievably underhanded.

Helix said...

Congratulations to Jones and best of luck in the NFL. He left the the team in much better shape that what he inherited.

Congratulations to J.O. He is a class act and his contribution to the Riders over the last 20 years cannot be understated. He will restore some of the Rider Culture that was missing under Jones.

Steve said...

It has been unclear with mixed reports.
Should they FIRE McAdoo the Riders will be on the hook to pay his salary for the next two years regardless.
My question is if he is fired, does his salary still count against the coaching cap for the next two seasons?