Realty One

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


1. CHRIS JONES: He won a Grey Cup in 4 of his 5 stops. Not bad if only the Riders didn’t have to be the red-headed step child on this list. Only one other CFL coach in history won championships with 4 other franchises but couldn’t win with Saskatchewan. His name: Don Matthews.

We weren’t kidding when we called Jones ‘Don Matthews Jr’.

Neither one ever looked at home here and neither ever felt like one of us. 

2. JEREMY O’DAY: Three years ago, I would’ve scoffed at this hire. But that was back when the Scott Schultz’s of the world were justifying such an idea with quips of “But O’Day’s my buddy!”. It just seemed to feed the idea of an old boys club existing around the corner of Elphinstone and 10th Avenue.

But things have changed. O’Day is now a grizzled front office vet with 8 years of managerial grinding under his belt. And after the last guy spent his time here living out of a hotel waiting for his next ticket out of town, A 20-year resident of the Queen City running things is a welcome change.
In other words, this guy feels like one of us.

3. PAUL LaPOLICE: He could still be my first choice as the next head coach of the Riders. He loves Regina (may even still own a home here), loves the Riders and knows quarterbacks. He builds his offenses around the personnel he has and not the other way around. Always the sign of a good coach. Weston Dressler’s career would not be what it has become without the brilliance of Paul LaPolice. My advice to LaPo: Watch the 30 for 30 ‘The 2 Bills’ and see how Bill Belichick kicked and screamed his way into getting the New York Jets to let him out of his deal to go to New England. That strategy worked out pretty well for Belichick and the Patriots. Why can’t it work for Paul LaPolice and the Roughriders?

4. JAIME ELIZONDO: Meh. I don’t see a dynamic personality there. But denying assistants the chance to move up should prompt the league office to step in. A first-round draft pick can always be fired back the other way as compensation. If we’re going to see a salary cap on coaching staffs, the least Randy Ambrosie can do is force his teams to show these coaches a little respect.

5. CRAIG DICKENSON: Why not? He’s earned his shot. Just as long as he’s not as robotic and boring as his brother.

6. MIKE SCHEPER: Who is he, you ask? The Riders Special Teams Assistant. That’s right, our Roughriders have TWO special teams coaches. Sounds to me like it’s high time we put a cap on coaches.

7. MICHEAL O’SHEA: I’m glad he and Blue Bomber management P-O’d his Offensive Co-ordinator. That almost never works. With any luck, the Peg will be buried by Labour Day and maybe we can even take the Banjo Bowl AGAIN!

8. DARIAN DURANT: Jeremy O’Day got in my good books right away by tossing cold water on the idea of bringing Darian back. Sounds to me like that 70 thousand dollar signing bonus Durant took from Winnipeg as a retirement gift for NOT playing has dried up and someone needs a new job. Too bad for him, the guy who stuck his neck out to get Darian to Winnipeg (Paul LaPolice) probably reminded his good friend, Jeremy O’Day, about all of this. Darian’s language of “The Fans would love me” tells me this man still needs a bit more humbling yet before he’ll be ready to return to a sideline anywhere.

9. ARASH MADANI: Blames the coaches cap for the Roughriders being hamstrung for the next couple years with the same staff. How bout blaming Rider management, CEO Craig Reynolds, for not keeping Chris Jones’s OUT-clause to a short window each offseason? Letting the king of your ship bail at a moment’s notice is suicide in any league, particularly this one.

10. ROD PEDERSEN: I grew up right in the transition of Geoff Currier to Steve Brown to Rod in the late 90’s. Fell asleep many a school night listening to Rod and Leo MacDonald wrap a west coast game with a Regina Pats postgame chat. It’s been a thrill to know both in recent years. Leo has helped me fall back in love with baseball and Rod is the only reason I’ve had any meaningful role on the radio or on this website.

But it’s the work Rod has done with helping struggling people live sober that most of us don’t see of which I’m most proud to call him a friend.

Thanks for the memories Rod but I know there’s more to come. Congratulations on your graduation and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Oh and by the way, BO LEVI, SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)


Christopher Evans said...

I would rather have Dave Dickenson be boring and robotic... his trash talking gives me second hand embarrassment! His "misss, miss" directed at Lauther and his "f'n Canadian mafia", as entertaining as it was, was pretty lame (although it was nice to get a glimpse into the inner workings of the CFL and the nicknames given to opponents! lol).

I like the idea of promoting from within to sustainability. We are starting to gain that traction. O'Day has been groomed for the GM's position (that was Reynold's requiring Jones to keep him on staff... some credit is due there!). Promoting Dickenson makes sense this year... especially as teams some teams are not permitting interviews and we could be hamstrung on a head coach this year. If we can feed into the bottom of the staff with quality people, this begins to make a lot of sense!

Scheper was here previously, no?? He was an o-line coach then?? Sounds like an all-around football coach that knows a hell of a lot!

I always liked Don Matthews. He has been quoted as saying he wanted to stick around until the Baltimore Stallions threw him an offer he couldn't refuse! My favorite moment of The Don was telling a sideline reported that "That's a stupid question!"... which most of them are to this day!! lol I was hoping Coach Jones would have a similar moment... there were a couple that were close!! lol

Anonymous said...

Chris Jones inherited a team that had not won a game in a year and a half. The first season was an overhaul rebuild and years two and three he had them as bonafide contenders without a Quarterback. He did Yeoman service and was rewarded with an NFL opportunity.

Speaking of opportunities in life there are no guarantees. It takes brass ones to resign a job and trade a paycheck for no paycheck based on spec. Having said that if a person can't or won't do the job anymore then it's simply time for a change and life and employment always works out. If there was one slight though it's always optics. Never ever quit a job with no notice. As an employer and a person in a position to hire people how you leave can negate all the good which took place, but if due diligence is followed they will find it out. All i know is the broadcasts and sportscage were world class to listen too. ESPN has Dave Tippett describing how they are building the front office. He has a spreadsheet of names who express interest and ones he has on the horizon. I would like to see Rod end up in Seattle in a role very similar to what Lawless found himself getting with Vegas. If not that then Halifax and the CFL. Best of luck and it all works out. It was time to leave the pond and move onto bigger and better for both Chris Jones and Rod Pedersen.

Finnisher29 said...

Yep LaPo is definitely going to sabotage Winnipeg's season.... Great way to make a good impression on any future employers. Give your head a shake.

Brady Y said...

Sorry Finisher...what did I miss? Who said Lapo should sabotage the season?

Anonymous said...

Great way to make a impression in professional football. Tamper with other teams contracted staff while causing trouble where you have no business sticking your big nose in. Give your head a shake new Rider gm.

Go Blue

fannotacoach said...

Give yours a shake Blue and pay attention. The Riders approached the team, no tampering involved.

Murray said...


Shakey Pickett said...

If one reads point #4 then skipped to point #9. One could get confused on Brendan’s position.

Anonymous said...

I’d argue that this thing about Jones not seemingly being “one of us” was a good thing. We had that mentality as an organization for many years and the result was two telethons and the team almost folding. Yay. Enter an outsider, namely Roy Shivers, and say what you want but he brought this team back from extinction. He shook things up and it was needed. The situation wasn’t quite as bad financially when Jones took over but it was still pretty bad. As you said with Schultz, the Old Boys Club mentality was creeping back in and that is a path we don’t want to go down ever again.

Finnisher29 said...

Implied on the point about Mike O'Shea. LaPo is a consummate pro and he'll do his job without being a distraction to the team. For his sake I hope he does get another shot at a head coaching job. But as a Bomber fan I'm selfishly happy he's staying put!

MC Matt said...

What if Rod is going to the NFL and Bo Levi ends up on the same team?

Hey, the universe sometimes does things like that!