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)