Realty One

Sunday, February 17, 2019


1 - CUE THE REBUILD: It's been a decent free agent season for the Saskatchewan Roughriders but even by the team's own admission, it hasn't been 100%. The optimistism in last week's column was predicated on the team landing a QB - like Trevor Harris or Jonathan Jennings - in the opening days of free agency. That hasn't happened. If reports are correct, the Riders didn't even make an offer to Jennings so evidently they don't see in him what I do. 2019 standings prediction forthcoming once free agency concludes.

2 - THE QB: This is why I've noted the next QB of the Roughriders would be incredibly tough to predict. If you'd made me a bet a week ago that it would be Zach Collaros, I would have taken you up on it. Chris Jones rolled the dice with an injury-prone QB in 2018 - which I supported wholeheartedly - but it blew up in his face (Zach wasn't available in Round 1 of the playoffs due to a concussion). In fact, he never even made it out of the preseason intact. Yes, he won 10 games, but when the chips were down - Money Time - he wasn't on the field. If there's a word for a situation being even BIGGER than a gamble, this would be it.

3 - BACK-UP: The search is on for a capable, adequate, veteran QB behind Zach Collaros and as it stands, names like Kevin Glenn, Travis Lulay, Brandon Bridge and Ricky Ray are still on the market. (Why haven't we heard a retirement announcement on Ricky yet?). All are capable, but none are someone you'd be prepared to stake your franchise's future on. So, it's time to find and develop the next Darian Durant. Sure Collaros will start (that's what we're told to expect), but I'd wager a lot he won't finish.

4 - JONES: People want to move on from Chris Jones and so do I. But the fact is, we'll be talking about him for ages. It's also clear that he left GM Jeremy O'Day and Head Coach-elect Craig Dickenson holding the bag. O'Day can do the job and do it well, but he got tossed the hot potato at the most pivotal time of the season for management. Willie Jefferson was the team MVP but he admitted to Winnipeg media that as soon as Jones left town, he started packing his bags as well. Did Chris Jones improve this team in his 3 years? Yes. Could he have left it in better shape upon his departure? Clearly. 3 years, nowhere close to a Grey Cup, and now they're going back to the drawing board. Cue the rebuild.

5 - CLEVELAND ROCKS: Again, you certainly can't blame Chris Jones for accepting a career advancement and landing a highly-coveted position in the NFL. Over time the CFL was restricting Chris Jones' every move - choking him off essentially - and it was evident he was getting very uncomfortable. The league changed a lot over the period that Chris Jones became a powerbroker and his hands became tied. I wish him well and have nothing negative to say about him because he was always professional and always let me do my job. I also can't wait to see where his career goes next.

6 - LOYALTY: My phone's been blowing up with the same question from Rider fans: "Why are so many players leaving?" It's a question I can't answer although Willie Jefferson certainly gave you an idea. A few weeks ago we mentioned here the new adage "You gotta do what's best for you" and that's not just for coaches. It extends to players as well. There is absolutely no loyalty left in pro sports whatsoever and for that I blame management and ownership. They'll slit a throat or throw a man overboard in a second but then whine and cry when it's done to them. That's the way it is now, and you're left to decide who you want to cheer for: the team, or the players who switch teams every year.

7 - THE BRAND: Perhaps, now with popular figures Jeremy O'Day and Craig Dickenson in charge of the Roughriders, we can get back to normal. So many fans have mentioned to me that this is a "nameless, faceless" organization and they have no idea whose jersey to buy at the Rider Store. That's the Jones Effect, but this is now a new era. There's a ton of work to do to reconnect this team with its fans and it needs to begin yesterday. Cue the rebuild in marketing.

8 - TRIVIA QUESTION: When's the last time the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Regina Pats were in a rebuild at the same time? ANSWER: The decade of the 1990's.

9 - 2020 GREY CUP: We automatically assume that whenever the Roughriders are in the running to be awarded anything in the CFL, they'll be the winners. But not so fast. Saskatchewan has put in a bid to host the 2020 Grey Cup but so too have the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes. CFL business has changed a lot but one thing hasn't: private owners are still given preferential treatment over community-owned clubs. If the Ticats or Als can guarantee financials in the ballpark of the Riders' bid, then I wouldn't be surprised to see one of their names called next Thursday. It's been 23 years since Hamilton hosted the CFL championship game and 11 for Montreal. The arrow, I'm afraid, could be pointing at them.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Kudos to Alex Giannoulis for organizing a hockey tournament this weekend in Yorkton and Theodore, SK with all proceeds going to local Mental Health Initiatives. Last year they raised $15,000 with the funds all being distributed in the Yorkton area, and a lot of them going o the safeTALK program. Way to go boys! ... The Oilers have traded Cam Talbot. It’s a start. ... The Brandt Centre was packed Friday night and the Pats outhustled and outworked the Edmonton Oil Kings in a 4-0 victory. What's the problem? ... Hats off to Dave Struch and John Paddock. Things are looking up. And we can't forget Brad Herauf and Rob Muntain. ... I thought the Don Cherry-themed jerseys with the players' nicknames across the back were cheesy, but I get it. ... The Saskatchewan Rush look to snap a 3-game losing streak tonight when they visit the Vancouver Warriors at Rogers Arena. For now you can watch on B/R Live. (Look it up). Come mid-season, the Rush road games will be on Access TV. I really wish Rush owner Bruce Urban would televise their home games!! ... It's the coldest February in Saskatchewan in 80 years. Yet everyone seems surprised when winter hits, and it turns bitterly cold. You'd think people would be used to it. ... A recent social media report suggests the SJHL has the second-strongest sports brand in Saskatchewan behind the Roughriders. That puts them ahead of the Rush, the WHL, its 5 Sask teams and all other leagues. Amazing! I could post it upon request. ... Stay warm.

Y'er welcome,


Russell Cone said...


Riders were one play away from the cup in 2017. I think Jones had them in a good position to play in the GC.

This is my request. Please post the story on the SJHL. I'd love to see it.

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

2020 the Grey Cup will be going East for the simple reason it has been in the West 2 years in a row.

Rod Pedersen said...

Please tell me where the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Grey Cups were played.


Anonymous said...

Do you think organ donation is cheesy too? As someone who claims to embrace unconventional marketing, I would have thought you would be more supportive of the Grapes jerseys.

Anonymous said...

With all the focus on free agency some may forget that the Riders have two young receivers who can be stars and big time play-makers for us this season and into the future: KD Cannon and Kyran Moore!

Netflix has an incredibly good series up currently: 'One Strange Rock". While it is not about the football, Luc Mullinder will still enjoy it as it involves Chris Hadfield and eight other astronauts showing what makes our planet so spectacular. It is hosted by Will Smith.

Mike said...

I find it weird how everyone thinks Edmonton will be a dominant team this year since they acquired Harris and some Ottawa free agents.

Edmonton had Reilly and Walker last year and never made the playoffs. I wont be so quick to count out the Riders yet.


Dan said...

I think you are putting too much stock in the loss of Jefferson.

John Hanley said...

I also wonder why Ricky Ray hasn't retired. I love the guy and will never forget what he did in #yeg. And if it hadn't been for his injuries he could still play up to potential. But for his sake, it's best to retire now. I don't want to see him go out at the bottom with potentially permanent injuries. He has nothing left to prove. It's a good time for him to move into coaching with the Eskimos.

SWC said...

In my mind Craig Reynolds has to wear this.
He gave CJ far too much power when he stole him from Edmonton.
His catch phrase at the time was 'sustained success' but we're no further ahead now than we were then.
As Rod said; "nowhere close to a Grey Cup, and now they're going back to the drawing board. Cue the rebuild."
I guess the thousands of people that couldn't stomach Chris Jones' ways were smarter than Craig Reynolds.
Three wasted years!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree SWC.
If Reynolds had been paying attention to Chris Jones looking all over for jobs, why sign all the assistants if he left. Now we are stuck with McAdo, Moore and Walsh. 😡😡

Anonymous said...

Sure we've lost Willie Jefferson, but with the addition of Micah Johnson and AC Leonard I think our defensive front is as good or better than last year. The defensive backfield should be as good as anybody's and our linebackers should be fairly solid too. Especially if Moncrief stays healthy. So provided Shivers can at least partially fill the hole left by Jones I think our defense remains one of the best in the league. Certainly our offense could be lackluster, but I can't see how it looks any worse than it did going into the regular season last year.

So why are you dubbing it a rebuild this year and a Grey Cup contender last year??

Rod Pedersen said...

With a healthy Zach Collaros, the Riders had a shot. I don’t believe he’s healthy. Or at least, healthy enough.

Ron from Pigeon Lake said...

The departure of Jefferson will hurt but ng AC Leonard back fills that gap and Chad Geter will become force with more playing time. I also had good things to say about Jennings t that's the way it goes. I would like to see a trade for Antonio Pipkin to give us a QB to groom. Fajardo is a temporary fit. David Watford? Zero opinion based on almost zero playing time.

Been speaking to Cleveland people and Jones is way more than some add-on. He ranks in between the coordinators and head coach, with whom he is also special assistant. According to my peeps, that means $2+ million per no wonder he left.

Riders did not make a big splash in free agency, though Johnson and Leonard are SOLID. I am leery of bringing in too many thirty somethings, though. Arceneaux might be good but we won't know for a while. One thing to note is that with the screwey-big salaries in some places some serious talent will become available.

Would like to see St. John re-signed as I think he hit a higher plateau the final third of the season. Cory Watson? Why when you have Bagg and the Devon Bailey in the wings.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last comment as I wondered the same thing about the timing of Chris Jones annoucing his coaching staff for 2019. If Jones or Reynold's had any inkling about him leaving Saskatchewan why not hold off submitting your coaching staff until the last minute. I noticed several teams did not announce their staff for several weeks after Saskatchewan. I believe Jones resigned shortly after picking his staff. Does anyone know when the deadline is for submitting coaching staff?

Mike Humble said...

#3-the time to find the next Darian Durant was BEFORE releasing the last Darian Durant without a succession plan of any kind.

Jones failed to build a team. He was a bad GM. He basically took 3 years to build his perfect defence at the expense of everything else.

Anonymous said...

Bagg? You had a very interesting comment going until you mentioned Bagg. Time for Bagg to hang it up or find employment elsewhere.


Anonymous said...

Bagg?? Bailey?? In reality you DON'T have them "waiting in the wings". They're free agents, not Rider roster players - & NOBODY has picked them up. So why are we signing Watson instead of Bagg & Bailey? Hint - it's not because they are asking for too much money. Bagg was released, picked up later in the season by this coaching staff in 2018 & never thrown a pass in the 4 games he actually dressed for. So pay him for what? Bailey was on his 3rd team, 2nd go round with Jones. Why do so many Rider fans think that if you put on a Rider uniform you're really good & in high demand

Anonymous said...

Man O Man! When are you and a lot of other ignorant sports writers, CFL Bosses, Managers and Presidents of football going to get it. Zach DID NOT self hurt himself. He like Bridge were just playing Q.B. in the CFL. It's very obvious to still vividly recall Odel Willis use his helmet to concuss Zach and take him out of the game. It was not different then a hockey player two-handing another player to the helmet to take them out of the game. It is not only wrong, a little penalty, it is criminal. Why a prosecutor has not looked at the Z.C. hit by Willis is still beyond me. The Legal talks the talk about player safety but does N O T H I N G! It would only take a couple of prosecutions, lawyer costs, the chance of a criminal record, possible deportation and yes the players would come around.

Take the two Q.B. hits to the head 'out' and the Riders very likely would have been in the G.C.

Willis is a vial person. His behaviour, taking into account that he has concussed Zach twice now is beyond terrible.

This message will fall on deaf ears as a lot of people including you, love 'blood sport" .......

John Knight said...

The brand is on the front of the jersey NOT THE BACK. Buy a "RIDER jersey" AS for grapes jersey, that's enough to make you want to vomit! If not for Orr, he was nothing but a big mouth!

Anonymous said...

They didn't sign just 3 Ottawa all-stars...they signed 10 all stars all together and then signed a very talented Canadian receiver Tevaughn Smith. They will be strong but most of the West will also be.

Football Fan said...

Real mixed bag here Rod:
1. We are NOT in rebuild mode. The whole point of hiring from within was so that we could as much as possible carry on with what we were doing last year. This is essentially the Jones regime without Jones, which is exactly what we should be doing under the circumstances. And let’s not forget that we were the second place team in the league last year behind only Calgary, and Calgary has added no one and lost maybe their top 5 players on defense, Singleton and Thurman to the NFL and Johnson, Davis and Adeleke to other teams as FAs. So as of now we have to be the favourites in the west, but not without some concerns of our own as you point out later.

2. Chris Jones DID NOT roll the dice with an injury-prone QB in 2018. First, he was our best option. No player is perfect and comes without flaws. There are only two true top tier QBs in the league, Reilly and Mitchell, and we had no shot at either one last year. We did this year, but I’m sure losing Jones meant losing Reilly. Last year if you recall many wanted Franklin, but Franklin was a young guy who ended up struggling last year in Toronto. There are no guaranteed solutions. The concerns with Collaros last year were about his play. He’d been healthy for quite a while and I believe his major injury before that was his knee, although he had had a couple of concussions in his career as well. Jones believed that although he had been benched in Hamilton he still had it in him to be a very good QB, and once again he was right. The hit that knocked Collaros out of the playoffs was a clear dirty hit, a head shot that could have knocked any QB out with a concussion, so that one was not the result of being “injury prone”. HOWEVER, the first one was very sketchy – I watched the game and I don’t remember seeing a hit that looked like it could have given him a concussion – and the fact that he ended up with two concussions last year I think IS a major concern. I wasn’t necessarily against signing Jennings this year, but there is something funny going on there. He had a huge 5000 yard year, and then the last two years he’s really struggled. Why? Hervey implied last year that he wasn’t doing the work he needed to be doing, and there have been other rumours of other attitude issues. I don’t know, but I’m guessing that the reason we didn’t make an offer for him is because things that our guys know or believe that are not known to the general public. Ray and Lulay haven't signed with anybody yet, so rather than wait I think we decided to take the bird in the hand. Note that this doesn't prevent us from also signing one of those guys later on.

Anonymous said...

Football Fan, you bleed Green & your bias shows. Good for you. But sometimes you have to take off the Green Goggles. Losing Jones & losing Reilly has no connection to each other. Reilly was NEVER going to Regina. By now you MUST know the Eskimo stars who played for him, other than Jefferson, don't follow him. Jones had no shot. Pretty much anyone in the know had been saying it long before he signed in BC. Not a rebuild I agree but not a 12 win club either. It's nice to take the wins but find another club that does that with 11 TD's from ALL their QB's. The defence tied the 87 Lions record for most TD's, another 12-6 club. Dropped to 8-10 the next year when the D came back to who they were. Does that mean anything? No - any more than 5 wins - 10 - 12 means another bump up. If we drop this year don't blame Dikenson or O'Day. They inherited a club with no offence & that's the biggest reason we had no shot at the big 3. Collaros was only signed for a year. Stop gaps like Lulay & Ray only take time away from a young gun we should be developing. We may not like it but the way out is to start deveoping a guy ourselves.

Anonymous said...

The next Darian Durant, no thank you!
The Saskatchewan Roughriders haven't had a real legitimate quarterback since the playing days of Kent Austin and that's a fact. Kent Austin had it all, leadership, (his leadership something to behold), arm, on field vision, smart intellect along with a always tenacious drive to win! Durant? He of the rolled eyes in selfish blame at his receivers when he threw a ball his usual five yards short into the turf far from being a good quarterback when analyzed unbiased. The professional football assessment by Chris Jones on Darian Durant brings up the word mediocre, It was used to describe Durant's career, and its correct. Riderville aghast their hero found out. In all actuality Darian Durant was less than mediocre when you look at the overall big picture, the full career. Durant was not your prototypycal quarterback. His on field decisions a question mark while lacking leadership at times, sometimes a quiter, mechanic's off, never a consistent rhythm. During Durant's tenure as the starting quarterback,it was always one big up hill battle struggle for the team game to game, that's a fact. Durant proved Chris Jones right win Montreal as a Alouette, proving less than mediocre while playing on a lucrative money contract. Winnipeg Blue Bombers? Everyone knows that story, not a good one as it relates to professional sports. Fact, Saskatchewan bought, purchased a Grey Cup Championship 2013. Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets won that game practically on his own for the Roughriders, not Darian Durant. Darian Durant was mediocre at best, some say less than mediocre. Riders now onto new gm O'Day era, got to find the next legit quarterback in the mold of Kent Austin. Man that Kent could play football.


Anonymous said...

Riders gm O'Day and his head coach Dickenson would be doing the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club and its fanbase a big disservice if they don't give Nick Marshall a legitimate shot, look see at the quarterback position this 2019 season.

Marshall F.

SWC said...

Yeh right Marshall.
DD was only in 4 grey cup games in 7 years.
What about the other 3 years?
Sarcasm off.

Unknown said...

A D that used so much cap room that little was left to build an offence? Those D players want a raise so we weren't going to retain them all anyway. Furthermore to win a cup you must be at least good in all three phases. Summary, yes we are rebuilding, just not a major rebuild.

Whatever your opinion may be the fact is we had a franchise QB when Jones arrived and now we don't. Also not even a realistic prospect on the roster. Three lost years. Thank You Reynolds and BOD.

Anonymous said...

Answer - mediocre at best, less than mediocre majority of a career.

Anonymous said...

Rod your way off base with this column. This is not a rebuild our defence is better then last year and our offence is better then last year. Edmonton is in just as much trouble at the qb position, Harris missed more time with injuries and who is there backup right now. I place thr riders in a battle for 2nd to 3rd. Your going to see a team game this year, and not individuals.

Steve said...

If they want to keep Zack healthy. They need to focus on solid Olineman. Most of the high priced ' Super star' olineman have been signed with high price tags.
However there are a very good Veteran group still svailable that have been thru the wars. Quite a few Cananadians that can soludify the interior & RT. a couple Americans that can play LT.
Grab as many as you can at the bargain prices & create alot of depth.

Steve said...

CFL seasons for teams are always broke down into 3 phases.
6 games at a time.
Injured players that are placed on 6 game IR. Salaries dont count against the cap at all until they come off after 6 games.
During that time players become avaiable along these time lines.
Released players. NFl Future cintract cuts, NFl TC cuts.
6 of 9 teams make the playoffs. Teams like the Riders who may be going thru changes early can stay in the playoff race. & then finish strong. If ya get into the playoffs the best team during playoff times will win

Steve said...

As for the Cup Bid. No way Montreal gets it. Molson Stadium is NOT Cup worthy. Not even close.
Both Sask & Hamilton did there due diligence to build stadiums worthy of a Cup.
Whichever orginization doesnt get the 2020 bid should get the 2021 bid.
& both be announced at the same time.
The MLSE Argos getting a Cup at BMO field before Hamilton was a crime in itself

Anonymous said...

Well, Harris will be in a different animal this year, he won’t be playing weak eastern division teams week after week, edmonton might be in for a surprise of the not so liking.

Randolph Charles said...

Rod correct in your assessment, yes this is a rebuild. The Jones excavating project returned the same result Don Matthews did years ago, when he delivered the team from the depths to spruced up mediocrity. The difference being Jones also alienated a good portion of the fan base.

I sense by year two of the new regime the most popular Rider jersey will be the Jeremy O'Day retro.

Anonymous said...

Some of you guys really need a reality check. So you're happy we got beat to Harris because he "missed more time with injuries"? He ONLY played 18 games. Thankfully we have Collaros who doesn't have that problem. You may not know this but QB's do play well in the West after playing in the East. It depends on what the rest of the team looks like. A little fact checking might help once in a while.

Football Fan said...

Wow, some of these trolls are lame. How many players followed Jones from Edmonton to Sask? A quick review of the stats and I get, Jefferson, Coleman, Eddie Steele, Kacey Rogers, Otha Foster, Kendall Lawrence, Joe McKnight, Greg Morris, Korey Jones, Shamawd Chambers. That’s a quick 10 from just a brief scan, and I know there are more than that.

And, “at least we had a franchise QB when Jones took over”. Lol! We were a 3-15 team and we had a QB who USED to be a franchise QB. But you’re saying those were the good old days for you?

Rod, a number of these are pretty obvious troll posts with statements that are clearly factually untrue, and not even close to being true. They’re not helping the discussion here.

Football Fan said...

4. No, people don’t want to move on from Jones. He restored pride and professionalism to this franchise. His approval rating among fans is sky high. In fact we the fans should dedicate this season to Jones. “Win one for Jones!” This is still almost all Jones’ team and a victory this year would still be Jones’ championship. It will be interesting to see what happens with the attendance this year. If we struggle at all I would be that it will drop off quickly and by a lot. Everyone knows we were on the cusp of greatness, one play away from the Grey Cup two years ago, and probably one dirty hit away from the Grey Cup last year, and we were getting better every year. But now our upper management has done everything it can to pull the rug out from under our feet, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. How do you cheer for a team that operates like that? Bush league, small time, losers, and of course Reynolds is not the only problem. In fact he’s likely just a puppet. The root of the problem is the festering swamp of old cronies around Reynolds, and that circle around the team in the shadows with their own agendas. Until we drain that swamp and start running this team like a professional franchise, for the fans and for the good of the team and not the old cronies, we will NEVER achieve sustained success. Drain the swamp!

5. I would bet that Jones has had NFL offers before. His level of success, of excellence, and the amount of work he put in would have caught the attention of NFL types before this, but I think he liked running his own show here. I think if we’d made a half decent offer to him he would have stayed.

6. Loyalty? I guess it depends on what that question means. The Riders have lost fewer players than most teams. Part of that that because Jones re-signed so many FAs before he left, so we had fewer on the market than most teams. Also, as referenced above, many players want to play for Jones. Probably more than a dozen followed him here from Edmonton. With him going to the NFL and thankfully not another CFL team, and us sticking with the same core people, I think they’re now hoping that the regime that is here now will be a continuation of the last regime as much as possible. And our future success depends on this being true. If this turns out to not be true then I think we will see a mass exodus at the end of this year and next year as contracts run out. Why aren’t players loyal to the team instead of the HC? Look at the way Jones was treated. Is Huff extended on one year contracts? Was Buono? This organization has not shown proper loyalty and respect and it certainly doesn’t deserve any from the players, or frankly the fans. I have no doubt that this is a big part of the reason why Reilly didn’t sign here.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Football Fan got it right.
A comment with unbiased truth.

Scott M

Mike Humble said...

Jones failed.

Anonymous said...

Rider question "2019",

Has there ever been a visable minority sit on the Board of Directors/Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club? If not, why so? many well educated people have walked through the doors of that organization.

Dick R.

Randolph Charles said...

So, "Football Fan" Jones could have brought, as you say, ten or more guys and they were automatically better than the ten that were here already? I doubt it. It had more to do with who was Jones' favourite, if you were on the outside, you were toast. If Darian was given the chance to heal properly, not that he would have been in his prime, but something close, most Rider fans would have taken it. Did he get that chance? Not even close.

As for Ryan Smith, they called him Dressler 2.0 for good reason; fast, great hands, acrobatic. Didn't have a shot, like Dressler, because you had to be six foot two or
taller and from a school south of 36 degrees latitude for Jones to even look at you.

Reynolds is hardly a puppet, it was his call to toss the car keys to Jones. He probably now regrets handing him all that he did at the time.

To close, the team should have hired O'Day as GM in '15. An organization man, knows the ins and outs of running a community team. All he lacked was experience. It would have saved the team three years of Jones' smoke and mirror show. (And a lot of money)

Anonymous said...

Would agree, lots of disappointment in having to settle for Collaros once again. Still begs the question if he gets that one more bad hit, if he'll be done for good. Thus, the Riders are very vulnerable given the odds of Collaros getting another dinger.

No mention being made of Fajardo who they just signed from BC. Admittedly, the way the Lions used him, he's more a short yardage specialist than a legitimate backup so it will be interesting to see what the Riders do. Lots of fans will be disappointed if it is either Bridge or Glenn, though.

Other than at QB, don't think it is all gloom and doom for this team, though. They lost Jefferson but gained Leonard and Johnson. Roosevelt and Arcenault should make for an exciting receiving corps, although with McAdoo still calling the shots, who knows.

As for the Grey Cup, gotta hope the Riders get to host it again. Kinda sad you don't even know the Grey Cup is 'on' in some of those eastern cities.

Anonymous said...

Football Fan. As I've said to Rider fans - don't let facts get in your way. The list you quote that "followed" Jones are Coleman, who was traded to Sk by Hervey. He was a 1st stringer with Edmonton until Jones arrived when he lost the RT position to Batiste. Hervey traded him in 2016 because he didn't need him anymore. Kacy Rodgers, Joe McKnight, Korey Jones, Eddie Steele & Joe McKnight were all cut by the Eskimos. By the way, all of this information is available on the Riders CFL website under transactions. Foster, Lawrence & Chambers were all free agents as was Andrew Jones - the 4 that signed with SK after Jones left. All but Foster lasted a year. The other 3 all signed up again with Edmonton the following year. Chambers got $160 big ones to sign. So, sure 4 signed to be with Jones for 1 year but saying that players who get cut "follow" Jones is a bit rich. Their 1st choice obviously is the team they're currently with & they are only there because that team had better replacements. ln your world then, Charleston Hughes "followed" Jones when in reality he was traded away to Hamilton & picked up by Jones later. Jones has done very welll picking up discards & finding spots for them as well as molding young talent. But these players didn't "follow" him. They were there because the teams they signed up for didn't want them any more. Big difference.

GardenGnome said...

1. Call it what you like, I have to agree with you Rod. If you have an offence that scores 11 TD's over 18 games, one of which was on the 1 yard line courtesy of an Elam interception that fell short, you have to look at a rebuild of the offence, which is a rebuild of the team.
2. The Leader-Post's Vanstone did an excellent breakdown of what those 10 Collaros wins actually stood for. The defence won a bunch for him. If you win a hockey game 10-9, the goalie gets the win but does that mean he was any good?
3. Completely agree with developing a new guy. You have to be realistic & see that this doesn't look like a playoff team. If it is, will Collaros stick around? If any offers come out of the East, he's gone. That's where he wants to be. If he isn't any good, why would we want a Lulay, Ray or Glenn around getting reps that we could give to a young guy? None of them are the long term answer. Unless you think you can win the Cup this year you don't want to be looking at your QB situation next year with the Big 3 locked up on long term deals & your QB situation is Collaros with Ray or Lulay or Glenn aboard & 1 year older. You've just delayed developing a guy by another year.
4. Why would people NOT want to move on from Jones? He jilted the fans, he's GONE. Get over it. He had way too much say over the direction of the team. Taking the Riders' 2017 MOP off offence & moving him to defence says it all pretty clearly about what he thought about offence. Bottom line. Talk all you want about the increase from 5 to 10 to 12 wins but he was 27-27 & was brought here to win a Cup, not ONE playoff game. The Argos don't get an asterisk beside their Grey Cup because the Riders were 3 minutes from supposedly going to the game. The Riders couldn't stop them in the final minutes & that's part of the game, something some fans conveniently ignore. Maybe Collaros could have made those 2 passes to Roosevelt vs Winnipeg whereas Bridge didn't but Bridge moved the ball down the field with his feet, something Collaros doesn't do. Would Collaros have put the Riders in position to score a TD? Give Bridge some credit. There's no asterisk beside the Bombers' final win either. Let's not rewrite history here.
6. Jefferson made it pretty clear in his presser in Winnipeg. Wanted a change.
7. Happy to get back to the brand. Great stuff.
9. I'd be surprised if Hamilton wasn't called. Riders had it in 2013. Wasn't there a big problem with hotel spaces available back then?

Anonymous said...

Well Riley didn’t follow jones to sask. When he left either . 3 years ago

Steve said...

Well one thing I have to say is there is a major shortage of quality pro QBs among the 9 CFL & 32 NFl Teams.
The AAF hasnt shown anything in that front yet imo.
Injuries are a killer for any pro team & QBs.
Its unpredictable.
Some QBs have injuries than bounce back as they get older & more experience.
Other QBs can never shake those injuries.
Some young QBs can come in and get to the top early.
Others become busts.
So i cant be too hard on any pro orginizations. As QBs are the great unknown

Football Fan said...

@ Dick R.
Very interesting question. And if you look back at the history of this franchise, from the time Hopson took over at least, there are some big red flags and some very serious related questions.

Replying to Randolph Charles’s post:
I think the swamp people and their supporters are so stale and compromised at this point that they can’t make a kick of sense anymore. This one claims that the players Jones brought in “had more to do with who was Jones' favourite”. So I guess the fact that we went from 3-15 and last place in the league to 12-6 and second place in the league was just a coincidence? Seriously, who would even try to pull a line like this? One thing’s for sure, he wasn’t thinking about our record or winning at all when that thought floated through his head. He had another agenda.
-Durant was brutal the next year in Montreal. Turned out Jones was right again.
-Dressler was released because he was possibly the most overpaid player in the cap era of the CFL, and he refused to take a pay cut. He signed with Winnipeg for a lot less. Winnipeg made a big offer to Ryan Smith and signed him as a FA, and they probably regretted that because he had less than 500 yards the next year before suddenly retiring. Turns out Jones was right again, and again.
-So you’re saying that Reynolds doesn’t care about winning? That I could believe.
-“Jones' smoke and mirror show”. I could have sworn I saw us rise from 3-15 to 12-6 in the standings over the last three years, but you’re saying that that never happened? It was just smoke and mirrors??

@ Anonymous Eskimos fan
I’ll give you Coleman because he was traded, but you have kindly added another one, Andrew Jones who I had forgotten about, so we’re still at at least 10. The point is not whether they were cut or signed as FAs. They point is that they followed Jones to Sask. They were free to go anywhere, and they followed Jones to Sask, a LARGE number of them. Troll above said that the only player who followed Jones to Sask was Jefferson. No. Some were big stars and some were role players, but they all came to Sask because they wanted to play for Chris Jones. And all the ones we’ve mentioned made the team and contributed in some way. And he also brought in players like Richardson, Mason, and Elam.
We’ve never seen players like this here before. They wanted to come play for him too. And big time NCAA stars like Nick Marshall as well. Traditionally we’ve never landed players like this, but Jones made this the place to be. Talent came in from all over the place, and our record went up and up.

Helix said...

It took 43 comments but I finally agree with one. You are right on the mark Garden Gnome.

Mike Humble said...

Jones failed.

CM said...

Entertaining read but filled with personal bias instead of facts. 1. why is it a rebuild? Jonesy left a 12-6 home playoff team who were short a starting QB in the playoffs. Not a rebuild, and frankly CJ did a great job bringing in players. 2 O'Day can do the job well. That's personal opinion based but there is no factual evidence he can. He's never done it before. I hated the original Messam trade and to me losing your best player Willie Jefferson is bad mgt. 3. As for saying Willie was just looking out for himself the reality is its a hard salary cap league. You got to manoeuvre to keep your best player. Simple. 4 Did not like the Powell signing not because hes not good but because hes a runningback and frankly they should be easy to find. If they signed a Loffler or Chungh then you could explain away not paying Willie to pay a CDN. Losing Willie looks like poor mgt.

Anonymous said...

Football Fan last post, all points dead on! Unbiased truthful opinion.


Football Fan said...

7. "nameless, faceless", another bizarre statement. Three of our Canadian starters are high profile Sask boys, Labatte, Clark, and Evans - when was the last time that happened?. Are they nameless and faceless? And for good measure we’ve got a couple more on the roster in Hus and Picton, so that’s 5 Sask boys on our roster all from a province of just over 1 million. And how about some high profile long time CFL players: Hughes, Roosevelt, Collaros. And how about high profile NCAA players: Nick Marshall and maybe Paul Dawson will be the next one. Maybe they want more high profile ex-NFL players? Clearly Jones didn’t bring in nearly enough of them. The truth is that we’ve never had more high profile players than when Jones was here.

I don’t know the context of your discussion. Maybe the people you were talking to really didn’t know who Labatte, Clark, Evans, Roosevelt, Hughes, Collaros, et al are, but be careful with people who say things like this that clearly don’t make any sense, because fairly often they are covering up their real motives. Here’s a short story about a guy I met who was saying similar things. “Nobody knows who our players are. We have no cornerstone players.” But just moments later he was saying that Jones brings in too many high profile American players! So which is it, not enough or too many? From the context of the discussion it started to become clear that what he really wanted was more white players. He was a racist of some sort, although a seemingly polite one. He liked our receiving corps when it was Getzlaf, Dressler, Ryan Smith and Bagg. He liked it when we had Chick and Foley at DE. Whether or not a player was a local Sask guy didn’t matter to him. He just locked on to the white players. He might have even been a subconscious racist, but how to you say things like that and not understand what you’re saying? I don’t know, but beware because some of this definitely exists out there. We really need some awareness raising around this issue too. This kind of thing is still racism and it’s not ok.

Rod Pedersen said...

These are friends/acquaintances of mine who don’t hide behind screen names like “Football Fan”. Nor do they accuse others of being racist. Sir you’re revealing yourself to be a borderline whack job who I’m considering banning from the site.

Sam Korne said...

Going back to the good ole days.

Another way of saying 9-9 is successful and making the playoffs means contract extensions as long as we all love the coach and GM.

Only in Saskatchewan can getting a home playoff game and a 12-6 record be considered a problem.

Lets go back to being the lovable losers. We aren't ready to be the big bad boys of the west.

Football Fan said...

Rod, have a closer look at what I said. I specifically and deliberately DID NOT say that whoever said that to you was a racist. I said in my very first line that, “I don’t know the context of your discussion.” I later went on to relay a story about a discussion I had with someone who said similar things, and in the context of MY discussion it became clear what this person’s real motives were. And this IS serious stuff that needs to be talked about, because I do not believe that this guy was alone in his beliefs. But, as I noted in my very first line I have no idea what the motives of the people who said this to you were. That said, clearly that statement is factually untrue, totally unture. There are three starters and five Saskatchewanians in total on this team. When was the last time we had three Sask starters? We also have high profile long time CFLers. We have high profile ex-NFLers. We have high profile NCAA players. Jones’ teams were easily the LEAST faceless and nameless teams we’ve had in decades, and maybe ever. So, since you’ve now said that these were friends/acquaintances of yours, from the context of YOUR discussion could you please explain, or better yet you could ask them directly, where they got this impression from? It is surely a strange idea to have and it would be interesting to know where they got it from.

Mike Humble said...

The Riders lost that playoff game. Most of their wins came despite having one of the worst offences this team has seen in decades.

That is not a team built to win a grey cup, and is a problem.

Anonymous said...

I just looked up the 2013 Grey Cup roster. I found sask starters Chris Getzlaf, Dan Clarke,Ben Heenan,Brendan Labatte, Zac Evans ,Neal Hughes and starting at corner that day Paul Woldou. With backups Scott McHenry, Levi Steinhauer and Graig Newman. On the injured list Greame Bell. Oh let's not forget those high profile NCAA and ex NFLers like Vince Young and Trent Richardson. Before you call me a racist let me inform you my hero is George Reed and my favorite all time reciever is Don Narcisse. Thankyou for reading. Warren.

Anonymous said...

Oh I long for the ken Miller days,?//////////////

Steve said...

You forgot
Corey Watman, Ricky Foley, Graig Butler, Rob Bagg, Chris Best, Mike McUlough, Dom Picard, Keith Sholo,Chris Milo, Corey Huckluck

Steve said...

Whether you like or dislike Chris Jones. He was the best of finding top US talent to fill the International part of a roster.
As The NCAA starting raiding Canada for its top HS talent. As well as the NFL began raiding Usports for top Canadian players.
The NFL as well now raid the CFL for top Canadian talent that the US missed the first 2 times around.
The avg lifespan of an NFL player is a short one. So many Canadian players may spend some time in the NFL. But we see soooo many return to the CFL.
As teams try to keep balance with players bouncing back & forth. Uncovering hidden US talent is a part of that balance.

Football Fan said...

So the starters in 2013 year were Getzlaf, Heenan and Labatte, which matches the three this year. Picard was our starting C, and Evans, Hughes and Woldu were backups as well. But yes, there were far more locals in total that year, but numbers that extreme raise an entirely different question. When you have 10+ Saskatchewanians on your roster what’s going on there? That’s over a third of our Canadians, from a province with less than 1/30 of the population of Canada. Obviously we won the cup that year, but how good was our depth? Two years later we were in last place. I like having hometown boys on the team as much as anybody, but you can’t do it to the point where it hurts your team. And you can’t have old boys meddling behind the scene trying to get Johnny’s boy on the team at the expense of the team. You can’t put personal agendas ahead of what’s good for the team. Back to the original point, however. I think everyone everywhere in the football world accepts a bit of hometown favouritism, to a point and as long as it doesn’t hurt the team. I certainly do. But, if someone favours white American players over black American players simply because they are white, then that by definition is racism. If your favourite players are Reed and Narcisse, however, then clearly you are not a racist. This is not rocket science.

Mike Humble said...

Jones put his personal prefence for a cadillac defence ahead of the longer term benefits of building a reasonably balanced team and parlayed that into fulfilling his personal agenda of landing an nfl coaching gig.