There’s a serious quarterbacking shortage looming over this league right now and BLM has a responsibility to shake every nickel he can out of ‘Huff’. Never say never, ever. But I’m telling you, don’t expect to see Bo Levi suit up anywhere but right back where he was last year, unless of course he gets that offer down south.
2. AND THE ROUGHRIDERS SHOULD SIGN…: Trevor Harris. Why not? Could be had for a reasonable price and looks like a better option than anyone else seriously available to Saskatchewan.Jonathon Jennings? PLLLEEEEAAASSSEE (don’t sign Jennings)!
3. AND THE ROUGHRIDERS SHOULD RE-SIGN…: Not going to mention Willie Jefferson because that would be too easy so I’ll get to the next best one who I’m sure nobody is thinking about, Canadian Defensive Lineman Eddie Steele. He and Zach Evans in tandem give the Riders some real nice ratio flexibility. Plus Steele played his best ball as the playoffs came near.
4. RIDERS BIGGEST THREAT IN FREE AGENCY: The Toronto Argonauts. Think about it. Much of the free agent class open to leaving are players who John Murphy recruited and signed to play for the Roughriders. ‘Murph’ was last seen doing a bit of work for the Argos. Don’t think Jim Popp and Corey Chamblin aren’t picking Murphy’s brain about how Naaman Roosevelt or Willie Jefferson would look like wearing the double blue. Not to mention the QB-hungry Argos could get to Trevor Harris before the Riders do.
That is, if Jim Popp has finally gotten over his fascination with James Franklin.
5. JASON SHIVERS: Good pick as new Defensive Coordinator. The Chris Jones-way worked, at least on defense. And after the way that unit performed last year, they deserve some say over who takes over. Shivers is the players guy and they’ve earned the right to make that choice.
6. CFLPA FIGHTING BACK: After getting walked on in the last round of CBA bargaining (and countless others), the players union is telling its members to hold off on making public appearances with their teams until further notice. It’s about time the Players Association show some spunk and combativeness. Long overdue.
7. AAFL “SAFETY” A JOKE: Caught the first half of the Saturday night opening of the Alliance of American Football on CBS. The athletes were great, the fans were great and the TV production was great (all just like in the CFL). But all in all, about what I expected. Just a crappier, watered down version of the NFL.
Except the safety promise made by this new league’s mandate for health and wellness. They talked a good game about removing the kickoff and making the game safer, which I even believed until San Diego’s quarterback took a helmet to the chin and clearly had his bell rung with no penalty flag. All this safety talk was bull. How do these guys tote themselves as ‘revolutionizing the game’ while Randy Ambrosie gets crushed for Brandon Bridge taking a helmet to helmet shot the ref couldn’t see?
And don’t get too excited about the TV ratings on week 1 being better than any NBA game that night either. That happened with the USFL and XFL too before they plummeted down to earth. And remember, CFL on TSN broadcasts routinely outdraw Toronto Raptor broadcasts and the Raps play in one of the NBA’s biggest TV markets.
This new league will be gone before the snow melts.
8. WINNIPEG ICE A DUMB IDEA BECAUSE: If I failed to clarify last week, I’ll clarify now. That city is already oversaturated with hockey options from the NHL to the AHL to the MJHL to U-Sport. It’s a great hockey town but to make a major junior franchise viable, you need heavy buy-in from the community. The Jets have already taken that city, turned it upside down and shook every nickel it has onto the floor. The Jets need every dime Winnipeg has just to stay in business and this won’t help them either. This would’ve been a great move like 10 years ago. #whynotminot?
9. OILERS GET TOO MUCH ATTENTION: Hearing all about the Oilers struggles again this year and it wasn’t until I looked at the standings last week that I realized the Calgary Flames have the best record in the Western Conference. Tells me the Flames aren’t getting near the recognition they deserve and once again, the Edmonton Oilers and Connor McDavid are getting far more attention than they’ve earned.
10. ON THE AIR THIS WEEK: More Sports Caging on CKRM Friday and then the Pats-Warriors Saturday night out in Moose Jaw on Access Communications.
(Follow Brendan on Twitter at @brendanhowardmc)