Thursday, March 20, 2008

CFL News - Chicks and Olympians

Good Day Riders fans, Rider Prophet here with your weekly CFL news round-up. I was going to post this yesterday but there were rumours floating around that a Rider trade was in the works so I decided to hold off so I could include that in the post (some may call that being lazy, I prefer to call it being efficient).

Apparently we were trying to work out a deal with Hamilton for the 1st overall pick in the draft but the deal broke off because Hamilton wanted too much in return. This is a clear sign that things are different now that Bob O'Billivich is running the show. Previous GM Eric Desjardins would have given us the pick for 3 tensor bandages and jug of Gatorade.

According to a certain award winning blogger, there was also a rumour that there was a deal in the works with Winnipeg that would have seen us trade Jyles and Crandell for Kevin Glenn. Of course this rumour is about as believable as that Johnny Fairplay guy on Survivor.

Rumours aside, here's what actually happened this week...

In: John Chick (re-signed), Barron Pullum (free agent)
Great news in Riderville, as it was announced that John "Don't Call Me Dixie" Chick had signed a 2 year plus an option extension. Chick is only 24 and is already developing a reputation as a defensive end to be feared by QBs around the league. Word of advice though if you ever meet him in the streets, please address him as John. Apparently he's one of those "don't call me a Chick" Chicks.

In: Jamel Richardson (free agent)
Another former Rider has resurfaced. Richardson tried out (unsuccessfully) for the Dallas Cowboys last season after spending 4 seasons in Saskatchewan. The Als appear to be slowly but surely stockpiling our old receivers. They even thought about pulling off a trade with Hamilton to acquire Jason French and complete the set, but reports indicate the trade talks broke off when Bellefeuille insisted that he couldn't part with his offense's go-to guy.

In: Ian Smart (contract extended)
Some people are wondering why it took so long for BC to extend last year’s Special Teams Player of the Year. Well, as always, I have the answer for you. Apparently Wally Buono was at the local cinema a few weeks back to see I Am Legend and saw a preview for the new Steve Carrell movie, due out in June. He misunderstood though, and thought that "Get Smart" was someone in Hollywood sending him a reminder rather than the film's title. Immediately upon leaving the theatre, Buono returned to his office and launched a complaint against Warner Bros. Not only did he take issue with the fact that they had spied on him and broadcast his player personnel strategy around the world, he also felt that they were guilty of blatant false advertising since I Am Legend wasn't about him at all. I understand the matter is currently tied up in the appeals process.

Out: Scott Coe (released)
The Stamps never cease to amaze me. They continue to try and improve their embarrassing excuse for a defense by releasing the few players they have that were decent. Maybe they needed to free up some more money to invest in the offense, maybe they've just given up completely on trying to play defense or maybe they just got tired of looking at Coe's ridiculous hairdos week in and week out.

With Brian Clark already released, you have to wonder... Why are they releasing all their linebackers? Well here's my theory. Calgary realized late last season that their 3-4 defense wasn't working so they switched to a 4-3 defense and saw a slight improvement. So now they are thinking "hey if a 4-3 defense is better than a 3-4 defense, why stop there?" Look for the Stamps to unveil the revolutionary 6-1 defense in 2008.

In: Ryan Dinwiddie (re-signed), Abraham Morlu (free agent)
I didn't think this Morlu guy was worth mentioning until I read his bio. Turns out this guy represented Liberia in the 2000 Olympics and 2001 World Track and Field Championships as a sprinter. He can run the 40 in 4.1 seconds. Pretty impressive hey? But here's the best part... he hasn't played football since high school. Obviously this is a project player. Though his signing has got other teams thinking...

We already know that soccer players can be converted into kickers, now apparently sprinters can be converted into receivers. With this in mind teams have started scouting other Olympic athletes. Edmonton will be watching the power lifters for a lineman prospect, Montreal is looking for a volleyball player to help block kicks on special teams, Hamilton is keeping an eye on the shot putters for the QB of the future and BC hopes to find an offensive lineman in the heavyweight boxing division.

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