Monday, August 25, 2008

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Now with 50% More Ranting

Riders 10 – Eskimos 27

Who are you and what have you done with my Roughriders?

  • The Riders have one of the top run D’s in the league… the team I watched couldn’t have stopped a senior citizen with a walker from gaining 10 yards a play.
  • The Riders are one of the most disciplined teams in the league… the team I watched took repeated stupid penalties that negated the few decent plays we had.
  • The Riders are the best 4th quarter team in the league… not only did the team I watch not show up in the 4th, they also took the 2nd and 3rd off for good measure.
  • The Riders have one of the smartest GM’s in the league… the team I watched acquired Michael Bishop (which I will get to in minute).
Well I’m not sure what to say about Thursday’s game... Last game the Riders didn’t show up until the 4th quarter. This week evidently they decided to use their one good quarter in the first. After that, things got ugly… like ugly as in if Jason Maas had a kid with a Hamilton Cheerleader ugly.

Basically anyone not named Weston sucked. I was originally going to say anyone not named Weston or Seante but as Media Consultant pointed out, when the defense gives up 225 rushing yards to a team that hasn’t had a decent run game since the Renegades were still around, the DE doesn’t get a free ride.

I’m not sure what made me the angriest… was it the 14 penalties? Was it the continued drops by our receivers? Was it Crandell putting up his worst performance as a Rider? While those things did get my blood boiling it was the play calling then sent me over the edge… we were calling 5 yard outs to Corey Grant while down 17 in the 4th, we were needlessly running Cates at the end of the game risking injury to our top offensive weapon, we put Crandell back in after Jyles got hurt rather than giving Friehauf some garbage time experience. Honestly, did Marcel Bellefeuille sneak his way into the booth?

After 2 straight loses, each in progressively more embarrassing ways, it seems we are back to the drawing board. As Coach Austin said last year “Everything is up for review. Everything”. With that in mind here a few Rider Prophet suggestions for improvement…

  • Quit playing Kitwana at DE. He’s my favourite player but he just can’t play that position. Get him back to being a linebacker where he enjoyed his greatest success.
  • Quit throwing to Palmer. He’s obviously not capable of being the reliable inside threat we need. Throw to Childs instead (who I actually like at slotback… as shocking as that may be to hear coming from me)
  • A Fantuz-style benching is in order for Bowman. On those few occasions he does manage to secure the pass, his YAC yards are awesome. Problem is he can’t seem to catch most of what’s thrown his way. I know we’re short on receivers but this guy needs a wake up call. At this rate, not only will he not make the NFL next year, he may not make the CFL.

This of course brings me to the biggest news from the weekend… the Michael Bishop trade. I’m sure your wondering what the official Prophet opinion on the move is, so here goes… I hate it.

Even I, a staunch Crandell supporter, have to admit that he’s been ineffective for 3 games now and deserved to be benched but at least 50% of the blame has to lie with our receivers who couldn’t catch herpes from the world’s dirtiest prostitute at this point, let alone a football. Was it Crandell’s fault his receivers suck? No. Was it Crandell’s fault we took stupid penalties? With one exception, no. So what exactly will Bishop do that Crandell or Jyles couldn’t have? Would it not make more sense to bring in a receiver?

Admittedly, my opinion of this trade is heavily biased by the fact that I think Michael Bishop is a giant sack of crap and is the most overrated QB next to Casey Printers. Now many do not share my opinion so let me address all you pro-Bishop folks out there with my latest installment of “Addressing Uninformed Opinions" aka "Everyone Is Stupid But Me".

Addressing Uninformed Opinions: Michael Bishop Edition
Uninformed opinion #1: Bishop is a talented QB.
False. Bishop’s career completion % sits under 50% and last season under his guidance the Argos offensive production was the worst in the league. Besides, if Bishop was really as good as some people make him out to be why did the Argos go out and acquire a new starting QB? You didn’t see Winnipeg rushing out to replace Glenn or Calgary relegating Burris to second string.

Uninformed opinion #2: Michael Bishop was 11-1 as a starter last year.
Utterly False. Bishop happened to play in 11 games that his defense won last year. Among starting QBs he posted the worst QB rating, completion % and almost led the league in INTs despite missing roughly 1/3 of the season. Toss in the fact that the Argos led the league in defensive and special teams scoring and you get a pretty good picture of how much Bishop contributed to those wins. Saying Bishop was 11-1 as a starter is about as relevant as saying I was 14-3-1 as a BC Lions spectator.

Uninformed opinion #3: Bishop is the answer to the Riders woes.
False again. Our receivers can’t catch, our playing calling is questionable and our defense is suddenly vulnerable to the run (partly due to being on the field so damn much, but partially due to coverage breakdowns and missed tackles). Will Bishop fix that? No. He couldn't even manage a productive offense despite being blessed with Arland Bruce. What’s he going to do with our receivers? We’re talking about a guy who’s been around for 6 years and never proven he can be a consistent starter. Toronto’s recent success in the post-season should give you a pretty good indication of his ability to lead a team to the top.

Hopefully that clears things up about Bishop. Unfortunately, Tillman and Miller don’t share my opinion and all signs point to Bishop starting on Labour Day. As a Rider fan, all I can do is trust that Tillman knows best. The good news is that since it's a Rider home game, and Labour Day no less, I was going to be drunk anyway. That should help.


Luke said...

First of all, I'm ecstatic to learn that Chaz Friehauf is still on the roster (Go Fightin' Orediggers!) - I thought he had been banished to the land of wind and ghosts.

But on a serious note (which is obviously not my strong suit):

What do you think of management's decision to include Crandell in the process that is deciding his future? They say they're doing it out of respect to him, but what do they do if he says he still wants to start here? I imagine they're asking for his preferred trade destinations but with only 7 options, there is not much wiggle room. And nobody is really looking for a starting QB, are they? Would he give Hamilton a clear upgrade over what they have? Or Winnipeg? Or even B.C.?

And the second part of my question, I think directly relates to management's decision to appease Crandell - How much of an effect do you think this has on the lockeroom? There can't be many people in that room more respected than Crandell. And while I understand the point of view that the players are professionals and it shouldn't matter who is in the room, the truth is that chemistry is very easy to destroy. And sometimes it is as easy as adding one new person into the mix.

Anonymous said...

Right on Proph...Bishop isn't the answer and Crandell wasn't totally to blame for the being O-for-2 the last 2 games.

ON Rider Prider

Anonymous said...

Yes Friehauf was brought back when Durant got hurt. I would like to see him go in. He's so tall that if he just fell forward he could gain 5 yards a play.

As for Crandell, I think his inclusion in the process is nothing more than a choice between 2 plane tickets, one to play out East (as in trade) one is a ticket to Hawaii to sail off into the sunset. It’s pretty obvious that his playing time is done here. The only teams I can see being interested would be maybe Winnipeg and Hamilton (BC is extremely slim odds). I think Crandell may just decide to sit for the rest of the season and contemplate his future.

I think this move will have a profound impact on the locker-room. Durant was almost in tears when he talked about it and even hinted that it would make him think hard about what he does when his contract expires. The Riders are almost like family and for Crandell to be given the boot like this will definitely have an effect. I think it will depend on how Bishop handles himself. If he’s humble it may go a long way to making the transition easier. If he comes in like a hot shot and more importantly if he doesn’t perform well there could be some turmoil. I hope Tillman knows what he’s doing.

reed's black said...

a friehauf is gone again and washington was not released but was called back to his home planet

Anonymous said...

"Washington was called back to his home planet"