While you’re busy filling out your March Madness brackets, here’s an update on what’s been happening with the Roughriders.
The Riders have signed 6 defensive players:
- AJ Raebel (DE)
- David Patterson (DT)
- Chris McKenzie (DB)
- Jerell Freeman (LB)
- Brady Brownie (DB)
- Michael Stadnyk (DE)
A few things to note about this group. McKenzie recorded the 6th fastest 40 yard dash in NFL Combine history at 4.32 and has been clocked as low as 4.26. That’s some serious speed. Brownie was a 5th round pick by BC in last year’s Canadian draft. We drafted Stadnyk last year in the 2nd round after trading our 1st rounder this year to BC. He’s very similar in build and style as Jon Chick, he also happens to be a Regina native.
I don’t really expect more than 2 of these names to be around long enough to become noteworthy but it’s reassuring that we are at least bringing some solid competition to camp. I’m especially happy about brining in some new guys to compete on the D-line because last year our D-line was about as intimidating as basket full of bunnies and as effective as a March Madness system of picking teams based on who has the coolest name (which is incidentally the system I’ve used unsuccessfully for a number of years now).
Also, Bob Wylie was officially introduced as our new O-line coach. I’ve actually been expecting this announcement for 3 months now, as it was reported back in January that Wylie would join the Riders. Not sure why it took so long for this to become official… either way this is a great signing. Wylie will be a valuable addition to our staff.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: LB Walter Spencer (re-signed), LB Jon Abbate (free agent signing)
Usually the term “career special teamer” is a negative label for a player to have but not for Spencer. He’s a guy who legitimately excels on special teams… and appears to have no discernable skills in any other facet of the game.
In: Doug Brown, Brandon Labatte (contract extensions), Jon Oosterhuis (re-signed), DB Marlon Fair, DB Aric Williams (free agent signing)
Out: Kevin Glenn (cut)
Losing out on the bidding war for Jon Oosterhuis (alleged to be in the tens of dollars) is a tough pill to swallow and significantly hinders our Grey Cup aspirations. Truth be told, I would be willing to overlook Oosterhuis’ marginal playing abilities to see him in Green and White if for no other reason that to get to say his name regularly.
As for Glenn, Mike Kelly sure looks like an idiot now. After going on record as saying he intended to pay Glenn’s bonus, everyone laughed at him (especially Bob Obillovich) because they were sure he was full of crap. Turns out we were all right and Kelly did cut Glenn rather than pay the bonus he would have been due. Shocking I know. About the only good thing here for Kelly is that he’s working in Winnipeg… he’ll fit in perfectly with the other idiots (also known as Manitobans). Only thing is Kelly can’t blame inbreeding.
In: Nautyn McKay-Loescher, DB Calvin Bannister (free agent signing), O’Neil Wilson (contract extension)
Just a few shorts years ago, BC boasted one of the best groups of Canadian receivers in recent memory with Clermont, Jackson and Thelwell. Today Jackson is still around but instead of Clermont and Thelwell, their next best option is O’Neil Wilson… I guess even the BC Lions aren’t immune to the recession.
In: Jason Maas (contract extension), QB Juan Joseph (free agent signing)
Don’t expect to hear much more about Juan Joseph. Edmonton is a tough place for a QB prospect. Not only will he have to live in the shadows of Ricky Ray’s immense talent, he will also have to dwell in the shadows created by Maas’ giant ears.
In: WR Abraham Morlu, WR Jeron Harvey, WR Cleannord Saintil, DL Clifford Dukes, DL Ronald Jones, DB Matt Black (free agent signing)
For those of you who don’t remember the name Abraham Morlu, he was a receiver brought into camp by Winnipeg last year. But not just any receiver… Morlu is a Liberian sprinter who once competed in the Olympics. Seriously, how many teams can boast that an Olympian is on their roster? An Olympian who’s football experience amounts to a brief high school career and a few weeks at Blue Bomber training camp prior to being cut… but an Olympian nonetheless. I highly doubt Morlu will amount to anything. If being a talented in one area of life automatically translated into success in another, OJ Simpson would be tearing up the NASCAR circuit as we speak.
PS – what kind of name is Cleannord anyway?