What a great few days this has been! Rookie camp came and went, the veterans and now back on the field, football is in the air. Life is good. Yet I can help but notice this pervasive feeling of uneasiness I have (for once in my life this feeling is not alcohol related). While I’m as excited as anybody about the new Rider season, certain things have been causing me concern.
Main camp opened only yesterday and the Riders appear to be gearing up to attempt to break last year’s record for injuries. We haven’t even played a game yet and already Wayne Smith (our projected starting tackle) is done for the season, Brandon Lynch (projected to be a starting LB) was released after failing his physical due to lingering injuries from breaking his fibula last year, Leron Mitchell (a projected back-up/special team demon) is on the 9-game as he also is not fully healed from last year, Wes Cates (projected league leading rusher) is not fully healed from offseason shoulder surgery and is now doubtful for Game 1 and David McKoy (projected injury list occupant) is… still doing his best Nathan Hoffart impersonation.
If this is a sign of things to come, lord help us when we actually start playing full contact games!
I stopped by rookie camp last week and main camp yesterday and here are some random observations I had:
- Juan Woah-seph has improved by leaps and bounds since day 1 of rookie camp. By no means will he challenge for a starters role but it’s reassuring to see that he’s at least somewhat talented. He’s super skinny though.
- Learn these new names because I have a feeling you will be hearing them throughout the season: Joe Sykes, Chris Jones, Chris McKenzie and Todd Blythe.
- Never have I seen so many white receivers in a CFL camp.
- We should cut Johnny Quinn based solely on the fact that the way he does his hair makes me want to punch him in the face. Ponytails on your forehead are not cool!!
- Young Jonathan St-Pierre wears 2 knee braces, while old man O’Day who he will eventually be replacing wears none. That just doesn’t seem right.
- Seante “Big Te” Williams and Marc Parenteau looked really good yesterday
- My chosen one, Gabe Nyenhuis is still alive.
If early practices are any indication we should have a very solid team across the board this year… now all we have to do is keep them off the injury list.
The Blue Bombers released Ryan “Run out of town by a lefty” Dinwiddie over the weekend and I was preparing to write my final Dinwiddie joke… until I heard the horrible news that the Riders had apparently contacted the creepy eyed QB. While it appears that odds are slim of Dinwiddie being offered a contract, I’m still concerned that there is even a remote chance that I may have to cheer for the man who single handedly made James Johnson famous.
Congratulations to Corey Holmes who has been elected Mayor of Metcalfe, Mississippi. While most of the votes can be attributed to him being an upstanding member of the community and an all-round good guy, what really put him over the top was the popularity of the show Fresh Prince in Mississippi… many people thought they were voting for Carleton.
Lastly… The new host of Riders to the Max has been chosen and in a cruel twist of fate it’s the Rider Prophet’s old nemesis Devin Heroux. If you’ve been with this blog since the beginning you’ll remember Heroux as the guy I came in second to in the MySask blog contest. I bear no resentment to Mr. Heroux however, I mean if history is any indication, 3 months from now the Rider Prophet will have a better and more successful TV show anyway.
Around the CFL…
- Edmonton has placed Adam Braidwood on the 9-game (seems we aren’t the only ones with linger injuries). While this will be a blow to their defense it will be offset by the news that Anthony Malbrough didn’t report to camp (which dramatically improves their secondary).
- Mike Kelly was disciplined by the CFL for conducting a QB school prior to rookie camp. My money is on Kelly to lead the league in fines this year.
- The Toronto Argonauts have added former NFL Rookie of the Year, Vince Young to their negotiation list. While odds are extremely low that Young will end up in the CFL anytime soon, this move does allow the Argos to have first crack at Young 5-10 years down the road when he is completely washed up… which fits perfectly with their recruitment strategy.