Boy oh boy I’m started to get excited! Training camp has been in full force for over a week and we are but 2 days away from the first preseason game. While we’ll have to settle for getting our first taste of Rider football via the radio as opposed to actually being able to watch the game, I’m still pumped for some actual football. The one nice thing about the radio is that it allows you to imagine your own visual images. For example, I like to imagine that my dream of referees riding trained ostriches has come to fruition.
This will be the first chance to see how highly hyped players such as Dalton Bell, Joe Sykes, Donovan Alexander and Todd Blythe perform in a real game situation. It will also be the first test for the Etch-a-Sketch version 2.0 defense and the new Kavis Reed return game. It will also be our first chance to see Hall, Lloyd, Kitwana and Gordon in green and gold… well assuming Richie continues to blitz Scott Gordon you might not actually see him but he’ll be there in spirit.
Wins and losses aren’t very meaningful in the preseason but that doesn’t mean I won’t get cheer when we score and curse like a sailor when we screw up. I just hope our new guys step up, nobody gets hurt and most importantly I hope that this mysterious mid-week game doesn’t result in me getting fired on Thursday due to overindulgence on gameday.
The big news this past week was of course the Joe McGrath trade. To summarize, McGrath signed with the Riders in February and at the time indicated how excited he was to be coming back to Saskatchewan. A few days into camp he approached Ken Miller saying he had “buyer’s remorse” and for a variety of personal and professional reasons wanted to go back to Edmonton. This is of course a much more positive way to say that McGrath is a whiny baby who realized he wasn’t good enough to be a starter here (thanks in large part to the strong play of Marc Parenteau) and started to pout. He then took a look around the league and decided that the level of competition on the O-line was the weakest back in Edmonton so he asked to be sent back there. Actually Winnipeg is technically the weakest competition on the O-line but they weren’t an option based on the fact that the next first round pick they still have the rights to doesn’t occur for another decade or so.
In the end it was a great trade for the Riders. We offloaded a whiny back-up player who we were going to pay starters money to and got a first round pick and the neg rights to a player out of the deal. When commenting on the trade Coach Miller said that this could leave us with 3 first round picks in next year’s draft. This is further evidence that no one really understands the overly complex trade with Winnipeg involving Adarius Bowman… not even our coach. The deal allows us to swap 1st rounders with Winnipeg not just acquire theirs outright which would leave us with only 2 first rounders. In all likelihood the deal probably went down during Miller’s afternoon nap so it’s hard to fault him for not knowing the full details.
Eric Tillman’s trial has been set for Jan 4, 2010 and scheduled for 2 weeks. Here’s my question… long ago North American businessmen realized they could greatly improve productivity and lower costs by outsourcing things to Asia or Mexico. Why hasn’t anyone tried this same approach with lawyers and the legal process?
Around the CFL…
- In the Blue Bombers’ never ending quest to amass all rejected Rider O-linemen they have picked up Andrae Townsel shortly after we cut him last week. While the Bombers are doing their best to downplay concerns about their line this season, it should raise some pretty red flags when they are interested in a guy that we cut before we even got to see him in a game situation.
- After completely trashing the Brendan Taman style of GM-manship, Mike Kelly is continuing with his spot on impersonation of Taman. In addition to signing rejected players from other teams (as mentioned above) he is also on a mission to trade away any and all draft picks. Most recently he traded a 6th rounder in 2010 to Calgary for punter Mike Renaud.
- Montreal RB Dahrran Diedrick has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman at gun point. As per standard practice, I’m assuming Diedrick will be placed on administrative leave and will be allowed to fulfill his rushing duties from home.