If you’re like me you’ve been busy this week watching the triumphs of our Canadian hockey teams, the dominance of our curlers/women bobsledders and the emotional journey of Joannie Rochette… and by that of course I mean definitely not watching women’s figure skating and likely watching something far more manly like ice dancing or 2 man luge. Amid all this Olympic hoopla, it was a busy week in Riderville so let’s get to it… The big news that everyone is talking about is the trade with Hamilton. We acquired Prechae Rodriguez in exchange for Adam Nicholson, a 3rd round draft pick in 2011 and the neg rights to kick returner Chris Williams. I’m somewhat torn on this one. On one hand it’s a typical Taman trade in that we trade a Canadian and a draft pick for an American. That said it’s not like Nicholson is a huge loss and a 3rd round pick is a relatively small price to pay. Now I am in the minority who think that Rodriguez is overrated. Yeah he was the East’s Top Rookie in 2008 but he is a one trick pony… jump ball deep is his only play. However, even with his limited repertoire he is an upgrade over Gerran Walker so he should have a positive impact on our offense. It’s by no means a Tillman-style fleecing of the Cats but all in all I would say it’s a decent trade. In order to facilitate the trade, Jason Clermont was asked to take a pay cut. This is hardly unexpected given Clermont’s reduced role last year. Clermont, being the business minded fellow that is, probably agreed to the pay cut on the condition that the new coaches purchase their houses through him… likely putting him ahead at the end of the day. We also officially re-signed James Patrick and Marcus Adams. To me Patrick is a huge signing. He started the season slow but developed into an impact player down the stretch and into the playoffs (much like Sean Lucas did in 2007). I believe he will continue to improve and be an impact safety (something this team hasn’t had in many years). Closest thing we’ve had was the “impact” of Scott Gordon hitting a lineman on his way to coming nowhere near the QB on a blitz. But along with all the arrivals, there was a major departure. After spending the previous 43 decades the other teams’ most elite play makers like Geroy Simon, Ben Cahoon, Terry Vaughn, hell, I think he's been around so long that he probably even had a few battles with Willie Shakespeare (who by all accounts ran quite the hook and go), Eddie Davis announced his retirement yesterday. While you hate to see a player of Davis’ calibre go, at 37, there’s no denying that he was starting to slow down. His knowledge of the game was second to none but physically you could see that he was starting to lose a step last season. Davis leaves with a legacy as one of the best DBs in Rider history (Barracuda history as well). While his leadership will be missed, with the presence of Lance Frazier and the emergence of Chris McKenzie (not to mention the fact that the rest of our secondary remains in tact), we will be fine. So farewell to Eddie and many thanks for your contributions to the team over the past 9 years. There was also another departure in the CFL that saddened the Rider Prophet. Michael Bishop was released by the Bombers this week (pause for moment of silence). In 2010, Bishop reached hilarious new lows on the football field. From completing only 8 passes with the season on the line, to being so dumb he required the plays to be called via whiteboards, to knocking himself unconscious on his own blocker… the entertainment never seemed to end. Now who will fill my days with hilarious ineptness and repeated failure?
CFL Ins and Outs
In: OL Jason Jimenez (free agent signing)
Out: OL Dan Goodspeed (released)
It came down to math on this one, Jimenez was younger and likely cheaper and Goodspeed had a $90K bonus due on March 1. Plus Bob O’Billivich was the one who originally brought Jimemez to the Lions. Goodspeed was a Taman guy, so you connect the dots. Not that I really want us to sign another OL the wrong side of 30, it’s just the odds of it happening are good.
In: WR Gerran Walker, DL Alex Buzbee, DL Ejiro Kuale, Leon Joe (free agent signing)
Out: QB Stephen Reaves (cut)
Walker may not be the best receiver but he’s still pretty good. He’s fast and has pretty good hands (when he’s not returning kicks) so he should have a positive impact on the Argos offense… the impact would be even greater if the Argos had someone who could actually throw the ball to him. I would like to make an unbiased recommendation that they bring back Michael Bishop.
Out: DB Kelly Malveaux, DB Lamar Herron, DB Bradley Robinson, DL Jerome Haywood, OL Garrick Jones (cut)
Wow, that’s quite the collection of terrible players. I’m shocked that the Esks’ D was as terrible as it was when these were calibre of players they were reduced to fielding.
Out: RB Ian Smart, DB Lavar Glover, DL Nautyn McKay-Loescher (cut) LB JoJuan Armour (retired)
No real surprises here.
In: QB Stephen Jyles, WR DJ Hall (free agent signing) LB Thaine Carter (2009 draft pick signing)
Out: QB Michael Bishop, QB Casey Bramlet (cut)
Again, I can’t put into words the sadness that Michael Bishop’s unemployment is causing me. Hopefully another Indoor Football League team will sign him this year… I’m looking at you Austin Turfcats.