Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sentimonies Of Unspecified Date And Time

As you’ve no doubt figured out by now, the Rider Prophet does not work on statutory holidays (same goes for non-statutory holidays, quasi-holidays and ones that, quite frankly, I completely made up). If our supreme overlords in the legislature have determined that I should abstain from work for a day to celebrate my family, who am I to argue? (Though admittedly I took some liberties and interpreted “celebrate” as “lounge around” and “family” to mean “nobody”).

Anywho there’s lot’s to get you caught up on in terms of player movement and coaching changes so let’s get down to it…

I am by nature a calm individual (except on game day) and rarely get overly pessimistic about offseason departures. Having lived through the past 3 offseasons where big name departures such as Kenton Keith, Kent Austin, Kerry Joseph, Richie Hall and Mo Lloyd have become the norm, the subsequent huge onfield success during the season will tend to reassure you that everything will somehow turn out alright. But even I, the most level headed of people, have my limits.

Losing all your offensive coaching staff and 3 of your biggest impact players on defense is a tough pill to swallow coming off a Grey Cup appearance but we’ve faced similar situations in the past and made out okay. So why is it that I’m starting to worry now? Well under Tillman’s guidance there was always a solid backup plan. Austin leaves… Miller and LaPo move up, Mo and Anton leave… Kornegay and Rey Williams step in.

Admittedly Taman and Miller do have some sort of plan but it seems to revolve around picking up other teams rejects. Need an offensive coaching staff?... Hire Doug Berry and Bob Dyce (who both couldn’t cut it in Winnipeg) and Jim Daley (who has only had the term “successful” used in the same sentence as his name when his mother successfully gave birth to him). Need to replace 3 of your best defenders?… sign Kelly Bates. The way things are going the Riders’ next move might be to replace all their company vehicles with Toyotas (I here you can get a great deal on used newer models these days).

About the only thing keeping me going at this point is my hope that Ken Miller knows what he’s doing. He’s earned my trust over the past 3 seasons and now that trust is being put the test… and if things keep going like they are, my liver will be put to the test too.

Almost as concerning as the abrupt decline in the quality of our coaches, is our lack of activity when it comes to re-signing our free agents, or other teams’ free agents, or anybody at all for that matter. You could point to the fact that Andy Fantuz, Stu Foord, Chris Szarka, Jocelyn Frenette and Marc Parenteau have all re-signed as a sign that Taman is at least doing something but let’s be realistic here. The Fantuz contract was negotiated by Tillman so all Taman had to do was manage to fax it to the league (which he managed not to fail at). Foord, Frenette and Szarka were such no brainer/easy signings that they probably would have just written up and signed their own extensions and slid them carefully under Ken Miller’s pillow as he napped. Parenteau is a quality player but given our current depth at OL (and the recent Bates signing) it is devoid of logic from my perspective.

Hopefully the coming days bring better news our way… in the meantime, repeat after me “In Miller we trust. In Miller we trust. In Miller we trust.” (It doesn’t have the same ring as “In Tillman we trust” but I guess it will have to do.

CFL Ins and Outs


In: Andy Fantuz, Stu Foord, Chris Szarka Marc Parenteau, Jocelyn Frenette (contract extensions)

Out: Rey Williams (signed with Pittsburgh Steelers)

Well that probably permanently puts to bed Andy’s NFL aspirations. If he couldn’t get an acceptable offer (or any offer for that matter) in a year when NFL handing out contracts to anybody to who registered a solitary CFL stat, he probably never will. Too bad for him… great for the Riders.


WR Amarri Jackson (free agent signing)

Out: OL Cedric Gagne-Marcoux (signed with Toronto)
I got nothing.


In: WR Obed Cetoute, WR PK Sam, LB Raymond Fontaine (contract extension) WR Brandon Rideau OL Cedric Gagne-Marcoux, DB Byron Parker (free agent signing)

Out: K Justin Medlock (signed with Washington Redskins)

Last year the Argos offense was minimal at best. Due to their lack of a decent QB they had to rely on Medlock to put up the few points they actually managed to score. Now they still don’t have a viable QB and have lost Medlock… putting their chances of scoring in 2010 roughly on par with the attendees of a Star Trek convention (though in both cases scoring on themselves is very likely).


In: WR Kerry Watkins, FB Kerry Carter, DL Jermaine McElveen (contract extension)

Out: DL Keron Williams (signed with BC)

Als manage to keep 1 of their 2 top free agents and I’m surprised at which one it was. I always thought that Watkins would jump at the chance to leave the Als as he’s never really been happy there. I’m guessing that there wasn’t a huge market for him (Esks and Argos would be about the only interested parties) so given those meagre options it was a good call to stick with the perennially successful Als.


In: DL Keron Williams (free agent signing)

Out: DL Ricky Foley (signed with Seattle Seahawks)

Foley’s departure leaves a huge void on the BC front 4 but the signing of Keron Williams definitely fills that void. Williams is probably the biggest free agent acquisition of the offseason.


Out: DB Byron Parker (signed with Toronto)

I called Parker back to Toronto 2 weeks ago… a fact that is way more impressive when you ignore the fact that at the same time I predicted Parenteau’s and Watkins’ departure from their respective teams.


In: WR Aaron Hargreaves (contract extension)

Out: DL Pat MacDonald (signed with Seattle Seahawks)

Pat MacDonald joins the likes of Dudley Guice on the list of NFL signings that I have never heard of before and wonder what they did to manage an NFL shot.

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