Thursday, April 1, 2010

Riders’ Centennial, Signings and Scouts

By now you’ve learned the drill that I don’t work on statutory holidays (as well as numerous other arbitrarily decided upon days). So I figured I’d better do up a post before shutting ‘er down for the weekend and doing what we Christians do this time of year… celebrate the day we believe Jesus rose from the dead to feast on the flesh of the living and star in the sequel to The Passion of the Christ. Now that I’ve typed enough blasphemy to secure my place in hell let’s see what’s been going on in the CFL.

- The Riders continued filling their roster for training camp adding QB Kent Smith, RB Marcus Thigpen and RB Lavarus Giles. Smith is likely just a 4th arm in training camp but you never who will shine when given a chance. I do like the fact that we are brining some competition in at RB. We need people to push Cates or even take his place if he proves not to be up to par. Thigpen spent some time here last year on the practice roster he’s a quick shifty type while Giles is a big strong power runner. I think Giles is starter material and likely would have stuck in Winnipeg last year had he not been stuck behind Fred Reid and Yvenson Bernard. If nothing else it will make things interesting in camp at a position that was clearly a weakness last year.

- Joe Womack has officially accepted the role of Director of US Scouting which is great news. I think Womack was initially hurt about being passed over for GM (and who can blame him, getting passed over for Taman is a pretty big slap in the face) but after taking some time to think about it he realized that (a) there was not much out there in terms of other offers and (b) the Riders were still an organization he wants o be a part of. Womack is a great scout and now that he can focus solely on scouting it should lead to great prospects coming our way.

- The Riders announced part of the plans to celebrate the team’s centennial year. Part of the celebrations will include the Hill Towers in Regina featuring 2 giant Rider murals. The team will also be getting a special edition loonie released from the Canadian Mint featuring the Rider logo. The Riders would be the first CFL team to get a special edition coin. Word is that Argos approached the Mint about getting a special coin for themselves but the Mint turned them down because putting an Argo logo on any coin would immediately diminish its value by 75%.

- Winnipeg’s new football stadium has got the official go-ahead this week. The government agreed to front $90M to David Aspers (who was supposed to pay for the stadium) to get construction under way ASAP. Message to the Saskatchewan Government: We are falling behind Winnipeg! And falling behind Winnipeg in anything but interfamily marriages is completely unacceptable.

- Adriano Belli has been suspended for the first game of the 2010 season following an incident that occurred back in November before a game against the Als. People are questioning why it took the league so long to publicly announce this suspension. My theory is that Commissioner Cohon just assumed that Belli would appeal the suspension to an arbitrator who would overturn the suspension, as happens with all CFL suspensions, so they just didn’t bother announcing it. The league was just caught off guard when this didn’t happen.

CFL Ins and Outs

… yet again I can’t think of anything relevant or coherent.


In: DL Yahia Dalloul (free agent signing)


Out: LB Shannon James, RB Demetris Summers (released)


In: RB Eric Lee (free agent signing)


In: DL Remond Willis, WR Kenny Strickland, LB Henti Baird, DL Deji Oduwole, DB Jerry-Ralph Jules (free agent signing)

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