Yesterday the Riders made their final cuts and roster moves to get down to the 46 man roster. Well actually they got down to a 47 man roster for some odd reason. I guess we still haven’t learned how to count… too soon? I’m going to assume that the 47th man can be explained by the fact that Dan “Nitro” Clark is still on the roster and I assume he will be relegated to the practice roster as a junior player at some point.
Many cuts were required to get down to the 47 man roster we currently have. While we weren’t able to cut everyone we wanted to, we did cut a lot of people. Here’s how I classify the cuts:
Not Surprising/Painfully Obvious: Taylor Wallace, Aaron Waldie, Brandon Foster, Ryan Elaschuk, Jeremy Gilchrist, Steven Riddick, Brandon Register, Josh Miller, Patrick Neufeld (though we are just sending him back to college, he’ll be back next year) and Aaron Fairooz (though apparently he is still in town, which gets a huge thumbs down from me the guy is a band aid and those rare times he manages to take the field he plays like a wussy)
Lack Of Effort: Willie Evans
Talented But Too Inconsistent: Joe Sykes, Dwayne Eley, Marcus Thigpen
We Liked Your Hustle That’s Why it Was So Hard to Cut You: Joel Lipinski, Mike Stadnyk, Jordan Rempel, Carlo Thomas
Headed For The Practice Roster: Willie Byrd, Cary Koch, Ike Squared, Chirstian Houle, Ladarius Key, Ryan Lucas
We also added Kelly Bates to the 9-game (he must a debilitating paper cut or bout of gas or something) and put Obed Cetoute and Kye Stewart on the 1 game IR. For Stewart I see that as a positive, I thought for sure he’d be 9-gamed so this must mean his he close to being able to get back on the field. As for Cetoute, I just shake my head in disgust. Seems the Riders have an unexplained infatuation with injured Canadian receivers. We put up with years of Hoffart occupying our IR but jettisoned him in ’07 in favour of a promising young David McKoy. McKoy did indeed replace Hoffart… as a permanent fixture on the IR. Then just as McKoy finally gets healthy enough to string together a few games we axe him and make a trade for Cetoute… who low and behold is injured!! At the rate we are going I can foresee us parting ways with Cetoute when Sisco arrives only to discover that Sisco has suddenly developed a debilitating lower body injury that will take at least 2 years to fully heal.
In the end the Riders’ starter are very similar to last year’s team (which is a very good thing) with the following exceptions
- Rodriguez replaces Gerran Walker as import wide-out
- Goodspeed and Bell will man the tackles with Wayne Smith likely being our 6th OL
- Mullinder and Hawkins replace Captain Diabetes and the Pigeon-Toed wonder at DE with Shomari and Kitwana rotating in.
- Chris McKenzie takes over for Eddie Davis
- Dorsey will takeover for Arsmtead on kick return.
Overall it is a pretty impressive roster. Sure there is some uncertainty around our DEs but I’ll wait to see how we do when we unleash the full Etch playbook before getting too concerned. There is no reason to think that we won’t once again be fighting for 1st place in the West... provided Ryan “The Untimely Interception Machine” Dinwiddie isn’t forced into action.
Other notable happening around the CFL on cut down day….
- Montreal placed back up QB Adrian McPhearson on the 9-game and 3rd stringer Chris Leak is suffering from back spasms. That puts them in a very precarious positions should old man Calvillo go down.
- Edmonton cut Jamaica Rector (one of my favourite names), relegated former #1 pick Adam Braidwood on the Practice Roster and placed returner Tristan Jackson on the 9-game. Word is also that Dario Romero and Mo Lloyd are hurt which will hurt their D immensely if those guys aren’t ready to go day 1.
- Hamilton placed Jason Jimenez on the 9-game and cut Zac Carlson. They gave up their 1st round pick this year to get Carlson in last year’s draft and are now left with nothing to show. I guess it could be worse though… they could be stuck with a perennially injured receiver instead.
Lastly, there is something seriously weird going on in Calgary… I mean beyond the normal homo-erotic bobsled weird. This past week 2 more Stampeders announced their retirements (Sam Allen and Matt Sheridan). On its own that wouldn’t that weird. Sheridan showed up to camp as a fat, out of shape tub and it’s not uncommon for young guys like Allen to walk away from football and pursue other opportunities.
But these were the 9th and 10th retirements respectively in Calgary in the past couple months. Allen and Sheridan join John Comiskey, Jesse Newman, Brett Ralph, Marcus Howell, Jeff Pilon, Jim Davis, Osie Ukwuoma and Barrick Neally in retirement. And other than Pilon, Davis and Howell it’s not like these retirements were expected. The rest were fairly young guys (in cases like Newman and Ralph, talented starters) who abruptly and unexpectedly called it quits. Now you could just call this a big coincidence but the fact that there were only 12 retirements in all the other 7 teams combined should raise some eyebrows. People seem to be running out of cowtown in droves so there must be some reason. Maybe it’s the smell of manure that emanates from the stadium from time to time. Or maybe… just maybe there’s something going on in the locker room that people do not like. My personal theory is that now that Burris’ boyfriend Copeland is gone, Hank is on the prowl for a new boyfriend and some of his advances are apparently not being well received by people.