Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

From all of us here at Rider Prophet Media... A very Merry Christmas to you all from myself, Man In The Bush, PR Guy and ... well not Media Consultant, He's kinda a prick.

See you in 2011

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Morning Sentimonies: No News

With all the hulabaloo surrounding Christmas there has not suprisingly been next to no CFL. Despite rumours ranging from "the job had been offered to Milanovich" to "The Riders plan to ressurect the corpse of Vince Lombardi", the Riders have not made any decisions on a new coach and are unlikely to until after the holidays.

So other than Travis Lulay briefly being courted by the Dallas Cowboys before deciding to sign a 2 year extension with the BC Lions, there is nothing to talk about.

Should something come up I'll be sure to do a post on it in a not so timely fashion.

NFL Watch

SJ Green – Worked out for Vikings and Eagles

DJ Bolden – Vikings, Steelers and Packers

Phillip Hunt – Vikings, Patriots and Browns

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Men Who Would Be Coach

I’m no longer sure what to expect out of our search for a new head coach. In the days after Miller stepped back it seemed almost a formality that Doug Berry would be the replacement. Then the rumour mill seemed to swing abruptly to Richie Hall being all but hired. But over 2 weeks have gone by and the search continues… and that isn’t really a good sign for either Hall or Berry (and I’m sure it breaks your hearts to hear that).

Brendan Taman has said their shortlist is down to 6 candidates that they are considering. We’ve already discussed Hall, Berry and Marshall. So let’s talk a bit about the other 3.

The first is Corey Chamblain who is currently the DB coach for the Stamps and has been with them for 3 years. Prior to that he was DB coach in Winnipeg, did some work in NFL Europe and was a special teams coach in the NCAA. He’s definitely a candidate out of left field but everyone seems to talk very highly of him. I think he’s an extremely long shot to become HC but his interview may have been more an attempt to lure him to the Riders as a special teams coordinator (please, please, please, please, please) or some other form of assistant.

The second is a familiar name, Bob Wylie who is currently the OL coach for the Denver Broncos. Wylie was our OL coach in 2009 as well as for the Bombers before that and has also served as a TE/OL coach for a few other NFL teams as well as some college experience. He is widely respected as one of the better O-Line coaches out there. While Wylie as head coach would make for an easy visual transition from Miller for the fans (old guy, heavier set, fairly calm and quiet, if he shaved his moustache and wore some designer glasses you’d never notice the difference), it would be a big jump from OL coach to head honcho. We likely won’t know more about Wylie until his Denver Broncos finish embarrassing themselves. I would rank his chances as slightly above Chamblain’s though I wouldn’t mind having him back to coach our O-line.

That last name is the most recent and the one that is generating the most discussion…Als Offensive Coordinator Scott Milanovich. I’ll admit that I was excited when I heard we were actually going to interview him. He is THE name when you talk about coordinators ready to take the next step. Coordinating an offense that appears in 3 straight Grey Cups will tend to elevate your status.

This isn’t Milanovich’s first shot at a HC spot. He was previously strongly considered for the job in Edmonton that ultimately went to Richie Hall and the job in Toronto that ultimately went to Jim Barker. In both cases it was Milanovich’s choice to withdraw from contention. With Edmonton it was because Maccioccia was not going to give him freedom to choose his own assistants (what a genius decision that turned out to be) and with Toronto it was because they offered him peanuts for salary. So that tells us 2 things if we are serious about Milanovich. 1) We gotta pay the guy. I doubt this will be an issue, we have money and the HC of a top team like the Riders should be well compensated. 2) We need to be prepared to part with some or all of our assistants. Taman has stated that the new coach will be given freedom to choose his own staff but I still wonder if the organization is prepared to make a hire that may lead to big changes fresh off a Grey Cup run.

If nothing else I’m glad to see we are putting serious effort into the search for a new HC and exploring a number of options… especially ones that might result in Daley being fired.

One note of caution should we end up hiring Milanovich (who needs a nick name because after typing Miller for 3 years I would find it tough adjusting to a long and complicated name like that): I think we all need to temper our man-crush type infatuation with him. He may be a bright young coach with loads of potential but there is still a great deal of risk should we hire him. Fact is he has never been a head coach so there is no guarantee he will be the second coming of Kent Austin. He might have rookie struggles like LaPolice did last season and he might even fall flat on his face as some rookie coaches have done. Don’t assume that because he comes with a lot of hype that he is flawless.

Hiring a coach is a lot like getting to choose only one present out of a pile of them. We are pretty sure that Richie Hall’s present sucks while we have no idea what Milanovich’s (damn that’s tough to type!) is. We think its good but won’t know for sure until we open it. Given the choice I would rather take the present that you don’t know about over the one you know is likely crap.

Other coaching news from across the league…
- Mike Gibson has been hired as the new RB coach in Calgary. That’s too bad since there were rumours that Mike Kelly might be in consideration. The circus that man brings with him would have given me ample offseason content for my blog.

- The Adam Rita reign of incompetence has finally come to an end as his contract was not renewed and Jim Barker has assumed the GM duties. Which is good for the Argos and the CFL in general but once again bad for this blog as Rita’s boneheaded recruiting decisions provided me a ton of things to mock in this space (really not a great news week for me).

NFL Watch
In addition to the much publicized Andy Fantuz NFL workouts, there are a few other players that have upcoming workouts down south.
- Mark Restilli will work out for the Jets
- Chad Owens is getting interest from numerous teams
- Emmanuel Arceneaux is also reported to be getting some looks

CFL Ins and Outs

Out: QB Kerry Joseph, WR Derick Armstrong, DB Jason Goss, DB Randee Drew, WR Skyler Green
As evidence by the list of above cuts, it’s the offseason for an Eric Tillman led team. That means that anyone the wrong side of 30 or with a salary exceeding $80,000 and no Canadian passport should be very afraid.

Out: DB Shawn Gallant (retired)
Now who will be the designated “don’t screw up the coin toss” guy in Winnipeg?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Morning Sentimonies: The Offseason is Upon Us

I could tell the offseason had officially set in when I went looking for Rider news and the closest thing I found was an article on how much money Fantuz Flakes raised. Yes I’ve been reduced to reading about cereal to get my Rider fix. I wonder how long before I start charting the correlation between the barometric pressure and the Riders’ second down conversion rate?

While news is generally extremely hard to come by until after Christmas, there are still a few noteworthy things that are going on.

One is the news that Andy Fantuz will be working out for a number of NFL teams including the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. After leading the league in receiving this year, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise. I mean, hell, both Dominique Dorsey and Ryan Grice-Mullen managed to get NFL tryouts so it’s not like they set the bar overly high. Now Fantuz didn’t manage to catch on down south last year when he tried, but at that time he had yet to complete a full season as a pro. This year he’s proved that he can go the distance, which is a definite boost to is resume. Despite the fact that Fantuz is a tweener (to slow to be a WR, to small to be a TE), I think that he will generate some offers. But at this stage of his career he needs to see something in the form of a signing bonus before he’ll consider making the jump. Unlike the Jordan Sisco’s of the world (who can be wooed south by nothing more than a plane ticket), Fantuz makes good money in the CFL so he won’t give up the guaranteed money unless he is offered a serious shot. Jason Clermont went through this exact thing a few years back and once he did the math, decided that the CFL was the best choice for him at the time. Hopefully Fantuz has had a chat with Clermont.

As with all Riders auditioning for the NFL, I wish him the best of luck… but selfishly hope he doesn’t make it.

The other story is Riderville is of course the ongoing “search” for a head coach. It is basically down to 3 candidates Doug Berry, Richie Hall, and Greg Marshall. Here’s a quick rundown of what I see as the pros and cons to each candidate

Doug Berry

Pros: Previous HC experience. In just 2 years turned a 5-13 team into one that made it to the Grey Cup.

Cons: One year after almost winning the Grey Cup he had completely lost his locker room and was fired. Seems to be a disconnect between him and Durant

Richie Hall

Pros: He’s a nice guy. Players respect him. One of the more respected defensive minds in the league.

Cons: Was repeatedly passed over for HC jobs (with good reason) and when he finally got one he was fired after 2 disappointing years (highlighted by a losing record and zero success in the playoffs).

Greg Marshall

Pros: Umm… err… He worked here before? Taman likes him?… Seriously I got nothing.

Cons: The fact that he has no pros.

Honestly if you look purely at their resumes, Doug Berry should win in a landslide. The fact that Greg Marshall is even in contention is somewhat puzzling (unless it’s become a new league rule that Marshall has to be passed over for at least one HC opportunity per offseason). As for Richie Hall, I like and respect the guy but if you take the emotional attachment out of the equation, there is simply no football related reason to hire him as HC. Not one… unless you are in the faction that assume that his dreadful experience in Edmonton somehow taught him the skills he needs to magically become a winning head coach all of the sudden. Much like Rich Stubler, he is a guy that will always excel as a coordinator but is not cut out to run the show. He’s Danny Barrett 2.0 so if mediocrity is your goal, Hall is your guy.

I certainly have some concerns about Berry but he is head and shoulders above the other candidates in terms of qualifications (though given Richie Hall’s small stature that may be a poor choice of words). Let’s just say that if this were an alley fight, Berry has shown up with a handgun, Hall came armed with a pointy stick and Marshall brought a whistle so he can call for help.

Here’s a quick rundown of coaching moves on other teams

- As expected, Edmonton hired Kavis Reed as their new head coach. Reports are that Reed will make Rich Stubler his D Coordinator and Marcus Crandell his OC.

- Chris Jones and Dave Dickenson will be staying in Calgary as the DC and newly appointed OC respectively. I never got the obsession with Dave Dickenson as a HC candidate. Two years ago he was getting his head knocked around as a player. I don’t buy into the notion that he is suddenly the 2nd coming of Austin. In time I bet he will develop in a great coach but he’s a little green just yet.

- The Ti-Cats will make Khari Jones their new OC.

- Despite reports to the contrary over the weekend, Marc Trestman will not be taking a job with the University of Miami and will stay with Montreal.

When it looked like Trestman was on his way to the NCAA, it got me thinking about the churn among CFL head coaches. In the past 6 years there have been a minimum of 2 HC vacancies each offseson and a total of 18 openings. That’s pretty amazing for a league with only 8 teams.

CFL Ins and Outs

*** If a team is inking contract extensions before January it is a sign that they are under the salary cap for 2010 and have some extra $ left over.***


In: DL Odell Willis, LB Pierre Luc Labbe (contract extension)


In: LB Juwan Simpson, LB Keon Raymond, DB Brandon Smith (contract extension)


In: OL Jesse Newman, LS Doug McCullough (contract extension), DL Sean Ortiz, DB Doug Goldsby (free agent signings), DL Adam Baboulas (2010 Draft Pick signing), OL Nick Hennessey, DB Daylan Walker, WR Edward Britton, WR Nick Moore (practice roster players whose contract was picked up for 2011)


In: WR Steven Turner (2010 Draft Pick signing) OL Andre Barbour, WR DJ Boldin, QB Matt Grothe, OL Michael Warner (practice roster players whose contract was picked up for 2011)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CFL Free Agents and Option Year Players

The League won’t be releasing the official list of players eligible for free agency in February until sometime in the new year. For some reason there are a few teams that are trying to keep their lists confidential for now.

But since you are likely like me and going through CFL withdrawal, I have done some digging around and come up with a list (that is by no means complete or official) of players who are eligible to become free agents or are entering their options year. That should appease your football appetite for the time being.

Note: The “option year” will soon be a term of the past. Only contracts inked before the new agreement with the Player’s Association was signed will be eligible for the option year as we know it.


Free Agents: DB Lance Frazier, DL Kitwana Jones, DB Chris McKenzie, LB Sean Lucas, OL Wayne Smith, OL Gene Makowsky, FB Neal Hughes, OL Jeremy O’Day, LB Mike McCullough, OL Joel Bell, DB Daniel Francis, LB Kye Stewart

Option year: LB Jerrell Freeman, DB Omarr Morgan, RB Wes Cates, RB Hugh Charles, LB Tad Kornegay, SB Jason Clermont, SB Weston Dressler, SB Andy Fantuz, DT Keith Shologan, DT Marcus Adams


Free Agents: WR Kelly Campbell, DL Walter Curry, WR Skyler Green, DB Jason Nugent, LB Tim St. Pierre, DB Chris Thompson, K Justin Medlock

Option Year: Ricky Ray


Free Agents: QB Jarious Jackson, DB Tad Crawford

Option Year: DB David Hyland, Emmanuel Acreneaux


Free Agents: OL Ben Archibald, DB Brandon Browner, DB Dwight Anderson, WR Romby Bryant, FB Rob Cote, S Wes Lysack, LB Keon Raymond, DL Tom Johnson, DL Tearrius George, DL DeVone Claybrooks, LS Randy Chevrier, WR Ryan Thelwell, DB Milton Collins


Free Agents: QB Anthony Calvillo, RB Avon Cobournem WR SJ Green, WR Andrew Hawkins, WR Danny Desriveaux, LB Chip Cox, DL Anwar Stewart, DB Jerald Brown, DL JP Bekasiak, K Damon Duval, QB Chris Leak, LS Martin Bedard, DL Shawn Mayne, KR Larry Taylor, WR Ben Cahoon

Option Year: DL Jermaine McElveen, QB Adrian McPherson


Free Agents: DB Geoff Tisdale, WR Chris Bauman, OL Alexander Gauthier, OL George Hudson, OL Brian Ramsay, DL Matt Kirk, DL Jermaine Reid, WR Steve Schmidt, WR Adam Nicholson


Free Agents: DB Jonathan Hefney, RB Yvenson Bernard, LB Joe Lobendahn, OL Obby Khan, FB Jon Oosterhuis, DL Dorian Smith, RB Daryl Stephenson, DB Shawn Gallant, DB Keyou Craver

Option Year: Phillip Hunt


Free Agents: WR Bryan Crawford, DL Ronald Flemons, DL Kevin Huntley, DL Eric Taylor, WR Jermaine Copeland, DL Adriano Belli, OL Shannon Boatmen, WR Chad Rempel, OL Jeff Keeping, DB Lin-J Shell

Option Year: Chad Owens

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fourth Annual Rider Prophet Awards

Christmas may be 2 weeks away but I will be starting the season of giving off early by handing out my largely uncoveted Rider Prophet Awards a salute to the hilarious highs and mind-numbing lows of the previous CFL season.

This being our 4th, we are pleased to offer awards winners our most lucrative prize package to ever (not that that’s saying much). Winners will receive an official Rider Prophet shirt of their choosing as well as one night with Man in the Bush, no questions asked.

Best Player Name
This season, my nod for best player name goes to BC rookie Solomon Elimimian. Elimimian’s awesome name was made even better by the fact that almost nobody in the media could pronounce it properly. At first when he was a back-up player this wasn’t a big deal as his name was uttered with about the same frequency as “And the Blue Bombers win!” However it wasn’t long before Elimimian’s onfield play placed him in the spotlight and people were forced to repeatedly try and say his name… and repeatedly fail.

Previous winners: Craphonso Thorpe. Charleston Hughes, Chijioke Onyenegecha

Quote of the Year
At the start of the year this year’s winner wasn’t even playing football, he was serving drinks in California. But thanks to the inexplicable collapse of Louie Sakoda we were introduced to one of the greatest Rider characters of all time… Eddie Johnson.

Blessed with one of the finest moustaches seen in Riderville since Ray Elgaard and a leg that could send a punt almost into orbit, Johnson quickly won over the fan base. But when a microphone was put in front of him Johnson transformed from a well-liked punter into a super star.

There are too many great quotes to pick just one but here’s a sampling of his greatest interview this year… bear in mind that he spent the entire interview combing his moustache.

When asked about how he ended up in Sasakatchewan…
Yeah Craigslist. You can find anything you want on there, pretty much. I put it in the classifieds, and actually the personals too. It said “Punter for hire. With ‘stache. Willing to travel. Willing to travel light. Single. No one will be mad if he leaves the state.”

When asked about the difficulty of punting in cold weather…
Tell me about it. It doesn’t travel as far, that’s for sure. Actually what I like to do is when I have the ball in my hands I give it a little... give it a little ‘stache. Ball gets scared. Ball travels farther. That’s usually how it works.

Here's hoping Eddie Johnson stays in Saskatchewan for years to come

Previous Winner: Jason Clermont, Mike Abou-Mechrek x 2

Play of the Year
Hands down the play of the year goes to Ron Flemons for treating us to this beauty…

Botched Call of the Year
It was hardly a banner year for officiating in the CFL so there were many candidates for this award this. While this year’s winner didn’t have a huge impact on the outcome of a game (unlike some other botched calls), it gets the nod based purely on how ridiculous it is that the call was botched.

The convert is generally regarded as the easiest play in football. It’s pretty much automatic. That’s why it was such a surprise to see Argo kicker Grant Shaw miss a convert attempt… at least that was the ruling on the field.

A closer look at the replay showed the ball clearly went through the uprights and should have counted. I have no idea what the refs were looking at when they called it a miss. For managing to screw up a call on the easiest play in pro-football, this call gets placed above all others in 2010.

The Commercial I Didn’t Get Sick Of Seeing Even Though TSN Made Me Watch It 54,297 Times Award

Unfortunately it was once again slim pickings for this award. Wendy’s and Tim Hortons continue to inundate us with their craptastic commercials that honestly make me less likely to buy their products (advertising money well spent).

Fortunately, as with every year, there were a couple commercials that renewed my waning faith in advertisers. Honourable mention goes to Egg Management Fee but hands down this year’s award goes to Old Spice for treating us to this…

And following up with this one and even letting Ray Lewis in on the fun.

Fans Choice Douche-Bag of the Year
You the fans have spoken and with an overwhelming 52% of the vote, have chosen Dwight Anderson as your Douche Bag of The Year. He’s obnoxious, loud mouthed and barely tolerable at the best of times. One of his shinning moments this season came here at Mosaic Stadium when a Stampeder coach had to run onto the field and drag Anderson off because he was celebrating a turnover and didn't notice that Calgary was trying to get a play in before Miller could challenge.

Previous winners: Mike Kelly, Jason Jimenez, Rob Murphy

Most Insulted Sports Figure
With perennial winner Michael Bishop being absent from the CFL this year, this category was wide open. Though admittedly just because Bishop wasn’t in the CFL it didn’t stop me from taking a shot at him from time to time.

It was in February that the Riders announced the Riders announced that Jim Daley had been hired as their Special Teams Coordinator. At the time, I was less than impressed because Jim Daley is a perennial failure when it comes to coaching. I knew that with Daley running the show our special teams would be far from the best… however I underestimated the embarrassing lows that he was capable of taking our special teams.

Not one week went by where there wasn’t some monumental screw up on special teams, whether it be repeatedly letting defenders through to block our kicks (one of which cost us Luca Congi), employing kick returners who had no clue how to actually catch a ball, allowing big returns for TD, failing to defending fake punts (even though a blind guy in the nose bleeds saw it coming a mile away) or his revolutionary kick return scheme that involved absolutely no blocking… in fact I’m not sure why we even bothered having the other 11 players on the field because they clearly didn’t do anything.

For all the reasons listed above Daley became the name I cursed and insulted above all others.

Previous winners: Michael Bishop x 2, Marcel Bellefeuille

Monday, December 6, 2010

Official 2010 Prophecies Revisited

The 2010 season has come to a close so let’s take our annual look back at how accurate my pre-season prophecies were. As usual I will use a scoring system that is completely arbitrary and only loosely based in anything factual.

Our offense will be powerful under Miller and Berry
Our passing attack will be downright scary.
Fantuz, Dressler and Bagg, that’s tough to defend
Oh and don’t forget Getzlaf and Prechae my friend
Top passing attack…Other than the fact that I’d prefer to forget Prechae... 1 point

As for how well I think we will run the ball,
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all
Our run game was an afterthought… 1 point.

Cates will block well and catch the odd pass
But the 1000 yd mark he will not surpass
He did block well and did catch the odd pass. As for the 100 yd thing, honestly who saw that coming?… 0.5 points

Through the air is where our games will be won
Durant’s reign as an all-star is far from done
Our games we’re won through the air, but Durant failed to repeat his all-star status… 0.5 points.

Andy will stay healthy and many TDs record
On his way to a deserved Top Canadian award.
He finally played a full 18 and was not only the Top Canadian but also the top receiver in the league… 1 point.

On defense there is worry that pressure we will lack
With no Baggs or Chick how will we get a sack?
While our sack totals will likely not match last year’s pace
Mullinder and Hawkins will still get in the QB’s face
Sack totals were down but Hawkins and Mullinder weren’t exactly all-stars… 0.5 points.

Etch will get pressure no matter what he has to do
With schemes that might make you think he’s been sniffing glue
I think we can all agree on the 2nd line… 1 point.

A veteran LB in the middle should help stop the run
With Tad and Sean flying around, to watch will be fun
Well it looked good in theory, but our run defense was far from fun to watch… 0 points.

Our secondary will remain strong despite losing Eddie
Omarr and Lance will keep this unit steady
The unit was fairly steady, though that was at times in spite of Omarr… 0.5 points

And watch for Patrick this year to breakout
Best safety in the West, without a doubt.
Nailed it! Not only the best in the West but easily the best in the league… 1 point

We will start the season strong, like men on a mission
Getting an early leg up on the competition
Started 3-0… 1 point

We will be well on our way in our Grey Cup pursuit
And fans will start planning the parade route
Pretty sure that did happen… 1 point.

But it won’t last forever and we will start to struggle
I wish something rhymed here better than juggle
Struggles came late in the season but they were mighty… 1 point.

Come Labour Day we will be in a tight race for first
With a couple key injuries that need to be nursed.
We still had a shot at 1st at Labour Day, though there weren’t many key injuries… 0.5 points

For the Bombers, Stephen Jyles into action will be thrust
Because Buck Pierce will have already been concussed.
Replace “concussed” with “dislocated elbow” and I’m bang on… 1 point

Jyles will struggle, shocking as that may seem
In the 2 game series we will reign supreme
Swing and a miss, we won the first but were thoroughly embarrassed in the rematch… 0 points.

Other than a couple bumps we will play great down the stretch
Our D will be firing on all cylinders under the guidance of Etch
Strike 2. We played like ass down the stretch and our D was far from firing on all cylinders… 0 points

Our late season momentum we will maintain
A 12-6 record, first place yet again!!
I’m trying to find a way to award myself partial points here but am coming up blank… 0 points.

West Final at Mosaic for the second year in a row
Against Richie Hall and the Esks in the prairie snow
The only part of that statement that was correct was that a playoff game did take place at Mosaic in the prairie snow… 0 points.

We will fall behind early and things will look bleak
But pull even late on a QB sneak
Then just as time seems to be running out
Fantuz will win the game on a nice corner route.
If you replace Fantuz with Clermont and corner route with slant its pretty close… 0.5 points.

Then a convoy of green will be headed west
For a 2nd chance to prove that we are the best
Correct… 1 point

This time around there will be no mistake
In a sip from Lord Grey’s mug will the Riders partake.
Grey Cup Champs in 2010
There will be much rejoicing across the prairies again
Well that last one was unfortunately just plain wrong… 0 points

So you’ll hear me exclaim as I dash into the night
Go Riders Go, Let’s hope I’m more than 67% right.
Admittedly my average took a hit this year as even with the very questionable arbitrary half points I awarded myself I sill fell short of my standard 67%... 0 points

So this year I managed 12 points out of a possible 22 for a 55% accuracy rate. I’d offer up some sort or explanation or apology but let’s be honest… if you still expect accuracy out of my after all these years, you are obviously very delusional.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Ken Miller Steps Down

Yesterday the career of one of the premiere coaches in Roughrider history came to an end as Ken Miller announced he was stepping down from Head Coaching duties (though he will stay on as VP of Football Operations). It hardly comes as a surprise as Miller has been embracing the pro football grind while most people his age are drinking prune juice, watching Matlock, considering the use of adult diapers and talking endlessly about what is wrong with kids these days (though that may be a bad comparison since other than the prune juice I pretty much just described me). At the ripe old age of 69, Miller is probably long overdue to step away from the sidelines.

Though I’m not surprised by his decision, I am disappointed. It sucks to lose a coach of Miller’s calibre. While he may not enjoy the “rock star” status that names like Austin, Hufnagel and Trestman do, his resume places him in some pretty elite company.

Here a list of his accomplishments that is by no means exhaustive:

- He was the offensive coordinator for the Riders in 2007 when they won the Grey Cup.

- Under his guidance Kerry Joseph was named MOP, Weston Dressler was named Most Outstanding Rookie, John Chick was named Defensive Player of the Year and Andy Fantuz was named Most Outstanding Canadian. Awards that hadn’t been seen in Saskatchewan for decades.

- He led us to back to back Grey Cup appearances. Something that no Rider coach had done in over 40 years.

- In his 3 season as Rider head coach they never finished lower than 2nd place and never won less than 10 games. This includes 2008 when all his best players broke their legs and he had to win games with Michael Bishop under centre. This includes 2009 when the season was overshadowed by our GM being charged with sexual assault. And this includes the 2010 season which followed the most heart wrenching Grey Cup loss ever and included the departure of 4 elite defensive starters. It was never easy for Miller but he always delivered results regardless of the obstacles in his way.

The only thing missing from Miller’s resume was a Grey Cup ring as a head coach… though he was within a hair of it twice.Bottom line is, he was a great coach and he will be missed.

This coaching carousel is nothing new to the Riders. In fact its been a long time since we’ve had even remotely the same coaching staff in consecutive seasons. In 2007 after finally discovering a coach that could lead us to the Grey Cup he left for the NCAA. In 2009, after finding a coaching staff that could once again get us to the Cup, our offensive coordinator, special teams coordinator and QB coach to another team. And now after once again getting to the big show our head coach retires. My kingdom for some consistency.

But as Eric Tillman once said that’s the risk you run when you employ good people. The last time we had consistency was between 2000 and 2006 and the only reason we had consistency is because our coaches weren’t good enough to be coveted by other teams. Given the choice I guess employing a carousel of good coaches is the preferred option.

The Riders have said they will do "a complete search" for a new head coach and I'm sure they will go through the motions for appearance sakes but realistically that's all it will be... going through the motions. If you honestly believe that we won't be hiring internally you are somewhat delusional.

A new head coach will want to hire his own assistants and that means turfing our existing staff. So basically it comes down to either promoting Doug Berry or parting ways with him. And if you really think Brendan Taman is going let Doug Berry go, you are sadly mistaken.

While I have some concerns over Berry's temper, how he lost the last lockeroom he was in charge of and his insistence on trying to make Durant a pocket passer the fact remains he's the most qualified (unless of course you'd prefer we give Etch or Daley another chance at head coaching). He's got head coaching experience and took a team to the Grey Cup.

So as we say goodbye to someone who is bound for the Plaza of Honour, you have 2 months to get used to the idea of Doug Berry running the show.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Time To Vote

The annual Rider Prophet Awards are just around the corner. That means its time to cast your vote for the Fans' Choice Douche Bag of the Year.

Here are this year's nominees:

Ricky Foley - Nominated for publicly announcing he was going to re-sign with BC only to change his mind at the last minute and sign with Toronto. As a bonus act of douche baggery he later publicly stated his displeasure with how Toronto was using him, adding that he preferred how the Lions used him.

Avon Cobourne - Nominated for questioning the fact that Andy Fantuz was named Most Outstanding Canadian, saying that unlike Fantuz, Stala had a catch in every game... conveniently ignoring the fact that unlike Stala, Fantuz led the league in receiving.

Jason Jimenez (two-time nominee) - Nominated for the same thing he was when he won this award in 2007... attempting to seriously injure an opponent with an unnecessary and dangerous cut block behind the play and showing zero remorse for it.

** The only fun thing about this one was watching the same BC players and media who defended him in 2007, vilify him this time around.

Dwight Anderson - Nominated for... well just for being himself.