It’s been quieter than a phone call with Helen Keller lately so you’ll have to make due with another round of Random Quasi-Coherent Thoughts.
- Though it is a widely known fact that Richie Hall will become our Defensive Coordinator, it can’t be made official until he sorts out some contractual things with Edmonton. I have no idea why this is taking so long as they have been working on this for the better part of January. At this rate, Richie will have to wear a black bag on his head and call himself Mr. X for the first few games of the season.
- It’s been confirmed that Bill McDermott will be joining our coaching staff as our RB coach. McDermott will help will the “old guy” quota which took a hit when Ken Miller stepped down. He has been OL Coach for a variety of CFL teams as well as at various other levels.
- McDermott was named RB coach as opposed to OL coach because the Riders were trying to convince Bob Wylie to come back here to his old job. That appears to not be in the cards as Wylie is set to become the OL coach for the Oakland Raiders.
- A lot of people are excited about how “experienced” our coaching staff is going to be. Why? Experience is about as a predictor of success as potato chip preference. For example: the most experienced Special Teams coach last year was Jim Daley. The least experienced… Mike O’Shea. All that “experience” sure did a lot of good for our team. Experience is only useful when its successful experience not just many many years of failure.
- Andy Fantuz has refuted reports that he has signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Reading between the lines, they have made him an offer but he just hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet. He has until Feb 15th to make a decision. So all we have to do his hire someone to pull up in a van, knock him out with chloroform, carry him off in a burlap sack, chain him up in an unspecified basement and hold him there for the next 16 days. It may seem a bit extreme but it’s for his own good and someday he may even come to appreciate the move… you know, once the legal proceedings have ran their course.
- At this point I doubt money is the issue with Fantuz. He made good money here plus supplemented that with cereal and insurance ad money. This will likely be his last shot at the NFL so I could see him signing for little or no signing bonus. He just wants a shot. What is a hang-up though is the threat of a lockout. If he signs and there is an NFL lockout, Fantuz won’t be able to play football anywhere but his PS3. It’s easy to sign for nothing when you know that if it doesn’t work out the Riders will be waiting with open arms. It’s a lot tougher when there is a very real possibility you’ll end up with nothing but a lot of time to grow your ridiculous fro back.
- Chad Owens has an offer on the table from the NY Jets and Phillip Hunt is receiving serious attention from the Vikings. They too have yet to sign, likely wrestling with the same concerns as Fantuz.
- Ken Miller has been nominated for Coach of the Year for the 3rd year in a row. He has now been nominated in every year he has been a Head Coach in the CFL, a testament to his abilities and the results he has achieved. Unfortunately he will likely lose for the 3rd time in a row. If Miller had coached a few more years there was a very real possibility that he would have lost the award to every coach in the CFL.
- All signs point to Jim Barker winning the award for his remarkable work turning around the woeful Argonauts. I’m fairly torn on this. On one hand, the fact that he was able to coach a team without a passing attack to a winning record and a playoff victory is an absolutely amazing feat. On the other hand it should be against the selections rules for a coach who was unable to organize an even remotely competent passing attack in an aerial based league to even be considered for the award.
- Anthony Calvillo says his medical procedures went well and he’s signed a 2 year extension with the Als and is ready to begin getting ready for his 62nd season in the CFL. Nothing can stop this guy. His wife getting didn’t stop him. Now him getting cancer doesn’t stop him. Hell not even having to overcome starting his football career as a member of the Las Vegas Posse stopped him. I’m convinced that if he shattered his femur they’d just cast him up and have the O-line carry him out there and operate exclusively out of the shotgun formation.
- Assuming he continues on his current pace Calvillo has a shot at breaking Damon Allen’s record for passing yards this season. And if reaching that milestone doesn’t convince him to finally call it a career, we can safely assume that he is immortal and will still be playing football when our grandchildren start receiving their pensions.
- Adrian McPherson must be the most frustrated guy in the league. “Come to Canada” they say. “Our starter is getting on in years” they say. “Spend a couple years as a backup and you be starting before you know it” They say.
- It’s extremely sad to think that there is only one more football game left until mid-June.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: Keron Williams (contract extension)
Out: OL Sherko Haji-Rasouli, DL Steve Williams (cut)
I wonder if the CFL will edit out that part in their “This is OUR League” commercial that mentions “a league of Haji-Rasoulis” if Sherko doesn’t catch on with another team. Maybe they’ll replace it with “a league of Elimimians”.
In: LB Markeith Knowlton (contract extension)
In: DB Joel Lipinksi (free agent signing)
Just the next chapter in Eric Tillman bringing in whatever recruits of his he can track down that are currently unemployed. Good for Lipinski though he’s a nice guy and I’m sure his experience as a team-mate of the Rider Prophet in the Regina touch league will serve him well as he pursues his pro career.
In: K Justin Palardy, OL Chris Greaves (contract extension)
Palardy certainly had a rollercoaster year. He went from getting cut as Hamilton’s punter and finished the year by winning a placekicking job in Winnipeg created by the continued sucking of Alexis Serna and phantom injuries of Louis Sakoda.
Out: WR Ryan Thelwell (retired)
In: WR Danny Desriveaux (contract extension)