Well after a relatively quiet few weeks, the last few days have been a flurry of activity. This is particularly good news for you the reader as I was getting dangerously close to having to come up with some sort of filler. Problem was ideas were few and far between so the quality would likely have been below even my rock bottom standards. To the news…
For me the biggest news of the week was the announcement that Craig Dickenson had been hired as our Special Teams Coordinator. This news came out of nowhere but was certainly a pleasant surprise. Admittedly replacing Daley with an inanimate carbon rod would have been an improvement. But Dickenson is more than an improvement, he is a monumental leap forward. While in Calgary he fielded some outstanding special teams units. He was a good enough coach to catch the eye of the NFL. He’s young, he’s bright, he’s not just some ”experienced” coach we arbitrarily assume will do good on special teams. This is a coach with a proven track record of success… this is a great signing for the Riders.
The next biggest Rider news was the announcement that Lance Frazier had agreed to a contract extension. Frazier is an elite HB in the CFL and is a veteran presence on what is otherwise a very young secondary (well a young secondary and old man Morgan but I’ve been trying to wipe his 2010 season from my memory)… and Frazier isn’t even that old. With the established Frazier, the emerging James Patrick and quickly developing Chris McKenzie, the interior of our secondary should be extremely solid for the next while. And they will need to be in order to compensate/overcome the failings our cornerbacks.
The team also finally made the Richie Hall hiring official and re-signed Neal Hughes but neither of those is really news by this point.
The team also announced the release of Donovan Alexander... who was promptly scooped up by Eric Tillman. I can only assume this means we are giving up on the whole Canadian corner thing. I'll never really get the whole Donovan Alexander thing. In 2009 we paid a hefty price to acquire him and he started every game. Sure he wasn't an all-star but he held his own. The after a shaky start in 2010 he gets his posterior permanently affixed to the bench. And its not like he was ceding his spot to quality players, our corners were crap. But for whatever reason Alexander never got or earned a second chance. I wonder whose locker he pooped in?
CFL Ins and Outs
In: OL Bart Archdekin (free agent signing)
Archdekin was a centre in college. Justin Glover also played some centre. Nick Hutchins is a centre... anyone else starting to wonder if O'day is thinking about retirement?
In: DB Davis Sanchez (contract extension)
Despite being the ripe old age of 56, Dirty Sanchez has signed a 3 year extension with the Lions. The odds of him actually lasting the length of the are roughly on par with the odds of Charlie Sheen staying clean for an entire taping of Two and a Half Men.
In: WR Romby Bryant, OL Steve Myddelton (contract extension)
Out: OL Rob Lazeo (retired)
Though I have nothing but respect for Laz as a player, I am glad he is finally calling it a career… mainly because this should mercifully bring an end to the great Calgary wall of side boob.
In: K Sandro DeAngelis (restructured contract... for less money)
Hard to believe that people aren't willing to continue to pay you top dollar when you suck at your job.
In: LB Buster Davis, DE Jermaine McGee, RB Remene Alston Jr., QB Paul Smith, WR Reggie Smith (free agent signing)
In: WR Ray Fisher (free agent signing)