In the wake of the retirement of Jeremy O’Day, our offensive line was in danger of becoming something it hasn’t been in many years… young. I mean sure Goodspeed and Geno are still there to fill the old man quotient. But with Chris Best securing one guard spot, Joel Bell manning a tackle spot and us presumably getting younger at centre the youth movement was on.
Well fear not, Taman recognized this alarming downward trend in the age of our line and acted quickly to remedy the situation by signing an old OL to replace O’Day… Alexander Gauthier. Thank goodness! Heaven forbid our O-line actually be capable of using a cell phone instead of a rotary dialer or computer as opposed to the tried and true feather dipped in ink.
All jokes aside, this is actually a decent signing by the Riders. While he his old and likely only a short term solution, the fact remains that a starting calibre, Canadian tackle is a valuable commodity. It will allow us to start 4 Canadians on the O-line which will help alleviate ratio concerns created by the departure of Andy Fantuz and the apparent end of the Canadian corner experiment. It also helps bump up our “former Bomber” quotient which will receive extra importance now that our GM and Head Coach are both of that pedigree.
Sadly this likely spells the end of Joel Bell’s stint as a Rider. He is a free agent and with Gauthier and Goodspeed already under contract the need for Bell has plummeted quicker than Man In the Bush’s pants on a Friday night. Also the fact that he is young enough to be the son of some of the other OLs clearly doesn’t really fit into our mould for “the ideal OL”. This is too bad as I’ve always been a Joel Bell fan. Obviously he has a ways to go before his play will earn him all-start consideration but for a guy that young and that athletically gifted to be a starting tackle so early in his career you have to think that he has a great career ahead of him.
I can only assume that the search for an old starting guard to replace Makowsky next year is well underway.