Since there hasn’t been much notable going on (and I was running out of quasi-coherent thoughts… it was about to be downgraded to nonsensical ramblings), I thought I would take this opportunity to take a look at the various positions on the Riders and breakdown where we currently stand heading into 2012 and what needs doing. I’ll start today with the offense and do the defense in another post at some point.
Obviously Durant is entrenched in the starter’s role but what is completely up in the air is #2 and #3. Thanks to Ken Miller’s mysterious hatred of Cole Bergquist all we really know about him is that he doesn’t do well when randomly inserted into a game for 2 token plays. Three freakin’ years this guy has been here and that’s all we know!! I personally think he’s got the skill to earn himself the back-up spot but this is purely based on gut instinct and nothing tangible.
What we need to do: Bring in 2 more QBs to compete for the back-up role. At least one should be someone brand new from down south.
What Taman will likely do: Try and convince Kari Jones to come out of retirement.
When you finish with the 2nd worst run game in CFL, obviously you need to do something. Love Wes Cates but much like Joffrey Reynolds, his best before date has passed. Brandon West has promise but I’m not willing to appoint him the unquestioned starter. We need quality competition, not just appointing by default.
What we need to do: Find some new, young, unsung recruits. Guys like Whitaker, Reid and Boyd were nobodies before they got a chance. We need to find our own gem of an RB. However since I know odds of that happening are slim I will throw out 2 names that I would be very interested in: Daniel Porter and Arkee Whitlock.
What Taman will likely do: One of 2 things… 1) Wes Cates. Four More Years!!! 2) Avon Cobourne (you heard it here first).
Now that Ken Miller is gone, they are the oldest part of our team. That is sad. They showed their age terribly at the end of last season. Gauthier is passable but only because he is Canadian. Best should be the only one whose spot is locked up. Parenteau does everything well… but snap (which is fairly important part of the centre’s job). Old man Geno may or may not be back for one more. Goodspeed should be an automatic for being replaced. There’s no way we can’t find a younger mediocre at best import tackle for less money than we are wasting on him.
What we need to do: A minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 of the starters from last year should be changed. I love Geno but guard is the easiest place to insert a young starter and unless Best is going somewhere that’s the most logical place to start. I say let him retire and play politics. I’ve already touched on the need to replace Goodspeed. Also, I would love to see us commit to a young centre (Krausnick-Groh or Hutchins) and let them grow into a long-term anchor (ala O’Day). With Kris Sweet as our OL Coach this is the perfect time to make the switch. We have Groh, Neufeld, Hutchins, Clark, Oldenburg and maybe Brian Heenan… It would be extremely wasteful to not make some use out of at least a couple of them.
What Taman will likely do: 2 words… Status Quo.
Outside of Toronto, I’d say we had one of the weakest set of receivers last year. There was Dressler, Getzlaf and a cameo appearance by Fantuz. Our best passing attacks were when we had 2 impact receivers with Getzlaf serving as a solid #3. Problem is we don’t have that solid #2 impact receiver currently. Fantuz is a crap shoot; Bagg could undoubtedly be that guy but his knee is still unproven; we all thought Koch would be that guy but injury derailed his 2011 season and now we don’t seem in any kind of hurry to re-sign him; Wheelright, Hill, Baker have all shown flashes; I think Freddy Barnes could be something special but so far he’s gotten the Bergquist treatment so we really don’t know.
What we need to do: The free agent market for receivers is slimmer than an anorexic’s waist size so we will have to rely on recruiting (or a trade I suppose). Dead weight like Robinson and Sisco need to be jettisoned (okay Sisco should probably be given at least one more training camp to prove he is not the steaming pile of garbage I think he is). If we can’t re-sign Fantuz, we need another quality non-import option… that means drafting one (such as Shamawd Chambers). We also need to recruit some more import competition for Baker, Wheelright, Hill and Barnes… preferably some of higher quality than Nunn or Fairooz.
What Taman will likely do: Assume that Fantuz will re-sign and Bagg’s knee will be healthy and come up with absolutely no back-up plan reducing us to beg Jason Clermont to un-retire when plans fall through.