Riders 31 – Stamps 33
It was an exciting few days across Riderville this weekend. Friday we were treated to a preseason game which for a change was actually exciting to watch. Then over the weekend we eagerly awaited the easiest part of any coach’s job… the cuts. Some cuts were so obvious that Helen Keller would have seen them coming, some were a surprise (mostly pleasant surprises though).
We’ll start with the game. Here are my random thoughts on the game (though I’ll admit we were playing the Official Rider Prophet Preseason Drinking Game on Friday, so my recollection might not be gospel truth):
- The excitement of being back in our seats and checking out all the new screens was somewhat diminished when we found a random pile of nuts and bolts under our bench. That can’t be good.
- It must have preseason for security as well because later in the game I actually saw one of them escort a guy who was creating a disturbance (and most likely homeless) from the exit back up to his seat. Don’t worry though, I’m sure he got a polite and diplomatic talking to… that will show him
- Other random sight in the stands… a girl with a white skirt on that had a large brown stain on the back that damn sure wasn’t chocolate pudding. We determined she must be Kory Sheets’ #2 fan. I wish I was making this up.
- I guess the general consensus is that Rob Bagg will take over from Clermont as the guy who gets a standing ovation every time he touches the ball even if it’s only for a short gain.
- Holy Sheets!!
- How ugly was Dan Badslow being folded over back on his knee? I hate the guy but I definitely do not hate him enough to wish that upon. Still not sure how he walked off the field.
- I noticed they sent Shomari on a blitz a lot. I hope that is just part of the scheme for the MLB and not just a way to hide the a lack of ability in run stopping/pass coverage.
- You can change the player but apparently the only play we have for anyone wearing #20 is a run up the middle. Go Wes Wynn!
- Love Abraham Kromah!
- Secondary is still a massive concern for me. Coverage was still weak at best. We seemed to completely forget about Nik Lewis on every play. Given that the man is the size of a refrigerator, that’s a problem. Maybe they just assumed he was an O-lineman blocking downfield.
- Drew Wily looks good. I hope he never has to see him in game action but if we do I feel better after watching him this preseason.
- Chris Milo’s got leg. Chris Bodnar don’t… though partial credit for trying to pull a vintage Jamie Boreham on that short punt. Though in the future if you are going to sacrifice your body like that you should at least come up with the ball.
Now let’s move onto the cuts. For me they basically fall into 3 categories:
The Obvious: DL Jay Alford, K Chris Bodnar, LB Kevin Regimbald-Gagne, LB Daniel Sheffield, DL Matthieu Boulay, OL Nick Hutchins, OL Dan Clark, DB Talmadge Jackson, RB DeShawn Wynn, OL Johan Asiata, WR Jock Sanders, DB Karl Paymah, LB Chris Francis, DL David Veikune
The Surprising: DL Kenny Rowe, DB Macho Harris (though he is already back on the practice roster), WR Patrick Brown, LB Devonte Shannon, DB Jalil Johnson, DB Lance Frazier
And the Pleasantly Surprising:
WR Taj Smith - I never understood why the coaches thought the guy was starting material. Thankfully he successfully shoulder blocked a potential go ahead TD and opened the coaches eyes to what I was seeing.
I will throw in Dan Badslow in this category as well. I know he wasn’t technically cut but effectively his playing time is over here which is good enough for me. Honestly I did a celebratory jig upon learning the news. I never thought the coaches had the balls to make this move. I’m not sure if Chris Patrick will be in contention for an all-star designation anytime soon but even if he is mediocre at best he will be an upgrade over Badslow because he is younger and cheaper.
Lastly I’ll comment on the Frazier release. Surprising as the move was you had to know something was up when they moved him to wide-side corner. Simply put, you don’t pay someone Lance Frazier salary to man that spot. Compounding matters was how bad Frazier looked on corner. I’m not sure what happened to him because he has been damn good at HB (a very tough spot to play) ever since he showed up here. I won’t lie I have concerns about Eddie Russ playing HB but it’s hard to argue with the coaches logic on Frazier’s release. He simply needed to be better for what we were paying him.
Still sad to see a stand-up guy like Frazier go. He gave this team many good years and I wish him all the best in his future.
I will say this though… if there was any lingering doubt on whether its Chamblain or Halls’ defense, this seals it. No way Richie either moves Lance to CB or lets him go. Top to bottom this is Chamblain’s team. Now its time for him to prove he knows what he’s doing.
Bring on the regular season!