I won’t lie I’m not taking this whole no Riders thing all that well. I mean sure there’s still lots of football left but I don’t really care who wins the Grey Cup now (as long as it’s not the Stamps, oh how I loathe them). I also tried endure the NFL Thursday nighter this week and would quite frankly that could be considered a form of inhumane torture that must contravene some international agreements.
Since I have nothing better to write about I decided to use today’s post to discuss a few final thoughts about the 2012 season that was for the Riders. It’ll mostly be random thoughts (both good and bad)
Laying the foundation – At the end of last year we were bad team that was also old and in disarray. New coaches and new players all of which are young (though to be fair anything would be considered young compared to last year). At least this year there is hope we are heading in the right direction.
O-line – Last year we had a line that was older than the queen and about as useful at blocking. Now we have a younger and better O-line which should only get better with time. We also have one of the better OL coaches in the league. They still need to get a lot better but this should develop into a real area of strength.
Durant – Proved he doesn’t need to run to be an effective QB. Career low INTs, career high completion %. It seems he hasn’t peaked as a QB yet as many like to claim. When you look at what he did with a crappy set of receivers (with the exception of Dressler) just imagine what he could do with a couple more weapons at this disposal.
Kory Sheets – In the past we would have we been happy with a ground game that was remotely relevant. In Sheets we have one that is not only relevant but dangerous as hell. Sheets is ridiculous. How great a season he had really seems to have gone relatively unnoticed by others because he doesn’t have a Canadian passport.
Youth – A much as injecting youth into this team was needed and will pay dividends long term, it hurt us this season. Over half of the guys we played had 2 years in the league or less. I saw rookie mistakes by players and coaches alike. The impact Joe Lobendahn had shows just how in need of a bit more veteran presence this team was. I think this will be a case of short-term pain for long-term gain.
Poor Decisions Out Of Camp – One of the things that I think really hurt us was how many of the guys we committed to during training camp ended up not panning out. Nick Graham, Chris Patrick, Justin Harper, Santana Moss, Efrem Hill, Chris Ellis and Shomari Williams. That is a significant portion of the roster to be wrong about. While some were gambles that didn’t pay off (i.e. Shomari) some were just bad decisions (i.e. Graham and Hill, I mean honestly that couldn’t have even seemed like a good idea at the time). While I realize that all teams go through changes throughout the season but I really think if we would have made better decisions during camp we would have been father ahead during the season.
Too Many Changes Mid Season – This one was a product of the last. Some roster tinkering is good but Chamblin went a bit overboard at the start of the season. Consider this: the Riders made almost as many roster moves over the first 9 games as the Lions as Stamps combined and more roster moves by Labour Day than the Lions did all season. The constant changes led to no consistency in the secondary and gave Durant zero chance to get in a rhythm with his offense. Once we more or less committed to the same set of guys our play improved. Hopefully we can build on that for next year.
I’ll have more later but that’ll do for now.