Between injury lists, the practice roster… and of course the cuts. The Riders have pared their training camp roster down to the final 46. Overall there was not a lot of drama or surprises coming out of the roster moves.
There were the expected: Rod Harper, Kyle Hill, Hilee Taylor, Ryan Wellman, Anthony Heygood, Thomas Spoletini, Eric Armitage, Rashard Langford, Ramzee Robinson, Brody McKnight and Dede Dorsey (what a waste of a training camp spot).
There was the somewhat surprising: Mick Williams (he got hurt in camp and watched as other DL recruits earned his spot, tough business).
The surprising to some but I called it a while back: Eddie Russ… look when you used to be a starting HB and they move you to corner for training camp it’s a very bad sign. It’s called the Lance Frazier treatment. The irony being that it was Russ who bumped Frazier last year.
And the actually surprising: Jose Valdez… look I’ll admit that bearing my endorsement is historically a curse that should be wished on no one. And I’ll admit that Valdez didn’t exactly dazzle in the preseason. But Heenan as our starting OT with zero depth behind him until Neufeld is healthy is scary. Heenan was not good. All he managed to accomplish in my eyes was make me less hateful of Neufeld. Taman says he is “massaging” the position which I assume means we will soon be trading a low round draft pick to someone or bringing someone else (that or Heenan will be the recipient of some questionable physical contact by the GM). Either way, in the short term that position is a concern.
I was bit surprised that guys like Ferri and Turenne stuck on but I suppose veteran depth isn't a bad thing... especially when you consider that we have so few actual LBs on the roster. Also surprised that both Davis and Coleman made it but I think George's suspension likely played into that decision. As a side note to those of you that forgot why George is suspended, think back to the textbook headbutt he delivered in the WSF. Think Koolaid man busting through a wall but just his head... ok maybe a bad analogy since Koolaid man is kinda all head.
The practice roster is as follows: Peters, Miller, Sumlin, Evans, Vonk, Anthony, Moore, Thompson (Jr), Matechuk, Regimbald. The one thing that jumps off the page for me is the number of Canadian on the PR (more than the min). As someone who has long worried about our Canadian depth I think this is great to see.
Lastly the new season is almost upon us and that means the return of the ever popular Are You Smarter Than a Baby contest. See next post for details. Trust me there is nothing more fun (and eventually humiliating than betting against small children).