Friday can’t come soon enough. “Football season” started over a week ago and I still haven’t actually witnessed any football. It’s killing me. I’m getting so desperate that if the Riders were to advertise a one hour session that featured only Ryan Dinwiddie throwing 7 yard outs to Jordan Sisco at Mosaic Stadium… I would be there. The wait is (mercifully) almost over and I will have a full preview on Friday’s pre-season opener on Thursday.
For now let’s talk about what’s been going down at training camp so far. I’ll put a caveat on my commentary. Since camp is in Saskatoon, all I know about what has been going on is based on what other people have written. As someone who has a general distrust of pretty much everyone, it’s not a position I’m particularly happy about but it’s all I’ve got.
In a move that clearly provides positive re-enforcement to my chronic procrastination, by not posting this morning I am able to talk about the big news coming out of camp this morning: reports are that Patrick Neufeld has a broken fibula and will be out 6-8 weeks. This has gotten a lot of people very worried… I am not one of them. I don’t like seeing players get hurt (particularly Canadian ones) but Neufeld is hardly a devastating loss. I have been quite vocal in my dislike of him. He was the weak link on the OL last year so I don’t consider this a massive loss. Might Neufeld be improved after a year more of development? Maybe. But I’m far from convinced. Plus reports are that Rider Prophet Endorsed and heir to the Valdez family coffee fortune, Jose Valdez is looking really good in that spot (though word is Ben Heenan will also get a look). So a loss? Yes. A massive one? No.
The other big news that my procrastination allowed me to comment on is word that in January Kory Sheets was charged with battery domestic violence back in January. I'm still shocked that a cult with spies in every corner of this world did not pick up on the news a long time ago. A rare miss. As for the charge, while I don't condone the behaviour it seems to be a non-issue. He went through a program and the case was dismissed. Anyone at this point who is shocked that all football players aren't angels off the field may be interested my ocean-front property in Arizona.
Some players who by all accounts are doing their best to earn a roster spot are WR Kierre Johnson, DB Ramzee Robinson, LB Brian Peters, P Ricky Schmitt and DB Carlo Thomas. Spots are scarce but they are making a case for themselves.
Some guys who may be on the bubble unless they have a good showing on Friday: Mick Williams (I like him but he's hurt and guys like McElveen are making him replaceable), Tristan Black (he was a notable free agent signing but appears to be doing nothing but special teams work, guys like Hurl, Newman etc.. can already do that, struggling to see where Black fits in on a roster) and my prediction for a surprise cut Eddie Russ (be advised though, this is based on nothing but a gut feeling).