Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us (warning to any of you last minute shoppers that you might want to get on that) and all across the CFL people are getting in the spirit.

- New Head of Officiating Glen Johnson is getting all his refs Zoomies for Christmas.
- Jim Popp is shipping a crate of QRay bracelets to Anthony Calvillo to try and make him well enough for one more season.
- Mark Cohon has gifted us CFL fans and 8th professional football team (until proven otherwise I refuse to acknowledge the Bombers as a professional football team)
- Jim Hopson is working on bringing in Rider brand Tylenol to help us cope with our Grey Cup hangover
- David Braley is giving Humpty's $20 so they can double the budget for producing their commercials this year

I will be on holidays until the New Year (not going anywhere just using Christmas to justify overt laziness), so from the entire Rider Prophet family have a very Merry Christmas. We will see you in 2014.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Round-Up

The Expansion Draft on Monday kicked off a flurry of activity across the CFL this week. I assume its coincidence that a bunch a free agents were convinced to sign contract extensions these last few days because there is no way a team would consciously delay filing an already agreed to contract to circumvent the expansion draft process right? … Right? Actually Winnipeg was the most blatant offender as their first re-signings were announced very quickly after the expansion draft ended. The CFL was considering fining them but decided against it when they realized that no one wanted to sign the Bombers’ crappy players anyway.

Coaching Moves
Big news was Rich Stubler deciding against Winnipeg where it was strongly rumoured he was heading and opting instead for Calgary. It’s a huge signing by the Stamps and nicely fills the void left by the departure of Rick Campbell.

NFL Watch
Henoc Muamba – tryout with New England
Nick Moore – tryouts with Minnesota, San Diego and Houston

CFL Ins and Outs

In: RB Hugh Charles, DL Almondo Sewell, DB Joe Burnett, QB Matt Nichols, DB Matt Miller (contract extension)
Word is Hugh Charles got $100,000 contract which a) is the latest in a long line of crazy things done by Hervey and b) makes re-signing Kory Sheets that much harder… if Charles is worth $100K, then Sheets must be worth $4.5 million or so.

In: DL Bryant Turner, OL Steve Morley, P Mike Renaud (contract extension), K Liram Hajrullahu (free agent signing)
Out: Sandro DeAngelis (cut)
It is not immediately clear whether Winnipeg’s overall sucking or another round of renovations at the DeAngelis household are more to blame for why things didn’t work out.

In: WR Mitch Thompson, RB Andre Lalonde, LB Tyler Greenslade (free agent signing)

In: OL Joel Reinders, OL Carson Rockhill, OL Landon Rice, OL Mike Filer (contract extension)

In: DL Alan Michael Cash (contract extension)
Out: OL Andrew Woodruff (retired)

In: OL Brander Craighead (2013 Cdn Draft pick signing)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Expansion Draft Thoughts

The expansion draft has come and gone and now we are left to break down the results. Obviously the big news of the day is the loss of James Lee… I kid. Half of you probably had no clue who he was (the other half could probably name what college he attended). The big loss is of course Keith Shologan. The sad reality with being able to only protect 6 Canadians that we were going to lose a good starter. Assuming we protected Getzlaf, Heenan, Best, Labatte and Picard were the first 5, that meant we had to pick between losing Shologan or Foley. Based on age and DT being a tough position to replace I personally would have opted for Shologan but based on salary and the ability to go import the Riders went the other way. Hard to argue either option and a tough call either way. I wish Shologan nothing but the best as I loved what he did in his Rider career.

Losing James Lee was a curveball I don’t think we saw coming but I makes sense. When you factor in FAs, protections and question marks like Anderson and Rey Williams the reality was Ottawa was not getting a true starter from us. Obviously they like Lee’s potential as a starter. It hurts our depth at OT but honestly does is not a huge loss all things considered.

Zach Evans was the one that shocked me. I assumed he would be a third round protection and especially after we already lost Shologan. Essentially we just gifted Ottawa our Cdn DT depth. I get the point that Evans wasn’t really needed if we are going American at DT but I still don’t like losing them both. I’m not even sure who all we would have protected ahead of him. I assume Dan Clark, Rob Bagg, Cory Watman, Sam Hurl, Levi Steinhauer and ?? Tristan Black?? Kevin Regimbald-Gagne?? Maybe we played it safe and protected Craig Butler? Not a huge loss but I still don’t like it.

All things considered we came out in good shape having only lost one starter.

Here are some other random thoughts on the draft:
-       I am far from the first person to say either of these but it doesn’t make them any less true: Ottawa already has a better OL than Edmonton and 2 QBs that are better than anything Winnipeg has
-       Bold strategy taking 3 FBs in Round 2
-       Surprised they did not take a veteran DB. Looks like they are taking the 2000 Riders approach and going with an all rookie secondary. Eventually may end up ok like it did for us but in the short term I see Durant padding some stats against them
-       Really surprised at what they got in the 3rd round names like Eric Fraser (who I think is junk but is a starter nonetheless), Marwan Hage, Jason Pottinger
-       By taking a free agent from Winnipeg in Round 3 (Kolhert) the REDBLACKS where essentially saying “Good lord! This is all crap, let’s just write a name down so we can move on.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Draft Day

Well the big day has finally arrived. Today, Ottawa gets to pillage the other team’s roster to cobble together a roster. I’ll keep this morning’s post short… not because I’m lazy (well partially) but because all the big news will come later in the day when Ottawa’s picks are announced. I’ll give a quick update on players getting come nFL looks and then to a summary of Ottawa’s projected roster based on my predictions of who Ottawa takes as well as their 2013 draft picks and current FA signings. I’ll be back tomorrow with full analysis of the Expansion Draft.

NFL Watch
Kory Sheets – tryout with Indy
Weston Dressler – interest by unnamed teams that appears to be serious enough for them to be talking money
Henoc Mumba – tryouts with Denver and Minnesota
Alex Hall – Tryout with Minnesota
Ted Laurent – Tryout with Minnesota
Chris Matthews – Tryout with Minnesota
Dontrell Inman – Tryout with Minnesota and San Diego
Codarrow Law – Tryout with San Diego and New England
Chris Randle – tryout with San Diego

Projected Ottawa Roster
Includes my project expansion picks, 2013 draft picks and FA signings so far

QB – Drew Tate (Cal), Matt Faulkner (FA)
RB – Chris Garrett (Sk), Jordan Roberts (FA), Eric O’neal (FA), Michael Hayes (FA)
WR – Marco Iannuzzi (BC), Nate Coehoorn (Edm), Brandon London (Mtl), Fred Rouse (FA), Tyler Digby (draft)
OL – Spencer Wilson (Cal), Gordon Hinse (Edm), Paul Swiston (Win), Kristian Matte (Mtl), Tony Washington (Tor), Kyle Koch (Tor), Cody Husband (Ham), Nolan MacMillan (draft)

DL – Ricky Foley (Sk), Hasan Hazime (Ham), DiMetrio Tyson (FA), Connor Williams (draft), Kalonji Kashama (draft)
LB – Jason Pottinger (Tor), Tristan Black (Sk), Yannick Carter (Cal), Phillipe Dubuisson-Lebon (Win), Rico Murray (Ham)
DB – Lin-J Shell (BC), Eric Samuels (Edm), Marky Markett (Win), Jahmal Knowles (Mtl), Jerell Gavins (FA), Nick Turnbull (FA)