The Riders officially announced that Jacques Chapdelaine was hired as our new OC last week. I'd say it was an exhaustive search but the sense I got all along was that Chapdelaine was the guy Corey wanted. Unlike our last OC hire (which had me giddy as a school girl) this one gets a decided "meh" from me. Admittedly, Chapdelaine is far from the worse candidate out there and we certainly could have done much worse. After all this is a franchise that has endured the likes of Bellefeuille and Dyce as OC. Chapdelaine comes with a resume that certainly shows he can be a successful OC. He's won Grey Cups, he's developed QBs, he's put up points. So I don't want to try and spin this as a bad hire. I'm just not Chapdelaine's biggest fan.
The knock on him is he is extremely pass happy. While I realize that Cortez's "run always no matter what" offense isn't great either, balance is needed in this league. His pass happy attacks have led to some seasons of his QBs getting pounded on (his team led the league in sacks a few different occasions). It has also led to neglecting star RBs. His mind-boggling under-use of Andrew Harris in key situations was a leading cause in his termination from BC. Hopefully that experience taught him something because our offensive success will depend on him.
The search for a new DC continues as the list has apparently been narrowed to 3 candidates (plus the option for Corey to just do it if none of them pan out). Mike Benevides is on that last for sure. The other 2 names are unconfirmed at this point. Mike Sinclair's name has been mentioned. Corey has denied speaking with Devon Claybrooks but fairly reputable reporters keep insisting he's in consideration. Perhaps Corey's assertion that they have not spoken to Claybrooks just means they have been using more ancient forms of communication like carrier pigeon or smoke signals.
Given that we have already hired Chapdelaine and are seriously considering Mike Benevides, I'm concerned that Corey might soon develop a persistent squint and tendency to spend a lot of time on the field during games. If he starts appearing in commercials telling me to watch my cholesterol I will know he has gone full Buono.
One last bit of Rider news was the hiring of Craig Reynolds as the new President. Generally you would think the hiring of a president would be bigger news but maybe because Reynolds not a publicly known quantity it was kinda a non event. Some are concerned that he isn't from a football background but I would way rather have a sound business man with minimal football experience as president than a sound football man with minimal business experience. We have Taman to run the football side of things so the football knowledge Reynolds has gained in his many years with the club will be more than sufficient.
BC Hires Jeff Tedford as head coach, George Cortez expected to join as OC
Winnipeg fires DC Gary Etcheverry.
Alouettes add Anthony Calvillo to offensive coaching staff
Delvin Breaux – workout with Denver
Shawn Lemon – workout with Denver, Washington, Arizona, Seattle, Baltimore, Indy
Luke Tasker – workout with Green Bay
Jalil Carter - workout with Denver
CFL Ins and Outs
In: DL Ricky Foley (contract extension)
In: DL Ricky Foley (contract extension)
Out: DB Carlo Thomas, FB Tim Cronk, DL Hilee Taylor, DL Trevor Guyton (won't be re-signed)
The Foley extension was known about for a while now but making it official is nice. I still say he is underrated in terms of what he brings to our defense.
In: DB Brandon Smith (contract extension)
In: OL Tony Washington, DL Marcus Howard, WR Paris Jackson, DB Ryan Hinds, LB Nathan Kanya (contract extension)
In: DL Eric Norwood (contract extension), WR Quincy McDuffie, RB Sam Ojuri, DL Adrian Tracy (free agent signing)
In: DB Keynan Parker (contract extension)
In: DB Derek Jones, DB Matt Bucknor, QB Josh Portis (contract extension)
In: Anthony Calvillo (hired as offensive coach)