Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Odds and Ends

Well now that your brief forray into the world of college basketball has ended is cursing, disappointment and crumpled paper, you are probably eager to get on with football season. Once again the Rider Prophet endorsed Wichita St. Shockers failed to win a championship and me lot of money. Is it too much to ask for a sport I know nothing about to play out exactly according to my wild ass guesses?

A few Rider related news items to touch on...

If you had told me a few years back that Avon Cobourne would be on our coaching staff and Rey Williams would have a front office job I would have laughed, but that is our reality today after Cobourne became our RB coach and Williams retired and was named Director of Player development (which is a nade up position that essentially means glorified babysitter). This coaching thing will be new to Cobourne but he was good in all 3 phases (running, catching, blocking) when he played so that's a postive. Also the fact that we passed on the convinience hire of Kerry Joseph into that role tells me that Chamblin and Cortez see something of value in Cobourne. Only thing I'm curious about is why Cobourne wants to come up here to coach. I remember when the Ticats had to coax him back into the league a few years back he had a real world job and forced the Cats to pay him a ridiculous salary to return. I wonder what happened to that job? Maybe it never existed and he just sharked the Cats real good.

Its sad to see Williams' playing time come to an end. He was always a treat to watch. Whether it was when he burst into the spotlight in '08 or his steady play in the middle in '09 and this year (that incidentally both resulted in McCullough assuming the starter role) he was always fun to watch. I just hope that both Cobourne and Williams realize that somewhere in the planning for the season they are emergency plan D and might have a few more playing days left. I kid... mostly.

The Riders continued to bring in DL competition by adding Trent Allmang-Wilder and Lindsey Witten.Of the two Allmag-Wilder intrigues me the most. He's 6'6, 290 and only 22 years old. Guess we will see good he is come the Florida Camp. They also added DBs Greg McCoy, Mark LeGree and Canadian Hugo Lopez. Given that most of our secondary is set, I'm not ass interested in the DBs but you never know when someone might play themselves onto the team.

The Riders should try a bit harder to mask their desperation for selling REDBLACKS preseason tickets. I just got my second reminder in the past week. What's next a personal phone call from Jim Hopson begging me to buy my ticket? Singing telegrams rom Richie Hall. I'll likely end up going but plan on taking advantage of the deals they will be forced to offer in order to get a decent crowd to the park. Guessing I'll end up with better seats for less $ than the "special season ticket holder" price they are hoping I will blindly pay.

CFL Combine went this weekend. While it is still expected to be a weak draft overall, based on the combine results it looks like their is top end talent to be had in the early rounds. Looks like a strong year for lineman on both sides so I expect the Rider will be taregting a DL at #8 though a DB is also a possibility. Eithway it'll likely be a defender. I'll have far more draft coverage in he coming weeks.

Until then please return to tearing up your brackets and cursing schools and players you've never heard of before Thursday.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Random Quasi Coherent Thoughts

You are probably currently more concerned with pretending you know a damn thing about college basketball and putting "Thought" into your bracket. Don't kid yourself you haven't followed it since last year one bit so at best you making wild ass guesses. Nothing wrong with that as its my strategy too but let's at least be honest about it.

CFL news is pretty slim other than the scouting combines going on this week. These combines will actually be more important than past years. Its widely considered a weak draft class (for reasons I will get into closer to the draft) so odds are good that GMs are scouring all combines looking for a hidden Canadian gem. Either way a few more of these players will likely end up in training camp than in previous years. There are 3 regional combines and one main one. If you get invited to the Saskatchewan regional combine, don't go. Its a trick. A local farmer has his combine stuck in a field and is hoping a bunch of athletic young men can help him free it. I'm interested to see how these combines shake out.

Other notably CFL news is Chad Ochocinco openly courting the BC Lions on twitter. At first many assumed it was a joke but then they remembered just how desperate Ochocinco might be getting and decided to at least look into it. Simply put I don't see this happening. For 1 the Lions (or any team) don't want the circus Ocho would bring. For 2, Ocho had some legal issues so I'm not sure what his border clearance would be and 3, given Canadian official languages law Ochocinco would also need to include Eighty Five and Quatre-Vingt Cinq on his jersey and anytime an announcer said his name. Its just too much of a hassle.

As a side note given that Shawn Gore already owns BC Lions #85 Ocho would likely have to look into a name change anyway. Though Ochocino with #16 would be pretty funny to me.

That's all I go for today so I'll end by wishing the Rider Prophet endorsed Wichita State basketball team the best of luck in March Madness. Go Shockers!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Round Up: Chamblin Extends

In an offseason that saw everyone leaving it was nice to see that we at least wouldn't have a repeat of '07 when it came to coaches. This time our Grey Cup winning Coach of the Year is staying put. Yesterday Corey Chamblin inked a 4 year extension. (somewhere in there is a joke a Chamblin being black and having a big extension but for the life of me I can't find it... I might be losing my touch).

Chamblin has come a long way in his 2 short years here. In 2012 he was unproven, younger than a few players and surrounded by question marks. He showed his lack of experience more than once in his rookie year. But he got us back to the playoffs and headed in the right direction. We didn't have to wait long for our gamble on the young coach to pay off. Sure he had a roster a lot of coaches would kill for but history is riddled with all-star teams on paper that never lived up to the hype. Under his direction the came together, weathered a terrible mid-season stretch and a multiple assault charges and did what he was brought here to do... win us a cup. Given how much I noticed him grow as a coach in year 2, I'm excited to see how much more he will develop once his hairs start to turn Grey and reaches the age that most of his peers started their coaching careers as assistants. Locking down a young proven coach with more upside yet to come is a no brainer. He has set the bar high early for himself but he is a driven guy and I have a feeling he could be the first Rider head coach to win a second Cup.

In other Rider news, apparently today they will announce what company will build the new stadium. I just want them to hurry up and get a shovel in the ground. I'm still hesitant to get excited until construction actually starts and quite frankly as long as we didn't hire a mob construction group or the  group that did the stadium in Winnipeg I think we'll be fine. Looking forward to some pictures of the design.

One final bit of CFL news is the overreaction to the breakdowns in negotiations between the CFL and the Players Association on a new deal. Yes talks broke down but I'm not worried. Rule 1 of negotiation: Never accept the first offer. Rule 2: You won't get what you don't ask for so aim high. Rule 3: In the CFL both sides could not withstand a work stoppage without going bankrupt. The players are smart enough to know that the massive new TV deal should lead to more money for them. So do the owners but they also have only recently discovered this elusive thing called financial stability and aren't keen on throwing it all away just yet. A deal will get done that is good for both sides eventually. Don't worry.

In the off chance there is a strike or lockout I would like to preemtively claim "Replacements 2: Shane Falco Goes To Canada" as a movie concept. Patent pending.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Back At It

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I just didn’t bother posting for a week? I was without interwebs for a couple days and as for the other days… I got nothing, there was lousy Smarch weather, a lack of much CFL news and general laziness on my part. What I lack in punctuality and grammatical accuracy I make up for with honesty… that counts for something right?

Some minor Rider news as the team announced the signings of import LBs Chad Kilgore and Scott McKillop. I do like how both have “kill” in their name, seems fitting for a LB. Chad has the added bonus of gore as well, which really adds to the intimidation factor. Now we just need to find guys named Assassin McStabby and Barron Von Kidneypuncher to round out of legion of terror.

Only other news worth mentioning relates to Kevin Glenn. The Riders admitted that they have made a call or 2 to look into Glenn. And rightfully so. Glenn would be an ideal back-up insurance policy at QB. Only 2 problems, 1 is salary. Glenn as number 2 (even though his salary would be a bargain overall) is higher than Sunseri or a rookie. You’d be hard pressed to say we could not afford Butler and then turn around a add Glenn. The other problem is the cost of acquiring him. Reports are Ottawa wants a Canadian starter and import starter and a draft pick… no word if the deal at least includes supper after getting bent over like that. Would be nice to have Glenn but we don’t need him bad enough to warrant the costs. BC and Winnipeg are the leading contenders apparently anyway. I like Glenn and wish him no ill will but it would be kind of ironic if 13 years later Glenn was back patrolling the Saskatchewan sidelines where his journey of getting no respect all began. That journey included seeing such stars as Nealon Greene, Ryan Dinwiddie, Stefan LeFors be deemed better than him.  

We will likely have to wait until the Florida mini-camp at the start of April for any substantial Rider news. Until then I will do my best to fill the time. If you have questions you want answered, ideas for a post, or any other idea I can mooch off of to fill this space just let me know.