Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tuesday Morning Sentimonies: Foley, Brackenridge, Beard

Apologies for not having my post up on a very news-filled Monday. I'm taking a night class and I was tied up writing a paper on international tax law (a topic that is about as interesting as it sounds). But I here now so let's get to all the big news:

Foley for Emry
Like most fans, I took news that Ricky Foley was traded to Toronto pretty hard. I was a huge Foley fan. He was a very underrated contributor on defense and was coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Simply put he was a difference maker. Very sad to see him go. That said, I understand the logic behind the move. Shea Emry is younger and addresses an area of desperate need at MLB. It makes good sense. We are gambling that the drop in play along our front 4 (you don't lose a player like Foley and not have a drop in play) will be less than what we gain in the improvement at MLB. Hell last year we would have gladly taken a remotely competent MLB so actually having a proven Cdn to fill the role is certainly a plus.

I assume that Emry's initiation to the locker room will involve LaBatte punching him in the balls to even the score.

Given that Emry is just the latest in the string of players hated by Rider Nation that Taman has acquired, I also assume that talks are ongoing with Paul McCallum, Nik Lewis, Brandon Browner, Rob Murphy, Troy Westwood and Tony Gabriel.

Brack Attack Is Back Jack
To be honest, when I heard that Brack was in Regina signing autographs on the weekend I kinda assumed that meant negotiations were going good. That said it was nice to get official confirmation with news yesterday that he had re-signed. He's an impact player who is versatile enough to play multiple positions and is a leader on that defense. Also, who would have endorsed those Work Safe glasses if he had left town? Those things won't just sell themselves... oh who am I kidding, this is Saskatchewan. A dog turd spray painted green with a Rider logo on it would sell itself.

Hugh O'Neil
Though the signing of the contract appears on hold as O'Neil "is on a mountain in Thailand" (the only shocking thing about that is how he managed to busk enough quarters to afford the airfare), reports are the Hugh O'Neil and his beard will be joining the Riders. Unlike the first 2 moves, this one is unlikely to have much impact... except maybe for families of beards needing shelter. This boils down to the fact that Bartel was an average at best punter last year and O'Neil had similar stats but has the added bonus of being able to placekick... not very well mind you. I hope there will be others added to the kicking competition at training camp.

Coaching Carousel
Argos add Jonathan Himebach as Assistant Head Coach - Big loss for Edmonton. Just look at how much better their OL was in 2014 despite not adding much in terms of talent.

NFL Watch
Delvin Breaux – Signed with New Orleans. Reportedly got a $25,000 signing bonus.
Ian Wild – Bombers released him to pursue NFL interest. Pittsburgh or Tampa the most likely destination.

CFL Ins and Outs

In: LB Shea Emry (traded with Tor), DB Tyron Brackenridge (contract extension), K Hugh O’Neil (Free agent signing)
Out: DL Ricky Foley (trade with Tor)

In: QB Drew Tate, WR Marquay McDaniel, DB Jamar Wall, DL Corey Mace (contract extension), DB Arthur Hobbs Jr, WR Stephen Burton (free agent signing)

Out: K Hugh O’Neil (released)

In: QB Jeff Matthews (free agent signing)
Out: DB Delvin Breaux (signed New Orleans)  

In: Richie Hall (officially hired as DC)
Out: LB Ian Wild (released to pursue NFL)

In: DL Ricky Foley (trade with Ssk)
Out: LB Shea Emry (trade with Ssk)

In: Kavid Reed (hired as ST Coordinator)
The world really needs him to repeat the Consequences rant but in french during his tenure.

Il y aura des conséquence!!!

In: DL Cory Henry, WR Skyy Simmons, WR Michael Campbell, LB John Kanongata (free agent signing)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sponsored Video: Road Warrior– 30sec – Life Well Travelled - Cathay Pacific

Here's an ad for Cathay Pacific. I'll assume they are legit in that I haven't heard about one of their planes going down. That's currently a big selling point for airlines in the Asia-Pacific. Anywho, the main message of the ad is that if you travel well (presumably with Cathay) you focus on what matters. They claim to "understand you and your needs"... I'm not sure if that is an innuendo but if you're curious check out the ad and Cathay Pacific.

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored by Cathay Pacific but all thoughts are my own.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Random Speculation

So I had planned on doing this for a while. A post where I speculate on the possible landing spot for some prominent free agents and players liekly to be on the trading block. I had planned to open with speculation on the landing spots for Maurice Price and Fred Stamps... so my procrastination as cost me the opening of this post. That's not a great start to a week. Let's see what else I can cobble together.

- Given the state of our LBs and the desperate need for a MLB, you have to think Rene Curran is on Taman's radar. Not sure if we will be able to land him but I bet we at least put in some calls. Another guy to watch is Marcellus Bowman. He's a talented player but is continually hurt. Not sure he's worth the risk but maybe we can get him cheap.

- A team I'm watching in terms of potential trades is Hamilton... specifically at Canadian DT. They are overflowing. They already have Ted Laurent, Linden Gaydosh, Hasan Hazime (who i think is an underrated DL). Add to that Brian Bulke who will be returning from injury and in theory 2014 draft pick Evan Gill. Can't see them keeping all of them. Given his age and price tag Bulcke would be the most likely to be moved. Outside shot its Gaydosh if the Ticats don't think they will be able to extend him before he hits free agency at the end of this season. I could see BC showing interest (though not in Bulke given his age). Toronto is another possibility. 

- Curious that Edmonton has not yet re-signed Odell Willis. There is talk he is exploring NFL opportunities... which likely means Odell has been back into whatever substances led to his arrest for DUI while he was a Rider because at this point in his career there won't be an NFL shot. Maybe Hervey will just wait until 30 seconds after free agency opens to announce the re-signing for old time sake.

- I have been wracking my brain trying to think of where Kevin Glenn will end up. I'm hoping for Edmonton or Montreal purely so his bid to hit for the CFL team cycle stays alive. Realistically I'm thinking Montreal, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan are the most likely candidates,

- It looked pretty unlikely that SJ Green was going to re-sign in Montreal and the trade for Fred Stamps means that Jim Popp feels the same way. Before the Stamps deal, they were looking at the very real possibility of losing both Green and Carter and being left with the imposing Srompton to Brandon London connection... which hardly strikes fear. 

- The trade does make me wonder is Edmonton plans to go after a WR in free agency. They have no established #2 receiver (Stafford has potential but is far from a sure thing). Also, no way Adarius Bowman repeats the statistical year he had in 2014. He will still be good but not 1400 yards good.
If you’re Montreal you have to be worried about your pass game next season. I wonder if Hervey goes after a FA WR like Earnest Jackson, Greg Ellingson or Bakari Grant.

NFL Watch
Shawn Lemon - Signed with Pittsburgh Steelers
Delvin Breaux - workouts with pretty much every team in the NFL. Here's the list so far: Jac, Den, TB, Ari, SD, SF, Det, NE, Sea, Pit, Hou, Min, Cle, Mia, Atl, NE, Phi, NYJ, NE. I hope he collects frequent flyer miles.

CFL Ins and Outs

Out: DL Shawn Lemon (signed with Pittsburgh)
Talk about turning a career around and taking advantage of the right opportunity. After being a bust in Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Edmonton, Lemon suddenly lights it up in Calgary and turns it into an NFL contract. For a trip down depressing memory lane here are some of the other quality DL's that played in 2011 as well: Remond Willis, Shomari Williams and Montez Murphy. 

In: WR Kenny Stafford (trade with Mtl)
Out:WR Fred Stamps (trade with Mtl)
In: LB Shamari Benton, DB Jarrid Bryant, DB Sam Miller (free agent signing)

In: WR Fred Stamps (trade with Edm)
Out: WR Kenny Stafford (trade with Edm)