Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Round-up: Quick, Brown and other Rider news

It was an uncharacteristically busy week in what is usually a slow January so let's get right to it:

- The Riders officially made Greg Quick the new DC. He comes from the Alouettes where he was their LB coach. He quickly differentiated himself from his mild mannered predecessor by openly talking about samurai-style murder as being the type of defense he wants to run. I'm assuming that is a metaphor as there are many practical issues with that plan: access to swords, likelihood of penalties and of course murder charges. Just goes to show that Quick embodies the aggressive style, Chamblin wants in his defense. His inexperience may be a concern but had we gone with a more proven guy the criticism would have been about recycling instead of innovating. I'm willing to give him a shot. I also look at it this way. Our D-line is solid, Chamblin is a DB coach by nature. The main weakness in our D last season was the LBs (though a lack of talent certainly played into that). If Quick does nothing else but give us some play at LB like we saw in Montreal we should be in good shape... now we just need to actually sign a LB.

- In other defensive news, the Riders extended a key piece of that defense on Thursday with the re-signing of Weldon Brown. He is a very underrated player who can play a variety of positions. The tandem of him and Maze give us tremendous coverage ability. Really happy to see him stick around.

- Talks are ongoing with Dressler and Brackenridge. All signs point to a deal getting done with Dressler. Brack is less of a certainty but as I said on Monday things looked bleak 2 years ago and he re-signed at the last minute so I still have hope. Taman also specifically mentioned the likes of McHenry, Hughes and Regimbald as guys he hopes to retain which is good because those 3 are a key piece of our Canadian content.

- Ben Heenan has had a few NFL workouts and has already stated he wants to gauge his value on the open market come February. This one will come down to money and if we have enough cap space to be in the ball park with what Winnipeg (and likely a lot of other teams) will throw at him we should be good. Taman has placed a priority on the O-line in his time here so my gut says if Heenan is in the CFL it will be here. Interesting to note that unlike when we were trying to woo Dressler a few months ago, no free blizzards or panins are being offered to Heenan. That's wise because offering free food to any O-lineman can't be a smart business move.

- A couple other nuggets sounds like Sam Hurl may be thinking about seeing if he can find more playing time on another team. Hurl just better be wary of what happened to Graig Newman... the lord will smote those who leave the Riders for more playing time with devastating injuries. Are you willing to risk that Sam? (PS no I am not above overt threats as a bargaining tactic)

- Also, apparently Brian Peters has garnered some NFL interest and Taman said he wouldn't be surprised if he got an invite to an NFL camp. That would suck... think of how bad our linebackers were collectively last year... now consider how much worse they would have been without Peters.

- Other big CFL news this week was the Stamps trading Mo Price to Ottawa for Jasper Simmons and Dan Bucker. I had been predicting the Stamps would unload Price for a long time now. They have more talented WRs than they know what to do with in McDaniel, Fuller, Rogers, West, Cunningham, etc... Price was making huge bucks and always (and I mean always) hurt. He injured his shoulder and ankle in the Grey Cup... after being concussed in the final game of the season. Dude has unreal talent but is made of glass. He has played just 29 out of a possible 54 regular season games as a Stamp. RedBlacks were desperate for a legitimate receiving threat and Price defintely give them that.. for part of the season anyway. The Stamps unload an unneeded, high priced, oft injured WR for a premiere defensive playing and a WR prospect. The rich get richer.

NFL Watch
Jalil Carter – Signed with Minnesota Vikings
Shawn Lemon – Workouts with Pittsburgh and Tennessee (which makes a total of 14 teams he has worked out for)
Delvin Breaux – workouts with Tampa Bay and Jacksonville

CFL Ins and Outs

In: LB Weldon Brown (contract extension)

In: WR Luke Tasker, OL Tim O’Neil (contract extension)
I enjoy watching Tasker play... that said its almost getting to the point where one needs to do so on mute... unless of course you are the kind of person with a terrible memory and need a reminder every 30 seconds that he is the son of Steve Tasker.

In: RB Matt Walter, LB Glenn Love (contract extension), LB Jasper Simmons, WR Dan Buckner (traded from Ott)
Out: WR Maurice Price (traded to Ott), RB Hugh Charles (released)

In: QB Jordan Lynch (free agent signing)

In: OL Jarriel King (contract extension)
Out: DB Jalil Carter (signed with Minnesota)

In: WR Maurice Price (traded from Cal)
Out: LB Jasper Simmons, WR Dan Buckner (traded to Cal)

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