Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Welcome to 2015

Happy New Year. Hope you all had a good Christmas. By now I'm sure you are all sick of Christmas music, egg nog and your relatives so let's try and add some football back into things to settle things down. Here are a few notable Rider news items:

Jamel Richardson has signed with the Riders. Two years ago this would have been massive news. But now it had trouble beating out the Dannish hockey team for sporting news importance. For me the measure of how good a signing this is will be the signign bonus. If it was a small one then this is a great signing, low risk/high potential. If it was a sizeable one then this is an insanely risky signing. There is no denying Richardson has elite level talent… but it comes with the patented Rob Bagg caveat “when healthy”. Richardson sat out all of 2014 after an injury plagued 2013, meaning he hasn't played elite level ball in 3 years. The good news is that even a hobbled Richardson will probably prove more useful than Chaz Schillens. It would sure be nice if we could scout some receivers... rather than scouring the NFL castoffs and Canadian injury lists.

There is a report out there that the Riders will be releasing Dominic Picard. This would clearly be a salary cutting move and its not like Picard is without his flaws but still... to let a veteran centre go for nothing in return is a risky move (makes me wonder just how much we were paying him if we can unload him even for a low level draft pick). The team must feel Cory Watman can fill in adequately at a fraction of the price. Hell Dan Clark even played good at centre in his only start there... though there was the whole "being a giant liability at guard" thing that followed. Picard was a good (not great) centre but how quickly we forget the god awful play of Parenteau we had to deal with before Picard showed up. Count me as very surprised by this move.

On the coaching front, word is operation "Full Buono" is moving along nicely as we have an offer out to Mike Benevides to be our DC. Nothing official yet but I'd be very surprised if its not a done deal. Now we just have to start watching to see if Chamblin's hair turns curly white and his eye sight starts to fail. Dan Dorazio is also expected to join our coaching staff after being let go from BC.

Coaching Carousel
Khari Jones expected to stay in BC as QB coach
Bryan Chui hired as O-Line Coach in Ottawa
Richie Hall expected to be hired as DC in Winnipeg
BC lets Kelly Bates, Dan Darazio, Joe Paopao go from coaching staff

NFL Watch
Brett Jones – Workout with Tampa Bay
Duron Carter – Workout with Tampa Bay. Also has workouts scheduled with Minnesota, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Baltimore, Seattle, San Fransisco and Arizona
Delvin Breaux – has as many as 18 teams interested in him
John Chiles – workout with San Diego
Jorgen Hus (former U of R long snapper and Eskimo draft pick) – signed with Kansas City

CFL Ins and Outs

In: WR Jamel Richardson

Out: DB Brandon Stewart (not expected to return)
That whole getting called out by SJ Green and failing miserably all playoffs isn't the best thing for ones career.

In: DB Ronnie Yell (contract extension)
BC is also working on an extension with Solomon Elimimian. They have offered over $200,000

In: WR Julian Feoli-Guidino (contract extension)

In: LB Bear Wooods, LB Winston Venable, DL Adam Lavarias, DL Scott Paxson (contract extension)

In: QB Henry Burris (restructured contract)
Basically Ottawa used its extra cap-space from 2014 to front load Burris’ contract and free up space for 2015.

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