Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday Round Up: John F'N Murphy

I went to sleep Tuesday night happy that the Riders had landed Chris Jones as their new GM. I woke up Wednesday morning and two things happened. First I thought I needed to get my eyes checked because there was no way I was actually reading that the Riders had also landed John Murphy. Second, I thought I might need to change my shorts due to excitement. You guys will know that John Murphy was the guy I wanted as our GM. To be able to land him AND Jones is nothing short of amazing on the part of Craig Reynolds. Murphy is regarded as one of the top recruiters of talent in the CFL. Now his talent pipeline will be leading to Regina rather than Calgary as it has been for the past few years. The early concerns that Chris Jones would be spread too thin with his 17 different jobs for me is now completely gone because Murphy is a solid second in command who can handle the personnel when Jones needs to focus on coaching. And oh yeah, somehow Jeremy O'Day is also still on the payroll.

For those keeping score at home, of the 4 people we interviewed to be our GM, we've now managed to hire 3 of them simultaneously. I'm honestly just waiting for the announcement that we have hired Brock Sunderland as our new VP of "Because we can, suck it CFL". Now, it's likely Jeremy O'Day will not stick around too long as his contract is up at the end of next season and he'll likely want to explore other options. But for now we have assembled a super-powered from office. Given that our last GM was Taman, I can't imagine a more dramatic front office turnaround.

I'll have more on Monday regarding the impact I see Jones/Murphy having on this team and the task ahead of them. For now I will do my best to get you caught up on the Coaching Carousel (which has been crazy and is far from over), NFL Watch and CFL Ins and Outs.

Coaching Carousel
BC - Jeff Tedford "resigned" (aka was strongly encouraged to resign as an alternative to being fired), as did George Cortez. Wally Buono will step back onto the field as the head coach (see what I did there?). All signs point to Khari Jones being their OC.

Edmonton - We are pretty much taking their entire coaching staff and anything else that's not nailed down in the clubhouse. Jason Maas and Orlondo Steinauer are the leading candidates to replace Chris Jones.

Calgary - Ryan Dinwiddie joins their coaching staff (where he will try and teach Bo Levi Mitchell the fine art of the interception and the soul sucking gaze). Devone Claybrooks gets promoted to DC.

Winnipeg - Hired Paul LaPolice as their OC. He is both more qualified as an HC than O'Shea and more likely to finish the season as the HC.

Saskatchewan - Bob Dyce, Craig Smith and Greg Quick are gone. Jarious Jackson will be our QB coach. Odds are Craig Dickenson is coming back as ST/C along with the rest of Chris Jones' staff.

Montreal - Greg Quick is going back to be their LB coach.

Toronto - Hired Rich Stubler as their DC... hopefully this means the return of the Stubler sweater vest.

NFL Watch
Shawn Lemon (Ott) - Released to pursue NFL interest
Willie Jefferson (Edm) - Reportedly has 2 NFL workouts scheduled
Courtney Stephen (Ham) - Has a workout scheduled with the Vikings
Terrell Sinkfield (Ham) - Has a workout scheduled with the Vikings and at least one more

CFL Ins and Outs 

In: WR Cory Watson (contract extension)

In: OL Mattias Goosen (contract extension)

In: RB Venric Mark, DL Ladarius Owens, WR Tyler Shoemaker, WR Skyy Simmons, OL Evan Washington, DL Matt Acree, LB Quinn Backus, OL Simon Legare, RB Travon Van, LB Tanner Doll (free agent signing)
Out: DL Shawn Lemon (released to pursue NFL opportunities)

In: QB Ricky Ray, DL Ricky Foley (contract extension)

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