As you may have guessed from the fact that I opened with a paragraph explaining the levels of my laziness, there isn't a lot of Rider news and I'm struggling to string together enough content to justify a post. But as you know, I have never let a lack of relevant news keep me from sharing my opinion. So its time for another edition of Random Quasi Coherent Thoughts.
- The Riders signed 2 more guys: WR Victor Dean and OL Tre'Von Armstead. By my count that has us with 82 players under contract. I thought that the rules were 75 max on the roster plus non-counters (draft picks and undrafted Canadian rookies). Now we have 4 non-counters (Abankwa, Adjei, Picton and Deschamps) so to me that means we are 3 guys over capacity. I imagine there will be some roster movement after mini-camp but still... I'm not sure what kind of fancy accounting we are using but hopefully somewhat knows what they are doing (given that it's tax season maybe someone just needs to show a few extra dependants)
- When you look at our roster there are a few things that become apparent... you know aside from the super obvious fact that we want giant receivers.
- The first is that competition for import O-linemen will be fierce. We already have 7 of them under contract. Nobody is going to be handed a job. We will for sure be starting two import tackles but I wouldn't completely rule our an import an the interior as well. I don't think its likely but conceivably if we start a Canadian DT then we could fit 3 starting import OL. Again, I don't think its likely but I also don't think Chris Jones has ruled it out as a possibility.
- The other competition to watch will be on the opposite side of the line. In theory you could pencil in the starters as Lemon, George, Irvin and Cappy with Ainsworth and Hazime as depth. But given that we have 10 other DL on the roster I wouldn't write that in anything more permanent than pencil. They are going to have to earn it.
- Lastly there is the DB group. There is not a lot of experience in that group. Our "veterans" don't have a ton of experience and we don't have many of them. At least one if not two new recruits will be expected to step into a starting role right away. They have a great teacher but I wonder if some of the above mentioned focus on the D-line is in an effort to help out a fairly green secondary with a strong pass rush.
- There are also things missing when I look at our roster. Some are obvious, like we really need some strong Cdn OL depth and some Cdn LBs but I fully expect us to address that in the draft. Some are less glaring, like please tell me there is a plan at some point to bring in competition at punter for Bartel. Please. Some are quietly gnawing at that back of my brain, like is this really all we have mustered for QB? Smith, Coleman and QB who doubles as a receiver? Doesn't exactly instil confidence in me.
- Lastly I feel the need to point out that Toronto signed a guy named Steve Miller. Its not the Space Cowboy Miller who played RB for us but a D-lineman. I guess we will have to call him the Gangster of Love, though I'm mildly disappointed he won't be playing here.
- Next week I will begin my CFL Draft coverage. Knowing my luck that means that after weeks of relative silence, the Riders will go crazy with news now that I actually have content planned.
CFL Ins and Outs
In: OL Tre’Von Armstead, WR Victor Dean (free agent signing)
In: OL Jake Olson (re-signed),LB Charles Clay (free agent signing)
In: OL Jon Gott (contract extension), DB Imoah Claiborne (free agent signing)
In: DL Steve Miller, LB Marquis Spruill (free agent signing)