Football is back!!!
I so excited I might just... you know what I'll just stop there and let you imagine the inappropriate way I was going to finish that sentence. In fact, I'm so excited that I think the only thing that could put a damper on things is a surprise retirement of a projected starting Canadian. But I mean really, what are the odds of that? Very good if you are the Riders.
From retirements, to a trade, the actual first day of camp, it's been a very eventful weekend. So let's get right to me opining on all the news that is news.
Its a running joke that is sadly not just a joke. Everyone retires.... you know except guys like Kevin Glenn and Paul McCallum who are actually retirement age (a couple times over in McCallum's case). Brouilette was to be a stabilizing veteran presence in the middle of our shaky secondary. No such luck. The crazy things is that even though he reportedly wants to give back his signing bonus, it still likely counts against the cap. Given our recent run of retirements I would start negotiating all bonus' to be voided in case of pre-December retirement. The acquisition of Edem and the retaining of Hecht are now very key moves. We are not screwed but the unexpected loss of a Canadian starter is never a good thing.
Goodbye Armanti Edwards. Hello Peter Dyakowski. After mulling this trade over for a while, I've decided I like. We have been on the wrong side of the American for Canadian swap so its nice to finally do it right. Import receiver for veteran Cdn OL (who could start) is a win. I hate losing Edwards but given the tight competition at receiver we were likely to have to cut 2 of Edwards, Collins, Holley and Craig. Good to get value out of that. Edwards likely had the highest trade value of the 4. You gotta give to get. Besides you can never have enough Cdn OL depth.
A caveat on my coverage of camp. Because the stupid Riders feel the need to pander to lesser fans in other cities... err... I mean grow the fan base and reward deserving fans outside Regina, I do not actually get to see camp. All my analysis is based on the reports of others (and god bless all of those who do post reports to keep us football addicts in the know). Now the issue with the reports of others is that I have heard everything from Brandon Bridge was the best QB, to he was the worst QB, to he wasn't even on the field but in the parking lot chasing seagulls away from discarded food.
He's a few quick hitter thoughts on camp so far:
- May not be a shoe in that LaFrance starts at RB. If we start 3 Cdn OL we don't necessarily need him to start. It's early and you can't really tell anything about RBs until a real game but I think Marshall will push LaFrance
- Lots of rave reviews on new WR Ahmad Fulwood. Hopefully he pans out because I've already started drafting a ton of jokes based on his name, as well as possibly a T-shirt.
- Bryan Bennett is the QB not named Glenn that I am placing all my hope in. I think/pray he will outright win the #2 spot.
- It will be tough to get a solid read on our plans in the secondary as there is lots of experimentation going on: Campbell at wide side CB, Francis at Sam LB. May take a few days before the starting group emerges. Look for solid camps from Tyler Hunter and Royce Adams. I think they are ready to take the next step after a few games with us late last season.
- The Official Rider Prophet Endorsement of 2017 goes to Greg Milhouse. Who was lining up as starting DT. Unfortunately for Milhouse, the Rider Prophet Endorsement is akin to the kiss of death. I have previously endorsed such Rider greats as Eltoro Freeman, Boo Robinson, Gabe Nyenhuis, Ikenna Ike and Jose Valdez.
Looking forward to following these story lines as camp progresses. Also hoping we can get through the rest up camp both fine and retirement free... hahah good luck.