In a rare act of proactiveness I had actually typed a blog post in advance of going away this weekend. I figured it was the bye week, I wouldn't feel like doing it when I got home (I was at a wedding after all) and there wouldn't be any news anyway. Well... in the continuing theme of the Riders doing things to spite me, they made some big headlines late Saturday. So here I am typing up a new post to make myself seem at least remotely current. Feel sorry for me dammit.
I will post my original post for today tomorrow so as not to let it go completely to waste.
On to Duron...
The Riders dropped a bombshell Saturday when they confirmed that Duron Carter had been released. Fortunately I was at a wedding and had access to ample coping mechanisms. In a recurring theme with Duron, his release was a very divisive issue. Some were happy to see a diva receiver who runs his mouth finally out of the picture. Others bemoaned the release of an elite offensive weapon at a time where our offense doesn't seem like it could score even if it ruffied the opposing defense. Then there were those outside of Saskatchewan that just laughed. If you could bottle the misery of Rider fans and sell it across Canada you would be very rich. Also, when you look at this history of this franchise, its not like you would ever be lacking in supply.
Lots of people have asked me what I think about the move. Straight up, I don't like it. Look I can buy that Duron was a shit head that likely wore on teammates and coaches. College through the pros, Duron has never lasted anywhere more than 2 years. There's a reason for that. But here's the thing, we knew what we were getting into. Its not like its a big secret what kind of guy Duron is. We knew what we were getting last year when we originally signed him and we knew even better when we re-signed him this offseason. Despite that knowledge we knowingly took on the risk. If we had any doubts about our ability to cope with him in the locker room we should not have re-signed him. We should have used the close to $200K to instead pursue another receiver that would better fit our plans or at least more permanently fit in them. But we did not. We chose Duron and now 7 games into the season have to jettison him. Its a waste and its another case of the roster mis-management which has plagued Chris Jones.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't have a problem with Jones the coach not putting up with a player who puts himself before the team but I do have a problem with Jones the GM investing so heavily in a guy who knew would be high maintenance and then giving up when it came time to putting in the required maintenance work. It really makes me wonder how much gutting all the veterans from offense had to do with this falling out. Maybe last season Bagg, Grant, Roosevelt, Owens and Glenn we're able to exert their veteran majority to keep things functional. Now the offense is full of young/new guys and Carter's antics become harder to keep in check as a result. Just speculation on my part but it would make sense.
While this isn't going to doom our team, this is a blow to an already struggling offense. It leaves our team down a top end player in the middle of the season. There's a chance ridding him from the locker room could give the team a needed boost and that would seem to be what Jones is banking on. It could just as easily go the other way and be one more form of adversity for a team already struggling to keep pace in a very competitive division.
As long as Jones delivers wins then we are going to have to learn to live with his methods no matter how crazy they may seem... and quite frankly I'm fine with that. The man is paid to win. But when you look at the growing list of questionable roster moves I think it's fair to start pondering Jones' future if those wins don't keep coming. Its far too early in the season to considering that now but should the Riders not make the playoffs it suddenly becomes a very fair question.
Jones is as much to blame as Carter. As you say they knew what they were getting. By indulging Duron that is bound to bring resentment into the locker room. The Carter comment regarding McAdoo makes sense to me. Last year the "practice incident", later pooh poohed by Jones as minor, apparently involved an offensive coach who urged the players on. Is it coincidental that Carter was switched to defence for the last 3 games, maybe to molllify the offensive coaches? Not surprising none contacted him after his release. This season Carter starts on defence, only to be switched this past game when he received no targets till the 2nd half. Why keep him if the OC won't game plan for him? Carter is the kind of guy you have to stay on top of but that is with tough love, not consoling him. Jones obviously had a soft spot for him & likely had to pick between Carter & McAdoo if Duron is right on his comments. At the very least he should have had the decency to let Carter know why he was released, though Carter should know himself as he has had a lot of practice at this sort of thing. Bottom line - we will now see how this season plays out & Jones may be the next guy up. I like Jones as a DC - no questioning his brilliance there. But an average HC who should take more interest in the offence &, as HC, should hold his OC accountable & himself as well for taking a weapon off offence to help his defence. As a GM the multitude of good players signed only to be gone due to CAP problems, not fitting their needs etc, is evidence he is over his head. As VP of Football Ops, his record is pretty spotty & that's being charitable.
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