Hopefully you all had a good Christmas… or any other observance you may take part in such as the Feast of Maximum Occupancy. By this point I’m sure you have eaten too much, physically moved far too little and seen more than enough of your family (except of course mine, they are wonderful). The holiday season will officially start winding down after New Years but I thought we’d get an early start and talk some football to help transition you back to things like working and a diet not based on butter, chocolate or cheeses.
This is the time of year that many start making resolutions, ones that they will surely have given up on by week’s end. I personally don’t make resolutions but it seemed like a pretty good holiday tie in for a blog post and so I present to you 3 Resolutions I hope Chris Jones makes this year (spoiler alert, none involve his wardrobe).
1 – Stop making acquisitions in Free Agency that you immediately regret.
Shawn Lemon, Justin Capicciotti, Kendial Lawrence, Travis Bond, Jerome Messam, Duron Carter. All big name free agency acquisitions. All gone by the middle of the season they were signed in (and this is not an exhaustive list). It honestly seems like some times Jones goes on out on the town on a signing spree, wakes up the next morning and has immediate remorse about what he sees lying next to him in bed. Jones has done many good things to improve the talent on the Riders’ roster but free agency is generally not one of them. Imagine if he had used the money spent on these players on players that actually were a fit for what he wanted.
2 – Suck Less Early In the Year
If you look that Chris Jones’ record as Rider coach broken down in thirds of the season a clear picture emerges
First 6 games: 6 and 12
Middle 6 games: 9 and 9
Last 6 games: 12 and 6
Jones always seems to start slow and improve as the season goes on. Even if you exclude 2016, the pattern holds:
First 6 games: 5 and 7
Middle 6 games: 8 and 4
Last 6 games: 9 and 3
While I’m glad Jones generally has the Riders playing their best ball late in the season, if he didn’t dig himself such a big early season hole the team would be way farther ahead. Hopefully 2019 is the year we find early season success.
3 – Find a QB
Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean its not true. Jones has built a team with talent and depth across the board… with the exception of most important position. It’s the only place he hasn’t managed to recruit young talent and his free agent forays have brought us old man Glenn (arguably the best of the bunch), Zach “Buck Pierce in Training” Collaros and Brandon “My mother told me if you don’t haven anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” Bridge. Jones has returned the Riders to the post season, brought payoff football back to Mosaic. Taking that next step will require him to find a mildly competent QB. It’s hard to see 2019 being any different than 2018 if he can’t.
CFL players will son be able to sign futures deals with NFL teams so here’s a listing of all the NFL Workouts for CFL players. Reported workouts are courtesy @HBalzer721 and @JDunk12 (you all know I’m far too lazy to do my own investigative reporting).
For context, last season every single player who had 4 or more tryouts got an NFL contract. So Sam Eguavoen is most likely gone, as are guys like Singleton, Thurman, Boateng and Bo Levi.
OL Dakota Shepley – tryouts with Denver, Cleveland, Tampa Bay
LB Samuel Eguavoen (Ssk) – tryouts with Miami, LA Rams, New England, Arizona, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, 3 more scheduled
DL Tobi Antigha (Ssk) – tryouts with Arizona, NY Giants, LA Chargers
WR Jordan Williams (Ssk) – tryouts with Chicago, Detroit, NY Giants, New England
QB Bo Levi Mitchell (Cal) – tryouts with Minnesota, Denver, Jacksonville, Chicago, Buffalo, NY Giants, Indianapolis
DB Winston Rose (BC) – tryout with Minnesota
DB Chris Ackie (Ott) – tryout with Minnesota
WR Diontae Spencer (Ott) – tryouts with Minnesota, Buffalo
LB Jameer Thurman (Cal) – tryouts with Minnesota, Chicago, NY Jets, Arizona, LA Chargers, Philadelphia, Cincinnati
DB Tevaughn Campbell (Mtl) – tryouts with Cleveland, Green Bay, Houston, Tampa Bay, NY Jets
DL Kwaku Boateng (Edm) – tryouts with NY Jets, LA Chargers, NY Giants, Washington
LB Alex Singleton (Cal) – tryouts with Cleveland, Minnesota, Arizona, Philadelphia, LA Chargers
DL Avery Ellis (Ott) – tryouts with NY Jets, LA Chargers, Philadelphia, Cincinnati
K Ty Long (BC) – tryout with NY Jets, Minnesota, Indianapolis, Arizona, Cincinnati
OL Rykar Matthews (Ham) – tryouts with NY Jets, New England, Arizona
WR Bryant Mitchell (Edm) – tryouts with NY Jets, Arizona, Detroit, NY Giants
WR Duke Williams (Edm) – tryouts with NY Jets, Buffalo, Detroit, Cincinnati
DL James Vaughters (Cal) - tryouts with Chicago, NY Jets
QB Mike Reilly (Edm) - tryout with Jacksonville
DB Chris Edwards (Edm) – tryout with LA Chargers
WR Marken Michel (Cal) – tryouts with Chicago, Philadelphia
LB Dexter McCoil – tryout with Washington
DB Mercy Maston (Edm) – tryout with Philadelphia
DL Jake Ceresna (Edm) – tryout with NY Giants
RB Terry Williams (Cal) – tryout with NY Giants
WR Dominque Rhymes (Ott) – tryout with Pittsburgh
DL Jackson Jeffcoat (Win) – tryout with Cincinnati
WR Derel Walker (Edm) – tryout with Oakland
QB Jonathan Jennings (BC) – tryout with Indianapolis