The Riders needed to move quickly to fill their vacant Head Coach spot and Friday they did just that by announcing that Craig Dickenson was hired… well I guess promoted since he was already in the building. Thus begins a new era for the Riders and I think we are all anxious to see how he will do. I think we are all also anxious to start using clever wordplay based on the fact that Dick appears in his name that we have been saving up for a week now… oh? Is that just a me thing? Well never the less more on that later.
Dickenson was the front runner from the moment Chris Jones left. The fact is that it was pretty slim pickings at this time of year and he was far and away the best option available to us… unless you seriously thought that Craig Reynolds could sell Rider Nation on Steve McAdoo (sadly some people did).
While the coach was not a surprise, the length of his deal was… to me anyway. Dickenson got a 3 year term. Now this is pretty standard (can’t recall a new HC getting less than a 2 year deal) and I believe that Dickenson is a good choice but given the circumstances I’m still surprised. The length of the contract tells me that O’Day thinks that Dickenson would still be his guy even he was given the chance to talk to other coaches. I always thought LaPo was O’Day’s preferred choice. It was speculated back when O’Day was in the running for the GM role when Jones was hired that LaPo would be his coach if hired. By giving Dickenson a 3 year deal he is essentially closing off that option. While surprising, I see this as a sign of just how confident O’Day is in this hire. Time will tell if his confidence is justified. Even when GM’s hire coaches that turn out be disasters they always think it’s a good idea at the start. I mean at the Greg Marshall news conference no one at the microphone was saying "this is will likely end very badly and very quickly"
Dickenson has two big advantages in my mind. One he represents continuity and familiarity for the players. We spent 3 years building a strong core and maintaining that core going forward will be important. Jones was beloved by the players and so the risk of losing guys like Jefferson, Antigha and Edem in free agency is real. Dickenson as coach may help convince those guys to stick around. His second strength is that as ST Coordinator he has years of experience talking to players on both sides of the ball. He’s well respected by the players as a result… good starting point for a new HC.
He next big task is hiring a D Coordinator. He essentially has 3 options: Jason Shivers, Mike Benevides, Jerry Glanville. Based on the direction the organization has been going with O’Day and Dickenson, I think Shivers is the favourite at this point. He offers more continuity and rather than recycling a guy like Benevides, he’s a young up and comer with possibly a higher ceiling.
Overall I like the Dickenson hire. I think he will do good.
Now for what you really came here for… immature word play based on the word Dick appearing in his last name (spoiler alert, this will be a recurring theme this season).
Note: if this is not what you came for please stop reading at this point
IS BIGGER brother to dave
Hopefully we have the short guys like Thigpen and Christion Jones stand next to the Head Coach on the sidelines so our Dickenson can look bigger by comparison.
Eagerly anticipating our Dickenson standing tall on the sidelines.
Other teams were interested in our Dickenson but they can only look, not touch.