The Riders’ search for a head coach is only a few days in and already it has caused great debate. We don’t do thing the easy way around here. We have already been denied permission to speak with Ottawa OC Jaime Elizondo and Winnipeg OC Paul LaPolice. Both coaches were given permission to speak to other teams back in December so clearly it’s the timing of the matter that is the issue here. The Riders have yet to ask permission to speak to me… in fact they have repeatedly asked that I stop speaking to them.
First thing is first. Ottawa and Winnipeg are well within their rights to deny us permission. They don’t owe us anything. It’s not good business to hurt yourself to improve your competitor so don’t give me the fairness BS. We asked, they said no, done deal. No hard feelings. That’s business.
Now, while those teams clearly should not give a damn about the Riders feelings in all of this, they should give a damn about their employees in this. For instance, reports are that LaPo is LaPissed that permission was not given. So do the Bombers care they the Riders are PO’ed about not getting permission? No. But should they care about LaPo? Hell yeah. While they are well within their rights to deny permission, it may not be wise to do so if the end result is holding back one of your employees from a promotion. Do I suddenly think LaPo will sewer their season out of spite? No but I’d be lying if I didn’t dream of a Banjo Bowl where he screws over the Bombers and takes off his jacket to reveal a Rider shirt (I watched a lot of wrestling back in the so, what can I say). But an unhappy employee is not ideal and it also won’t help future recruitment if you get a rep for holding coaches back.
I honestly can’t believe this isn’t all covered in contracts by now. How hard is it to spell out a deadline for out clauses for inter-CFL movement? To me if LaPo signed a deal saying prior to Jan 1 he can interview for promotions but after that it is club discretion then he’d have no reason to be pissed. But if there’s no deadline then it seems like he’d have a legit gripe. Jan 20 is late but not unreasonably so. He seems to think he has a case but that's between him and Kyle Walters to sort out. I suggest pistols at dawn.
All the drama aside, all signs point to Craig Dickenson being the next HC (and I pray in his first game against Calgary he tells his brother to win with some class).
In: WR Kamar Jorden (contract extension)
In: K Hugh O’Neil (contract extension)
Out: LB JC Sheritt (retired) DB Neil King (released)
In: LB Adam Bighill, OL Stanley Bryant, OL Michael Couture (contract extension)
Out: LB Ian Wild (released)
In: RB Sean Thomas Erlington (contract extension)
In: OL Nolan MacMillan, DL Nigel Romick (contract extension)
In: OL Ryan Bomben (contract extension)
In: WR Earnest Jackson (contract extension)
Interesting that people brought up the date the Bombers talked to and hired LaPo from us was into Feb 2010. I agree they don't owe us anything but bad optics re their employee.
You can't blame the Bombers for keeping the guy who runs the offence. Arguably more valuable than O'Shea. Same can be said for Ottawa. Letting Riders hire Elizondo when Harris is a free agent isn't a good look & could be costly for the RB's. Do we need a quick fix or do we do the right thing? Promote within & if it bombs, get the guy you want next year in November & let him get the best talent available for his staff. This is much like 2015 all over again. YES getting Jones was a coup if nothing else but the entertainment value. Bottom line - 27-27 in regular season, 1 semi-final victory in post season. THAT's not what he was hired for. All the titles & loose cash for as many far off tryout camps he wanted, flying in over 20 QB hopefuls, loading top management should have resulted in at least 1 Cup. Lest we forget, that was the bar when he was hired - get one or two Cups. We kept lowering it, as Rider fans are wont to do, as the seasons went on. After year 1, we were content for a playoff spot, after year 2 we demanded at the very least an appearance in "the Game". So here we are - what a ride it was but the results were totally underwhelming. Let's not hire the best guy available now & burden him with an inherited staff & the usual great expectations. Trestman is the "Bizzaro Jones", the negative photo image of Jones. Chances "Dr Phil" meshes with Jones' Merry Band are extremely slim.
Craig Dickenson seems like a solid choice to me. I don’t actually know the guy but his special teams have always been strong. This is obviously a big decision but the real success of our 2019 season will be determined by how well we do at finding us a QB. I admired Jones attempt to make it work with the QB options available to him but with a better QB odds are good we would have won a Grey Cup during his three year run.
Let's not rewrite history. Glenn/Bridge were pretty good in '17. Their 35 passing TD's led the league, there were three 1000 yard receivers & Jones chose to go another route. Not blaming him for Collaros but dumped Glenn the next day. You can dream all you want about Jones shoulda, coulda won a Cup but when we had the offence in'17 we still placed 4th. And, except for a record tying # of defensive TD's last year the club was lucky to win 12. The Riders were never as good personnel- wise overall as Calgary or Winnipeg, to name 2 in the West. The QB options available to him were the ones he chose. He had 3 veteran QB's in those 3 years. You might want to look at Jones/McAdoo's record when they had Reilly. Reilly's passing stats then vs the past 3 years are not comparible. He averaged close to 100 yds per game less with Jones. Lest you think the receivers were worse then, Reilly had Walker then as well as Bowman in his prime. McAdoo's offence is the reason. Too much short passing ball control. The point is Jones was hired to win a Cup. He had more money & resources to do so, with total control, than any other Coach in the league. How many free agents did he pick up & then discard them? By that time most of the cream of the crop were gone so he couldn't get a do-over. Lemon & Cappiciotti year 1, Dennis year 2, constant roster churn. So he's left the team in better shape? Not so sure. Wait till free agency is over.
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