I'll start off today with a disclaimer. Given that I don't reside in Saskatoon, I have seen exactly zero minutes of Rider training camp firsthand. It's been the same issue every year since camp got moved out of Regina. Good for fans outside of the Queen City, bad for me. And really that's all I really care about. I'm a selfish dick like that.
But more to the point of my story... my lack of firsthand witnessing of players' performances make it very difficult for me to comment on how training camp is going. I read everything I can get my hands on but at best that leaves me giving my opinion about someone else's opinion. Let's be honest some people's opinion (including certain members of the media) are worth about as much as a voucher for Blue Bomber Grey Cup merchandise. So trying to sort out the actual good opinions from the idiots, the clueless and helpless over-hypers (let's not forget that Joe Sykes was destined to re-write the record books)... we its difficult.
So with our first real look at the 2019 Riders coming on Friday, I figured I would spend today talking about a few newcomers that I am excited to see and why. I'm leaving injured guys like McInnis and Lenius-Dickey off the list. Obviously I'm intrigued to see what they bring but that will have to wait.
RB James Butler - Clearly Powell and Thigpen will start as 1 and 2 at RB but at a combined age of 732 it would be nice to know we have some youth that can step in if need be. Butler has been getting some good reviews in camp but you never really know an RB until people are trying to tackle him for real.
LB Obum Gwacham - Best name I've seen in a while. I'll refer to him as Ol' Bum Gotch. I will also give him my official Rider Prophet Endorsement. I've given that endorsment to the likes of Eltoro Freeman, Chad Kilgore, Ikenna Ike, Gabe Nyenhuis, Jose Valdez, Boo Robinson and they certainly went on to great Rider careers. (Seriously my apologies to Ol' Bum Gotch, that endorsement is the kiss of death).
Los Mexicanos - I'm curious to see how Brassea, Olvera and Garcia do in game action. If it goes well we won't notice them. If it goes poorly some may call for their deportation... I'd like to think I'm better than that but if I'm being honest, there's a chance its me.
LB Deon King - With Elimimian missing most of camp so far, King has been getting the bulk of reps at MLB. When the bullets start flying for real it will be interesting to see if he can those reps helped him progress his game.
DL Chabrel Dabire - He's been getting a lot a camp hype (which is actually a red flag for me). The book on him is that he has raw power but needs to work on technique and conditioning. So I'm hopeful but skeptical. Let's not forget he was a 5th round draft pick. Is there a chance we got a steal? Possibly. But more likely he's a developmental project and I want to see how much development he'll need.
DB Blace Brown - Interesting young prospect in the secondary.
WR Paul McRoberts - The most hyped non-QB this year. Is he for real? Or a budding Terrence Nunn? I'd like to find out.
You'll note I did not mention QBs. This is Saskatchewan, tell me you're not already sick about QB talk. Oh no, Collaros didn't light it up in a scrimmage, he must be a bum. Hey Watford completed a long pass against a DB who won't be employed in a week, he's the saviour of the franchise. Harker is new and we've never seen him... he must be awesome! And of course, Why haven't we signed Kevin Glenn yet? We've got a lot more of this coming our way, so I'll not add to it for now.