Riders 10 – Stampeders 36
I think I speak for all of Rider Nation when I say, thank god that is over! It was a long painful season full of disappointment and lacking anything resembling hope. Usually the end of the season leaves me wanting more Rider football. This season, I ever so grateful there is no more to endure.
I was thinking about it and this is probably the worst season I can remember since way back before Roy Shivers took over. Sure we sucked in the early 2000s but you could see something slowly building. We sucked in 2011 but at least we fired Greg Marshall during the season (Remember when he said we haven't seen the last of Greg Marshall? Maybe he will make his return about the same time Andrew Harris finds out who tainted his supplement). We sucked again in 2015 but again, we had a mid-season firing to instill some hope. 2016 was actually worse from a wins perspective than this season but again, we were slowly building towards something. 2022 offered nothing. No progress, no improvement, no plan, no hope.
I’d rather not spend much time talking about Saturday’s game. Before halftime we had managed to let Calgary recover their own punt and gave up an 85 yard TD on a QB sneak. That right there tells you all you need to know about the game. Defense had clearly checked out as they allowed the Stamps to run for over 300 yards rushing. Offense was their usual useless self. I’m so glad we dressed Cody Fajardo as opposed to Dolegala or Lewis. Really proved be a useless move for the organization. Somehow the Stamps managed to dress 3 QBs but we determined that was simply impossible.
There were exactly 4 things that I will make note of.
1) Lanier is a stud. He played just 11 games but had 9 sacks. If there is a way to keep him in Green and White he is the #1 priority along the D-line by far.
2) Alford is also a stud. Casually rips off another big return.
3) Sankey sets a record. I mean, the fact that he had to make so many tackles is an indictment of our defense as a whole but Sankey is one guy who never gave up and is a stand up guy on and off the field. Good on him for setting a record.
4) Dean gets 100 tackles. At his age, coming off major injury… to see him get all the way back to where he did was awesome.
Only thing I might add is that our disgraceful O-line will at least be immortalized for their futility as we set a CFL record for allowing 77 sacks. More than any other team since they started tracking that. Never forget.
Now we all wait with bated breath for the upcoming Craig Reynolds press conference. Changes are coming. But for those expecting a house clearing. Expect to be underwhelmed. For one, I expect the franchise to opt for consistency over radical change. For two, the coaching salary cap will greatly limit how much we can do even if we want to. O’Day, Dickenson, Maas and Shivers all have 1 more year on their contract. Unless we are replacing them all with unpaid interns, we simply can’t clean house.
I’ve said all along that O’Day survives and I stand by that. I think the team would like to keep Dickenson but from a marketing perspective I simply don’t think they can sell fans on another season of him. He clearly could not hold the team together through adversity. So we fire Dickenson. Hope to hell Montreal is stupid enough to poach Maas and pray that no one offers Shivers an “Assistant Head Coach” role to poach him. That’s my guess anyway.
Hopefully by next Monday I have something to discuss that presents some hope for us fans.
I am intrigued by your idea of replacing guys with unpaid interns. I really can't see how it gets worse than August on. IF we are stuck with guys due to the coaching cap and can only get rid of one person for me it has to be Sorrells. Way too many guys got beat before they even came out of their stance or whiffed on basic stunts to make me think that line was a group that was coached well.
A friend of mine pointed out how with minimal changes BC's line got a lot better after firing a guy and bringing in Kelly Bates.
I agree there won't be wholesale changes but it is not as if it hasn't happened before.
Last year Edmonton fired the President, GM, HC & DC, all of whom had multiple years on their contract left. Jone referred to that problem this week on 3DownNation by saying the Elks were running with 3 less people in football OPS than any other team in the league due to the OPS Cap. Their STC left early in the year so that position was added to another coach. Hard not to say that had an impact on the product.
I hate the word "culture" but IMO there's something missing in the overall makeup of the team. When Marino was let go only 4 players stood behind him in that press conference. Harking back to the blowup of the Elks where it was believed the COVID issue had players on opposing sides, this looks like a very similar situation here though it was more than about Marino. The HC lost the room IMO a long way back. And he was left to face the music pretty much on his own, which is another issue. Nobody seemed to be on the same page.
On another note, we may not have seen the last of Cody Fajardo. He hinted as much but I keep looking at the starters across the league & honestly can't see where Cody fits in. Maybe Cody seems to see the same picture.
I assume as a lowly assistant Sorrells is in a one year deal. I have just assumed he is gone. Not sure how you justify keeping him when he clearly did nothing to improve their play. It's too bad we have to make decisions early. If we knew Montreal was for sure taking Maas then Dickenson becomes your freebie. But you need to decide on Dickenson before knowing for sure about Maas.
If you get one fire, then I guess it has to be Maas.
The only O-lineman I would keep for next season is Ferland & Bandy cuz they're both young and can still develop. I would keep Kopper to see if he can develop but he might not have the size. Jamal Campbell I would keep for Cdn depth as a bakup. Thats its let the rest go...even Dan Clark
My brain is breaking down on this admin salary cap and the issues it is causing to properly clean house. So, player contracts in the CFL are not guaranteed but coaching and management contracts are? I know it has been said many times in recent weeks but the league won’t stay competitive in the long run if the admin cap prohibits teams from firing dead wood. I believe the cap was initially introduced in response to the Riders big dollar hire of Jones and an army of scouts and assistants. It appears the Riders have broken this again and may end up as the catalyst to fix it.
I’m not thrilled about the idea of ODay keeping his job but I think your analysis is likely correct. Sure as hell hope Reynolds lights a big big fire under his ass to ensure he gets his shit together and addresses the obvious weaKnesses he’s been ignoring the last couple years.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I guess it might be okay to see Maas back. He’s had legit successes as an offensive coordinator in the past. By the end of the year it really felt like Dickenson’s wishy washy, “everybody is doing the best they can….blah blah blah” leadership got the worst out of those around him. New Head Coach could rejuvenate Maas along with the rest of the team. Well that, and more talent in the trenches, at QB, and import receivers. Not asking for much.
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