Monday, June 3, 2024

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Roster Thoughts and Predictions

Saturday, coaches across the league did the easiest part of their jobs… the cuts. By and large the Rider cuts were not surprising. I mean I’m sure somewhere someone is lamenting the loss of Tre Crawford but the majority of us were not overly surprised. Here were a couple things that did surprise me:


-        They cut both Pipkin and Fine. I’m not surprised because I think it was the wrong call. I’m just surprised they actually went through with the right call. Patterson outplayed Fine. Coan looked really good for a rookie. Pipkin ranks 43rd on the list of people on the game day roster that I would like to see attempt a pass. I don’t think Fine did anything wrong per se… he’s just really boring, vanilla, high fibre cereal (whichever expression you prefer). He doesn’t make many mistakes but he also doesn’t make many exciting plays.

-        Lenius was probably the other big surprise. It’s too bad that Lenius was blessed with the structural integrity of Dollar Store furniture. In 2021 he looked like he was on the cusp of breaking out as the next big Canadian WR. Since then he has made 17 catches in 8 games over 2 seasons. Ajou is younger, cheaper and not currently yet again injured. Probably not a super difficult decision.

-        I was surprised Ratkovich beat out Hickson for the back-up RB role (at least for now). I was also surprised Malique Straker made it to the active roster as a rookie (on a team loaded with vet Canadian special teamers). That’s a glowing endorsement of the impact they think he can make on teams.

-        I think Meyers is a better receiver than Johnson but with already having Bane and Sterns both at 5’9 we need some height.

Overall I like the make-up of our roster. Good balance of veterans and youth (just 8 guys over 30). No sure about the depth a some positions (WR, LB in particular) but our starters should be able to compete with anyone.

So with the season starting this weekend where does that leave us? I guess I should at least make an attempt to live up to my name and make some predictions, prophecies if you will. Here’s some quick hitters:


-        Record – 9 and 9. We were a 6 win team with questionable coaching and only 5 starts from our franchise QB, 9 seems a reasonable jump even if the season doesn't go smoothly. I see this a bit like 2012. New, hot shot coach inherits a struggling team and re-instills energy. Gets them back to the playoffs but the best is probably going to have to wait until year 2 or 3.

-        Finish - Third in west. Win the west semi but lose in the west final. Quite frankly after the last two years, any win after Labour Day will seem like a playoff win.

o   Bonus prediction – its Winnipeg we knock out in the West-Semi.

-        MOP – Trevor Harris. This team will go as far as he can take them. I expect him to be the leader of this team on and off the field.

-        Leading Receiver – Bane leads in yards. Schaefer Baker leads in TDs. I expect Dhonte Meyers to be starting before Labour Day (the expense of Sterns).

-        Most outstanding defensive player – I’d like to say Lanier will be our most impactful but the stats of DT are rarely award worthy. A healthy Rolan Milligan will be out leader.

o   Most sacks will be Carney (narrowly) but at least 4 people will notch 7+ sacks for the Riders.

-        Top Rookie - DeMarcus Fields. I think he locks down a starter spot and doesn’t let Henderson back in even when healthy.

-        Top Canadian – Schaefer-Baker. We never got to see the Harris-Baker connection last year. I expect it to be a frequent sight this year.

-        Top lineman – Hardrick. He will be the emotional and physical tone setter on that line.

-        Bonus predictions:

o   Shea Patterson starts 2 games going 1-1

o   Jake Dolegala starts 1 game in BC and throws 2 picks in a losing effort.

o   AJ Ouelette gets 10 TDs.

o   Zach Fry still fails to crack the starting line-up in a meaningful way yet again.

o   Happy hour beer prices will reluctantly be reintroduced after Labour Day, which we win

o   Micah Awe will be fined 3 more times before his first suspension

o   The injury bug finally catches up with Collaros again after all these years.

 Enjoy the season


Dan said...

I may be a bad person as it made me happy to see your prediction on Collaros injuries this season.

All your thoughts feel right. I’ve gotten caught up in early enthusiasm and predicting 10 or 11 wins but your 9 feels much more grounded in reality.

Bryce Taylor said...

While they weren't able to cut everyone they wanted, they *did* cut a lot of them.

Rider Prophet said...

Dan - I felt bad writing it... but seriously based purely on odds he has to be due.

Bryce - The rest of you take and lap and hit the showers... oh you don't have to, you're cut.

pantsonfire said...

The "Hit Parade" - West

BC - "Wond'ring Where The Lions Are" - All "Betts" are off on who provides the sacks. But no Rhyme(s) or reason the Lions won't roar in '24

Wpg - "Princess In Rags" - Will the dead zone known as IGF still intimidate visitors or will the freshly minted "Princess" Stadium take the shine off the players' tiaras?

Edm - "Six Months In A Leak(e)y Boat" - The Elks set a "Bede" on ST's to plug a gaping hole. A little "Leak(e) won't hurt. No longer "Faithfull" to the old guard.

Cal - "'Judge' ment Day" - Cameron & Co. look to be an Aw(e)fully lot better this year.

SK - "Riders On The Storm" - Storm clouds on the horizon. Riders will be playing a high stakes game with "Rushin' Ouellette" on offence & have sweetened the D with an "(e)AUCLAIR(e)".

Top of the Charts - East

Mtl - “Lullaby Of Birdland” - Don’t “sleep” on the “larks” this year. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen are ready to go, even with an AWOL Mack.

Tor - “Hallelujah” - They made their Bed(e) & will have to lie in it. “Hajrullahu”, life’s good. Or is it?

Ham - “What’s New Pussycat?” - Hopefully more chants of “Bo” than “Boo”. Or will they need a "Ta(y)lor to patch things up?

Ott - “Tumbling D(y)ce” - Will they be rolling snake eyes again - time they “Dru” a better hand.

Rider Prophet said...

Pants - this is art man!!! Well done