Friday, December 18, 2015
This and That
It is Friday and that means here are the thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.
--The bombs continue to drop at Mosaic Stadium. As you all know, the Riders released 19 players on Tuesday as Chris Jones and company start re-tooling the 3-15 roster. Some are not happy over some of the players who were cut and the way they found out about it. When you are 3-15 and it is your job to do some cleaning up, you do it!
Yes, I was surprised at some of the players who were let go, but you really couldn't argue with who was told their services were no longer needed. The two biggest surprises to me were Anthony Allen and Weldon Brown. Allen's departure makes me wonder what the team will do at running back although with all the running backs the Eskimos went through last year, I am sure Chris Jones can bring one of those guys here. The other surprise was Weldon Brown who was injured early in the season adding to the woes on the defensive side of the ball. The turnover rate on the roster will be immense this year, but as a fanbase that is what you should be expecting after the nightmarish season of 2015. It isn't over yet and some players who are more popular than the guys let go on Tuesday may be next. By the way, is it safe to say Mr. Jones isn't easing into his new position and he is not #$%^%$#$-ing around. We've still got six months until we see what type of players will be on the field at training camp. Are you counting down the days?
--I will admit I didn't know a lot about John Murphy when he was hired. Yes, I knew who he was and what his resume looked like, but he could have walked past me in Calgary and I wouldn't have recognized him because he was one of those behind the scenes guys. If you want to know Murphy and what he is about, listen to Tuesday's podcast of the Sportscage as Rod and Luc Mullinder had a fantastic interview with him.
--I don't know about you, but Jeffrey Orridge is on Strike two when it comes to CFL commissioner. Saying coaches can't move without the league's approval is A) too late and B) goes completely against what the CFL has done for years. Yes, the Noel Thorpe situation which arguably resulted in the edict being handed out is a little greasy, but you can't change the rules once the kids are in the sandbox with the rules having been in place for years. You do it before the kids get in. If Orridge wants to do this, that is fine, but as I have stated previously, you announce this once the season is over so that it takes effect for all squads thinking about coaching moves in 2017. Perhaps he should have done this three weeks ago in Winnipeg instead of introducing us to that stupid logo.By the way, I am guessing this not allowing Thorpe to go to Edmonton story is a long ways from being over. How can the guy go back to Montreal now?
--Question asked of me Wednesday night. If the Riders were to win the Grey Cup and say the Argos pulled off a Craig Reynolds and managed to get Jones and his entire staff to continue their renegade tour and pack up and go to Toronto, how would it be accepted here. I think I know the answer to that one, and I think you do too. However, it would have meant the Riders were at the top of the CFL mountain again. I don't think Jones and crew are a one and done in Saskatchewan, but if that one results in a championship than I would think Craig Reynolds would say what Ed Hervey did and that is Chris did what we wanted him to.
--If the Rider brass asks Darian Durant to take a pay cut, what would be a fair one to take? Durant is making a rumoured 500-grand a season and he earned that for what he did in 2013, but he has only played a half season since then. 250 is too much, but I think 325 with bonuses would be a very fair proposition. Say what you will about Doubles, but he is the face of the franchise and will continue to be for a while. I am guessing he wants nothing more than to be heaving passes in the direction of numbers 6 and 7 and I am guessing he is ready to get back on the field after missing virtually all of 2015.
--The Winnipeg Sun's Kirk Penton has surmised the CFL off-season has been more exciting than the regular season. I can't disagree with that!
--Since the CFL came out with its latest draft rankings, I have been trying to determine just what route the Riders should go when it comes to who will go first overall. There is no doubt Manitoba DL David Onmeyata would look good in green and white as would Calgary RB Mercer Timmis and UBC DB Taylor Loffler. Who's kidding who, Iowa's Tevaun Smith would be a nice target for Darian as well and at 6-2, 205, he would be a big receiver that Chris Jones and John Murphy would both covet. This won't be an easy call to make. I would probably go with Onmeyata meaning he won't be the guy.
--Serena Williams gets the honour of Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year. Did those who vote forget about Steph Curry? There were many people I would have put in there ahead of Serena Williams.
--If that linebacker doesn't punch out Jets quarterback Geno Smith before the start of the season, are the Jets in playoff contention going into Week 15 of the NFL season. I think not!
--Week 15 NFL Lock of the Week --Seahawks over Browns
Week 15 NFL Upset of the Week --Giants over Panthers
--Stat from Pro Football Talk....Since Russell Wilson entered the league in 2012, he has won 50 total games. That's the same number of games the Browns have won since 2006.
--Was it just me or was ketchup battling mustard on the NFL Thursday niter? Those jerseys were god-awful hideous!
--Is Johnny Gaudreau to the Calgary Flames what Mike Comrie was supposed to be for the Edmonton Oilers?
--Message to Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. Either sign Steve Stamkos to a contract or trade him somewhere to this endless droning by everyone on him going to the Leafs can stop!
--Message to Calgary GM Brad Treliving. As an Oilers fan, please make a trade for Jonathan Bernier!
--Message to Winnipeg Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba. You have done nothing in this league to even consider asking for a 56 million dollar contract. What makes you think you should be earning that type of money. Realism kid----try it sometime!
That's all I got. It's the last Saturday before Christmas so do what you have to do, and be civil about it when going outside.