Monday, July 2, 2018
Something To "Mitch" About
--Like many of you, I am somewhat astounded at what transpired at Mosaic Stadium Saturday night. Unlike many of you, I am not on the "fire everyone" bandwagon.
Before we get to the ugliness that was, I think we can all agree the salute and tribute to the Humboldt Broncos was tremendous. Did we really think it wouldn't be? Craig Reynolds and the entire Riders organization get a tip of the cap for doing a fantastic job at something we wish they didn't have to do. It was spectacular and the rainbow that emerged over the stadium following that tribute was somewhat symbolic. It's as if the 16 who left us far too soon were watching and saying thank you.
Now to the game. BARFFFFF!!! I hope the Alouettes left a "Thank you" card behind. Those that have been criticizing World Cup soccer should know that the four games this weekend were all much better than the sludge you were treated to on the Mosaic turf. It was awful. It was beyond awful!
Where do you start.
1) The running game. It was non-existent. Why? Would it not have made some sense to perhaps make it a little easier for Brandon Bridge if some run plays were called that could get you 3 or 4 yards? It was like there was no attempt to run the ball. Was Jerome Messam 100 percent? The fact he wasn't on the field surprised me.
2) The quarterback play. Those that wanted Bridge got him. It was a chance for him to show us if he has it or not. He was not helped by Marcus Thigpen on the game's first play when what was probably a touchdown was dropped, but Bridge did not help his cause one bit. He threw two bad interceptions, he had happy feet, he was not what I was expecting. David Watford said after the game he was "bad", but for someone who had never been in a regular-season game, I thought he had a better night than Bridge. I think Bridge gets the start on Thursday against Hamilton, but who knows. What I do know is Zach Collaros needs to get back a-s-a-p because the season could depend on it.
3) Duron Carter: This experiment has to end. It never should have gotten to this point. It is clear to everyone from fans to other teams to the TSN panel that Carter is better served on this football team catching passes than defending them. Why you have arguably the game's most explosive player on defence is one I can't answer. I asked Chris Jones in his post-game presser why this is being done. Jones responded by saying we wouldn't be asking why he keeps Aaron Grymes (Edmonton DB) on the corner if he had two games like Carter was had. That's true. We wouldn't be asking the question because Grymes is not a guy who can turn around a game on offence because of his dynamic nature. Grymes is not a guy who will catch you 70-80 passes a year for 1000 yards and 7-8 TDs. There has to be more to this story, but I'm just not sure what it is.
Chris Jones is a good head coach. He knows more about football than many of us. His thought process on this one though is flawed. It has to be corrected. It would be nice if there were some defensive backs around to make it easier, but when you don't have any around, it makes it tough. Michael Ball said Chris Jones the general manager isn't helping Chris Jones the head coach during the 620 CKRM post-game show. I can't disagree with that. It is somewhat inexplicable how there is a lack of defensive backs and how this team did not find some in the off-season.
There isn't much time for a turnaround as Hamilton is here Thursday night. A better effort is needed, but after what we saw Saturday, anything will be better than what we Saturday right. Right?
--Let's also admit there were some good things from the Riders. Willie Jefferson, Naaman Roosevelt, Christion Jones and Brett Lauther all had superb nights. Lauther has been a nice pick-up in the kicking game. After missing his first of the year, I believe he has hit nine in a row.
--On Canada Day, the CFL had a chance to play a game. They said no. Why? I am not the only one thinking that. TSN's Chris Cuthbert and former Rider Ricky Foley were two asking that question. I really don't know why TSN wouldn't have given us a game. I think a Sunday night game against Mosaic or not having a Friday night doubleheader with one game being played Sunday instead would have been much better for the league. Showcasing Canada's game on Canada Day seems like a no-brainer to me.
--How are TSN and Sportsnet going to devote equal air time to the Leafs, Auston Matthews and John Tavares? Johnny T never had the spotlight shine on him the way it will now. Matthews might be the happiest guy now that Tavares is a teammate as he may be able to do his thing without being pressed every day. That honour goes to Tavares now. Toronto fans are excited and they should be, but I don't think they are the class of the East----not yet! They need more help on the blueline. It may cost them a William Nylander, Mitch Marner or maybe even a Nazem Kadri in a trade, but they need at least one more solid blueliner who can complement Morgan Rielly. If they get that, the discussions can begin in earnest.
Tavares gets 7 years at 11 million. You can't tell me you can add some corporate sponsorship money to that either as companies will be lining up to get his face on products. Maybe even 7-11 can get involved after that salary that was signed. Safe to say you will probably see as much John Tavares on your TV as you do Connor McDavid.
--Are the St. Louis Blues becoming Saskatchewan's team? Tyler Bozak, Jaden Schwartz and Brayden Schenn are representing the 306 in St. Louis.
--At this point, I can't see the Toronto Blue Jays getting anything for Josh Donaldson. Why would teams want damaged goods for a playoff run? Any return will not be what they could have had had they done the right thing and traded him in the off-season instead of fantasizing about competing in the American League East. What they should do is perhaps trade Roberto Osuna. His time in Toronto has to be up after his domestic violence issue, but it appears GM Ross Atkins wants him to be a part of the present and future. Osuna would likely get you a rich return even though he has had his issues.
--Lebron James has become "LA"Bron James as he will try to get the Lakers back to the promised land in a very competitive Western Conference. Can James get LA past the Warriors and Rockets. The days of the Golden State-Cleveland finals are over. Do Raptors fans think this gives them the inside track? I think we saw they are a team that isn't built for the playoffs this past season. Making Dwane Casey the scapegoat and staying pat will not translate well.
--That's all I got. Have a great holiday Monday!