Tuesday, September 1, 2015
The Morning After
A new chapter is about to begin in the history of Saskatchewan Roughriders football.
As you know, Bob Dyce is the new head coach and Jeremy O'Day is the new general manager--both on an interim basis for the remainder of a catastrophic 2015.
I had been a supporter of Corey Chamblin, but that support came to an end Sunday afternoon late in the second quarter of the 35-13 loss to Ottawa. In fact, I think all support for him came to an end when he pulled one of the biggest bone-headed moves I have ever seen by pulling Brett Smith after a rookie mistake for a quarterback who has proven time and time again he can't get it done. With the Riders down 4, Chamblin sent the message he had enough. He may have well as waved the white flag. Inserting Tino Sunseri was the final straw for a team that had crawled back into the football game and may very well have won it if Smith stayed in. You could see the team had its heart ripped out of them and it wasn't going to get any better after this move--either Sunday or moving forward. The move had to be made.
I am surprised to see Brendan Taman go down with the ship as I thought he would at least have the opportunity to stay until the end of the regular season. Taman brought in the talent and has left the building blocks for what should be good Rider teams in 2016 and beyond.
As I drove home last night after helping deliver the news to the 620 CKRM audience, I couldn't help but wonder where we would be had it not been for what happened at last year's Banjo Bowl. This team was the defending Grey Cup champions and were on their way to an 8-2 record when Darian Durant suffered his season-ending elbow injury. The team went into a tailspin as you know that they couldn't recover from.
It was thought the team could be a Grey Cup contender again in 2015, but it all changed late in the first half of the season opener when Durant went down again for the season with the Achilles injury. It just seemed after that that bad luck followed the Riders around as they lost to both Toronto and B-C in overtime in games they should have won, and well you know the rest of the story.
Yes, Chamblin had his faults as does any head coach in any sport. His big one was accountability. He can't be held responsible for everything that went wrong as the players have to hold a lot of accountability for some of the dumb penalties taken, but his methodology was skewed and that was becoming more and more evident to everyone with it all bubbling over Sunday with the decision to put Sunseri into the game.
Both men were very good to me in my dealings with them at Mosaic over the years, and I do thank them for that and wish both of them well. I think we will hear Chamblin's name again with an NCAA program and Taman will find another job in this league as well.
Say what you will about both, but they gave all Rider fans a night you will never, ever forget in November of 2013 when they won the Grey Cup at Mosaic Stadium. They authored something that hasn't happened a lot in this neck of the woods and they should be remembered for that. In a "what have you done for me lately" world, Rider fans should not forget those two gave you a chance to celebrate something you don't get a chance to celebrate very often and for that I say "Thank you" as should you.
As for Dyce and O'Day. Arguably, the best part of the team this year has been special teams and Dyce has been responsible for that so you know his unit is playing for him and playing quite well. I think his spirit and approach to the game will be infectious for young and old. O'Day is someone I have confidence in and believe was being groomed to be Taman's replacement for when the day came to make a change. In fact, I believe he will be given the chance to move this team into the new stadium and if he doesn't, I think he will go back to his position of assistant.
As many have said, its time to "Roll the Dyce" so lets turn the page and see what happens next.
Bring em out, bring em out, bring em out!