--3Down Nation's and Sportscage contributor Justin Dunk now has Rider Nation salivating Dunk let it be known Friday the Riders are expected to make a strong push to land free-agent quarterback Mike Reilly if he does not re-sign with the Eskimos before February 12.
Dunk says "The Riders would try and sway Reilly to end his career in Saskatchewan, pushing the benefits of being the face of the franchise – especially post-playing career when Reilly could earn income in various ways long after the days of stepping on the football field are over. Combined with the benefits of playing in a state of the art facility for a rabid fan base."
The talk is all positive, but I just don't see this happening. If it does, what will it cost the team to sign him. What will it do to other free agents like Willie Jefferson who will command a steep raise. Some have said the Riders could jettison Charleston Hughes because of his salary, his age and his second-half dropoff. If a big-salary player comes in, one or two have to leave. It's the reality of the game in a salary cap era. Who do you think will leave and imagine the uproar if said player is a crowd favourite or a local.
Yes, the Riders are close to a Grey Cup and Reilly could be what is needed to push them over the top both in 2019 and maybe even 2020 when the team could be the host for the Grey Cup and do what was done in 2013.
Does Reilly want to come? That pot will have to be sweetened and with many thinking Reilly will be either staying in Edmonton or moving to BC, it will have to be sweetened a lot. It's never dull in Riderville.
--There is some angst over the fact Steve McAdoo will be back as the offensive co-ordinator in 2019. The performance of the offence or the lack of it was as you know the lightning rod for criticism in 2018. I will just ask the question again. McAdoo had the same offence in place as he did in 2017 when the Riders led the league in TD passes so where did it change because his philosophy and playbook didn't. Was it Zach Collaros? Was it Kevin Glenn? Was it QB's coach Steve Walsh? Was it a young group of receivers? Was it a combination of both? I'm not absolving McAdoo of complete blame, but he can't take all of it.
--The Mexican combine seems to have gone over as well as a bad burrito. Out of the many who were there, not many seemed to be worthy of having a CFL career. While there are some who can play, it would seem as if GM's don't believe Mexico will be a major pipeline to the league. It leaves me to ask why the league is pursuing this instead of a new CBA or investing in the game back home whether it be through USports or minor football. . Where are the priorities?
--Saturday afternoon in Kansas City the snow was falling as the Chiefs took on the Colts in an NFL playoff game with the game-time temperature sitting at minus 2. Arrowhead Stadium was packed and Chiefs fans were on the top of their game showing their passion for their favourite football team. Rewind to November where Ottawa and Calgary played in the Grey Cup at Commonwealth Stadium on a day where the temperature at kickoff was minus 2 yet all CFL fans could do was bitch and moan about the game being played when it was.
There are cold weather playoff games in the NFL ( do we remember the Seahawks/Vikings game played at a sold out TCF Field in the Twin Cities) and people show up to support their team. They don't bemoan the conditions and look for excuses. While I know it won't happen, it would be great if we could just end the argument as to when playoff football should be played in our country and enjoy the game and show the passion shown south of the border. I wonder what the temperature will be in KC next Sunday. The seven-day forecast shows minus 10 for a daytime high.
--As for that game, give a lot of credit to Kansas City. They buried their playoff demons by making the Colts look bad. Patrick Mahomes didn't look like a rookie playing in his first playoff game. He certainly wasn't Joe Montana-like, but he cut the Colts up early and let the defence take it the rest of the way. One has to think they will move on to Atlanta for the Super Bowl.
--Can we stop talking about the demise of the Patriots. It was interesting to hear everyone say the Chargers can basically end the dynasty. This just in, the dynasty will be over when Bill Belichick and Tom Brady say its over. This is what, nine straight appearances in the conference final. What they did to LA on Sunday at home was simply surgical. Right from the opening kickoff, Brady knew how this day would end and by the end of the first quarter we all knew it as well. Can the Patriots walk into Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs? Yup!
--As far as the NFC games went, the top two seeds won there, but the Eagles didn't make it easy on New Orleans right from the first play. Marshon Lattimore made two big INT's in the game---one to keep the score from getting any bigger than 14-0 because if it did, it may have been a one-sided win for the defending Super Bowl champs and the second to preserve the win as the Eagles were driving for a game-winning TD.
The Rams always seemed to have control over Dallas, but they really couldn't put them away. In watching highlights and seeing talk on the game, it sounded like Dak Prescott was very inconsistent. I don't think Dallas is as good as some think they are, but I also think their quarterback play is very inconsistent from week to week. That needs to change if the Cowboys are to be taken seriously IMO.
--Another solid weekend of basketball action at the U of R as the Cougar men and women took a pair from UBC-Okanagan in relatively easy fashion. The men's game was somewhat close on Saturday night, but there was no doubt as to who the better team was. The biggest question of the weekend was what type of uniform would the ladies team wear. A laundry snafu ( let's unofficially blame it on Michaela Kleisinger) means the team has to wear some old unis, but they looked good in black. Can we make that a thing moving forward? In the end, I'm left to wonder if Coach Breaux from the Tide ads is better at washing uniforms than whoever who ruined this year's togs. How can I blame that on Dave Taylor? There has to be a way!
Both finish off the Canwest regular season with home games against the U of S Feb 1 and 2. That will be a great weekend of basketball. Head down and check it out if you can.
--The Oilers had their skills competition on Sunday at Rogers Place. Was Milan Lucic and others a game-day scratch?
--That's all I got. Have a great week!
The Riders can make a play for Reilly if they want, but I'll be shocked if he doesn't end up in BC. It is a better situation for him.
Why come here to a fanbase that will boo you if there is a two and out!
Have the Patriots ever lost a home playoff game in Round 2 of the playoffs? I think Baltimore beat them in an AFC championship, but that's it. What a possum job that was!
NFL fanbases are more passionate than CFL ones especially the one right here despite what those people as a whole think. It shows every Sunday.
Canadians are sport snobs,it has to be considered "world class" and the team has to be winning to earn Canadians support. We don't even get newspaper coverage or highlights of amateur football on our newscasts. Pathetic
Americans love their football. They go out and support pros, college and high school.
We don't, but we love to bitch about why we don't go.
The so-called "passion" for football in this province and country is over-rated!
I'm more of a CFL fan than NFL fan but that Patrick Mahomes makes football fun to watch.
I just hope some egotistical coach doesn't wreck him by trying to teach him how to play quarterback the so called 'right way'. It's happened before, where the coach makes the player change only to end up on the street.
Why would Mike Reilly or any other QB want to come to Saskatchewan knowing full well that Stephen McAdoo is the OC?
McAdoo is going to be Chris Jones' Achilles heel.
Might want to check and see who the Eskimos OC was when they won the Grey Cup the last time there SWC.
That would be one S. McAdoo!
Americans are just better fans
I know that and it doesn't change my opinion. McAdoo is Jones' Achilles heel.
US football fans don't complain about the price of tickets, they don't complain about the weather, they don't care if they can sit home and watch the game on TV. They have a passion for the game as evidenced by sold-out crowds.
Sure wish we could have that in Canada, but there are too many snowflakes.
Maybe the CFL is not all the relevant as some people would like to believe in Canadian culture, maybe even the Riders are not as relevant outside of “Rider Nation” the way some people think. I don’t think anyone talked about the Riders last year where I worked or who I hang out with about their playoff game, but I know people were talking about the nfl matchups that weekend and fantasy match ups. When is the last time a lounge advertised to come in for CFL Friday night specials to bring people in for the game like they do for mon, sun and thus night games? When is the last time the PM brought the grey cup champions in for a visit? How many people go on sports trips each year to some US city spending more money then they would on CFL season tickets and not watch a CFL a game. I really like the CFL but that league really needs to do something to promote itself, people are not snowflakes or bitching about the weather or ticket prices, just the CFL is not as relevant as it should be.
Anon number 9.
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