Well the CFL season is almost upon us and it is time to start gearing up for the season. Fellow Bleacher Report writer Scott Fitzsimmons and i have been talking about what to expect for the following year. Our views differ slightly but this article is about my views. if you would like to see his i am sure he will be writing them shortly
Well the big question you must be asking is: How can you assure us that the 07 Grey Cup Champions and last years last second (if you know what i mean) runner up will win the Grey Cup again. Well i tell you that the Riders should have won the Cup last year but we had to many players on the field. Now losing the Grey Cup because you have too many players on the field is possibly the worst way you could ever lose. The Riders will be back to avenge there loss this coming year and avenge i they will.
The Riders have lost some very key pieces to last years team:
DE-John Chick (signed with Indianapolis Colts)- 2009 CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player
DE-Stevie Baggs (signed with Arizona Cardinals)- 12 sacks in 09
DB-Eddie Davis(retired)- Played 236 regular-season games and amassed 801 defensive tackles, 112 special-team tackles, 111 pass knockdowns, 34 interceptions and 16 quarterback sacks with the Riders.
K- Jamie Boreham (traded to Toronto)- Punter and Kickoffs handler
MLB- Rey Williams (Signed with Pittsburgh Steelers)- Starting Middle Linebacker in 09
KR- Jason Armstead (re-leased)- Kick Return specialist
Those are all the major departures from last year and they really hurt. Losing the 3 defensive players to the NFL will be tough to overcome and the defense will struggle without Baggs and Chick. Williams has been replaced by Barrin Simpson who in my opinion is a better Linebacker then Ray Williams. Notice though that the offence lost no one of note. All the starters are projected to return.
Well the Riders needed to fill some holes and fill holes they did. Here are some of the Key Additions for the 2010 season:
MLB- Barrin Simpson (signed as free agent)- 6 time Defensive All- Star
WR- Prechae Rodriguez (trade with Hamilton)- 2008 CFL Rookie of the year Runner-Up.
RB/KR- Doiminique Dorsey (free agent)- Great Kick Returner with speed to burn
OL- Kelly Bates )Free Agent)- Big Offensive Lineman, Might not start.
OL- Dan Goodspeed- Free Agent- Big Offensive Lineman, Will Start on the OL this year.
DE- Shomari Williams- 1st Overall Draft Pick- Huge Potential. Will be starting DE this season in place of Stevie Baggs.
DE- Brent Hawkins- Played with The Jacksonville Jaguars since 06- Will probably fill John Chick's position.
If I missed any feel free to comment below but i think those are all. Because of those additions our offense gets better, our special teams improves with Dorsey and our Defense does not fall to far. It is impossible to lose the two best defensive players in the league and say you improved on defense so i wont, nor will anyone else who knows anything about Football. I think our defense will be able to handle the load and weight of Saskatchewan's expectations fairly well.
Darian Durant enters this season with so much more experience under his belt. Wes Cates will bounce back from a down season and return to his 2008 form. Weston Dressler is back from his season ending injury last year and is ready to lead the Receiving Corps. Andy Fantuz is healthy entering the year and Rob Bagg and Chris Getzlaf proved themselves very well down the stretch last season when Dressler went down. Jason Clermont is a stud and somehow needs more touches. The Riders will throw the ball this season more than anyone and in every game one receiver will step up and be the leader. The Riders have no cut and dry best receiver. Instead they have 6 with the addition of Prechae Rodriguez. I personally think Dressler is the best but that can be argued. THE OFFENSE OF THE SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS WILL BE BETTER THEN ANYONE'S. You can take that to the bank.
The season starts on July 1st with a Grey Cup rematch in Saskatchewan. The Crowd will be deafening and the Riders will tromp all over the Als. We could go 14-4 or 15-3. A second consecutive trip to the Grey Cup is inevitable.
Here is a message to the rest of the CFL. Get off the tracks cause the freight trains a comin'.