So at the end of last season, this guy was the Hamilton Tiger Cats’ head coach…
The all-time leading receiver was a BC Lion…
This guy was one of Rider fans’ most-hated players…
And this guy was a Grey Cup champion and the game’s Outstanding Canadian.
Now, these guys are all Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Which is SOOOOOOOOOO WEIRD.
I’m not sure what to think about the 2013 paper version of the Riders. Is is better than what it was in 2012? Yes. The offensive line has a year of playing together under its belt, Jock Sanders will be back from what could have been a devastating career-ending injury, there is now another receiver who can take the pressure off of Weston Dressler, Kory Sheets understands the CFL game better, and George Cortez should be able to play to the strengths of Darian Durant and add some imagination to an offensive that was sorely predictable last year. Ricky Foley adds dynamism to a sad-sack defensive line and is a ratio-buster, allowing the Riders to possibly start an all-American linebacking core or all-American backfield, and the secondary has been massively upgraded. Special teams is a big question mark with the departure of guru Craig Dickenson, the lack of a big-time returner, and an inconsistent kicking game.
I would really like to be optimistic about this team. Clearly the Riders are doing their best to give themselves a shot at playing in the Grey Cup on their home turf.
But like every year, it’s not so much the individual strengths that matter as much as how well they’re used.
The 2013 Riders are far better on paper than the 2012 Riders. We’ll see what happens when they take to the field.