Training camp preview: Riders are back as Grey Cup contenders

For the first time since the start of the 2014 season, you can make an argument for the Riders being Grey Cup contenders.

Are they the contender? Maybe not. Though, I think you could make the argument that there isn’t a clear number one favourite this season. As in seasons past, the CFL seems tighter than ever ahead of the start of a new season. Especially in the West.

The Green and White open training camp this weekend in Saskatoon with a roster that seems mostly set if they can get through the next few weeks mostly injury free.

That said, there are some questions.

The offence

When it comes to the guys who put points on the board, most eyes will be on quarterback Zach Collaros.

The former Ticats pivot was dealt to the Riders after spending the last few years in Hamilton. Collaros is a former MOP-level quarterback who has dealt with some injuries in recent years and a shoddy Ticats offensive line at the start of last season.

The Riders are betting that Collaros can return to form with a fresh start in Saskatchewan. The good news for the team is Collaros doesn’t need to be a MOP level pivot for them to win games, they have skilled playmakers that can help Collaros out – just like they helped Kevin Glenn and Brandon Bridge last season. That doesn’t mean the Riders would say no to Collaros being an MOP candidate when all is said and done.

If Collaros isn’t the answer, then Bridge will be there waiting to take his shot.

A stacked receiving corps returns in 2018. The only thing to watch there will be who backs up Rob Bagg as the Canadian of the bunch. Same goes for Jerome Messam at running back, though having a stable of Americans behind Messam is a little worrisome. Will Trent Richardson ever show up?

The offensive line may be the most interesting position to watch during camp. Brendon LaBatte, Dan Clark and Thaddeus Coleman are more or less the only locks. Will the team only dress two Canadian o-linemen? Can Dariusz Bladek force his way into the starting lineup? Who starts at tackle? Is this a make or break year for Josiah St. John? As good as the rest of the offence is, on paper, none of it will matter if this group can’t be figured out.

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Willie Jefferson (7) gestures as he celebrates blocking a pass by Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Trevor Harris (7), not shown, during second half Eastern semifinal CFL action in Ottawa on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Defence

The Riders defence was their strength last season and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be again in 2018.

Chris Jones was busy this offseason bolstering their defensive line. Joining freak of nature Willie Jefferson is tackle Zack Evans and defensive end Charleston Hughes. Add in the promising Nick James and the Riders could boast one of the best defensive lines in the league. If there’s one thing you could point to as a flaw for the Riders defensively at times under Jones, it’s been getting consistent pressure on the quarterback. Like his time in Edmonton, he has the horses up front again. That should change this season.

Like the receivers, the secondary is mostly back and should be good again.

If the defensive line is the team’s strength, then their biggest question has to be linebacker. It appears that Sam Eguavoen has the inside track to start in the middle. Eguavoen has looked good at times at WILL. We’ll see if he can adapt to the being the man in the middle. Sam Hurl, who we know isn’t a starting middle linebacker in this league, could slide into the WILL spot. Linebacker feels like a spot where the Riders could use a surprise or two to help their depth.

Special Teams

Not a whole lot to think about here. Tyler Crapigna puts up consistent numbers every year, punter Josh Bartel has been solid the last couple of seasons and has become a master at pinning teams below the 10 yard line.

Craig Dickenson’s cover units have been solid since he returned to Saskatchewan with Jones.

Christion Jones proved to be the team’s most dynamic return man in years last season and will be looking to build off an electrifying 2017.

Overall, most of the Riders questions heading into camp have to do with depth, especially amongst Canadians. Finding answers will only make the case for them being Grey Cup contenders even stronger.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
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Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (149 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

182 Comments on Training camp preview: Riders are back as Grey Cup contenders

  1. MR Green // May 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm //

    Ya we are! Should be Grey Cup Favorites now that we have Collaros and Bridge has another season under his belt. Don’t forget Duron the amazing. Only team in the playoffs last season without a legitimate starter and were a minute from winning. We are Saskatchewan! Canada’s team.

  2. Provemewrong // May 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm //

    Contenders… HA…. Like they have been for the last 107 YEARS!!!!!

    • Facts of the CFL // May 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm //

      You guys have to stop any and all of the 100 year BS. 100 years ago the Saskatchewan Rugby team wore Red and Black.
      The CFL started in the late1950’s. The sooner people understand that the better off our league will be.
      Besides who gives a shit what happened when your great grand pappy was twisting the crank on the car to get it started.
      It’s what’s happening in our lifetime that matters. What we see and hear.
      The other fact pruneasadong is this. In the last 11 Seasons. No one has won more Grey Cups any more than the Riders. Montreal, SK, Toronto and Calgary all have 2. So whether you hate the piss out of them. That there is a fact.
      What took place before 2007 was a contest between Edmonton and Toronto as to who could or would pay more to have the best team. Smaller cities couldn’t compete in the Rich mans Grey Cup pre 2007.

      • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 9:12 pm //

        What small market teams are you referring to? Regina and Hamilton??
        The riders have “competed” as you say, because they have violated the salary cap. Don’t give this small market sob BS.

        • Calgary is a small market to businessmen. Get over yourself Red and admit you live in a dump city that only has oil.

          • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 10:44 pm //

            I’ve lived here my entire life and I can truthfully say I’ve never seen a single drop of oil here.

          • thts a joke i live in Hamilton and have been to both i lived out west for 13 yrs im sorry but if your gonna make a call on the nicer city Calgary is one of the nicest cities in Canada damn the rockies are you backdrop CMON MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Lancaster/Reed // May 16, 2018 at 10:02 pm //

          And you admitted the stamps pay players under the table to avoid the cap. The riders were still within the rules of the cap. They paid their fine.

          • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 10:45 pm //

            When did I say that?

          • Puck Hog // May 17, 2018 at 9:14 am //

            Steve, it looks like you have nothing to fear. You’ve got the Riders precisely where you want them. Now you can go off and troll the other seven teams that will compete against your team. So long!

        • And how much “over” the cap were the Roughriders? In the team’s last Grey Cup in 2013, the Riders managed to be $18,000 over the cap. So, boo-hoo, Red. If that’s the worst violation the Roughriders have done in the past 20 years, then I’ll take championships over those small excuses any day.

          • The bottom line is that the only way the sliders can make the cup is if they break the rules and are over the cap end of storey sliders will be fighting with BC for 4 th again this year.No QB, below average o-line ,no starting quality linebackers and lots of older over the hill vets ,ie Hughes,Owens,bagg,brouilette just to name a few

          • Jealous or not, Steve, you’re pussycats have a lot more issues than our so-called “sliders”. Don’t worry too much about us, though, I’m sure we’ll be just fine.

          • McMahon sucks // May 17, 2018 at 11:35 am //

            Ya a whopping .4% over and personally if you have the money spend the entire 100k over. That’s why they only make it a financial penalty at that level because it’s not considered serious.

        • Hamilton is NOT a small market team…..
          Hamilton has access the LARGEST population base in Canada!!
          There are 8 MILLION people that live within 100km of THF.
          Unless they have put a fence around the city and going to try to stop fans from coming from outside of that invisible border, that’s a lot of potential fans.

        • MR. Green // May 17, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

          So paying Flutie a million was fair? Get your head out of there. Calgary was trying to buy a cup. Who knows what they paid Garcia. Overspending tems by a million is far worse than 17k to have a fair playing field. I bet over the from 1990 to 2006 teams like Calgary and Toronto spent 10 million more in salaries than others. The cap has helped everyone. Teams are pretty much all withing 50k. Did we exceed the cap by 17,000. Sure. That’s basically not going over. It’s like driving 115 in a 110 zone. Everyone does it.

        • MR. Green // May 17, 2018 at 4:39 pm //

          I’m surprised Joel mentioned Nick James. He forgets easily who we have. James is a big strong guy for the interior D line who dominated his only couple games he played last season. That guy will impact the D tremendously. I see a definite ite All-star in James.
          Glasson as usual missed something. Travis Bond will be a guard. Another all-star.
          He also must not actually look at the roster and research our Canadians. We have a ton returning who learned last season. Riders rotated some during the season for experience, but sat them all in the end. We stole 6th rounder, Radford, from Montreal in a trade, who was a special teams demon. The Riders scouts and staff know how to look for gems.
          Sam Hurl has a lot of Canadian linebackers pushing him. The job is far from his yet. Judge, Francis, Bartlett to name the three potentials for now. Teitz will learn this season while playing on teams.
          The big questions are, who takes the other tackle spot. We have 5 fighting for it in including ST, John, who is in a must step up year. Can Bladek push Clarke, for in Labatte to Center?
          We had basically 2 backup QBs last season. Bridge is definitely more experienced. Collaros will get a chance to play with a solid team from day one and be in a similiar type system where his success started.

      • thethinman // May 16, 2018 at 9:55 pm //

        Hmm. Riders could have signed Warren Moon, Brian Kelly, Waddell Smith, Jim Germany & a host of other players. The main reason the Eskimos ruled at that time was because Norm Kimball was the best GM in the league & they also had the best Cdn scout. The great players like Kepley, Quick Parker, Damon Allen, Dunigan, Ham & you could go on & on were players discovered & brought to the league by the Esks. You also conveniently forget while counting your money that it was the Eskimos & a couple of other teams that paid into the league equalization fund so teams like the Riders could be around in 2007 to win cups. Also look at your record over the last 11 seasons. For all your so-called success, your record is 96-101-1. So please do go on about being a sub .500 team during those seasons.

        • And thinman, the eskimos carried a lot of revenue because they opened a brand new stadium that drove average crowds in the old stadium to sellouts at Commonwealth. In those days as you should be aware of, no salary cap to compete with thus retention of star players year-after-year while others, such as the Roughriders were stuck with second-rate players. Scouting trips, also, were numerous by the eskimos due to financial surpluses, yet not so with other CFL teams due to budget constraints. Really, your mention of the evil empire (as they were called back then) supporting the league is pathetic. Just like the New York Yankees are in baseball, or Red Sox if you should desire. Yes, the CFL now has a salary cap so everybody has a chance to win, besides saving the eastern teams asses. Please, keep the excuses to a minimum regarding your team.

          • Bombs Away! // May 17, 2018 at 10:20 am //

            Eastern teams? How about the sliders… they would be long gone had it not been for the salary cap. Pretty tough to pay players with wheat.

            Man, you guys sure forget quickly in your arrogance.

          • Bombs Away, I’m sorry to have gotten a bit carried away with that remark of eastern teams. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal and Ottawa have been quite successful with their operations.

        • Very well put sir ,the sliders always will be a sub par basement dwelling team

        • Well put thinman

        • zzzzzzzzzzzz it’s all history.
          We are talking about going in to training camp this week. It’s not the 70s or 80s get over it

      • Why stop at just the past 11 years, let’s talk about the team with the most Grey Cup championships of all – – and bo other team is even remotely close – – the Toronto Argonauts.

  3. thethinman // May 16, 2018 at 7:34 pm //

    Take a look how many games Collaros has missed each year since going to Hamilton & becoming a regular starter. The OL is going to be in flux. Interesting that when mentioning tackles in his CFL interview, Jones left out Coleman. Riders have a lot of holes.

    • The pre-season hasn’t even started and you’re blasting the Riders. Good God man, you’re one hard dude to figure out. You should be more concerned about your eskimos. Attitude coming from a braggart, Mr. Know-it-all.

      • thethinman // May 17, 2018 at 10:00 pm //

        Someone’s thin skinned. All I said is Collaros has missed a lot of games – 28 in the past 4 years. That the OL is going to have a lot of change comes direct from Jones interview. THAT gets you upset? Maybe come out of Red’s sub basement & take in a little air.

        • Believe me, buddy, no need to be concerned. I’m more concerned about your eskimos. It’s always nice for someone to rub another team, but I personally like the Riders chances more than your team’s chances. And a little bit of arrogance of the great signings that your team made in the ’70’s and ’80’s and saving the Riders asses — Give me a break!!! Let me tell you, thinman, bragging really turns people off as well. You pretend to be an analyst knowing all the wrongs of the Roughriders. Were you a closet fan? Maybe get out of Red’s closet, buddy!!!

        • Just to let you know, I commented on the response mentioned by yourself of Rider fan comments in the Eskimos page. A Bomber fan also is sick of the derogatory comments and mentioned this in this blog. Sad to say, the stories are going by the wayside and baby comments are emerging. A little bit of fun and jokes by all would really be appreciated. I have to step aside for a special lady. Good luck to your team.

  4. Steve Borsa // May 16, 2018 at 7:37 pm //

    RiderNation appears in good shape for 2018. However, so r the TiCats , ALS. West very tough. The 5 teams seem equal. Injuries will ultimately decide who gets in and who stays out.

    • Ticats? how?
      they are going with the same team that only won 6 games last year. They did nothing in FA, only one kicker.
      The Ticats are hoping that their momentum from the last 6 games last year will carry over, the problem there is that the other teams have got stronger they haven’t stayed the same.
      Ticats will be battling the Als for the final playoff spot

  5. Puck Hog // May 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm //

    Pre-emptive: Shut up, Red.

  6. Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm //

    On the very thin top surface, I suppose the riders are ok, if they get QB help. Like all teams the riders will face injuries, what if Labatte and Clark go down? What if (when) Messam can’t carry the load?
    The riders sit in a very precarious position and as Gasson states, Canadian depth is an issue and isn’t something that is easily solved.
    Jones has taken no steps to show he is serious about it.

    • True green // May 16, 2018 at 9:13 pm //

      Red I’ve asked you 4 times and you’ve never Imonce answers. What is your backup plan if BLM goes down?

      • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 10:49 pm //

        Whoever the back up is will come in. Calgary will adjust the game plan and do just fine.
        I bet you predicted Calgary would fall when Cornish went down in 2013, didn’t you?
        Instead Matt Walter came in, we adjusted and he ran for over 100 yards.
        Yes that’s the same Matt Walter the riders tried to do the same with but once again fell pathetically short!

    • CFLFIRST // May 16, 2018 at 11:36 pm //

      The stamps just lost their starting Canadian Left Tackle. They lost their leading guy who lead their team in sacks. They lost their returner. The lost clubhouse leaders. I think you should be more concerned with your own team.

      • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 11:44 pm //

        Dan Federkiel’s retirement was well known,no surprise, Spencer Wilson will take spot and Derek Dennis will take the other.

        We didn’t “lose” Hughes, we moved on from him. Plenty there to take over

        • CFLFIRST // May 17, 2018 at 12:30 am //

          Whether his retirement was known or not, Wilson is not as good of a player. You better hope Dennis’ back is better this year.

      • Calgary didn’t have any “clubhouse leaders” – – that was their problem, my friend.

        You can’t have a player KTFO a coach during a championship game and talk about “clubhouse leaders”.

  7. Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 7:49 pm //

    Why are rider fans so convinced Collaros is going to get the job done? He has never completed a season and his o-line is suspect.
    Honestly, what has this team done to improve the o-line?

    • Duececoupe // May 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm //

      Think about your own what ifs . You have a starting QB with a wonky shoulder and absolutely no one as a backup . We have bridge if collaros go down . 1

      • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 8:28 pm //

        Bo’s shoulder is 100%
        As you saw last year, Bo at far less then 100% is still better than anyone!!
        Bridge 11 for 21 in Eastern Final, with all your talented receivers.

        • Duececoupe // May 16, 2018 at 9:47 pm //

          Yes and Mitchell’s pick at the end of the gc game was steller.
          Did you just call the rider receivers talented? Seem to me you bash carter and grant a lot so are they talented or only talented to fit your lastest story .

          • thethinman // May 16, 2018 at 10:00 pm //

            I’ve heard it said on here before. Talent is given, excellence is earned. Grant is moderately talented. Carter has yet to show he can be an elite receiver. When he gets 1600 yards or so, then he can talk.

      • thethinman // May 16, 2018 at 9:58 pm //

        I’m glad that gives you hope, Duece.

      • The Stamps are going into camp with only ONE QB behind BLM

    • True green // May 16, 2018 at 10:40 pm //

      Still waiting Lil Red (see above)

    • Antlerman // May 17, 2018 at 10:38 am //

      For you to say that Jones has not greatly improved the Riders since taking it over you just a Liar. STampy you so intimadated by Jones its sad

  8. BlueBomberChris // May 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm //

    Yes the Riders are a Grey Cup contender….along with the whole west. It’s going to be a dog fight this year for those 3 playoff spots in the west and can’t always expect the crossover to be there. The Riders could finish first, they could also finish fifth; same can be said for the Bombers, Esk, etc. though too.

    We should be in for a great season and it’s shaping up to be highly entertaining with plenty of storylines to keep us coming back week after week. All I can say is good luck to the Riders, but not too much luck ;).

    • Well put, BlueBomberChris: Exactly my thoughts & the same to you in that … Good luck to the Bombers, but not too much luck ;). Lol!

      Pay attention, Mr Red! This is how good-natured football rivalry is done.

    • Exactly. All this is, is the 1st of the team articles going into camps. Winnipeg may be next followed by Edmonton and B.C. to finish the west. Then they will go through the east. Like every year.

    • Nice comment from a true Blue Bomber fan. Sad to say, the Alberta arrogance is sickening from a select few.

      • Bombs Away! // May 17, 2018 at 10:33 am //

        Arrogance? How about you reread the very first post above? You guys just don’t know what you are. It’s all about you.

        • Keep it down, buddy. I apologized as above. And get serious. About my team??? Really??? Read the negativity on the Riders by some before spouting off!!!

          • Bombs Away! // May 17, 2018 at 12:51 pm //

            I did not wish to spout off but on every new thread it seems the Riders just go looking for negativity. Your team might do well and it probably will. It would be nice if the blowhard comments were not always center stage. I hope my team does well too but am not ready to crown it just yet.

            I had not seen your last post when I wrote mine so sorry about that and thanks.

          • Your welcome. But read the comments of Mr. Red, Whitehorse, horsee, horse turds, etc. (one person), and that of thinman. Who starts this gibberish? For the most part, it’s not Rider fans attacking other teams. I don’t know who you cheer for (assuming Bombers). But I don’t go running around spouting off about the Bombers or other teams. I get absolutely tired of this gibberish and opened my mouth foolishly about eastern teams in my disgust of thinman’s comments (eskimo fan). But I read comments primarily from Stamps fans, then Eskimo fans and a few B.C. fans (though, one B.C. fan, named B.C. Dave tends to stand up for Rider fans), and the odd Bomber fan that are like vultures. Most eastern fans show or “pretend” to respect comments by Rider fans. But it gets rather frustrating. When I first came on this site, I enjoyed reading the stories. Now, my time is spent attacking those that attack the Rider stories. There are some absolute vultures. And no hard feelings to you, but a little respect would be appreciated by many of us. And one last note: Really, why is it hard for a Rider fan to feel confident about our team? I think we have a shot at winning the title like 4-or-5 other teams. Yet, some brandish the fact of four titles in 100-and-whatever years. I really could care less at that garbage. Let’s just say, I’ve been a fan of the team since the early-70’s and will always be Loud and Proud in Green and White. And three of those championships I witnessed with two inside the stadium. Anyways, you have a good day.

          • thethinman // May 17, 2018 at 10:14 pm //

            Surprise 89. Rider guys are all over items not related to the Roughies looking for trolls. Case in point – 126 comments on Maas article, many by you guys. You’re big crybabies -“Mom they’re writing about the Riders again. Tell them to go away”. What a bunch of whiners. If the playground’s too rough, Red can rent you the sub basement suite.

          • I’ll have to check it out, thinman. A little bit of respect by all would really be appreciated. Shame on the trolls, whether Rider fans, Eskimo fans, etc. Trolling has no purpose. But I will do you the favour since you’ve mentioned this. And no need for me to rent out Red’s suite, I work in a building with several suites and no vacancy.

          • Thinman, I recognize one in particular going toe-to-toe with an Eskimo fan who likes dishing it as well. Most of the comments by Rider fans were general in nature by breezing through that. But I understand it goes both ways. I don’t look that much through other teams stories, but mostly focusing on the Riders. I’ll leave it at that.

    • No doubt there will be a crossover.
      The Als, Ticats will be battling with 6 or 7 wins and trying to stay ahead of the crossover team.
      Same results as last year but Als looking better, the Ticats the same, Ottawa better, Argos the same.

  9. Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm //

    People say the west is going to be a dog fight every year. Yet by Labor Day Calgary is pulling away from the pack.

    • Provemewrong // May 16, 2018 at 8:05 pm //

      And by November they are sitting in their lockers crying, as some other team hoists the GC!!!!

    • And by the time Grey Cup Sunday is over they are sucking the hind teat.

    • BlueBomberChris // May 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm //

      What’s the saying Red, all good things come to an end? Everyone’s time in the sun will come to pass? Pick your cliche. I think the other teams are closer than you either believe or care to admit.

      I predict things will still be very unsettled all around the west when labour day rolls around

      • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm //

        Calgary has been tanning in the sun for 30 years BlueBomberChris. This team still has the deepest roster in the league.

        • Really, Red, I could care less of your comments and braggart attitude you possess. In fact, I used to try and appreciate your comments. But it gets rather sickening. And that coming from a long-time CFL fan as you well are aware of. And I actually appreciate the Stamps.

          • thethinman // May 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm //

            How nice of you to throwRed a little bone. Guess what 89, I actually appreciate the Riders too. That’s coming from a long time CFL fan.

          • And I have no problem providing them when someone asks for it, thinman. And that makes two of us that have been around for a long time.

          • Let’s just say, I worked around Calgary several years ago, thinman. So I don’t have any dislike for the organization, or really the Eskimos.

  10. A lot of speculation at this point, So here’s my 2 cents plus tax prior to camp:

    – Would like to see our O line shored up, what’s with Campbell ??
    – Not one who hails Collaros as our saviour at QB. Of course I’m hoping he returns to game form and proves me wrong. Still have Bridge, and he’s out to prove himself.
    – Confident in our run game and receiving core.
    – Confident in our D Line, certain Eguavoen will fit in the middle. Hughes and Willie are going to put the fear into a few QB’s eyes.
    – Could use a little help in the D backfield. Got burned at pivotal moments last year, including the East final.

    Tough division, looking forward to some great competition.

    • greenenvy? // May 16, 2018 at 10:47 pm //

      Good unbiased analysis, Yup. Actually agree with Gasson as well. I still see issues with LB & run game. It all revolves around the OL. If it isn’t improved, can’t see rush game move up much from last in 2017. Can’t have situation like last year when Glenn chased due to pressure. Too close to call between some teams. Soon we’ll see final rosters. Then may have a better handle on it.

      • Agreed on the pressure reference Envy. A team could have the best D in the game but they won’t do squat if they are on field 70% of the time. I wonder if Christian Jones might not be utilized out of the backfield ??

        As you said, once rosters start to take shape the stories will unfold. I see Edmonton at the top in the West. And will put Hamilton as a strong contender in the East.

    • Interestingly, Yup, the entire CFL has ignored Campbell. It would not surprise me to see Campbell come back in green and white should the o-line struggle in the first couple games. But offensively and defensively, the Riders look improved from last year’s 10-8 team. Confidence coming in in 2018 for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

  11. Just saying // May 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm //

    Yah your right Huffhider, me and the rest of Rider Nation should just throw in the towel. Yup Huffhider said we suck, lol

  12. Just saying // May 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm //

    Why do you Huffhider think that Bohoo is any good? Every year you put all your faith in this choker. Nobody fears Bohoo

  13. White Horse // May 16, 2018 at 8:25 pm //

    According to Gasson and all slider fans, they will do as suspected. Base the season on a sort-of QB! That is risky. My suggestion would be…we are hoping our season will be better than 2017 if Collaros has regained a reasonable showing of his past success.The sliders will look good if they can get a crossover 4th spot. They are up against three other PROVEN better teams in Edm, Stamps and Wpg. Good luck sliders.

    • Good luck at your hooked on phonics class

      • Provemewrong // May 16, 2018 at 8:52 pm //

        Yup, I hear you are getting ready for prom…Good luck with getting your your cousin to go with you. (Cue the banjo)

        • Should be a good time. BTW – Thanks for the invite to your wedding. Sorry I can’t make it, but I hope you and your nephew live happily ever after. Gift is in the mail……but don’t shake it too much!!

          • Prove me wrong // May 17, 2018 at 9:48 am //

            Yup. You seem confused (a natural state for a gapper), but I will type slower so your Cousin-Mom can read it for you and your cousin-prom date. Wheatards like you and yours are just like a puppy mill for future oil patch workers. keep up the good work. (Have some one from outside saskabush explain the slight)

          • Please, save your breath. You’ll probably need it to blow up your next date.

    • Thanks for the wonderful reference (sliders), horse turds!!!

    • CFLFIRST // May 17, 2018 at 10:33 am //

      The stamps are in an enviable position having a proven top tier QB in Bo Levi. The Riders Collaros who has been good, and Bridge who played very well last year. If Collaros got hurt there are many that suggest, rightly or wrongly, that the Riders would be better off with Bridge anyways.

      There’s no debate that the Stamps would take a huge hit if Bo Levi got hurt.

      There aren’t a lot of Canadians that can start at tackle and have an impact. The stamps had this, but lost it. They chose not to re-sign Messam. Their NI depth has taken a hit.

      The Lions have made some solid improvement in the off season. Edmonton lost a lot of players as well. The Sliders as you like to say had some turnover too. I like Muamba so I think that’s a big loss and their were some changes on the o-line.

      I really think it’s a close 5 team race in the West.

  14. Duececoupe // May 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm //

    This version of the riders is what stamp fans hate , a contending rider team that come playoff time leaves the stamps wondering about next year country . 9

    • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 8:37 pm //

      lol oh I can’t wait until labor day. I can only wonder what you will be saying then.
      Let me give you some examples…… I have many years of experience dealing with this lol
      1)- The officials are screwing us.
      2)- 1 or 2 plays go differently each game we’d be undefeated, it’s bad luck
      3)- No team in league history has had to endure the injuries we have
      4)- I never claimed the riders would be better than the Stamps!

      • Dry up and blow away already. Just can’t shut the hell up and let people discuss bugger all. You are so bloody annoying it’s beyond ridiculous.

        • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 8:46 pm //

          You can discuss whatever you want, don’t let me stop you.

        • Provemewrong // May 16, 2018 at 8:54 pm //

          So, how is that begging Mr Red to go away working for you? “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

          • Kind of like expecting an intelligent statement from you. When you are done clipping his nails, could you tell him to pipe down Elme. Thx

      • If that really is the case, Red, which I highly doubt, I much more appreciate those excuses than the excuse of Kamar Jordan fumbling the ball (and game away) due to a couple horse turds.

  15. White Horse // May 16, 2018 at 9:49 pm //

    Yes Red…another slider rant excuse will be…3-9…actually we would be 9-3
    If we had better weather this season.
    Those darn referees cost us four games!!!

  16. Bo is one shoulder crunch away….wait for it folks, it will happen this year.

    • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 10:55 pm //

      And the riders are one shoulder crunch away to any of their starting Canadians from total disaster. The team is already having to start a weak link at LB. You guys are so thin and you don’t even know it
      It’s like playing catch with your dog right before your Dad has to put a bullet in it’s head. So unsuspecting.

  17. True Blue // May 16, 2018 at 10:12 pm //

    I’m glad someone else said it first and I agree, yes the Riders look strong but so does the entire west (and a couple teams in the east) but the west will be a battleground this season. All 5 western teams have promise, especially the 4 in the prairie provinces. Looking forward to a competitive season right across the league. Like many of you every CFL game is a must see for me and I love to watch good competition. Go CFL.

  18. Just saying // May 16, 2018 at 10:14 pm //

    I believe the Riders will be better than the stumps

    • Green&Gold // May 16, 2018 at 10:20 pm //

      So do I. Edmonton narrowly taking 1st with Winnipeg and Saskatchewan fighting for 2nd/3rd. Calgary battling Ottawa for the east crossover

      • Bleeding Green // May 16, 2018 at 11:06 pm //

        Theres no reason to think Stamps arent the team to beat in the West again this yr..? How have they taken a step back? I see Riders battling Edm for 2nd in the West and Stamps running away w 1st as usual. Not disrespecting Bombs, but I think Nichols had a good year last yr and is an average QB.

        • CFLFIRST // May 16, 2018 at 11:49 pm //

          Kevin Federkeil, Charleson Hughes, Shaquille Richardson, Josh Bell, Tommie Campbell, Jerome Messam, Rob Cote, Marquay Mcdaniel.

          That’s 8 starters out of 24 that were starters for the Grey Cup that are no longer with the Stamps. 7 if you don’t count Cote, and they lost their returner Roy Finch as well. Out of that group Hughes, Richardson and Federkeil were really quality players. The stamps will look a bit different.

          • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 11:58 pm //

            Yes Calgary will look different, but still good. Calgary never has trouble replacing players.

          • Bleeding Green // May 17, 2018 at 1:02 am //

            Touche my friend. I . guess I’m just so used to seeing the Stamps #1 in the West, I’ll believe it when I see it. (Someone else in 1st) but I can def see Edm giving them a run for their money

    • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 12:28 am //

      Saying that is like predicting Wile E. Coyote will have roadrunner for dinner tonight.

  19. Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 10:57 pm //

    Calgary’s Canadian depth alone puts them in the top 3 in the west.

  20. BoLevisShoulderBrace // May 16, 2018 at 11:10 pm //

    There are 5 key positions on a team.
    1.QB. If your quarterback is able to read a defense, stay healthy and upright you have a chance to win. Collaros has shown he is smart and can make good decisions. Keep him upright and he can be a 30td guy.
    2. Blindside tackle. This guy is responsible for keeping that side protected and safe. The quarterback cannot see this side until it’s too late. Put a turnstile there and your quarterback gets hurt.
    3. Shutdown corner. Shut down that top receiver and force the quarterback to make bad throws or short ones. Riders have a potential one in Ojo. Johnson is a bit long in the tooth. I like Butler and Gainey but both play halfback. Carter back there has me wondering about the depth and recruiting of Jones and Murphy.
    4. Middle linebacker. The eyes and ears of the defense. Needs to be able to defend and stop the run. Needs to see the play before it happens. Eguaveon is a good athlete. Is he cerebral enough to see the game.
    5 Rush ends. Jefferson is a beast and an athletic freak who causes all sorts of disruptions. Hughes and Antigua both are able to generate pressure. Riders are set here.

    Lastly Canadian depth. Good teams can start 8-10 Canadians and play with the radio. Riders are not able to do this and that will cause headaches as injuries and roster shuffles occur in the season.

    • Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 11:15 pm //

      Fair analysis.
      Keep in mind the riders have a huge hole at LB where they will have to start a Canadian and they have no answer to protect Zach’s blindside

    • Hard to argue with anything you’ve said. Good analysis.

  21. Mr Red. // May 16, 2018 at 11:47 pm //

    So when will a rider fan Acknowledge Duron Carter knocking over Rick Campbell.??????????????

    • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 12:09 am //

      The “green” elephant in the room remains

    • Jeremiah was a bullfrog // May 17, 2018 at 8:57 am //

      Rick… Durin Carter was in the field of play. He had just scored a highly emotional TD. As Duron was strutting down the field of play that he had every right to be on.
      What the hell was Rick Campbell doing on the field of play. Not giving way to the player. Then standing his ground and sticking his chest out.
      Rick Campbell was found at fault too. So don’t try and pin this all on Duron. Campbell had no right to be there. The rules clearly state that all players and personal not involved with the on field play will remain BEHIND the white chalk sidelines.
      They were found to be 50\50 at fault. Truth of the matter is Campbell 100 percent at fault. He was illegally situated on the wrong side of the sideline marker. He had no right to be on the field of play.
      No different than had Camobell been on a road somewhere in a vehicle. You cross the white line to the wrong side. You are at fault.
      If Campbell would have been behind the white sideline. This would never have happened.

      • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 10:30 am //

        lolol
        What?
        Duron purposely walked over to the Ottawa sideline to plant his shoulder in Campbell than purposely walked right into the Ottawa bench area. Don’t give me that crap.
        Also in was in between plays, coaches come onto the field all the time in that situation.
        I shouldn’t be surprised you’d support him.

    • When will you admit Reynolds beat his girlfriend

      • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 10:21 am //

        When have I denied it? Happened after his association with the team.

        • But he’s family no? Stayed in Calgary. Still a black eye on the team to this day. Carter wasn’t a Rider. So really not a factor. Move on and stay on topic.

  22. As I explained to Rider Fan last year, Zach Collaros is a legit franchise QB. Now that he’s finally out of that embarrassing gong show that Shovelface Austin was running in Hamilton, watch what happens with Collaros this year. When Collaros is lighting up the league, Rider Fan can quietly acknowledge to himself that once again Area51’s assessment was spot on.

    Unfortunately for Regina, NI talent remains an issue. Adding two quality NI starters like Evans and Messam was desperately needed because it appears Regina will only start two NI OLinemen – – Danny Clark at C and LaBatte at G. Bond inside and two other Imports on the outsides.

  23. BoLevisShoulderBrace // May 17, 2018 at 12:29 am //

    The riders O-line is full of questions.
    Left tackle I believe would put Coleman in the lead and ST.John on the right. Bladek I think goes in at right guard and Labatte at C. Clark will be the 6th guy and can be an interior guy.

    • Coleman will start at RT. And there’s ZERO chance of Joe St John starting at LT.

      LESS than ZERO chance that Danny Clark will not be starting at C.

      It’s fashionable among casual fans in Regina to downcry Clark’s game, but he’s a major part of that OLine.

  24. Barry Soetoro // May 17, 2018 at 1:25 am //

    How can you say the Riders are a GC contender? We’re talking about a team with a QB that is 0-12 in his last dozen starts, no middle linebacker, no halfback and a receiver that could be in jail or de-ported by the time the season starts.

    • Collaros is a legit franchise QB. That’s why you have to watch the games instead of just looking at the stat sheet, my friend.

      Last year Collaros was running for his life on pretty much every passing play. The OLine was hopeless and Shovelface Austin refused to run the ball to take some of the pressure off.

      It was a testament to Collaros and his scrambling ability that Hamilton did not set s CFL record for most sacks allowed last year.

    • Jeremiah was a bullfrog // May 17, 2018 at 9:31 am //

      Barry get a grip. Every player that was part of that 0-12 run in Hamilton that have left for other teams have made huge impacts to help those teams win. The whole team including the HC were on a fast track to 0-18. You could have put a healthy Bo Levi Mitchel on that team. Ricky Ray… it dosent matter. Under head coach Austin that team was finished. They all stopped playing for him.
      Only until they removed Austin and changed some things on offence. Did you see a new step in the players.
      Ricky Ray was going through something similar. Not as bad but still not great his last couple years in Edmonton. Look what happened when he was traded to Toronto. New start, new confidence and wham. Second year in TO and he had a Grey Cup. Plus another one last season.
      So open your eyes and look at the big picture. Not the hot mess that Hamilton was in 2017 under Austin.
      PS… Where is Austin now? He’s like the 2018 Montreal Alouettes DC. They are both unceremoniously so called scouts. What that means is we are still going to give them a pay check. As long as they stay away from the team.

  25. Geeze it’s nice to see the Roughriders as the envy of the CFLeague, the team others want to emulate.

  26. Hey Mr. Dead. Get in touch. Sam Equavoen will be at middle linebacker. He is more than a suitable replacement. Furthermore, they will be fine at offensive line – again out of touch. Why don’t you follow the Horseshits and stop making uninformed comments on this site.

  27. Hey Mr. Dead. Get in touch. Sam Equavoen will be at middle linebacker. He is more than a suitable replacement. Furthermore, they will be fine at offensive line – again out of touch. Why don’t you follow the Horseshits and stop making uninformed comments on this site.

    • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 10:17 am //

      I’m talking about the fact you will have to start a Canadian LB. There aren’t a lot of options in Regina

      • This is hilarious. Every post you make is dumber than the last. Keep going. We enjoy your uselessness

  28. McMahon sucks // May 17, 2018 at 11:53 am //

    To all the know it alls out there. The Riders were a last minute loss away from going to the Grey cup and in 2018 the appear to be a much improved team. We lost some players in the off season, but our gains easily out weigh those losses. Our defense for the last 1/3 of the season was the best in the league and they should come out of the gate the same way. We are better at QB hands down and yes we have a few holes to fill and expect some young players to step up and provide that DEPTH that all of you are discussing. Injuries happen to all of us and Rider fans know that we now have a solid bunch with a winning desire so let’s go for the ride.

    • Good comments, Mr. Anti-McMahon. Obviously, a few will always run the Riders down even if the team won the Grey Cup. Jealousy is a bad thing.

    • Mr Red. // May 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm //

      How did you improve the O-line and Canadian talent???
      You mention being 1 play away from the Grey Cup. That must be qualified. You were 1 win away from being in the Grey Cup through the east.
      In the west you couldn’t qualify for the playoffs……….big difference in the landscape of today’s CFL

      • After getting into the playoffs it’s anyone’s game. As the east has proven to,youm2 years in a row. Maybe the stamps need to look closer at the leadership and how they can’t finish. I’d be questioning Concussion Dave’s ability to think straight in crucial situations.

      • McMahon sucks // May 17, 2018 at 2:41 pm //

        I won’t waste any time responding except quit changing what people comment to fit your own delusions. Really you’re not worth any response.

      • Ridersrule // May 17, 2018 at 7:05 pm //

        Is that the same east that has won the last 2 cups.

  29. Bombs Away! // May 17, 2018 at 1:00 pm //

    Some rookie camps have now opened so the season is upon us. How about we declare a truce and start just talking football. It sure would be nice. I for one will do just that and if this keeps up they might as well close the site.

    Please guys, it could be informative and for sure more fun. Don’t feed the trols. They might die a slow death but they eventually will.

  30. William Krever // May 17, 2018 at 3:10 pm //

    I think the Riders have improved over last year and it will depend on Zac if he is healthy. The West is going to be tough with 4 teams that have a shot. I think Calgary might finally get it together after 2 disappointments. The fact that the Riders almost made it to the Cup last year is nothing to boast about. You went the easy way through the east and still lost. In fact, the Argos were a far better team than the Riders in the East final except for 10 minutes and a good return.

    • Ridersrule // May 17, 2018 at 7:01 pm //

      The easy way through the east you say? Do you mean though the same east that no west crossover team has ever went to the gc , the same east that has won the last 2 cups . Yup we sure took the easy road .

  31. Mr hemorRED // May 17, 2018 at 3:11 pm //

    Mr Red is niblets in the poop of a ranch cowpoke after a corn roast on sheep date night.

    • Prove me wrong // May 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm //

      Yet a wheatard like yourself is compelled to make up a stupid name for yourself AND respond to Mr Red. You sliders are OWNED by him, just admit it.

      • Greenland // May 17, 2018 at 6:31 pm //

        Your always compelled to comment on Rider comments so I would say your OWNED by us.

        • Times sure are changing Greeland. I always thought hutterites frowned on computers/technology. Yet here’s Prove me clueless, lighting up 3down, and using his entire vocabulary in one sentence. He will reply after he gits his chores done, when the animals are serviced, and his kin are washed

        • Provemewrong // May 17, 2018 at 8:41 pm //

          Greenland. Wow, owned by an inbred wheatard… Hmmm… No, you are, like all sliders wrong again. Come back when you have more than one professional team in gapland.

  32. Mr hemorRED // May 17, 2018 at 5:38 pm //

    Sounds like you and Mr Red share a bunk in ranch bunkhouse and talk about what age you found your first love grazing in the pasture

  33. Clayton // May 17, 2018 at 6:26 pm //

    You pathetic stumps fans can hack us Riders fans all you want but were not the ones obsessed with every stumps article like you are with ours. Who owns who now?? LOL when we win the cup before you I cant wait for the fun to begin

  34. Mr hemorRED // May 17, 2018 at 6:34 pm //

    Last time the so called Stump fans on here went to a game they were wearing their Kevein Feterick jerseys they got from the rope a goat halftime show

    • Just to mention, I enjoy the cowboy humour directed at the name changer. Keep it up.

    • Provemewrong // May 17, 2018 at 8:44 pm //

      Hey hemorrhoid… I think you have been using your cream for toothpaste. It seems to have affected your thought process. But (pun intended) I am sure that you are still in the bottom 10 percentile among your wheatard cousins.

  35. Green&Gold // May 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm //

    This is funny. I quite enjoy reading my friends in the rectangle province to the east take control of the minor league town to the south of me

  36. Mr hemoRED // May 17, 2018 at 9:03 pm //

    Hey Prancesinthong

    When you and the boys are drinkin paint thinner in the bunkhouse on a Saturday night have you ever accidentally picked up your sheepmom.

    • Until this day his favorite group is the Beastiality Boys

      • Provemewrong // May 17, 2018 at 9:32 pm //

        Yup and hemorrhoid. Boy you guys must pick up all the best looking sheep when you go out on the town.

  37. Mr hemoRED // May 17, 2018 at 9:12 pm //

    Careful, Prancesinthong will tell his D’aaaaaaaahhhd

  38. MR. Green // May 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm //

    My old friend from childhood, Jamie Nye, his preview on CFL.ca is better and more detailed

    • He had a good breakdown Green. On another note, Knox was released by Tampa. Hope he doesn’t get scooped by any other teams and comes back!

  39. obviously Interesting post . Thank you for sharing these tips. I’ll make sure to use them.Great info
    Thanks.it is very help for us ,please carry on good point .

  40. Outwest // May 18, 2018 at 9:34 am //

    Ahh Saskatchewan,, Alberta’s retarded little brother.

  41. Mr hemorRED // May 18, 2018 at 10:16 am //

    Ahh Alberta, bullied and beaten by tree huggers in BC

  42. Tiger man // May 21, 2018 at 11:05 am //

    Really??

    The team had not even opened training camp when this was written…

    Let’s at least play a few games before the prediction silly season begins…

Comments are closed.