The Riders and their stadium are the same: under construction

sunseri

General manager Brendan Taman made an interesting point at the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ annual general meeting, just before the community-owned franchise announced it made another $2.2 million on 2014’s operations.

Taman pointed out that all three quarterbacks who played in last year’s CFL playoff loss — Kerry Joseph, Tino Sunseri and Seth Doege — are no longer with the Roughriders.

“We’ve changed over a very important position on our football team,’’ Taman said.

The return to health of starting quarterback Darian Durant, who missed the final half of 2014 because of a torn tendon in his right elbow, is the main change. But the Roughriders also signed veteran backup Kevin Glenn and added rookie Brett Smith in efforts to upgrade the team’s most important on-field spot.

Although Durant, head coach Corey Chamblin and many of the team’s noteworthy players remain, the Roughriders have undergone a major transition heading into 2015. It actually starts at the top, where Craig Reynolds has replaced Jim Hopson as the president and chief operating officer. It continues with the coaching staff, where 17 coaches — 17 coaches, including a new offensive and new defensive co-ordinator! — oversaw 18 days of training camp in Saskatoon.

At least two starting offensive linemen had to be replaced, the receiving corps needs new blood, it seemed like a lottery was being used to determine who would kick and punt, the defensive line has been altered, every starting linebacker is different from last year and the defensive backfield is typical of a Chamblin secondary because it’s always being tinkered with.

With the regular season approaching there’s great excitement — as usual — about the Roughriders, magnified by the ongoing construction in Regina of a new football stadium.  The Roughriders need to contribute $40 million to the stadium project, according to Reynolds.

One year after construction started, the project is on-budget, 44 per cent complete and looking to be ready for its CFL debut in 2017. Reporters and dignitaries got to tour the rising stadium while wearing hardhats. It is a construction site, after all, just like the Roughriders’ current roster. Get hardhats for Reynolds, Taman and Chamblin.

 

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Darrell Davis
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.