Insider Talk: Dickenson’s control, standout rookies, should Ottawa make coaching change?

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Insider Talk is a bi-weekly staple on 3DownNation that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel people, executives, agents, etc. — regarding the latest news around the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion regarding the possibility of a coaching change in Ottawa, this year’s standout rookies, Craig Dickenson’s control of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the progression of Edmonton Elks’ quarterback Taylor Cornelius, and the hiring of Khari Jones in Hamilton.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back in two weeks for another edition of Insider Talk.

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(Saskatchewan Roughriders’ head coach) Craig Dickenson doesn’t look like he has full control of his football team and a lot of what they’re going through is self-inflicted. They totally mishandled Cody (Fajardo)’s knee. They haven’t reigned in Duke (Williams). They need to get that cleaned up if they want to be in a position to play in that Grey Cup at home.

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Ottawa would be wrong to make a coaching change during the season. Most of their losses have been close and the team is getting better. They could easily have two or three wins by now. (Paul) LaPolice doesn’t have a great (head coaching) track record but that team would be worse without him. They should give him the full year and reassess things then.

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The best rookies so far this season have been (Winnipeg receiver Dalton) Schoen, (Calgary strong-side linebacker Titus) Wall, and (Winnipeg strong-side linebacker Donald) Rutledge (Jr.). (Calgary receiver) Jalen Philpot has flashed, too. Same thing with (running back Frankie) Hickson in Saskatchewan.

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I’ve always liked (Edmonton Elks’ quarterback) Taylor Cornelius. He threw too many interceptions last year but he was also put in a tough position with bad coaching and a toxic environment. He just needed more time. He can be a good player in this league.

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(Hamilton’s hiring of Khari Jones as a football operations consultant) was obviously done to put pressure on (offensive coordinator) Tommy (Condell). Their play-calling has not been good enough and I’m not sure they’ve gotten the best out of Dane (Evans) either.

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Winnipeg’s defence was able to get home with three rushers against Calgary (in Week 6). That’ll be a key for them this week (when the two teams play at McMahon Stadium on Saturday). That’s a good offensive line but they got beat. How will they respond? Bo (Levi Mitchell) needs time to operate, especially if Winnipeg drops nine (back into coverage) again this week on second down.

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Nobody should be writing off Edmonton right now. I don’t think all of their experiments are working but underneath Chris Jones’ dog and pony show is a core that’s improving. They’re only four points behind Saskatchewan. You’d be stupid to take them lightly.

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Our team needs a bye week in the worst way. We need a f***ing rest.