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Credit Needs to be Given to Riders General Manager Jeremy O’Day

Published: Thursday, May 30th 2024, 2:05pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

I know a lot of people weren’t happy when Saskatchewan Roughriders President and CEO Craig Reynolds re-signed General Manager Jeremy O’Day to a 3 year contract extension this past offseason… and I get it. After the last few seasons of watching this team stumble and bumble down the stretch and not win a game after Labour Day, I was on board with a full house cleaning too. 

But, O’Day was kind of stuck with what he had because of the CFL Coach’s Cap and he didn’t get to actually do a head coaching search after Chris Jones bolted and left the Riders with Craig Dickenson as the only (apparent) option.

 

Following 2023, O’Day deserved to be able to hitch his wagons to at least one coach of his choosing, so with a new extension, he was allowed to do a proper head coaching search and has seemingly knocked it out of the park with Corey Mace. The culture has changed in Riderville and JO has a hand in that.

 

But more than that, the talent on this team seems to be much better. We are a few days away from final roster cuts to finish off Training Camp and judging by what we’ve seen from the green and white so far, there is going to be some seriously talented players released. Guys coming up here this offseason have had some extensive NFL time and/or have come from some really big NCAA programs with big time pedigree behind them. The scouting and ability to bring these guys in should not go unnoticed. And many of those guys won’t be good enough to make this year’s squad!

 

And how about the Canadian talent O’Day and company have brought in, especially through the CFL Draft. With guys like Brayden Lenius, Charbel Dabire, Kian Schaffer-Baker, Nelson Lokombo, Sam Emilus, Zack Fry, Jayden Dalke, Lake Korte-Moore and Jaxon Ford likely all being on the roster this year (most as key pieces for the team), as well as a promising 2024 draft class, O’Day has done a fairly good job in the Draft. Sprinkle in other starters through free agency and the potential for the Riders to start as many as NINE(!)  Canadians to start 2024, I’d say he’s done a pretty solid job addressing his Canadian content.

 

Now, is Jeremy O’Day perfect as a GM? No, of course not. There will always be some swing and misses in the draft, free agency and scouting. Every team has that, though it is a bit concerning that a former O-Lineman hasn’t been able to develop or keep O-Linemen in house, other than Logan Ferland, though, he has brought in some decent free agents on the O-Line. And of course, the Riders need to find their QB of the future, which I don’t think is on the roster right now. So yes, there still is some significant work to be done.

 

But from where I sit in Mosaic Stadium, things are looking pretty good here in Riderville, at least one paper. We just need the offseason wins to translate into on field wins.

 

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