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Mace is in Place in Riderville

Published: Thursday, Nov 30th 2023, 11:11am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

Thanks to Farhan Lalji of TSN and Justin Dunk of 3Down Nation, we learned on Wednesday night that the Saskatchewan Roughriders will name Toronto Argonauts Defensive Coordinator Corey Mace as their next head coach.

 

Jeremy O’Day, you just hit yourself a grand slam! I LOVE this hire for so many reasons.

 

First, the team needs a complete culture change to turn things around on the field. Sure, I think the changes could and should be made higher than the head coach level, but that isn’t happening for the next few years. But when it comes to Mace, it’s a night and day difference between what we had last with Craig Dickenson. Everyone I’ve talked to in the league, including former players, absolutely LOVE Corey Mace. Players will run through a wall for him. We haven’t seen that here in Riderville for a while. Look no further than the sidelines. After every Argos turnover or big play on defense over the last couple of years, the players go right to the sidelines and Mace is there to celebrate with them. Chest bumps, high fives, he’s right in there with them. Players love that and it will make them go that extra little bit for him.

 

Mace relates to the current player. His playing career was cut short due to injuries, but he’s still a young guy that isn’t far removed from the game. Heck, he played with Micah Johnson, a Riders free agent, in Calgary. Maybe that relationship with Mace helps keep Johnson around in 2024. But he’s familiar with the current game and the guys coming up and into the league. He gets what the young guys are going through and it’s going to pay dividends immediately with what I think is going to be a pretty young team in 2024.

 

Mace is a coach who is used to winning. 3 Grey Cup Championships to his credit in a relatively short time in the CFL. 1 as a player, 2 as a coach (one with Calgary, one with Toronto). The man knows what it takes and has lived it over the past decade. For a franchise that only has 4 Grey Cups in their entire history, getting a proven winner was key and O’Day made sure it was a priority in this hire.

 

And off the field? Corey Mace is all about community. He was in Calgary and he was in Toronto. As big as that is in big cities and markets, it’s even more important here in Saskatchewan. Stamps fans were upset about losing him to Toronto, not just because of the on field results. It was because he is a truly wonderful person. And right now, I’m hearing the same from Argos fans who are upset to lose him.

 

Hiring a first time, young head coach does come with it’s risks, but those are something I’m willing to take for the right hire. And Corey Mace is absolutely the right hire. I can’t wait to see his introductory press conference and how he is going to shape this team.

 

Oh and the last defensive minded head coach named Corey the Riders hired… well it resulted in a Grey Cup just 2 years into his tenure, so…

 

Welcome to Riderville, Coach Mace!

 

Check out episode 250 of The Piffles Podcast where we talk about the new head coach and much more around the CFL!

 

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