Riderville Roundup – November 26
Published: Sunday, Nov 26th 2023, 4:11pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
This past week in Riderville was an interesting one. The week started off with the Grey Cup and former QB Cody Fajardo and former Offensive Coordinator Jason Maas winning the big prize with the Montreal Alouettes in a GREAT Grey Cup game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Roughriders General Manager Jeremy O’Day and President & CEO Craig Reynolds took an absolute BEATING following the game, not only from TSN and pretty much everyone interviewed post game, but Rider fans (and other CFL fans) online as well.
While criticism is definitely deserved, even I thought it got stale. But, that just shows the frustration here in Riderville and I completely get it.
As for the ACTUAL Rider news this week, we have to start with the head coaching search. It’s been reported that the Riders have had interviews with several candidates already with a few more to come. Hopefully within the next week or so, the team will announce the new head coach and the team can get working on the 2024 roster.
Check out my three part series on potential head coaching candidates.
Onto the 2024 roster, the CFL released the official list of pending free agents across the league and the Riders have already began crossing names off of their list.
The Riders have announced re-signings of QB Antonio Pipkin, who should be no more than the short yardage QB, though I hope that one of the new recruits can come in and beat him out of that spot.
Also re-signed this past week are a quintet of Canadian players. FB Morgen Runge 2022 draft pick), LBs Matt Dean (2023 draft pick, played 4 games this season) & Nick Thomas (2023 draft pick) and O-Lineman Zack Fry (2022 draft pick, spent 2023 on Riders practice roster) & Evan Floren (2023 draft pick).
I’m surprised at some of the flack that Fry has been taking from some fans for his 2023 season. Generally speaking, Canadian O-Lineman coming out of school need some time to develop. I know that the Riders had issues with the O-Line, but we need to have patience with the young players. I’d like to see him make the active roster in 2024 and if he isn’t able to do that and the Riders STILL have O-Line issues, then I’d be a bit concerned. But it’s far too early to say you are giving up (or close to giving up) on him already. It’s literally been one season.
And, while not Rider related, U-Sports announced that the 2025 Vanier Cup will be played in Regina at Mosaic Stadium. It’ll be the first time the Vanier Cup will be hosted by Regina and I’m already looking forward to it!
No doubt this next week or so in Riderville is going to be important with the potential of a new head coach announcement and I imagine another re-signing of players or two.
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