June 25, 2012

Pedersen: Renovations ongoing for young Riders

The renovations continue.

This winter we asked first-year Roughrider head coach Corey Chamblin if his football team – if compared to a recently-purchased house – was simply a fixer-upper or if it needed massive renovations.  

As it turns out, they tore this thing down right to the studs and are starting from scratch.

READ: DB Lance Frazier among 22 cut by Roughriders on Sunday
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced Sunday that veteran defensive back Lance Frazier has been released.

On the heels of an 0-2 pre-season record which concluded with a 33-31 last-second loss to the Calgary Stampeders on Friday night, the Riders announced its final roster cuts Sunday morning and they included some familiar names.  

Defensive back Lance Frazier and offensive tackle Dan Goodspeed, both in their 30s, were handed their walking papers.  Chamblin said those players’ best days are behind them and they’ll both likely get into coaching or personnel.

That means the 2012 Saskatchewan Roughriders – with the youngest coach in the league at age 35 – will go into the season with likely the youngest team in the CFL.  


It appears the oldest player on the squad is 32-year old third-string quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan, a CFL rookie but also a veteran of 11 NFL teams.

Double yikes!  

Why do I have the image of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo in my mind?  Possibly because there is so much uncertainty surrounding this club as it gets set to open the regular season this Friday in Hamilton.

Of course, as a society and certainly as a province, we’re all resistant to change. However, it was apparent through last year’s 5-13 campaign that this team was allowed to get old without anyone really noticing. The results showed for themselves.

Many people have asked me over the past few weeks what the feeling is surrounding around the team as we get set to embark on a new season. My response is always “newness”.  

With the youngest coaching staff in the league which includes CFL greats Khari Jones, Jason Tucker and Barron Miles, there has been a massive infusion of enthusiasm at the aging Mosaic Stadium.

Add to that a host of fresh faces like former NFL running back Kory Sheets and receiver Justin Harper plus up-and-coming Canadians like defensive tackle Zack Evans and offensive lineman Ben Heenan and you’ve got a whole host of 20-somethings who are eager to prove they can play and also to start a new chapter of Rider legends.

Yes, yes everyone is optimistic this time of year because every team is 0-0 but you can’t help but bask in the confident aura of Chamblin.

It appears he and GM Brendan Taman have made great interior decorators.