New Year, New Riders: Resolutions for 2018

The calendar has flipped to a new year and that means people all over the world are thinking about changes they would like to make to themselves in 2018. With another chance at a fresh start, there are a few things the Riders could do differently in the new year to help both the fans and the team.

We’ll start with the fans.

Throw your biggest supporters a bone

It’s time the Riders start treating their season ticket holders a little better. Sure, the tickets will likely sell in the province no matter what and most are happy just to have a guaranteed seat to every home game every year. However, that seat has been getting more expensive over time and the perks for season ticket holders haven’t really increased with them. There is the Rider Reward program, but that’s still fairly limited and involves some work. Compare that to the laundry list of things Esks fans get. It’s basically night and day. Yes, the economics and supply are very different. There’s no question. Not offering more perks isn’t likely to change the Riders ability to sell tickets but making your customers feel appreciated will go along way in keeping them. Which is important as sports teams across the continent are facing increasing challenges getting butts in seats.


Football and beer go together like well, football and beer. I’m making another call to allow some local craft brewers into the stadium. Not just because I’m a full-fledged beer snob, but because some changes in the local industry may make it possible. A year ago, the question facing local brewers was whether they can get tap lines or not. That is no longer an issue. A number of breweries in the province have upgraded their facilities to include canning lines. Having a few bins throughout the stadium with cans of local suds surely can’t be too much to ask. Along the lines of keeping fans happy to make sure they keep buying tickets, offering a better variety of everything can help. Overall, there are some tweaks to the game day experience that will hopefully be made after a year in the team’s new home.

Now, to the field:

Find a QB

This one is pretty obvious. If Kevin Glenn is still the Riders starting pivot by the end of 2018 then something is wrong. Is Brandon Bridge the guy? Will James Franklin end up in play? What about Marquise Williams? Someone else? All options need to be exhausted.

Defensive tackle

Since losing Keith Shologan and Zack Evans in the Redblacks expansion draft (that was ahead of the 2014 season, in case you forgot) the Riders have had a revolving door at defensive tackle. The team seems pretty set on the wings, now it’s time to figure out what is going on in the middle and finally get that right.

Canadians, eh?

In 2017, the Riders more or less figured out their starting Canadians. That group of seven is pretty good. Behind them? That’s where things get questionable. As of today, Chris Jones’ best draft selections remain in the NFL. The guys that have made their way to Saskatchewan have underwhelmed. It’s time to find some starters and quality backups if this team wants to sustain success long term.

2017 was pretty good for the Riders, their best year since 2013 in fact. Now it’s time for the green and white to build off it and take another step forward in 2018.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (187 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

64 Comments on New Year, New Riders: Resolutions for 2018

  1. Rick cowan // January 1, 2018 at 1:41 pm //

    I think you will see the Rider’s go after Zack Evans or Ted Laurent in free agency

  2. Rider fan // January 1, 2018 at 2:10 pm //

    Our starting squad was ok. The problem was depth in the Canadian perspective. I know horsie will say I told you so, in saying that it is true. At qb this is a problem , if the riders keep Glenn they have to build a wall like trump is proposing. He needs a lot of time in the pocket His knowledge is second to none. The riders need help at defense is tackle. They need two of them for a rotation with there 3 /4 defence. This is assuming they sign most of there pertinent free agents.

  3. Ridersfan // January 1, 2018 at 2:13 pm //

    I’m 100% sure that Chris Jones and co. know what they need to do this coming year and the needs will be filled! Look out in 2018! The Riders are coming for the rest of the west! GO RIDERS!

    • Oh no the Sliders are coming watch out the rest of the western teams! Lol,lol .Are they gonna Be TRY to get out of 4th or 5th place again?Dont worry there is the crystal ball that predicts another last place finish for many more years to come in sliderville

  4. Scottsask // January 1, 2018 at 2:25 pm //

    Excellent points all around. I’m not a season ticket holder, but I attend about 4-5 Home games per year so I have no comment on how season ticket holders are treated.
    I find that there are no Local brewers allowed in the stadium appalling, we grow all of the ingredients right here dummies, and they are likely fertilized with Mosaic potash. Let them in!
    The Qb will be a burning question all offseason, I’m willing to see what Bridge can do with Glenn as backup unless……. also the o line is still a problem, hopefully it will be shored up, and the young guys can take the next step.
    Nick James looked great at D tackle until he got hurt. I hope they can bring Zack Evans home too.
    Canadian depth has improved marginally but there still a lot of work to do. They drafted a few decent o line prospects last year so hopefully that will help.
    Onward and upward! Go Riders!

  5. Franklin ….??????????
    Would TO trade for him if they didn’t offer him the cash.
    Or did you miss the boat….again

    If you going to write than know your product.

    • Rider fan // January 1, 2018 at 2:39 pm //

      Could you clarify your last statement ( if you are going to write know your product ) I assumie that Franklin is going to the nfl or the Argos

    • Maybe YOU should do your homework and know your product. Franklin’s agent has said that he is going to free agency and NOT signing in Toronto (at least not until offers are heard) and Popp stated that the trade was a stab in the dark. An opportunity to speak to him first was all it was. You’ See Franklin in Green and White in 2018.

      • The only green and white you might see Franklin in is the N.Y. Jets.
        His agent is simply spewing what agents say during a negotiation. It’s Argos or NFL. Period

  6. I know everyone will disagree with me but going to say it anyway. Why do football and beer need to go together. I hate drunk people carrying two drinks, spilling on the way to the seat, the smell, the spitting when they TRY to converse with you (not that a drunk can have an intelligent conversation). Wish they would stop all alcohol at games, concerts etc. People ak, why can I not go to an even t and not enjoy a beer?
    I ask, Why can you not enjoy the event you chose to watch without the alcohol??
    And please, when I talk about the slobbering drunks, don”t tell me that that does not represent ALL football fans. I am NOT stupid but you need to realize that it does not take ALL 40,000 at the game to be drunk for me to get her spilled on me, to get spit on, to have drunkards yelling behind me etc. It only takes ONE to ruin my experience. Can people not watch a game without the beer? If the beer is THAT important and you cannot live without some for 3 hours, watch it at home or at the bar. At the bar, it is drinking first, watch second. At the game, it SHOULD be watch game as the priority. The game should not be an excuse to drink.

  7. Defensive tackle is a HUGE weak spot on the Riders.

  8. The International DT spot will likely belong to Nick James. When/if he is healthy he is a force. Very curious about his health actually. The Nationals on the roster currently are sufficient, even if the Riders are forced to start two National DTs due to ratio reasons. I said sufficient, as in good enough but not great. Whoever lines up at National DT will look a lot better with James beside them, much the same way Nate Davis made Scott Schultz better. The defence still allowed the second least points in the CFL in 2017 with the current DTs playing most of the year.

    Cameron Judge and Josiah St.John need to take big steps forward this year. JSJ’s progress thus far has been totally unacceptable. For the former #1 pick to spend most of the season as a healthy scratch while a rookie makes the gameday roster shows there is something deeply wrong with JSJ. Entering his contract year he needs to compete, remember he lost the starting RT job at Oklahoma to a true freshman, and then lost a roster spot to a rookie. Does he even want to play? Same for Cam Judge. Was he trippin’ balls during his Twitter rant? Elie Bouka got a long look from the Cardinals at CB, perhaps the Riders will start a National at CB if Rodgers goes to the NFL. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if Darius Bladek is a starter in 2018. Kienan Lafrance can take a pay cut or play elsewhere, he was a huge disappointment.

    For a the QB spot, would it be better to continue with the status quo in 2018 or throw Bridge/Williams/whoever into the fire before they are ready? Why is an arrangement that led the CFL in TD passes so unacceptable? I get that people want to see “the guy”, and that would be ideal but there are multiple ways win football games. Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl and the Vikings are going to the playoffs with the legendary Case Keenum at the helm. If Bridge or Williams is ready to start, let’er rip, if not continue as is until they are. With the recievers and three RBs who broke 100 yards in a game last year there is enough talent on offence to make Glenn look good until somebody else is ready.

    The biggest concern I see is the Offensive Line. Even with three Internationals starting they struggled massively at times in 2017. Huge issues with putting the ball in the end zone from close in at times last year. Pass protection was an adventure as well, communication in picking up stunts and twists was not there most of the year. Not totally sure if it was injuries or just lack of ability but they need to be better. It really doesn’t matter who plays QB or RB or any other position until this group improves its play.

    • Great post Evan.. I agree 100% with everything you wrote.

    • I’m with you 100% on James.

      On the drafts, Jones has only had two and it often takes Canadians a while to develop into starters. JSJ has been a bit of a disappointment so far, but Bladek has exceeded expectations and may well start next year. Judge got injured and so didn’t play much, but he’s a great athlete and should be a good backup for Muamba, and perhaps even a future starter. Bouka was another great pick who could turn out to be a ratio changer, but it’s been a while since he’s played much so i wouldn’t put that pressure on him just yet. Maybe later this year or next year. To further debunk Gasson’s point, we didn’t have any second round picks last year but both of our third round picks, Bouka and Van Glyswyk, were great. If there’s a criticism there it could be that we didn’t trade Van Gylswyk and get anything for him, but otoh he was valuable insurance in a critical year. Stanford was an 8th round pick who actually played a bit for us, and we had some great later round picks last year as well who look like they could develop into players, so all in all nobody bats 100% in the Canadian draft but Jones has overall done very well, and I’m very excited about watching the development of our young Canadians.

      Good point on the QB. Even if nothing else happens, which I think it will, Bridge’s development alone means that we’ll be significantly better this year.

      I’m not too worried about the OL – with one exception – because we have a bunch of good young prospects and Jones has shown that he can find the right veterans to bring to add some needed experience if need be. The exception is at C. We were by far our best when Labatte was our C but I’m concerned that political pressures may lead to another year of Clark. I think Bladek may well be ready to start, and JSJ may be as well as he was penciled in this year before Dyakowski came late. Two rookies starting on the OL is a bit scary but maybe Bladek and Dyakowski while we work in JSJ could work, and then maybe someone like Zver might surprise.

  9. Jeremiah was a Bullfrog // January 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm //

    The other question mark is the General Manager and Head Coach and his long term plans. Yes we all know he was signed to the end of 2018 and just signed a 1 year extension taking him to the end of 2019.
    Many will rush to squash this comment by saying Chris Jones leaves town each time he is offered a better position and pay elsewhere. Then again so does every other coach given the same scenario. 99% of the time the other teams have permission to talk to the coaches. Besides who here wouldn’t want to improve your employment position and pay cheque. I know I don’t go to work for my health. It’s to make a living.
    At this point Chris Jones has reached the pinnacle of a CFL coaching career with being the GM, Head of Football Operations, HC & DC. The Team he runs is healthy in many ways. Great bank account. A $25 Million dollar share of New Mosaic Stadium. A large and supportive fan base as far as the CFL is concerned.
    What I am leading up to is why does Chris Jones continue to live in a Hotel Room when all of his Coaches are settled into nice homes. I believe the Saskatchewan Roughriders Board of Directors. The team President and all of his coaches might feel Jones is more serious about his position if he was to lay down some roots. Even if he goes South the minute the season is over. It probably might look like he’s truly wanting to set his team up for sustained success if he himself is setup in a sustained manner.
    I’ve done some research and the amount of head coaches or GMs that typically live in this fashion on a 3 year deal is 1. That would be Chris Jones. Also this is how Chris Jones rolls in each of the last 3 CFL teams Chris Jones was a part off.
    I guess I’m questioning this only because I have listened to video clips of Chris suggesting he is where he wants to be in the CFL. His feelings towards the team he runs and the community around the team is very much like Chris’s home town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
    So I ask this; will Chris Jones finally put down some roots in Canada during the CFL seasons. Will Chris Jones continue to build his team in Saskatchewan and put forth a highly competitive team that is sustainable year after year.
    I guess 2018 should show us if in fact Chris will continue to move his Riders forward.
    My thoughts are that he certainly will. Will he stick around? I’m sure he will until like every man born South of the 49th. If he gets offered some type of assistant coaching gig in the NFL. He will take it. Until then I see Chris Jones a GM and HC of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

    • Seriously? You big concern is where Chris Jones decides to live during the season?? The man’s commitment is second to none based on the number of hours he works. Do you think he has time for housework and yardwork? Get a life.

      • It’s a concern. It shows a precarious commitment and doesn’t promote family in the locker room.
        I’m sure Jones could afford an maid and a gardener.
        When you’re paid what Jones is, residency should be mandatory.
        If I was a ride fan I’d really question him.

  10. To Jerimiah was a bullfrog; Good point. Don’t let Riders 13 bully you. There’s a faction of so called Rider fans that are constantly obnoxious to anyone that questions anything Jones.

  11. With no real home base, he really can’t properly run the team through the off season. There needs to be collaboration, when the top 3 positions, all held by him, it’s difficult to have this happening.

  12. Time will tell // January 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm //

    To Rider13: Jones commitment is second to none based on the number of hours he works. Jones committed to working a ridiculous amount of hours by accepting the roles of vice president, head coach, GM and defensive coordinator. The only coach in the CFL that holds that many positions. I suspect that if you add the hours that every other team’s coach, VP, GM and defensive coordinator put in, Jones probably comes up short because there are only 24 hours in a day. I believe that the Riders made a mistake offering any one man that many positions because any one that takes on too many jobs, ends up spreading himself too thin and doesn’t do a good job at any position. I doubt that any CFL head coach has time to do house work and yard work, nor any GM, nor any defensive coordinator. Combine the three jobs and something has to give.

    • Well it’s a good thing you’re not the president of the Roughriders then. Reynolds seemed to think Jones was doing a good enough job that his contract, along with JO and Murphy’s, contract was extended. Reynolds, along with many other fans, could care less where Jones lives as long as he puts an improving, competitive team on the field. He’s doing that so quit grasping at straws.

    • The ONLY. reason Jones comes to sliderville is to be terribly OVERPAID and to have full control so that nobody can question his moves or he will pout and take his services elsewhere

  13. justforkicks // January 1, 2018 at 11:12 pm //

    Why is Chris such a concern to other fan bases? What’s it to you one way or the other.

  14. Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 4:29 am //

    Who said these concerns about Chris Jones come from othér fan bases? Pretty sure most of these comments come from fans that have cheered for the Riders for many years but are not enamored with Jones. So it matters a great deal to a lot of us because we would like to see Rider Pride back.

    • So you’re saying you think Redrule is a Rider fan? I’m going to guess that you’re not a real Rider fan. Chris Jones is the guy who has brought Rider Pride back.

      • Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 9:08 am //

        Of course I don’t include Redrule as a Rider fan. But I am , or was, a Rider fan. If you think that Chris Jones is bringing Rider Pride back, then you don’t really read, or pay attention to a lot of comments here from Rider fans who are not proud of the Riders under Chris Jones. You can question us and criticize us, which has been done plenty, but to deny that we are out here is useless. We aren’t going away.

        • Oh I read alright, and it’s not hard to see or understand the overwhelming support for Chris Jones. As for people who share your pov, I have no doubt that your small, nasty, group will be there until the bitter end. But for the small group who do talk like you do it’s not really about Rider pride, right? It’s a different kind of pride you’re really taking about. It’s not about competence, excellence, hard work, winning. I’m guessing that you were a fan of the Hopson/Tillman era, am I right?

          • Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm //

            Dam right I was a Hopson fan. Who do you think helped put the money in the coffers that the Riders are presently spending? I am not a Tillman fan. But the fact that I respected Hoppy has nothing to do with the fact that I despise Jones. I also respected Bill Baker so does that mean I should have hated who followed him? I also liked John Gregory. How does that fit into your reasoning? Your logic seems to be that if you like Chris Jones, then you must as a result turn your back on and hate everyone from the Rider’s past. I have nothing against hard work, competence, winning and excellence. In fact it took a lot of hard work, competence, excellence; and some winning to keep this franchise alive not that many years ago. I do however, draw the line at arrogance, cheating, being totally classless and constant displays of temper on the sidelines. All the things that I associate with Jones. I do not long for the past. I anticipate the future…. one without Jones so that this team can return to its respectful place in the league and be a team that everyone can be proud of.

          • Sounds like you yearn for the days when our beloved Riders were known as the “lovable losers”. Glad you’re not in charge of the team but I’m glad you’re a passionate fan. I hope you’re not “cutting off your nose to spite your face” by not going to any games or buying any merchandise and that you are still supporting the team and the CFL.

        • True green // January 2, 2018 at 9:45 pm //

          Your not always going to like how an organization is run. I was skeptical at first, including up until the Durant trade. But at the end of the day, I’m certainly not the one with the proven track record to get myself into the position Jones is in and I sure as hell don’t want staff or clients at my business questioning how I run my business (as long as I provide results). If you don’t love your team because of who is running it, you should look at that and think again. You’re not always going to like every player or coach, but They’re still your Riders!! They’ll always be here, the personnel changes. It’s not realistic to think the personnel should always please you.

  15. I think Gasson is wrong on both the DTs and the Canadians, and perhaps he’s showing his biases as well. In his brief time with us Evans was a backup. He wasn’t an established starter. I thought he showed interesting promise but I never thought Ottawa would take him, and I’m sure the Riders didn’t either. Shologan was good but not an all-star. Our current rotation of three Canadians is undersized but high energy and they have done quite well overall. What we missed at times was the big disruptor, and that role was filled very well when big Nick James came, until he got injured. I’d like to see a full year of that combination but I believe all three of our Canadian DTs are FAs so there’s a chance that we could lose one or more of them. Evans is a FA too and I wouldn’t mind bringing him back but he’s established in Ottawa now and probably will get a pretty big offer from them, so I don’t expect him to move, although you never know. Being part of what Chris Jones is building here could be a powerful draw.

  16. What needs to change in sliderville is the way the president treats and talks to the season ticket holders both past and present?I have talked to many long time season ticket holders ,some 30+ years and are told that if they don’t like the new seat assignments to leave and that has left a very very bad taste in the mouths of these longtime fans who have supported this team for a long long time,including in the eighties when they had to have a phone telethon just to keep this perennial losing franchise alive.

  17. I completely understand why Jones and his family organize their living arrangements they way they do. It’s not the way most coaches do it but it’s more the way a military family does it. Jones is a very hard worker. He’s no Eric Tillman. I’m sure that during the season he’s pretty much 100% consumed by football, so it makes sense that his family stays in their home base, his home town, the town he was born in and likely has family and roots in, during the season. Hopefully Jones will be here for the next 10 years but in the last 10 years he’s coached in 5 different cities. Moving around like that would be very hard on a family and he’s already had one divorce. This arrangement may well have been something his wife demanded. The way to ensure he stays is to sign him to a long term contract, and that’s the ONLY to ensure he stays.

    • Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 9:21 am //

      Why would you sign Jones to a long term contract when their wages are guaranteed? Has nothing been learned by having to pay several coaches in the last decade when they were no longer here? If things go bad, the Riders are still on the hook for 750 thousand a year. If Jones wants to stay and the Riders continue to want him, then just keep giving short extensions. In the past, when Jones wants out, he finds a way whether it was legal or not. A cautious and prudent approach to contracts which are guaranteed is best. A ten year contract would be ridiculous. That would be committing ten million dollars or more of guaranteed money to a coach who so far has been “moderately successful “.

  18. Scottsask // January 2, 2018 at 2:08 pm //

    Only within the Rider fan base would you have infighting among the fans over a coach/gym who has vastly improved the team in a short period. Speaks to a certain passion we all share. Don’t worry, you guys will feel differently after he delivers the cup.

  19. Sources Say // January 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm //

    No one in the Saskatchewan media wants to mention it but the activity in the Rider Stores has dropped off badly. Compared to the previous decade, this past year and last year there was no where near as much ‘green’ under Saskatchewan Christmas trees. That’s what we mean when we say ‘Rider Pride’ is gone and guess who killed it.

    • I’m calling BS on this one. I have heard that merchandise sales is up. I bought some myself over the Christmas break, and I didn’t see any signs of slow sales. I’ll also challenge you to say publicly why you don’t like Chris Jones.

  20. Sources Say // January 2, 2018 at 2:22 pm //

    continuation; That’s why it’s only a one year extension. If Jones doesn’t improve the ‘cash flow’ in that time, he’ll be gone.

  21. Greenland // January 2, 2018 at 3:13 pm //

    And yet they still sell more merchandise then any other team. If Rider pride is gone, then what does that say for the rest of the league?

  22. Scottsask // January 2, 2018 at 4:47 pm //


  23. Scottsask // January 2, 2018 at 4:51 pm //

    I can’t and won’t speak for everyone, but in Jones I trust.

  24. Sources Say // January 2, 2018 at 8:03 pm //

    To RFD;
    So you heard sales are up. Why haven’t the Riders been tooting that horn then? When you hear how the Riders outsell all the rest those numbers were crunched 5 years ago, back when there was something to be proud of, when the Riders played 4 Grey Cup games in 7 years.

    Next you ask why I despise Chris Jones. It’s because of his ‘street punk’ attitude and the sooner he’s gone, the happier I’ll be.

    • So I guess the question is, what is ‘street punk’ code for? Because he doesn’t have anything like a street punk attitude. I tell you what. Why don’t YOU be the one to leave? That would make 99% of Rider fans happy.

  25. Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm //

    To Rider13: Perhaps you should go back and read my comment again. I specifically said I do not long for the past. The Riders were not known as lovable losers from 2007 to 2013. They won two Grey Cups in that time and played in two more. They were not lovable losers in 1989 either when they surprised a lot of people by winning the Grey Cup. Certainly it is not the “lovable loser” years that I long for but I do wish that they could go back to the years when they were classy instead of arrogant; respectable instead of despised. Perhaps you don’t remember but I do remember years when they were lovable winners. And what I hope for is that when Jones is gone, they can go back to being classy and respectable winners.

    • BleedzGreen // January 3, 2018 at 12:33 am //

      Wow, Jones is entering his 3rd season and you’re STILL carrying around your pitchfork and torch?

      If my loyalty hinged on which HC or GM the team employed, I doubt I’d consider myself a fan.

  26. Scottsask // January 2, 2018 at 8:53 pm //

    Forehead slap.

  27. -Replying to: Time will tell January 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm
    Who turned this team around after so many impoverished and frankly comically incompetent years? That would be Roy Shivers, the first truly professional GM this team has had since the 70s and the architect of the 2007 championship team, and he was a significant contributor to the 2013 championship as well with Durant being his guy. In fact the Hopson/Tillman regime NEVER found a CFL caliber QB, or more than a handful of other top players for that matter. Tillman already had a disastrous, clown show, track record from Ottawa and even Toronto even before Hopson hired him, and his drafting, recruiting and general management of the team continued to be a disaster with us. It’s a good thing Shivers left us stacked with talent because we rode on his talent throughout the Hopson/Tillman years.

    Arrogance, cheating, classless, constant displays of temper? W.r.t. being animated on the sidelines, I guess that means you don’t like coaches like Pete Carroll and Kent Austin? That’s your prerogative but there’s nothing wrong with that style. What I like about Jones is that he knows how to talk to each player, and he generally always ends with a positive about the player at the press conference afterwards. When Bakari Grant screwed up hot dogging and gave away that TD I’m not sure Jones even yelled at him, and at the press conference afterwards he said that Grant knows better than everyone what he did and he won’t let it happen again, and he ended with some very encouraging words. Also look at the time he spends with Carter. Jones knows his players and he knows which buttons to push for each one. He knows when to pick a guy up and when he needs to be torn down a notch or two. That’s the sign of a very good coach.

    There’s a famous saying that in sports if you’re not cheating you’re not trying hard enough. Of course there’s cheating and then there’s cheating, and Jones has never been seriously accused of any kind of serious cheating, and certainly nothing criminal like Tillman. Hopson was all about the internal corruption. It was under him that Getzlaf and Clark somehow ended up with $200,000 contracts. It was under him that our NI ranks ended up being full of Regina players, not Saskatchewan players, just Regina players, and there’s much more and much worse that could be said about Hopson. In short Shivers managed the team for the good of the team and the fans. Hopson managed the team for the good of himself and his cronies. Is that what you consider being classy? And now we once again have a hard working, highly competent, GM and coach and you call him classless. Maybe that speaks to where your interests lie?

    • Time will tell // January 2, 2018 at 11:36 pm //

      I think you are a bit confused as to what Jim Hopson was. He was a President, not a GM. He was not responsible for bringing in talent or offering any player a contract or negotiating with any player or signing any player. Hopson hired a GM to handle those things, as Craig Reynolds does now. So are you blaming Reynolds for the huge contract that Derek Dennis has? The highest paid American left guard in the league.
      Jones has never been accused of any kind of serious cheating? Are you serious? Only 160,000 thousand dollars worth of serious cheating.
      Do you ever watch the Seahawks? Pete Carole is animated but never displays an explosive temper on the sidelines. And no, I have never been a fan of Kent Austin on the sidelines for the same reason.
      My interests lie in having a winning team that fans can rally around and be proud of, not be embarrassed by because of arrogant and spiteful behavior and antics.

      • Oh I’m well aware that Hopson was Tillman’s puppet master. With Tillman’s record, especially after the Ottawa fiasco, he should never have worked in the CFL again, but he was desperate for a job and prepared to do what Hopson told him to do, and that made him the man for Hopson. For proof look at the things Tillman did. They benefitted Hopson and his cronies, not the team and not even Tillman, although Tillman did benefit from the fact that Hopson didn’t require that he do any real work. I remember when Tillman first came he said that he wasn’t going to hold FA camps. I believe he said that that’s “not how he does things,” or something to that effect. The FA camps had been a major source of talent for Shivers and the fan base couldn’t believe what they were hearing from Tillman, and I believe the next year we did have FA camps, not that they did Tillman any good. Roy Shivers was as straight a shooter as they come, sometimes perhaps even a bit too straight, too blunt, but that’s what people loved about him too. When he left he publicly stated that he didn’t trust Hopson, and it turns out he was right.

        As a side note, I notice that you’re becoming increasingly tricky. You talk about Denis being the highest paid American left guard in the league – which I’m not sure is even true in spite of the fact that there are only two of them iirc – but you know very well he was signed as a tackle not a guard. You throw out this mysterious $160,000 number and call it serious, but you don’t even say what you’re referring to. You’re trying to spit hairs with Pete Carroll’s sideline animated behaviour and Jones’. If Pete Carroll doesn’t display by your definition “explosive temper” on the sidelines then neither does Jones. And now you’ve introduced the term “spiteful”. I can’t think of anything Jones has done that I would consider spiteful, and I don’t consider him arrogant either. He’s confident and strong willed, but that’s not the same as being arrogant. He’s also a proper southern gentleman who is very mannerly and respectful. There are no “antics” with Chris Jones. You sound like you’re digging, or perhaps just making things up, pulling works out thin air.

  28. Inactive Rider Fan // January 2, 2018 at 9:54 pm //

    In Chris Jones’ very first press conference as Rider GM,HC,DC and VP he said, “I’m not here to win a popularity contest.”
    He nailed that prediction!!!

  29. robservation // January 3, 2018 at 12:17 am //

    I am very disappointed by the uninformed and wrong assertions made by posters about Jim Hopson. In nine years as CEO of the Riders we went to the grey cup 4 times, winning twice, a pretty good legacy if you ask me. He also participated in securing the 2013 Grey Cup bid for Regina, which was extremely successful financially and fan experience wise.

    I do not know Jim very well, but we’ve had several conversations at the grey cups I’ve attended. He has always been, approachable, thoughtful, and insightful, the CFL absolutely needs more Jom Hopsons. Below is the google info on Jim, just supports what I’ve said.
    Jim Hopson was the president and chief executive officer for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Hopson served in this role from 2005 until 2014.[1] Under his stewardship, the Roughriders captured the Grey Cup in 2007 and 2013, and the team has recorded record profits.

  30. robservation // January 3, 2018 at 12:22 am //

    I also have to say I’m pretty happy with the progress and the improvement the Riders have experienced under Chris Jones.I don’r like some of the slip-ups and errors, but doe anyone on here not make a few mistakes here and there. I’ll take the results thank you.
    It’s really not our business where or in what Chris Jones lives, as long as he’s a good citizen.

    • This comment makes me believe your first one was genuine, so I’ll respond and give you a bit of background. For decades the Riders have been plagued by behind the scenes meddling, and imo that was the primary cause of the “lovable losers” era, and in later years the lack of a salary cap with teeth was the main factor, until it was implemented in 2007, and in that year we won the cup. Just prior to that it was reported that our team salary was about 3.5 million while Edmonton’s was about 5 million. Also remember when Burris was an emerging top tier QB for us and we almost went to the cup in 2004, but then Calgary backed up a truck load of cash and bought him away from us, forcing us to start developing a new #1. This was the pre true cap era. We were competing with these teams and doing well in spite of their payrolls being up to 50% higher than ours and them buy up our top players, and that was because Shivers was doing such a great job of finding good, young, cheap, talent. The game changer was going to be 2007 when these teams had to cut salary and for the first time there would be a level playing field, and then we were going to shoot to the top, which we did, but Jim Hopson fired Shivers at the end of 2006 and tried to steal his glory and take credit for what he’d built. Our talent level rapidly depleted under Tillman but I do have to give credit to Taman for having some good drafts and hiring a good coach and doing some good recruiting, and generally plugging a bunch of holes and giving Durant what he needed to win in 2013. But Taman wasn’t completely free from the meddling either, as shown by some bizarre trades – Watson and a second for Hus and a third? We traded the better player and the better pick for a LS we didn’t need, but who was a former Regina Ram. Also, even then Watson was probably better than Getzlaf, but Getzlaf was still starting – and outrageous contracts – see Chick, Dressler, Getzlaf, Clark – and so we started to sink again. Chambin would have been aware of what was going on and I suspect that he just got sick of all the cronyism crap and basically quit on the team forcing them to fire him. So again in dire straits the board once again, as they did with Shivers, hired a top tier coach and GM, Chris Jones. And now the team is approaching the rebuilt stage and looking like an emerging powerhouse, and once again the behind the scenes meddlers are emerging and trying to get Jones fired, so will the cycle repeat? I think enough fans know enough about what happened that they won’t let it happen again. Not all of this is known to the casual fan, btw, and it might be a shock to those who were told by our media that Hopson was some kind of hero, but it’s important that people know, so that they can say no, and stop this cycle from happening again.

  31. Scottsask // January 3, 2018 at 1:09 am //

    Well said Rob.

  32. Guess Who // January 3, 2018 at 1:53 am //

    Did you get the message RFD?

  33. Collaros is now a Rider. He’s scheduled to make $540K under his current deal which expires at end of 2018. Can’t see Jones paying that so the renegotiating process will likely determine if Collaros actually suits up here. I’m hoping so, but this is now about $ and negotiating what works for both.

  34. Well said. Those who constantly slag Hopson are ignoring reality. He made the critical changes that enabled the Riders to take it to the next level and to where we are today: season tickets capped, best stadium in the CFL, and a very profitable foundation for the future.

  35. Realistic one // January 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm //

    To RFD;
    You have a lot of insider information there. Are you the waterboy or what?

  36. RFD you disgust me. I have had occasion to know Jim Hopson over the years and your attempted character assassination is specious, unfounded and flat out false. You apparently have an axe to grind and I, for one, would encourage you to grind it elsewhere.

    Please, the grownups are trying to have a conversation here.

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