They blew up the team and didn't even tell us.
The fact dawned on my early last week while hosting my radio show and chatting with Leader Post football writer Ian Hamilton. After gutting nearly every position on the field and replacing more than half of the coaching staff, the Saskatchewan Roughriders blew up their franchise from last year without notifying us of their intentions.
After a 5-13 season in 2011, who could blame them?
No kids, these aren't your Mom and Dad's Saskatchewan Roughriders. Let's recap:
• All back-up quarterbacks behind Darian Durant were set free leaving four QBs with no CFL experience to battle it out in training camp for two spots.
• Three starters on the offensive line (LT Alex Gauthier, LG Gene Makowsky and C Marc Parenteau) all left for various reasons and were replaced by LG Brendon Labatte and C Dominic Picard in free agency. The Left Tackle spot, the "blindside", will be fought for in camp.
• The franchise's second all-time leading rusher, Wes Cates, was released in the off-season leaving former NFLers Kory Sheets and Louis Rankin along with incumbent Brandon West to fight for the starting job.
Rod Pedersen is the Voice of the Saskatchean Roughriders on 620 CKRM. You can check out his award-winning blog at www.rodpedersen.com. Follow Rod on Twitter @sportscage.