The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at the questions facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Will there be a Grey Cup Hangover?
Losing the Grey Cup two years in a row has to have taken a toll on this team. There is something called the "Super Bowl Hangover" that tends to affect the team that loses the Super Bowl. Over the last decade only two teams (the 2006 Seattle Seahawks and the 2009 Arizona Cardinals) made the playoffs the year following their Super Bowl losses. The Riders obviously didn't fall victim to any hangover by getting back to the Grey Cup in 2010, but two straight defeats must weigh heavily on the minds of the players. Lucky for them Calgary could be forced to rebuild with so many free agents, Edmonton is rebuilding under the stewardship of Eric Tillman, and BC looks to be about a year away from joining the elite (though with the Grey Cup being in Vancouver in 2011, perhaps some moves will be made to up the talent level of the Lions). I think it's safe to say that there will be no hangover in Regina, except for the ones the fans have because of too much consolation Pilsner.
Who replaces Ken Miller as Head Coach?
The front runners appear to be Offensive Coordinator Doug Berry and former Edmonton Head Coach Richie Hall. The Tiger-Cat fan in me hopes the Riders hire Berry so that Hall can come to Hamilton as Defensive Coordinator. However, my gut says that since the Cats have yet to axe Greg Marshall officially, that means Hall has not been willing to commit to the Cats. The only possible reason for that would be a return to Regina. While Berry or someone else could still very much get the job, I think this is Hall's to lose.
Has this team achieved all it can?
Much like question one, this comes down to their competition. Normally, getting to two straight Grey Cups means that little change is needed. But losing two straight Grey Cups means that there is something missing. For one, Darian Durant needs to turn the ball over less. He is way too reckless with the football, and the Riders will never win it all with their star player making that many mistakes. I also think that the change at Head Coach (depending on who gets brought in) could help to change the attitude in the locker room. Not that there is a bad attitude, but perhaps there is a complacent one. I think this team deserves one more chance to win the whole shebang, and if they don't, then the team should look to make changes.