The end of the season always brings a host of questions, today we tackle three question facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
1. Will Andy Fantuz stay?
This is the biggest question facing the franchise, even bigger than who the next Head Coach will be. Fantuz is the type of player that teams salivate over: he's big, strong, fast and most importantly, Canadian. In 2010, he was the first Non-Import to lead the league in receiving yards since Dave Sapunjis in 1995 and won the Most Outstanding Canadian award at season's end. Fantuz can be a difference maker, and losing him would be terrible for Saskatchewan. But lose him they will. Fantuz will hit the open market and he will find himself wearing different colours in 2012. Whether they are Double Blue, Green & Gold or Black & Gold won't be known until February, but he probably won't be wearing Green & White.
2. Can Darian Durant rebound?
If Fantuz leaves, Durant will lose his favourite target, which will make it difficult for him to get back to an elite level. His flaws were exposed without Fantuz for much of 2011, and if Fantuz does seek greener pastures elsewhere, Durant could continue to regress. All those Grey Cup appearances masked what has been an unspectacular career when looking at his stats. Maybe we've seen the type of player Durant is: good, but not good enough. Don't expect a huge improvement in 2012.
3. Who is the next Head Coach?
It seems as if popular sentiment is behind Dave Dickenson being named the next Head Coach. He could make a good choice, but he is raw and untested. It would be a gamble, but one probably worth taking. What Dickenson will need to succeed is freedom. That was the major problem with Greg Marshall's tenure. He had his predecessor looking over his shoulder, which won't be a problem this time around because Ken Miller has retired. Dickenson will need to be given free reign or it won't matter who takes the headset in Regina, dismal results will follow.