The off-season is underway and every team faces questions. Today, I look at three questions concerning the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
1. Can they build off 2012?
The Riders went into the 2012 season coming off a nightmare 2011 campaign and finished 9-9 and took the eventual West Division champions to the wire in the first round of the playoffs. The ending was disappointing for Rider Nation, but the season was a big success for the team. Things should only get better in Year 2 of the Corey Chamblin era. Chamblin proved to be a better head coach than a defensive coordinator and turned things around in Riderville in one season. Now the goal is to build off that first season and turn it into a championship run in 2013.
2. Will they make it three for three?
The last two Grey Cup champions, BC and Toronto, won their championships at their home stadia. The 101st Grey Cup will be played at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, so you have to think the Riders want to make it three home wins in a row, and seeing as the last two champions lost in the semi-final (BC in 2010) and didn't make the playoffs (Toronto) the year before they won it all, it's entirely possible that the Riders could turn the trick as well. It is way too early to say for certain, obviously, but the Riders might be in prime position to extend the Grey Cup home winning streak to three.
3. Is Sheets the dark horse for MOP in 2013?
Before this season, did anyone have Jon Cornish or Chad Owens as the two MOP candidates? Did anyone have Owens winning the award? What about the year before; did anyone have Lulay winning it before the season started? It seems that guys who fly under the radar are emerging as MOP threats by the end of the season. Could Kory Sheets be that guy next year? Sheets had an amazing first year in the CFL. He was second in the league in rushing, tied for first in the league in rushing touchdowns and finished tied for second in total touchdowns with 13. Sheets was Saskatchewan's best player and don't be surprised if he takes home the MOP award next season.