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By lingzi 2272 days ago Comments (2)

The way I look at the Saskatchewan Roughriders moving into the 2012 season is they have a long way to go, but a lot of energy around them to get there. Billy Butler Jersey . Lets be honest, Roughrider football last year was brutal. A regular season record of 5-13, but at times they collectively looked like they were playing for a paycheque, not a Grey Cup championship. Darian Durant regressed after a 2009 season that saw a first-place finish and a Grey Cup appearance, and a 2010 season that saw the Rider QB throw for 5,542 yards. In 2011, last year, there were long, long stretches between touchdown passes and even longer stretches, it seemed, between points. The Riders finished dead last in points scored, averaging 19 a game, and only Toronto had fewer net yards than the Riders, as the Argos netted 319 yards per game to Saskatchewans 327. On defence it was a similar story, dead last in takeaways with only 31, and the takeaway/giveaway ratio was minus-17, tied with Toronto. To a final point of emphasis, B.C. was No. 1 in forcing two-and-out situations while Saskatchewan was again tied for dead last with Toronto in a critical aspect of CFL defence - forcing two plays and a punt as fast as possible. Last year was brutal. Now that was last year, so, lets focus on this year. There is a new energy, a new drive around Saskatchewan in the name of Corey Chamblin, the new head coach. The only thing that bothers me about Coach Chamblin is he is so young, 35. He makes me feel old because he is so young. But he certainly has paid "the dues" and has a resume of association as good as any head coach in football. There really is something about youth and energy that makes a difference and I cant help but anticipate Coach Chamblins enthusiasm for football will transition to all of his players. He also has created an excellent support system around him. He has hired experience and class in Richie Hall, Alex Smith, and Bobby Dyce. As well, lots of youth will be an innovation with Craig Dickenson, Khari Jones, Jason Tucker, and Barron Miles on the coaching staff. All four of those coaches have potential to be head coaches down the road. On the defensive line is Mike Walker - a coach I played against as a player - of whom I have exceptional respect for, and offensive line coach Kris Sweet. This was a significant hire as Coach Sweet is the opposite of his name. Very demanding. I can guarantee you that this years Riders will protect the quarterback better in every way as compared to previous years. Both men are solid position coaches. Now I will be the first to tell you that players win games, but a good staff can make the average player good, and the good player great. I believe the Riders have that opportunity with the present personnel. The challenges are there. Darian Durant must rebound, and they have to find an 18-game running back. Who is going to play left tackle? Who is the next Andy Fantuz? And those are just offensive questions. But energy is transferrable and the energy feels good in Regina. With a $14 million upgrade to Taylor Field, and a new stadium on the horizon in 2014, there are many bright lights just around the corner to chase with the Riders. And with the best fan base in CFL football, this would be a good place to be a football player. Now its up to the players that Coach Chamblin chooses, because the support system is already there. Willis McGahee Womens Jersey . -- Danica Patricks day started at the front of the pack. Baltimore Ravens Nike Jersey . He responded with one of the best individual seasons in team history. On Monday, he just might be rewarded for his efforts. Bautista is a contender for the American League MVP award after hitting . Dwight Freeney Jersey . The Colts announced Wednesday the hiring of Ryan Grigson to take over the post. Vice-chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris, the clubs former general manager, were both fired last week following the clubs 2-14 season. Chipper Jones Jersey . -- Vikings running back Adrian Peterson will miss Sundays game against the Denver Broncos with a high ankle sprain, and receiver Percy Harvin is listed as questionable with an illness. Carson Palmer Elite Jersey . The 25-year-old has registered 19 points in the last 20 games playing pivot for Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul on the Leafs first line.TORONTO - Resisting the allure of free agency was easy for Rick Nash. Earlier this month, the 25-year-old native of Brampton, Ont., agreed to an eight-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets worth US$62.5 million. Nash wouldve been an unrestricted free agent after next season but said he always wanted to remain with the Jackets. "It was pretty easy because Columbus wanted to get everything done and I wanted to stay in Columbus," Nash said Tuesday before opening the sixth annual Jakes House Golf Classic for Children with Autism. "It was just a matter of coming to a fair deal and we did, we got there." The new deal will kick in after next season. The six-foot-four, 235-pound Nash will make $7 million in 2009-10. "I had a good two months to think about it and talk with a lot of family and friends," Nash said. "I just went over my options over possible places I could go and at the end of the day after speaking with Scott (Jackets GM Scott Howson) and the ownership at Columbus it was just the right fit. "Columbus has become home and thats where I wanted to stay." Nash established career and team highs last season with his 79 points (40 goals, 39 assists) in 78 games in leading Columbus to its first trip to the playoffs in the franchises eighth season. It was also his first full season as captain. The burly left-winger tied for the NHL lead in goals with 41 in the 2003-04 season. He was also Columbuss first overall pick in the 2002 draft annd is the clubs all-time leader in goals (194) and points (355) in 441 career games. Kenny Britt Jersey. A four-time NHL all-star, Nash has led the club in goals for the past five seasons. And at last months NHL awards in Las Vegas, he was named the winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of his charitable work and commitment to the community. This marks Nashs first year with the Jakes House golf tournament -- which was held Wooden Sticks Golf Course in Uxbridge, Ont. -- although he says hes been involved in the charity for the past four years. "Its a great cause and something where I became friends with the family," Nash said. "Its nice to give back." But Nashs summer is scheduled to come to an early end. He was one of 46 players invited to the Canadian Olympic hockey teams summer orientation camp in Calgary at the end of August. Nash was a member of the 06 Canadian Olympic team that was a disappointing seventh in Turin, Italy. With the 2010 Games slated for Vancouver, Nash fully understands the weight of expectation that will be on this years squad but readily accepts that challenge. "My first Olympics was a bitter-sweet thing so if I got the opportunity to wear the jersey again it would be an honour," he said. "Just to think its going to be in our own back yard, this one is going to be special. "Anytime you play for Team Canada the pressure is so high to win. But I think its going to help us a lot with our own fans behind us." ' ' ' 

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