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The shocker in the off-season was two pronged and both involvng the defending champion Roughriders. Kent Austin left the Riders to take an assistant coaching job at Mississippi, his old alma-mata with the blessing of Rider GM Eric Tilman. Tilman then turned around and traded the Rider QB and Most Outstanding Player in 2007, Kerry Joseph to Toronto for a cople of linemen.
The big trade for Kerry Joseph didn't do much for the Argos as they were a dismal 4-14 and Joseph was pretty much ineffective. It got off to a bad start as the Argos had just signed returning QB Michael Bishiop the day before the trade. Suddenly, they had two #1 quarterbacks and said they would use a two quarterback system. that didn't work and things didn't get better when Joseph was given the job full-time with the trading of Bishop to of all places Saskatchewan. Where Josph was succdessful in Saskatchewan was as a running quarterback and the Argos seemed determined to make him a pocket passer.
Back in Saskatchewan, Marcus Crandell was suddenly the starting QB and offensive Coordinator Kem Miller was the head coach. The Riders got off to a very good start, winning their first six games, despite a rash of injuries, incuding one to Crandell. After that, things fell apart for the Riders and Crandell ended up getting released when he came back from his injury. The riders seemed to panic and airlifted in Michael Bishop from the Argos to try and patch things up. It didn't work as Bishop blew hot and cold, sometimes completing long passes with his great arm stgrength and then making a bad decision and being intercepted. The Riders faltered and finished second as Calgary came on strong under Henry Burris to take first. The Riders still finished second and hada home playoff game against BC in the West Semi-Final, but Bishop had a bad game and the Lions won easily. The final whistle had barely sounded before Bishop was dispatched from Saskatchewan.
It was pretty much the same story as previous years in the East with Montreal being the dominant t eam. Despite winning only 4 games, Toronto was not even the worst team in the East as Hamilton won only 3. The end result was that Edmont crossed ove rfrom the West to play in the East playoffs and beat Winnipeg in the East Semi-Final, only to lose to Montreal n the East Final and prevent an "All West" final.