Roughriders Sign Super Bowl Winning Wide Receiver
by Jay Luster
24 May 2018
The Richmond Roughriders have announced the signing of former New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Robert Meachem. During his eight-year NFL career, the 6’2” Tulsa, Oklahoma native caught 178 passes for 2914 yards and 27 TD’s. In 2007, after an All-American college career at Tennessee, Meachem was taken with the 27th overall pick by the Saints. Knee surgery prevented him from playing in 2007, but he returned in 2008 and for the next four seasons, he was a solid, sometimes spectacular presence on the field. In a 2009 game against the Washington Redskins, Meachem scored two critical TD’s. The first came at the end of the half when, on a 4th and 26 Drew Brees, under pressure, threw an ill-advised pass which was picked off by Safety Kareem Moore. With his team holding a 7 point lead with just seconds to go, instead of taking a knee, Moore took off up the field and ran straight into Meachem. Stripping the ball, Meachem returned it for a 44-yard TD to tie the game. Later, with only 1:27 left to go, Meachem tied the game on a spectacular 53-yard catch and run. The TD pushed the game into OT. A field goal won the game, and the Saints extended their record to 12-0. New Orleans won the Super Bowl that year and hopefully, Meachem will bring his ring to Richmond for the fans to see. Roughriders owner Gregg Fornario said, “He (Meachem) just finished up his season at Your Call Football, which is like a Spring league. Player Personnel Director Andrew Germann and I saw he ran a 4.4 40 at the University of Tennessee Pro-Day. When we learned he still wanted to play, we watched some impressive film of him and then reached out. We believe he will have an instant impact.”
According to AAL rules, the rosters for all teams will freeze on 1 June 2018. The freeze means teams will have to finish the season and get through the playoffs with the guys already on their 30 man roster. With the Riders only carrying 27, the Meachem signing means no active players had to be released. Asked about a replacement for OL Malcolm Bunche, who left Richmond for a shot with the New York Giants, Fornario said, “We’re bringing in multiple people on two-day waivers this week and next to get some extra depth on our roster ahead of the playoffs.” With that in mind, the team has signed former Lehigh Valley OL/FB Michael Williams Jr. The 6’5” 330 lb Williams is projected to play FB, but his versatility gives the teams options in their running and blocking schemes. Look for both Meachem and Williams to be on the field this Saturday when the Roughriders host the New Jersey Flight. The Flight are playing for their playoff lives and promise to be a dangerous opponent.
This week AF Insider interviewed former Vermont Bucks/AAL/Atlanta Havoc Owner/Executive Tim Viens. Among the things Viens said was a prediction, the Richmond Roughriders will be leaving town after the conclusion of the 2018 season. Gregg Fornario, the owner of the Roughriders, has stated emphatically that the Roughriders are staying in Richmond as long as the Richmond Coliseum is available. The city of Richmond has a plan on the table to begin demolition of the old rusty flying saucer in December with an eye of having its replacement in place sometime late in 2019 or possibly 2020. SMG, the people who currently run the Coliseum are not booking anything in beyond the September until they find out one way or the other what the city has planned. Richmond is scheduled to make a decision sometime in mid-June and AF Insider will be there to bring you the news as soon as it breaks. As for all the other rumors swirling around ownership, the AAL, and any potential future changes to the organization, ignore them because the only thing the team and fans need to focus on right now is making the playoffs and bringing home another championship trophy to Richmond.
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It was suggested because he was lining up opposite Greg Hardy he ought to get 20 sacks Hollis replied "They can't double us both, I'm going to get 30."
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Richmond Roughriders vs, Florida Tarpons
for the APF Championship