Monday, October 12, 2015
MONTREAL (CP) - The Toronto Argonauts have become the road warriors of the Canadian Football League.
Trevor Harris threw touchdown passes to Diontae Spencer and Tori Gurley as the Argonauts stretched their winning run to three games, all away from home, with a 25-17 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Monday afternoon.
Their win in Ottawa last week was supposed to have been a home game, but they were forced out of the Rogers Centre by the Blue Jays playoff run. Their next game, Saturday against the Calgary Stampeders, may be moved to Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton.
"Of course, we'd much rather be in the dome than playing at Tim Horton's, but that's what it us.,'' said coach Scott Milanovich, whose team is 5-4 away from the Rogers Centre. "That's the hand we've been dealt and we're going to play to win.''
Brandon Whitaker ran in a touchdown and Justin Palardy kicked a field goal for Toronto (9-5), now tied with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats atop the East Division.
Milanovic feels his team cannot lose more than one of their four remaining regular-season games to take first place in the division and may even have to run the table because the Ticats have the edge in the season series between them.
Tyrell Sutton and B.J. Cunningham scored TDs and Boris Bede had a field goal for Montreal (5-9), which lost a third game in a row before 21,536 at Percival Molson Stadium.
The Alouettes lost yet another quarterback as Rakeem Cato suffered a suspected concussion on a Thomas Miles sack just ahead of halftime and did not return. That brought in Anthony Boone, the sixth QB they have used this season.
When Boone couldn't move the ball, Tanner Marsh took over in the fourth quarter.
Coach Jim Popp wasn't sure yet which quarterback will start Sunday at home against Hamilton.
He said Boone and Marsh "will get all the reps in practice, a lot more than they had this week. For them to come in and play was difficult.''
Cato was good on nine of 12 passes for 72 yards and had a 9-7 lead when he left the game. Boone was 6-for-12 with an interception and Marsh was 9-for-14 for 119 yards, a touchdown and a pick.
Harris, who went 16-for-21 for 182 yards, 2 TDs and an interception, led scoring drives when Toronto needed them.
The Argos marched 70 yards on four plays to score on the opening drive of the game, with Spencer hauling in a 20-yard TD pass at 1:49.
Momentum swung on the opening play of the second quarter when Henoc Muamba, playing his first game since signing as a free agent, picked off a Harris pass and brought it to the Toronto 32. Bede kicked a 25-yard field goal.
A shanked Anthony Alix punt gave Montreal the ball on the Argos 21 and, five plays later, Sutton ran in from the three to put the Alouettes ahead 9-7.
Akwasi Owusu-Ansah picked off a Boone pass and ran it 63 yards to the Montreal 41 to set up Palardy's 36-yard field goal 14:17 into the third quarter.
A 55-yard single on a Bede punt tied it 10-10 5:41 into the fourth, but Harris marched back for a 27-yard TD pass to Gurley.
Marsh fumbled, then was picked off, leading to a Toronto single and Whitaker's nine-yard TD run with 2:14 left in the game.
Montreal made it interesting as a drive led to a 10-yard TD pass from Marsh to Cunningham at 14:06 and Kyries Hebert recovered the short kickoff to give them a last-minute drive that fell short.
Alix, who muffed three punts, left with an injury and Milanovich said there will be a new punter next game. Palardy went 1-for-3 on field goals on a poor Argos kicking day overall.
THE VIEW FROM THE BOOTH
1 - HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!: It's an abbreviated long weekend as we didn't return from Hamilton until Saturday evening and we're on the air with the SportsCage Monday at 4:00 pm on 620 CKRM. However we were able to fit in some family time on Sunday and celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. I'm thankful to be the voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the greatest franchise in the CFL and one of the most glorious in all of professional football! I'm also thankful to be able to ply my trade in my hometown surrounded by family and lifelong friends.
2 - BYE, BYE LOVE: The players and coaches are gone. Most of them anyways. Following Friday's 30-15 loss in Hamilton, the Roughriders went on a bye week and for the second time this season many of them skedaddled to their hometowns across the continent for an extended break.
You have to wonder what their attitude will be once they return. The Riders were officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss in Hamilton and now they have three meaningless games remaining. You'll hear a ton in the weeks ahead that "No games are meaningless" but you know what I mean.
As professionals, they'll be ready to go back to work. But it's got to be tough when the fire's been snuffed out.
There's also a ton for the football club to decipher this week for those who are still on the job. How could they come out so flat in two must-win games in B.C. and Hamilton? Why is the defense giving up acres and acres of yards? Why has quarterback Kevin Glenn struggled so much that he's had to be pulled the past two games? Is he part of the plan moving forward? Same for veteran Chris Getzlaf who dropped two first down passes and negated another due to penalty against the Tiger-Cats? Was he victim of nerves or rust after missing the prior seven games?
So much needs to be discussed.
3 - "THE PLAN": Rider coach Bob Dyce mentioned last week that the club has two plans for the rest of the season: one for if they remain in playoff contention and another for if/when they're eliminated. We've seen the first one, and I assume we're about to see the second. I asked Riders GM Jeremy O'Day how different the plans actually are.
"They're significantly different," O'Day said on Friday's pregame show. "I think everyone needs to be patient as far as when that process occurs. I think anytime you're in a position of leadership you have to show support to the players that are around you. For us to look in the locker room and say 'We're throwing in the towel', it would be awful difficult for us to do that.
However we have to keep in mind the position that we're in and moving forward, there is an evaluation process that will happen. It's not like we haven't discussed it. We have a plan in place for what will take place over the next three games and we'll exercise that when the time's right.
"The other thing you need to understand is there is an evaluation going on for a lot of players (now). We had a new centre (Corey Watman), we're playing with rookies Nic Demski, Naaman Roosevelt, Andre Monroe, Jeff Knox and Tyree Hollins. We do have a lot of young guys in the lineup as it is and a lot of those evaluations are ongoing. You can't just have wholesale changes but we understand where we're at and we do have a plan that's ready to be executed."
My guess is you'll see Brett Smith start the Riders' next game, October 24 at home to Edmonton, however no one has confirmed that. At some point we'll likely see rookie Keith Price as well, however it's doubtful it'll be in a starter's role.
4 - UPSTAIRS: While all these moves are being plotted in the football operations department, you've got to think there's plenty of action upstairs in senior management. Last week we noted that several candidates have applied for the Riders' GM & Head Coach positions however no names have been disclosed. TSN reporter Gary Lawless floated the name of Calgary Stampeders' Assistant GM Mike Petrie in his column late last week, linking him to the Rider job. The Stampeders' website notes Petrie "grew up in Saskatchewan - as a Stampeders fan". Petrie was the Stamps beat writer for the Calgary Herald before making the move to the football club. It's highly unlikely he'll be among the final candidates.
I was poised to mention Steve Sarkisian as a potential head coaching candidate in this column because entering the weekend the former Rider quarterback (1997-99) was on the hotseat as head coach of the USC Trojans. However Sarkisian was placed on temporary leave by USC on Sunday and his future is not known. I'd like to see "Sark" here one day, but it won't be anytime soon. Or at least until he gets his troubles straightened out.
5 - GOD BLESS RIDER FANS: While attending Game 1 of the ALDS between the Rangers and Blue Jays in Toronto, we got a real appreciation for the fan. We had to cab it $22 from Hamilton to the train platform and then go another hour on the train into Toronto's Union Station before hiking several blocks to Rogers Centre. Once we got in, prices were sky-high for everything (including $500 for a $125 face value ticket) and even in those seats behind home plate our knees were cramped. However to see the AL East pennant unveiled, and everything that happened over the next three hours, made it all worth it.
It reminded me of the fact that as broadcasters we get to an empty stadium hours before the game and don't battle lineups for the washroom. A meal is provided. There's shade or heat in the broadcast booth, whichever you prefer. And when you leave, your car is in the parking lot where you've been afforded a season-long parking pass just yards from the stadium.
What Rider fans endure to watch their team play at home in that rickety old stadium is a testament to their love for the team. The fans are sacred and their concerns need to be taken seriously. Rider President Craig Reynolds and I discussed that in Hamilton and left the discussion on the same page. God bless Rider fans.
RAPID FIRE MONDAY NOTES
1 - There's plenty to be excited about with the Saskatchewan Roughriders despite their 2-13 record. The problem was identified, corrected, and they're in the process of getting it fixed. There's a beautiful new stadium being built next door and the future is BRIGHT! As TSN's Darren Dutchyshen said at the Plaza of Honor a few weeks ago, "1-11 doesn't matter. Well it does, but the Riders are bigger than that". It's clear many fans agree, as you still see just as much Rider paraphernelia on the streets now as ever before.
2 - The club's recent struggles have made me appeciate the 2013 Grey Cup and that whole Grey Cup Week even more. If you shelled out the exorbitant ticket price for the game, it turned out to be a bargain. It was the greatest day in Saskatchewan sporting history. You're just not going to get that every year, or perhaps every decade.
3 - Air Canada is now offering Wifi on its long flights. Hurray! It'll cost you $5 or so but it was worth it. The Wifi signal isn't strong enough to broadcast video but at least I was able to listen to the first half of the Edmonton-Calgary CFL game on Saturday which was a true bonus. Plus I could get some work done. Bravo Air Canada! WestJet, you're now on the clock for amenities.
4 - The Blue Jays send R.A. Dickey to the mound tonight in Texas to try and stave off elimination in the ALDS which the Rangers lead 2-1. It's been fun following this Blue Jays team over the past few months. However why is the franchise's highest-paid player (P Mark Buerhle at $20-million per season) sitting on the bench in the playoffs? I don't think I'll ever get the mentality of baseball.
Oh, and the Jays are welcome to use the term "Canada's Team" until the end of this year's playoffs, free of charge.
5 - The Toronto media got lambasted in the Dallas media over the weekend for complaining about officiating in Games 1 and 2 of the series (particularly Game 1). There was a hoax on Facebook that the RCMP was going to investigate a conspiracy against the Blue Jays. Boy do the Toronto reporters look shoddy for complaining about the umps after losses. :)
6 - Many have asked about the broadcasters' travel with the Roughriders. It will be revisited by the new regime in the off-season. All of Carm and my travel for 2015 was booked in advance through the end of the season.
7 - Seahawks punter Jon Ryan of Regina took umbrage with NFL Network analyst Brian Billick's weekend comment that kickers aren't football players. Jon took to Twitter to write, "Here's Coach Billick's stats as an NFL 'football player'. 0 games played 0 catches for 0 yards. Oh and 0 FG attempts."
Billick responded on Twitter with: "Wrong. That's not at all what I said. Kickers are extremely important and critical to the outcome of a game."
8 - Somebody wrote into Thursday's blog column saying to introduce betting to the CFL was a "dumb idea". Not really. While drafting my Draft Kings Week 5 lineup on Saturday, this thought ran through my head: "Man I'm going to have to watch a lot more NFL if I'm going to conquer this Fantasy stuff". Bingo! I caught myself. And therein is the hook and the benefit to the leagues. More viewers to the games and more readers to blogsites and our Twitter accounts for roster updates.
9 - Two NFL observations from Sunday: 1) is there a more played-song than Hell's Bells by ACDC at NFL games? and 2) does Peyton Manning lead the NFL in television endorsements?
10 - Hockey Observations: They're calling it the "Dawn of the Babcock Era" in Toronto. My Southern Ontario friend Nick Osmak quipped over wings in Hamilton, "It's not good when the head coach is the only thing they have to promote" ... There was only one NHL game on Sunday (Montreal's 3-1 win over Ottawa). Even the NHL is avoiding the NFL's Sunday games ... Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano is the NHL's current Ironman at 622 games ... Arizona's Max Domi is the first player in franchise history to record a multi-point NHL debut since Shane Doan did it in 1995 as a Winnipeg Jet against Dallas in 1995 ... Once this Federal election's over, what are people going to write about on Facebook? Sheesh! Can't wait for it to be over. Don't forget to vote!
THAT'S ALL! ENJOY YOUR MONDAY ...
Sunday, October 11, 2015
With the win, the Thunder finished the regular season at 6-2 and will now host the Calgary Colts in a PFC semifinal.
The Thunder led 10-6 at halftime and 24-6 going into the fourth quarter. The wind, which gusted to 93 km/h at times, forced the Thunder to use a ground attack as they piled up 300 yards rushing on the day versus only 113 in the air.
Kickers Kristopher Calcutt of Regina and Edmonton's Cole Sabourin each chipped in with a pair of field goals in the regular season finale. With the loss, the Huskies finished the 2015 regular season at 1-7.
The Thunder will now host the Calgary Colts in a PFC semifinal next Sunday, October 18 at 1:00 pm. The game can be seen live on Access 7.
|Keith Hershmiller Photography|
Edmonton's Dario Meyer opened the game's scoring with his first WHL goal just over a minute in. Adam Brooks wasted no time in responding as Austin Wagner sent him in alone shorthanded to tie the game three minutes later. The Oil Kings got it back in the back-half of the frame when Tyler Robertson knocked in a rebound on the powerplay for a 2-1 Edmonton lead through twenty minutes.
The Oil Kings added to their lead early when Andrew Koep got some space in the slot and fired home a one-timer. The Queen City Kids turned things around, scoring four unanswered in the frame. Lane Zablocki opened things up grabbing a rebound and firing it to the back of the net. Adam Brooks got his second of the game when Sergey Zborovskiy spied him to the side of the net on the powerplay to tie the game. Then Brooks and Zablocki combined to put the Pats ahead on a two-on-one with Brooks setting up Zablocki for his team-leading fourth of the year. The powerplay struck again when Riley Woods got the puck away from pressure, over to Rykr Cole who snuck a shot by Alec Dillon for a 5-3 Pats advantage through two periods.
The third period saw both teams spend plenty of time in the penalty box with a total of 17 infractions called by the officials. Despite the amount of powerplay chances, neither team could find the back of the net. Daniel Wapple and Alec Dillon both turned aside nine shots in the final frame as the Pats took the 5-3 victory.
-Adam Brooks tied his career high with four points (2G, 2A) in the game.
-Lane Zablocki registered the first multi-point game (2G, 1A) of his WHL career.
-Trygve Many Guns played the first game of his WHL career.
-The Pats outshot Edmonton 35-31.
-Regina was 2/6 on the powerplay and 5/6 killing penalties.
The Pats now head out on the road for their next five games for a swing through the Central Division. The trip opens in Medicine Hat where the Blue and White play their first game at the new Canalta Centre on Tuesday, October 13. Listen to all Pats road games with Bennett Dunlop Ford Pats Hockey on 620 CKRM starting 25 minutes before puck drop.
(With files from Regina Pats/Daniel Fink)
After giving up fewer than 30 points through the first 11 games of the CFL season, the Alouettes have surrendered 33 and 39 in their last two outings, although they were road games only five days apart.
And they face another stiff test Monday afternoon when Trevor Harris and the Toronto Argonauts (8-5) visit Percival Molson Stadium (11 am Sask Time, TSN).
"They've been the heartbeat of our team the last three years,'' Alouettes coach and general manager Jim Popp said of his defence. "They've put us in position to have chances to win games.
"Sometimes you go through a bad spell. We had two road games in a week's time and we didn't play our best. Now we look to bounce back.''
The Alouettes (5-8) looked to be bouncing back after Popp replaced Tom Higgins as head coach, but their last two outings were a disaster. It started with a 33-21 loss in Regina, when the Roughriders were 1-13. Then they were mauled by the Redblacks, as Henry Burris passed for 504 yards in a 39-17 Ottawa victory.
They've had a bye week to try to regroup and will be facing an Argonaut team on a short week after a last-minute 38-35 win in Ottawa on Tuesday night.
It is the first meeting of the season between the Argos and Alouettes, who also play Oct. 23.
The Alouettes need to start winning again or they risk missing the playoffs for the first time since they returned to Montreal in 1996 after a 10-year hiatus.
They are three wins behind the other three East Division clubs. They can still cross over to the West Division playoffs if they stay ahead of Winnipeg, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
"It's just that we're running out of games and we need to win,'' said Popp. "You've got to take care of your own business. We can't depend on anybody.
"To get back in our race would take other teams to not win. We've got divisional opponents coming up. If we can win one game at a time we'd be back in it. And the crossover will take care of itself if we keep winning.''
The Alouettes have struggled to move the ball with rookie Rakeem Cato at quarterback and, if he stalls against Toronto, third stringer Anthony Boone may see some action and become their sixth pivot to play this season.
Their five wins came largely from their defence, but injuries have crept in. Against Ottawa, they were without their starting middle linebacker and a cornerback, then lost the other cornerback, Jonathan Hefney, to season-ending shoulder and arm injuries.
Montreal signed former East all-star linebacker Henoc Muamba, who has had a week and a half to prepare for his Alouettes debut.
"The important thing is to win,'' said linebacker Kyries Hebert. "We went all those games without getting 30 scored on us but we didn't win all of them.''
Toronto will be a test. Against Ottawa, Harris threw touchdown passes to five different receivers, including a TD toss to Chad Owens to secure the win.
Argos coach Scott Milanovich isn't taking Montreal lightly either.
"I'm not thrilled we're getting them coming off a loss and they're on a bye week,'' he said. "Most teams respond well when they're coming off a loss.''
The Blue Bombers prevailed after scoring 10 points in the final two minutes.
Winnipeg (5-10) moved into a tie with B.C. (5-9) for the third and final playoff spot in the West Division as it posted only its second win in the past nine games. The Lions have four games left in the regular season, while the Bombers only have three remaining.
Castillo, making his CFL debut, was good on all five of his field-goal attempts. Winnipeg also received a touchdown from Ian Wild on a blocked punt return to overcome a 23-9 half-time deficit.
The loss spoiled a strong first-half effort by B.C. quarterback Jonathon Jennings, who tossed three touchdowns while completing 16 consecutive passes. He threw for 307 yards in the first half alone.
Emmanuel Arceneaux caught two of Jennings' touchdown passes while Austin Collie snagged another.
(The Canadian Press)
Saturday, October 10, 2015
The Edmonton Eskimos pulled even with the Calgary Stampeders at 11-4 atop the division with a 15-11 win over their provincial rival Saturday at McMahon Stadium.
Both teams assured a playoff game at home with three games remaining in the regular season, and it's now a matter of which Alberta city gets the division final Nov. 22 and which gets the division semifinal Nov. 15.
With their second win in a row against Calgary and their first at McMahon since 2011, the Eskimos take the season series against the Stampeders 2-1. That is the tiebreaker should both clubs have the same record at the regular season's conclusion.
"There have been scenarios in the past where teams clinch pretty early, with almost a month left,'' Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly said.
"That's not the case right now. We know for the next three weeks, if we take care of business on our end then nothing else matters and there's nothing any other team can do about it. That's a good situation to be in, but we've still got to go and get it done.''
Calgary has games remaining against Toronto, Saskatchewan and B.C., while Edmonton finishes against B.C, Saskatchewan and Montreal.
The Eskimos were winners of five in a row for the first time since 2011 when they opened 5-0. The Stampeders suffered their first loss in eight home games this season.
"It's a big game, don't get me wrong,'' Edmonton head coach Chris Jones said. "We've had so much trouble beating them in years past. It's good to be able to come to their place where we haven't had a lot of success in a long time and win the football game.''
Edmonton has held the defending Grey Cup champions to 16 points or less in their three meetings this season. The Eskimos improved to 9-1 when holding opponents to 19 or less. Punt singles by Maver and Whyte were the only points of the second half.
"Hats off to the Stampeders, but we fought the hardest,'' Eskimos defensive lineman Odell Willis said. "The team with the most heart, that's who's going to come out victorious and today we had the most heart.''
Notes - Stampeders offensive lineman Dan Federkeil suffered a pulled hamstring in the fourth quarter ... Calgary's win streak halted at three games.
HAMILTON - Jeff Mathews' shoulders are feeling a little lighter.
The 24-year-old rookie quarterback threw the first three touchdown passes of his CFL career to lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 30-15 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Tim Hortons Field in CFL action Friday night.
It was his second CFL career start with the Ticats - and his first win - after having to take over for starter Zach Collaros in the second quarter of Week 13's game against Edmonton, a 25-18 loss in which he threw two picks returned for touchdowns, one interception in the end zone and one fumble. Things weren't much better last week in his first start - a 23-20 loss to Calgary in which he threw one interception and had one fumble.
This time Mathews had zero turnovers and completed 22-of-33 pass attempts for 385 yards.
"We finally got our execution level up,'' he said, crediting the play-making ability of his receivers. "We were able, obviously, to... make some great plays. It was a great day.''
Mathews' first TD pass was a nine-yard strike to fellow Cornell alumnus Luke Tasker midway through the second quarter that was set up by an Ed Gainey blocked punt recovered near the goal line. He followed that late in the half with a 91-yard drive ending with a six-yard strike to Tiquan Underwood and in the third with an 87-yard catch-and-run to Terrell Sinkfield - Hamilton's longest play from scrimmage this season.
Head coach Kent Austin had been saying all week his starter just needed to get some game experience.
"When he gets that experience, and has to face different situations and conditions and adversity and things, he'll get a lot better, and he has,'' said Austin. "He was very poised I thought today. We protected him well and the receivers really played well. They made some big catches, some big plays for him. But he was very accurate.''
Hamilton snapped a two-game losing skid to improve to 9-5 and take sole possession of first place in the CFL East. Saskatchewan fell to 2-13 and is eliminated from playoff contention for only the second time since 2002.
"At the beginning of the year, that's the goal (making the playoffs),'' said Roughrider head coach Bob Dyce. "Now realizing (we are out), it's a little disheartening. We now have three games and we are going to keep fighting. Obviously, our focus changes.''
Saskatchewan was down 20-0 at the end of the first half, so rookie pivot Brett Smith was sent in to replace starter Kevin Glenn to start the second. He hit Weston Dressler for a 79-yard catch-and-run TD and Ryan Smith with a 68-yard TD strike. He also threw one interception.
Glenn made 11-of-17 pass attempts for 67 yards and one interception in the first half. Smith completed 11-of-20 pass attempts for 243 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Smith's opening drive ended with an interception by Courtney Stephen at the Saskatchewan 21 and returned to the 18. When Hamilton failed to get the first down on a botched fake 22-yard field-goal attempt, the Roughriders got the ball back on their own eight.
Three plays later, Smith found the wide-open Dressler downfield and the score was 20-7 4:53 into the second half.
Hamilton got that back four minutes later when Sinkfield escaped a tackle after a 10-yard pass from Mathews and ran it the rest of the way for an 87-yard score and the 27-7 lead.
Ticats kicker Justin Medlock's 18-yard field goal with 4:34 left in the game followed by Smith's 68-yard TD catch-and run, with a two-point convert with 1:57 left, finished the scoring.
Medlock hit all three field-goal attempts, from 25, 44 and 18 yards.
Saskatchewan kicker Paul McCallum missed from 27 yards out.
Hamilton running back Michael Ford rushed for 54 yards while Brett Smith led Saskatchewan with 57 rushing yards. Jerome Messam, the league's second-leading rusher, was held to eight yards.
Notes: Attendance at Tim Hortons Field was 24,222.
HEAD COACH BOB DYCE
- A little challenging. Offensively throughout the course of the whole game we really didn't have much flow. Defensively we fought hard for the majority and special teams had that block which led to our first touchdown. But some mental lapses bit us. We talked about that but it bit us in the rear-end.
- I think it was a combination of things. I certainly won't put this on Kevin Glenn. There were a number of drops in the first half. There may have been some miscommunication and mislocated balls and when you do that against a defense like this you won't have success.
- Changing quarterbacks wasn't planned. You can't go a half in the CFL without scoring points so we made the decision to go with Brett in the second half.
- Normally the protocol is to be notified on pass interference if it should be challenged. Afterwards Weston said he was interfered with but we just didn't get it in time.
- Alex Hall likely won't play for the rest of the season. On the others, I haven't had a chance to check yet. Monroe went down and didn't finish.
- Brett Smith is an interesting guy. The first touchdown was a result of a broken coverage and credit to his mobility, he escaped and had time downfield. We'll have to watch film. The coach said there were some things that possibly could've been missed but we'll have to look at the film. The late touchdown to Ryan was a great ball and he put up 15 points which is great but as always there were things that possibly could've been better.
- It's Kent prerogative to run a fake. I'm just happy our guys were on point and stopped it. It's his job to score points. That's the objective of the game. That's his prerogative.
- On the shortkick, it was a great kick. I told Paul that as soon as he walked off the field. We coulda played the ball instead of the man. Jeff could've tapped it over the receiver. It's hard for me to see who could've got through but we could've maybe schemed it better.
- Luckily we're in a bye week so we'll be able to sit down and see how to adjust the roster going forward. Obviously we still want to win games. You can't change 15 guys and expect to have continuity. We'll look at it this week and look at all possibilities and go from there.
LB JEFF KNOX JR.
- It's very disappointing right now. The season is basically over for us, for the postseason. It always hurts for us but coming off the bye week we have to stay focused. We've still go three games left.
- I had a lot of help this year. Coach Pettaway is good, man. He's showed me a lot and I'm still learning. I'm a rookie and have a lot to learn. Coach Dyce and the staff believe in me and put me in position to make plays. I have to make sure I make them.
- Moving to the middle is a big responsibility. You've gotta communicate with the back-end and the front-end plus your own assignments but I embrace it. I love the challenge.
- When the scouts saw my film on line, I got a call and I was asked to come to camp in Florida before the NFL Draft. My agent was opposed to it but I'm my own man and I took the chance to go to Florida. They invited me to camp, I made it through rookie camp and made it through and made the roster. It's been a blessing.
REC WESTON DRESSLER
- We just didn't execute as we needed to in the game. We moved it decently in the first quarter and didn't finish a few drives. A few things off cost us.
- It's just that. When everything goes right there's always one thing that goes wrong. It's one thing different each week. It seems like we can't get it all together at the same time.
- It's nice to see Getz back on the field. He's a good friend of mine obviously and watching him on the sidelines the past seven weeks was frustrating. It was nice to see him back out there.
- Brett does a lot of really good things with his legs and he extends plays. He makes big plays happen downfield and he's getting better and better each time he gets to play. He's making the proper reads and getting the ball out on time. He'll continue to improve. It's not easy to run this offense if you're a rookie quarterback in this league. He works hard on it. I like to call it 'organized chaos' when he's making those plays.
- I have no idea what our staff is going to do with the last three games. I don't take this game for granted. I know how quickly it can end at any time. I'm going to make the most of my opportunities whenever I'm on the field.
* The Riders now head into a bye in Week 17.