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Monday, November 12, 2012

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE

Well that's all she wrote.

Like the pop of a balloon, the 2012 Saskatchewan Roughriders' season came to an abrupt and devastating end Sunday afternoon in Calgary in the CFL Western Semifinal. It was a last-minute 36-30 loss to the rival Stampeders which sent the Stamps to the Western Final at B.C. and sent the Riders home.

It's still too painful to re-live, but I suppose we have to. In a quarterback battle between Darian Durant and Drew Tate, both teams wanted to get the jump early but it was scoreless until there was 0:02 left in the opening quarter. That's when the Riders opened the scoring with a Sandro Deangelis field goal. However from there, the Stampeders took over and never really looked back.

The Riders held the lead briefly twice more, but it literally lasted for only a few seconds. Blunders on special teams and defence ultimately cost them the game. Throw in a few dropped passes and it was curtains.

With 0:47 to go and the Riders up 30-29, Tate launched a 68-yard touchdown bomb to Romby Bryant to give Calgary the winning points.

BOOM! Done. And that's the season.

Thrilling ending, but another devastating way to lose at McMahon Stadium for Canada's Team.

"It's been a tough place for us lately," admitted Durant, who threw for 453 yards and four touchdowns. "Give Calgary credit, they're a good team. We made too many mistakes and ultimately gave them the game."

Yes, he's right. We all hoped the playoffs would be a brand new season and the teams would be equal but we were just fooling ourselves. The young Riders shot themselves in the foot time after time and a coverage breakdown led to the last-minute touchdown to break their back. Meanwhile the veteran Stamps never really seemed out of control of the game.

"That's the thing about football; sometimes its out of your hands and you hope people step up and make plays," Durant continued. "Calgary did. Calgary pretty much played a mistake-free game and that's why they won."

Right now we're in a holding pattern. It's sickening to look ahead to next season because there's a long, cold winter staring at us before that. And it feels too soon to look back and reflect on the 2012 season because we weren't ready, nor prepared, for it to end.

"We had a good win there but we let it slip it away," said Rider coach Corey Chamblin, with a comment we've heard before this year. "Those aren't the things that you want to remember at the end of your season. There's a lot of pride there and a lot to build off for next year. I'm proud of the effort from this young team."

He had on a cheerful expression but he had to be devastated inside. Chamblin assured us his team would be ready come playoff time and although at times they were, they didn't play a complete game when it counted.

"We gotta be disciplined," Chamblin continued. "We talked about playing smart and tough but we didn't play smart in some positions. "I thought we brought this team a long way from what we had. We retooled the whole roster. We got some stars there and I think we'll be a contender next year."

Next year. Next Year Country! That's a phrase we used to hear all the time around here when seasons ended too soon. It always seemed so hopeless.

This time tough, there's a sense of faith in Chamblin in this province. At least there should be. Stop for a minute and consider where this team was one year ago and where it is now.

Massive improvement. It's just hard being patient for the baby steps when you remember where this team was between 2007 and 2010.

But they're on their way back there.
____

Tune into 620 CKRM today for the Sports Cage from 5-7 pm as we look back at Sunday's game and the 2012 Rider season.
RP

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I honestly thought we would stick around a little longer than we did. Yes, we are a better team than last year, but only one game better. We managed to play one game in the playoffs, and that's it. We have lots of things to work on next year. We require receivers who can catch. A pass rush who can get to the quarterback. And, don't get me started on what is going on with our defence. I hope that Taman can find some extra help this long off season. It will be a long 7 months until the next training camp.

S.White said...

A few less penalties (some iffy calls included) a couple of caught passes and a few less seconds and the Riders win. Bad start when DD sacked right off the bat. DD is NOT to blame for this loss. He played well. We are fortunate to have him. CC is going to be a Great coach. Taman did a good job some of the players he brought in will become Star players. First year Coach with many new players. The difference to other years when it was said "next year" is that there NOW REALLY IS HOPE for next year. Trouble is it is such a long off season. I would like to add that many complainers often don't know what they are talking about. JUST COMPLAIN COMPLAIN ......

Anonymous said...

The first thing Rider management has to realize is that Richie Hall's day has come and gone although I never did see it. His defences can never get the big stop. Cornish's 29 yard gallop at the end of the half and Bryant's game winner sit squarely on Richie. He has to go.

BB

Anonymous said...

Definitely improvements need to be made, and yes I'm disappointed we are done because I had high hopes for them in the playoffs, but I have none of the devastating sickening feeling in my stomach this year. I think if we are honest we all knew this team wasn't in the top half of the league, we are close, but not consistent enough to be there this year. I have all kinds of optimism for next year though. Rehash everything on the talk shows and in the papers and at the coffee shops if you want to. I'm just going to let it go and patiently wait until next season because I'm behind this team no matter what. 2013 holds something special for this province and in the words of Tom Shephard "I have a feeling"

Parkside said...

Its all too hard to think about yet. We had that game minus a few plays. Next year...ugh

Anonymous said...

Richie, Richie, Richie. Changes start with Richie!

Anonymous said...

Hard to stomach this morning that the season is done,but with the Grey Cup here next year and another year of maturation for this club,we should be a lot better.It is absolutely paramount that we host a playoff game next year,preferably the Western Final.Have to give Chamblin and Taman credit for establishing a base for a good team, with so many new additions in one year. For sure our secondary was the worst in years for giving up oodles of second and long, oodles of big plays,the collapses against Calgary and Hamilton. If we win those we probably host yesterdays game. But tough times should make this team a lot tougher next year. As Always,It is next years country,but I personally believe that next years country is very promising for this club. Polkabill from Regina

Anonymous said...

One of the reason we have endured so many sickening losses in big games boils down to defense. DD scored enough to win. We always give up the big plays at crucial times. How many times did the convert 2nd and long? Enormous number!

This team was only marginally better than last year. It backed into the playoffs and backed out. There is no such thing as a rebuild in the CFL, it's always a re-tool. We weren't re-tooled very well at all. Unless we do some proactive things and upgrade in many areas we will be the same kind of team next season and the season after that. This team has gotten away from it's quest to be excellent and dominant. Let's thank ET for the great years from 07-10. It's now a memory and vision in the rear view mirror. A glimpse of what could have been but will never be again. The Riders are settling into their natural position in the league. With it's current leadership we have returned to hoping for better next year. Very sad indeed. The things that are being said about Chanblin were said about Shivers/Barrett. Back in 07-10 you got the feeling that there was somebody special leading this team from up top. You don't get that feeling now. Back then we wanted repeated Grey Cups but now we just want to make the playoffs. Sounds like the old days. Until we find more dynamic leadership we will always be a pretender.

S.White said...

I agree with the last Anonymous.
Also wanted to suggest to those that "hate" The Riders no one is making you "cheer" for them. You could become a "fan" of one of the other teams. You might be happier.

@mrt_man said...

IS IT REALLY OVER? IT JUST SEEMS TOO SOON...

ALL THAT JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND EXCITEMENT AFTER THE SCORING THE BIG TOUCHDOWN THAT WE NEEDED AT THE END... AND THEN NOTHING...

VERY EXCITING FINISH...

kind of interesting that we get beat deep, after ppl were complaining that the D peeled back too far and gave too much room all year!

ARG! DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN... WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NEXT WEEKEND???

The Woz said...

I don't leave many comments on here anymore but just to finish up the season here are a few.

This is playoff football. One team wins one team loses. End of story.

We were on the winning side in 2010 when Clermont caught the winning TD. This year we were on the losing end. Hey - that is football. Sure we all want to win every year but this is a game and sometimes it does not happen. The Riders have had more than their share of heartache over the years for one reason or another - and that does not seem fair. But it is also why this franchise is so near and dear to us all.

We did not lose because of ineptitude - we lost because they made one more play than us and we simply ran out of time. You give us another thirty seconds and maybe we pull it out.

Pointing blame and making excuses and doing shoulda coulda is not going to change the outcome. The key is not to panic now. Did BC panic after losing the 2010 game? Did they can their coach/GM/and all their players? No they stuck with the same group and tweaked here and there. They were a young team in 2010 and low and behold they have never looked back since - winning in 2011 and odds on favourite to win again this year. Lets follows that same formula.

Did Calgary turf Hufnagel and everyone else in Calgary when we beat them in the playoffs in prior years...no.

We made huge strides in one year - if we keep our heads, players and coaching staff and make a few tweaks here and there we will be right there during the 2013 home Grey Cup year.

The biggest mistake we could make right now is to take the "advice" of some knuckledraggers on here and fire this guy and cut that guy.

Panic and constant turnover was the Rider approach of the 1980's and 1990's. Inconsistency breeds more inconsistency. We need stability. All of the great franchises have that - Steelers, Patriots, BC Lions, Stampeders and on and on. You pick a good GM and find a great coach then you stick with them for many years. Cause a great coach like Belicek or Tomlin or Buono or Hufnagel does not become an idiot overnight. I believe Chamblin is going to be a great coach and I have been a constant supporter of Taman's ability to find talent. Stick with those guys, get stability and we will be there year after year. The Steelers, Patriots, etc. are right there every year...sometime they lose in the playoffs other times not. The Riders can and will be the same.

Go Riders Go. Have a great offseason and look forward to a magical journey in 2013.

PS - lay off DD.

Anonymous said...

What a disappointment. Durant was a leader out there and you could see it in his face, the disappointment, when that TD happened. The Durant haters can shove it because the man showed how much he means to this team. Take a hike and get a life you losers.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

DD is the man.
Richie Hall, please do the right thing and hang 'em up.

Anonymous said...

This team always seems to have one guy on special teams or on defence at the end of the game that has no idea what to do. '76 Cup, Cup game against Als, Yesterday. Painful.
Durant played OK but the QB position needs to be upgraded(backups). WR that can catch(Dressler obviously excluded). Both lines need to be upgraded(minor tweaks) and help in the secondary. Hopefully Sanders comes back healthy, if so RB is great. The place kicking needs to be upgraded(can we steal Luca back)
Taman has his work cut out for him but here's hoping.
Thanks Rod for the great blog. You are indeed "the Man". I greatly appreciate all your hard work.
Dave in the 403

Anonymous said...

I agree with Woz. After the game yesterday I also mentioned the Steelers for a reason. Study they're past 48 year history. People say get rid of Taman & the coach, POINTLESS!!!!!!!!! That sets you back again. They don't have to start over! Some say they Chamblin isn't a good coach, Taman isn't a good GM. How do you know that for sure? The first couple of years Chuck Noll took over the Steelers they were brutal, or so everyone thought. Check out what has happened there since. How many coaches have they had? 3! How many coaches have they fired? Zero! The point is if management believes they have found the GM & coach they want to run this team you stick with them for an extended period of time! The onus then falls on the players to perform or they are gone, and find someone who will play the way they want them to & give it all they've got every play. Give them time to tweek the roster and/or assistant coaches.
It was an exciting game yesterday, wrong ending though. Very disappointing for sure but now move on & continue to build for next year. The solid core is there!!!! The sun is shining today so it's a good day.
Frankenstein

Anonymous said...

BESIDES the heart-breaking loss (again in Rider Country), why wasn't our COACH and GENERAL MANAGER wearing a poppy yesterday. I know, maybe a little nit-picking, maybe an oversight, but never-the-less it was disappointing to see.

Matthew

Anonymous said...

You guys are funny when you compare the Riders to the Patriots or Steelers in terms of organizational stability. When I read that I can't help but thing of George Costanza of Seinfeld fame negotiating with NBC and bringing up what Ted Danson makes. NBC simply tells George, "...you're not Ted Danson." It is that cut and dried.

I have confidence in Brendan Taman because if you look at his record he did okay in Winnipeg and he was a Kicker missing 3 FGs (2001) and a QB breaking his arm (2007) away from winning Grey Cups. He can build a roster. The issue as I see it has to do with the support around him. I am not sure he can pick his own Helpers. I think there are guys in the Front Office that he is told he has to have. I think there are still guys on the Coaching staff that he is told he has to have. He improved this team from last year which isn't saying much, but it is improvement. Will the team do better next year? That's the question. There are holes to fill, but it can be done.

Keith said...

In terms of points allowed in the regular season, the Rider were second. The team needs to upgrade in a couple of spots so we have a chance as becoming the number one defense.

In terms of offense, the Riders were hurt by the loss of Jock Sanders. With his return in 2012, the Riders will have an exciting offense.

Anyone know who the Rider free agents are heading into 2013?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please remind me why we brought Richie Hall back again. I can't remember what the logic was.

Badger

Anonymous said...

The sad reality to all these opinions Is they aren't worth the effort to be of any Importance to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club management. This CFL franchise has a board of directors who make all pertinent decisions on behalf of this team and It's fanbase. Be damed If anyone not agree with their decisions or direction. Is It fair that a few privileged Individual opinions speak on behalf of all who support and give this franchise It's very existance. A few short years back, this club was on the cusp of excellence and hosting a home playoff game which all were happy with. Now this team Is back to the struggle of garnering a winning season. Backing Into the playoffs on a 4 game losing streak was cause for concern ahead of the loss Incurred yesterday, accountable redress from management would be nice to hear In print. Is status quo acceptable In any other professional sports mandate, absolutely not !

clay said...

Great game by DD, Sheets, and Carr. Those three are all studs out on that field. The defensive front four and secondary need the most work next year. So long Brent Hawkins (you never did accomplish much here) Chris McKenzie is a veteran who's shown he can no longer be effective. He was the deep man on that last play zone coverage and should have been much closer to the sidelines

Anonymous said...

Who said anything about trying to compare the Riders with the Steelers or Patriots? Emulate/mimic would be the word I believe. Copy if you like. Let the top guys try to build something. One or two years doesn't cut it.
Frankenstein

gswoodever said...

The loss of Jock Sanders and, more importantly, Rob Bagg, hurt the Riders offense . Too many 2 and outs in this game left our defense on the field too long. How could our best db from last year not have an int. this year? And for that matter, how can you not start a ratio breaker like Butler ? It still boils down to a 5 game losing streak to end the season and 4 games over the year where we lost the lead in the 4th quarter.
But it was a huge improvement from last year. We have a qb , rb and mlb that are among the league's best. Dressler and Carr are keepers, Getz is a support player. Our oline got better: Fulton, LaBatte and Picard are gems and Heenan is a good one. Odell was an improvement and Sholo is a horse. Brack had a great year and Maze will atone next year.
I don't think Willy is the answer but is worth keeping next year.
Maybe there needs to be a change at DC , but the defense was #2 in a year where the offense struggled for most of the year with all the changes. As down as I am about the last game (Damn McMahon Stadium !) , I'm pumped about next year . Bring the Cup home in 2013 !!!

Glenn

Anonymous said...

Roddy,

Can't agree enough with the Woz and many other bloggers about Durant. He is a class act, the face of the franchise and certainly has not lost anything. He was absolutely fantastic yesterday. Keep the coaching staff in place, sign most of current free agents, see Willis, Brackenridge and Joe LoBo, sign a few DB's with size and toughness and we could very well be the home team in the 2013 Grey Cup. If we do host it, we won't lose it!!!!!!!

Also, a HUGE THANKS for all of your hard work throughout the season, blogging, reporting, calling the action on Rider radio and hosting In The Huddle/Sports Cage.

Aaron

Anonymous said...

We had lot's of mistakes....but so did they....the difference for me was they executed during the last 30 seconds of each half and our guys didn't.

Anonymous said...

I can't find the stats that indicate how the riders defence are/were ranked in regards to allowing 2nd and long conversions. Second would be how many times those conversions extended drives that resulted into points. Our defence was solid in so many categories, but it seems to me that many times this year we would have the opposition in 2nd and more than 10. Should be the easiest 2nd down situation to defend but the Riders seem to give up way too many big plays in those situations that eventually cost them the game. Rod, do you have those numbers and oculd you post them please?

BoB said...

I Think Durant proved all the Durant haters that he can comeback and be clutch at crutial times like he did we are one play from winning that game don't like to mention names but Terrell Maze was the guy who screwed up at the end there. The Receiving core was good but they probably miss the presents of Rob Bagg. Getzlaf hast to learn to be clutch again like we all no he can

Anonymous said...

Engraved On A Rider Nation, Losing. Tony Gabriel, 13th Man, Romby Bryant .... who put the curse on this team ? Roughriders team has to be the worst In world history for having only 3 championships to their credit for100 plus years of existance.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the defence in this game was terrible. Still, we could have won this one. When there was 52 seconds left, we were on the 20 yard line of Calgary. We needed to run the ball ONE TIME to kill some of that clock down - instead, they drop back and pass for the touchdown killing a measly 7 seconds...

Once they did that, I knew we had lost. Calgary only needed a single point to tie, and a field goal to win. With how awful our secondary had been playing, this was a forgone conclusion with so much time on the clock.

The loss is squarely on the defence, but the offence COULD have won us the game by taking some time of the clock on the last drive for a touchdown. We only killed 30 seconds getting that major.

Yes we needed the points, but the game is as much about clock management is scoring, and the offence put defense in a tough spot.

Anonymous said...

Time for getzlaf to be traded. This guy is regressing

Anonymous said...

Losing Jock Sanders was pivotal. We never really recovered on special teams the rest of the year (Dressler TD aside) Win the field position game and you often find yourself in good shape. We struggled after losing Sanders...

BERBS

Anonymous said...

Agree clock mgt could have been better. But in looking at the big picture the team is better than last yr, but to go to the next level the Cdn talent needs a big step up. If you have to count on Getzlaf next yr for a key catch, 50/50 he gets it done. Not sure Taman can build the Cdn talent. His track record is .500. right where this team stands. Would be wishful thinking, but Tillman would be a big upgrade.

Keith said...

Rod,
The wording for the ad on this blog by the Regina Public Library are very true.

I picked up, via inter-library loan, a copy of the 2006 book 'Sound and Fury' by Dave Kindred. It is the complete story of both Muhammad Ali and Howard Cosell and their historic relationship. I guarantee this to you and anyone else who picks up this book; once you start reading it you cannot put it down. So much is covered so well by the author. Sports journalism, change in America, and how Cosell and Ali came to be what the were in the culture. Outstanding!

Anonymous said...

I've now heard it all. An idiot on this blog is saying we should have run the football to kill some time and not throw the ball into the endzone. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!

One does not know what is going to happen from play to play. Could Sheets have fumbled? Could Durant have mishandled the snap? If he runs the ball for few yards, does Calgary change its defense on 2nd and long. An opportunity was there and Darian capitalized on it. He put the game in the defense's hands and at worst they should have been going to OT, but Maze has a braincramp and they lose. That's football! Suggesting they should have killed time before scoring is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.

Anonymous said...

No I am not kidding you. With the touchdown we were only going to be up 1 point. That's not enough in the CFL to hand the ball back with almost a minute left.

One does not know what is going to happen from play to play, but it was pretty obvious with how our defence was playing that they would not be able to prevent them from getting a single point.

Clock management. It's part of football. You should look into it because Calgary sure did.

Anonymous said...

A very exciting game yeterday to go with a much improved season . I am very proud to be a Rider fan and I agree with Eddie Russ that Terrell Maze has been great all year and should not be blamed for the loss.

The team lost it on either or a combination of a missed convert/safety after a touch down and a last second field goal in the first half.

This team will be better for the experience and should be in a great place to make a run to the Grey Cup next year at home.

Thank you to the Riders for improving from last year and good luck next year.

GO RIDERS

JC

Anonymous said...

Offense should feel terrible about scoring so quickly on that last drive. How dare they?

ollie said...

great game, I think it should have been a defense defense on the last Calgary touch down, not zone but what do I know?
I think the riders who I have watched since 1952 have a monkey on their back they are snake bitten
all the times Lancaster took us to the grey cup and openly won once
but they have a great QB that I hope will we will get to the grey cup next year

Parkside said...

Goes to show that you can be a fan. But don't know sh*t about football... Just reading thru some of this jargon. Ritchie needs to go? Why? Because his defence led most categories? Or because Maze bit on that pump fake? You sound like this one person I seen watch the end and screamed Durant needs to go because nobody caught the hail mary. Absolutely comical.

This team will lead in 2013. If we DO NOT make too many changes.

J FRENCH said...

The final play in the game was not the game story. Holding on to a 1 pt lead for 1 minute is probablty not very high percentage in the CFL. They left way too much time on the clock.

But where the game was lost was the last few minutes of the 2nd quarter. Blocked pt after attempt was a 3 pt swing. Then a few minutes later we give up a big run to give up another 3 pts. Thats the 6 pt difference in the game. And it all happened after we were gaining some serious momentum. If we hit the locker room at half time with that difference, its a new ball game.

Some questionable calls, but nothign that effected the game. But one thing I have been noticing a lot.... game clock. Seemed as it was getting to the end of the 2nd and 4th quarter there seems to be some clock shenanigcans. Was that just TSN or is that an acurate reflection of the clock? I've heard of similar shenanigans at stadiums for home teams all over the CFL. Who runs the game clocks for the games, CFL officals? Or local staff?