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Wednesday, June 3, 2015


SASKATOON -- Day 3 of 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders training camp here at Griffiths Stadium was another good one on Tuesday.  It was chillier than the first couple of days, with temperatures dropping to the high teens and the wind coming out of the northwest at 16 km/h but the sun continues to shine.  It appears we're in for a cold spell.

I had the opportunity to visit with Roughrider quarterback Kevin Glenn for an extended interview which aired on 620 CKRM's SportsCage and it covered a wide variety of topics.  Glenn discussed showing up as a 21-year old fresh-faced rookie for 2001 Roughrider training camp here in Saskatoon and how his life has come full circle since then.

Now in his 15th pro football training camp, Kevin has worked his way into the Top 10 of all-time CFL passing leaders and currently sits eighth on the list.  And with the sun setting on his tremendous career, he has one individual goal in mind.

"I want to pass Matt Dunigan!" Glenn laughed.  "It's just a friendly little rivalry me and him have and I always tease him about it.  I gotta pass Matt Dunigan.  That's the one thing I gotta do."

Glenn enters the season just 521 passing yards behind the Canadian Football Hall of Famer and CFL on TSN analyst for seventh on the all-time list so the goal is certainly attainable.

"A good two or three games, it could happen!" Glenn continued.  "Me and Matt are good friends so we always talk and tease each other about that.  It's a good thing."

Kevin also discussed the 2007 Grey Cup, a game in which he was unable to participate due to a broken arm suffered late in the Eastern Final at Montreal.  The Riders came out on the winning end over Glenn's Winnipeg Blue Bombers that day, and you have to wonder if it still haunts him?  I wrote an expansive article on it which will appear on later on Wednesday.



- After a morning walk-through, everyone was excited for the afternoon practice in which the Riders would practice in shoulder pads and helmets for the first time all camp.  It was a spirited workout as the club practiced at full speed for the first time this week.

- The only serious hit came early in the 12-on-12 team session when rookie DB Darwin Cook (WVU) drilled veteran Rider receiver Scott McHenry.  I didn't see it - because I looked down for a second at my roster - but I heard it.  The crowd oo'd and awed at the hit which apparently came out of bounds and would've drawn a 15-yard flag in a game.  Head coach Corey Chamblin reportedly had some stern words right afterwards.  Does Cook know McHenry is coming back from a broken neck injury?  Likely not and that shouldn't matter anyway.  If McHenry wasn't at 100%, he wouldn't be practicing.

- Former B.C. Lions head coach Mike Benevides got some tongues wagging when he showed up for the afternoon workout.  I'd been told in the morning that Mike would be making an appearance.  Someone said he's making a tour throughout West Division camps, likely doing prep work for his role on the TSN panel.  In the photo above, he visits with Riders defensive coordinator Greg Quick.

- During stretching, head coach Corey Chamblin was heard to bark, "Be sure to make a play so you can end up on Rod Pedersen's blog!"  Of course it was done within earshot of yours truly to which I replied, "If they're lucky!"

- When the first team offense and defense took to the field, it was the same personnel as the day before.  Remember veteran DBs Tyron Brackenridge and Terrell Maze are on the injured list so their spots have been taken up by Keenan MacDougall and Marshay Green.  Rookie draftee Rory Connop continues to occupy a spot on the interior of the defensive line and with Tuesday's release of rookie Brandon Tennant, Connop could be winning a war of attrition.

#24 Keenan MacDougall
- The Riders had first round draft choice Nic Demski lining up in the backfield in a two-back set with Jerome Messam.  That's Demski's natural position and he showed of his explosive talents.

- The formations displayed by offensive coordinator Jacques Chapdelaine are very creative but we'll stop short of reporting what they are.  Tune into the preseason game in Fort MacMurray against the Eskimos to see what Chapdelaine has under wraps.

- Many are asking about the exploits of rookie receiver Greg Hardin, the record-breaker from UND.  He got a few balls thrown his way on Tuesday and started to show some promise.  He's also getting a look on punt return as well.  But as it stands now, he may be in tough to make the squad.

- Durant was generally crisp, but his first incompletion of the team period was intended for Chris Getzlaf.  As CKRM's Luc Mullinder pointed out, once the pads went on, the quarterbacks immediately starting looking for the veteran receivers.  Likely that's the trust factor.

- Tino Sunseri continues to look sharp, and has had a good training camp from our vantage point.

#11 Shea Emry
- U of S Huskies product Denton Kolodzinski was the first punter to see action and he uncorked a few beauties.  The first returner to come down with one was Weston Dressler.

- Dressler and veteran defensive end John Chick are automatic in everything they do in this training camp.  No fans have asked about their exploits, because they know they'll always be there in the crunch and know their assignments.

- The first interception of the day came from Paul Woldu who picked off rookie quarterback Brett Smith.

- The Riders worked on their red zone offense with mixed results however rookie receiver Devin Wilson (Tennessee State) hauled in a nice pass from Darian Durant in the back of the endzone.  As noted in the rookie camp report, Wilson makes for an inviting target at 6'2".

- I got some good-natured ribbing (at least I think it was good-natured) from the Rider scouting staff over a flub in the Monday Morning Goalie column.  I mentioned the Riders' U.S. scouts are in attendance and referred to "Ted Montgomery" from Alabama.  As it turns out, that isn't Ted's last name.  When I asked for a correction, no one was exactly sure of Teddy's last name but someone suggested Bildenbach.  For now, because of the flub, they're referring to him as "Monty".  He doesn't seem to like it.  However I commented that if that's the biggest beef the Riders have about my reporting this week, I'm happy!

- Another interested observer at Day 3 was U of R Cougar Mens Basketball coach Steve Burrows.  He was keen to follow the performance of Rams quarterback Noah Picton.

- Our food tour continued Tuesday evening, hitting all the finest eateries Saskatoon has to offer.  On this night Luc Mullinder and I took down Bonanza on 8th Street.  They rolled us out of there about an hour later and Luc gushed, "I've never seen a salad bar with MEAT on it!"  He was kicking himself up and down on the ride back to our hotel for never having tried it before.  He planned to call former teammate Andy Fantuz immediately and tell him how much they screwed up by mocking former Roughrider players who raved about the place.  Remember folks, "When there's a meal at steak it's Bonanza.  We know what you're looking for!"

- Oh, and their menu hasn't changed in at least 30 years.  I haven't had the pleasure of ordering the Chicken Monterey in at least a decade but there it was on the menu wall last night.  What a great feeling!  And what a lesson it is for the trendy restaurants who change their menu regularly and disappoint their regular customers (I'm looking at you Earls).

- Discover what you do best, and do it better than anyone else out there.

- Can't wait to see what Wednesday evening has in store.  We're big believers in soaking up local culture.  You know, the places Regina doesn't have.

- Now I know what the players are talking about.  I'm hoping to get back to working out today after suffering a mild PCL strain on Day 1.  Like a fool, I scaled a fence at Griffiths Stadium and my shoe gave out when I came down, severely buckling my knee.  OMG did it hurt.  Of course I did it in front of hundreds of fans and several ran up to see if I was okay.  The team medical staff seemed genuinely concerned.  How embarrassing.

- Congratulations to former Regina Pats star Josh Holden (1994-1998) who's celebrating his 15th anniversary with his wonderful wife Janie.  He's boasting of the achievement on Facebook, as well as he should!  Holden was one of the finest puckhandlers I've ever seen in a Pats uniform, and I'd put him up there with Jordan Eberle and Jordan Weal in that regard.  He was a first round pick by the Vancouver Canucks but had all the tendons in his right hand severed when it was skated over in the 1998 playoffs.  He never really recovered.  But in 1995-96, Holden scored 57 goals with the Queen City Kids which is unheard of now.  He was a real character too.

- Talk to you Wednesday on the Cage from Griffiths Stadium!



Anonymous said...

Gosh, #11 looks like the twin brother of one J. Cornish!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I thought Emry was Jon Cornish in that second picture

Anonymous said...

Have all the Rider players in camp who need bikes been accommodated?

Anonymous said...

That's Shea Emry. He's Jon Cornish's daddy.

Rod Pedersen said...

Not by a long shot. Xavier Fulton and Naaman Roosevelt were on social media within the past day begging for bikes.


Anonymous said...

Are you staying in your general area Rod?

If not, try Famoso Pizzeria.
Authentic Italian pizza. Delicious. You might need an appetizer to keep Luc full.
It's on Primrose Drive near Lawson Mall.

Russ from Saskatoon

Rod Pedersen said...

We have not strayed too far Rusty. However we'll be looking for a place to watch the hockey game tonight.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooh .... Bonanza. Is that considered gourmet in Saskatoon ?

Anonymous said...

You guys must be from Saskatchewan. Travel to a new city and eat at chain restaurants.

Anonymous said...

And you must be new to this blog. Rod's having fun with it and travelling with a football player. They want real food, lots of it and cheap.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Brewhouse Rod! It's not too far from your hotel.

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

I wish Kevin Glenn all the best in his quest for 521 yards. But I hope it's next year with some other team. For this year I want DD healthy and Tino on mop-up duty.

Anonymous said...

Tino Shmino and yes, I had to a double take too when I saw Emry because I thought it was Cornhole. This makes me hope I never run into Emry on the street because I may tell him where to go and knowing Emry's history, he might knock me back into next week.


REP said...

The Bonanza in Saskatoon isn't luxurious, but it's cheap, very clean, fast and good quality for the price.

Very good place if you just want to eat and not encounter many hassles.

Hoss said...

Bonanza Rocks!

Anonymous said...

Try Las Palapas for some tasty Mexican Eats!

Anonymous said...

Head over to Amigo's on Broadway. Not far from you. You can watch the game there too. It's delicious!

Anonymous said...

Amigo's is WAY overrated. Terrible service and average food. Their best days are FAR behind them.

Las Palapas is better Mexican food, by far.

Anonymous said...

Was Benevides in that picture? i thought it was a shot of Schad Richea, the rock and roll trainer standing behind him!!

Anonymous said...

There's a Canadian brewhouse in Stoon now? Awesome!

Rod I'll suggest Athena's lounge for the game tonight. It's on the corner of central and 108th, not far from campus. We all know you love good Greek food and this place has it plus an awesome atmosphere. Best lounge in Stoon.


Anonymous said...

If all else fails, its always great fun to get together in the hotel room, order pizza and beer and enjoy the game. Toilets close and clean!

Not Hot Carl

Anonymous said...

To Dubya, obviously you haven't been to Athena since owner Mike left.
The place has turned into a dump with very questionable food.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? That's a big disappointment, I used to love going there. In that case I'll recommend Fox and the Hound. Or has that hit the dumps too?


Anonymous said...

EE Burrito. Nowhere better. Nowhere.