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Saturday, July 4, 2015

RIDERS ALREADY JUGGLING IN WEEK 2


REGINA - It's only Week 2 of the CFL season and the Saskatchewan Roughriders are already having to juggle their roster.

Quarterback Darian Durant is out for the season while placekicker Chris Milo is inactive for this week and could be out for longer. Linebacker Shea Emry is doubtful for Sunday's game against the Toronto Argonauts, as is rookie receiver Nick Demski.

Tino Sunseri rejoined the Roughriders after they cut him during training camp, while B.C. Lions castoff Paul McCallum has returned to Saskatchewan. All-star safety Tyron Brackenridge and speedy slotback Weston Dressler also return to the lineup this week.

But what gets lost in the plethora of transactions is the poor performance turned in by Saskatchewan's defence during its season-opening loss at home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

"It looked like a Week 1 effort,'' said defensive end John Chick. "I don't want to sound too negative, but we know we have a lot more that we can improve on.''

The Riders allowed 167 combined yards to Winnipeg tailback Paris Cotton and 470 total yards of offence to Drew Willy's club. Willy carved up the secondary for 325 yards passing and three touchdowns, while only being sacked once. The Saskatchewan defence also failed to create any turnovers.

"He's a good runner,'' said Brackenridge of Cotton. "But it starts with us. We have to focus and take it more seriously. We have to get back to fundamentals ? getting our eyes in the proper place and making it happen.''

Saskatchewan's defence is young but the Riders aren't using lack of experience as an excuse.

"No matter who is in there playing, if they're not getting the job done then that's on all of us,'' Chick said. "That's our job and our responsibility. The next guy up is all of a sudden a starter and he's got a job to do.''

"We have a lot of potential with this group,'' he added. "But it's a matter of reaching that potential. You're always trying to improve, and this past game was more of a letdown on fundamentals than scheme or anything like that.''

Durant, who suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 11 of the 2014 season, ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left foot against Winnipeg. The injury happened late in the second quarter when he landed awkwardly after a pass attempt.

Emry, meanwhile, has a neck injury while Milo's days in Saskatchewan appear to be numbered. Roughriders coach Corey Chamblin said the 45-year-old McCallum, who was cut by the Lions in training camp, will handle the converts and field goal attempts this week.

Milo converted on one of two field goal attempts in Week 1. He made a 19-yard attempt, but missed from 35 yards out.

"We need more consistency in that area,'' Chamblin said.

The Riders will have their hands full against an explosive Argos offence that looked strong in a 26-11 win over the Edmonton Eskimos last week. Brandon Whitaker rushed for a game-high 117 yards on 14 carries and receiver Chad Owens had seven catches for 99 yards.

Owens added 60 yards on punt returns. Quarterback Trevor Harris torched Edmonton for 347 yards passing and three touchdowns.

"If we want to achieve what we talked about at the start of the year then we're going to have to get that started this weekend against Toronto,'' Chick said. ``We need to get a win at home.''

EXTRAS:  Mosaic Stadium will host a pair of Under-16 football games on Saturday.  Beginning at 5:00 pm North Saskatchewan faces Manitoba Black while at 7:00 pm South Saskatchewan faces the Manitoba Gold.

(Canadian Press/Craig Slater)

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

No comment

Anonymous said...

When the Montreal Alouette QB's went down, it gave them the opportunity to develop or look for the next starting QB of their future; likely they have found that man in Rakeem Cato.

However when the Riders lost Durant, they right away brought back Sunseri, who everyone already knows is not the future. How will the Riders find the next guy if they keep going back to Sunseri?

K

Anonymous said...

McCallum will come through with the winning field goal in this one.

Anonymous said...

Cato was a fourth string cut from the ALS. It was a push for him to start over Bridge the 5 th string. TSN reported that Cato was given the start on a gut feeling from the coach (Higgins)? Are you suggesting that the Riders emulate the ALS qb development based on Tom Higgins gut? What would Higgins have to eat to ensure a correct gut response? Why didn't you call for the pickup of Cato upon his training camp release? K you are not OK.

GWil26 said...

K shuuuuuttttuuuuuppppp. Cato has played one game, this league has seen a ton of QBs come in and play well for one even two or three games and fall into the abyss never to be heard of again. Cato may be that, he may not, but as a Rider fan it's frustrating beyond all hell to see other 'rider fans' continually tear down management and coaching that has produced a Grey Cup win at home less than two seasons ago. Just shut up and leave the managing and coaching to the professionals and the cheering and support to the fans.

Anonymous said...

Yes, why go with gut instinct. I mean Craig Smith to even the esteemed Kelly Remple have told everyone and I quote, "There's nobody out there."

Here's where the downfall is coming. Read this week's Hockey News and there is a tribute to Lou Lamorello. He ran the Devil's with a college mentality - Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors. That all has to be in balance. There was a point on Sports Cage this week, where the majority of impact players mentioned were all in their 30s. Who are the guys behind them?

So the Roughriders are an old team lacking Canadian depth so you know how that story plays out.

I'll be at the game as always, but I'm torn and needed a night to sleep on it as to whether I'll be buying the white golf shirt or the new green one. Any suggestions?

Y'er Welcome
Obama

Anonymous said...

Hey Rod, as always love your blog, just a few comments before the game tomorrow. I'd like to wish Kevin Glenn all the best tomorrow as he starts his first game for the Riders. As in previous years he is the guy who steps in when the big name guy goes down and he is able to do so with the professional style one would hope for in a backup but the precision and accuracy one expects in the starter role. Good Luck to him! To Darian Durant, life gives you wondrous moments like the fabulous feeling winning the Grey Cup on your home turf in 2013 ! Life also gives you those moments of utter disappointment. It happens to all of us, Take this year to mend and come back stronger than ever. I have no doubt we will see a far better effort from the defense this week with TB back and the offense will be even stronger with WD on the field. No problem at all with Paul McCallum being here. Every year there's this one addition that puts a new spin on our team, this year it's a new guy we've seen before and he's pretty darn good at kicking the ball! Bet there's more butts in the seats for this one!

Anonymous said...

K, Keep your crap in Winnipeg!

Anonymous said...

So glad Oblahma is back from vacation and back to his keyboard. Just wish he played piano instead. Every blog needs its class clown so rock on Oblahma with your pointless pontifications.

Big Ed

The Woz said...

Anon 2.....maybe they think smith is our cato.....bottom line, and as lapo said, there are no other qbs out there at this time of year. Anyone any good is either already on a roster or is in an nfl training camp. Maybe some will open up in 2 months after nfl cuts but until then they brought gack tino cause at least he knows the playbook which cant be learned by a guy off the street in a day. And if sunseri or smith have to play the season is over anyway....no way we are winning a cup with either of those guys. Cato looked good but it was one game lets not annoint him the next calvillo yet. Over the years i have seen many one game wonders like homer jordan, tony rice, rocky butler, sarkisian, kevin mason, and on and on

The Woz said...

Obama two years ago we were a young team with lots of canadians. We got raided in free agency and had to make some tough calls on salary cap casualties. Who of the old guard would you let go to be replaced with someone younger? Dressler? Getzlaf, chick? George? I actually have not done the math but i bet we are only marginally older than two years ago. I will let you do that since you have lots of time on your hands and you can use your dads adding machine. Even the devils did not win every year.....it goes in cycles. But personally i am 100% behind our management regime. No one can plan for that many injuries in one week.

And who gives a rats butt what shirt you wear. You were the one who loved last years new jersey so that says it all about your wardrobe. You should just let your mom set out your clothes every night.....

Anonymous said...

There are no age restrictions on being an impact player. The point is to have some and have them play to their potential. Canadian talent? It's always a balance between paying big bucks for impact Canadian (Fantuz) or spent more on quality Americans aka the EE dynasty. Good luck to all GMs with this.
SportS metaphors are too simplistic (a product of inferior intellect) to exemplify the role of a GM in the CFL. No hockey does not apply nor soccer or NFL or any Hollywood movie. If a simple mind needs such a metaphor the best example is the card game Bridge whereby the players try to understand the hands but any given play can change the outcome of the most carefully planned sequence. Losing hands given the correct sequence can set good ones (ALS win).
Purchase the white shirt and surrender. BTW buy the party girls a drink for me, I'll make it up to you.

Anonymous said...

K is fine...

As for your weird 'suggestions', not sure about you Anon #4. I only wish I was maybe 'getting paid' to do the job of watching who gets cut from other teams, but I am not.

What I will suggest though, when a winning QB, one who does not have NFL size, however comes from a Div 1 program and has had a championship QB at the helm, the guys who are getting paid to watch (Taman for example), that he consider to bring such guys in. Instead we hang on (bring back) to QB Sunseri who we already know is not our future; you remember we did cut Sunseri don't you?

Thanks anyway...

K

ps. I really wish some anon's would leave a name or initial or something so that we can properly reply...

Anonymous said...

To the fellow that said K keep it in Winnipeg... I have never been there and no plans to go there.

I am a life long Reginian and have had season tickets since the 80's when the Riders were 2-14.

For some readers though, they really don't like that someone would actually leave a comment in the comment section. Maybe we should all stop making comments so that the few idiots (bully's) can have their comfort of not having to read opinion.

K in Regina

Sunseri forever!!! Not!

GWil26 said...

K I don't think you understand that none of us like having to go back to the sunseri well once more but in the world of football there is literally no other logical choice at this point in time... Or would you have been happier if they brought in Casey Printers? Hahaha

Daryl Pratt said...

Why didn't the Riders go after Congi when they had the chance !