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Friday, July 24, 2015

ROUGHRIDERS WARY OF "SPEEDY B"

REGINA (CP) - If Brandon Banks' ears were burning this past week, it's because he has been the topic of many conversations at Saskatchewan Roughriders practices.

The high-flying kick returner and his Hamilton Tiger-Cats make their first visit this season to Mosaic Stadium for a Sunday evening showdown with the Riders.

Banks is the CFL's premier playmaker on special teams with two punt return touchdowns and 343 combined return yards through three games. Odds are probable that he'll run into another special teams guru in the Riders' Dylan Aimsworth.

Drafted 11th overall by the Riders in the 2014 draft, the Western University product leads the league with seven special teams tackles. He'll be keeping an eye on Banks in Saskatchewan's Week 5 matchup with the Ticats (1-2).

"Little things can lead to big things in a hurry,'' said Ainsworth. "He just needs one little opening and he's gone. It's when one (coverage) guy loses his position and creates the smallest of lanes. Once he gets to open space, like anyone, he's tough to stop. That's why we need to stay discipline in our jobs.

"One guy isn't going to stop him. We all have to do what we're supposed to do in order to stop him.''

The Riders' (0-4) special teams coverage has been solid through four games this season, despite deploying a relatively young group. The team hasn't allowed a touchdown in kickoff or punt coverage, areas where it struggled a season ago when it gave up five touchdowns on special teams.

Ainsworth has been a star in that regard, according to his coaching staff.

"You watch him at the point of attack now and you see him throwing guys out of his way,'' said special teams co-ordinator Bob Dyce. "He's making plays now, where last year he might have let a guy hold him down. He's using his technique and he's playing like a man.

"It's not the position that he's in. It's about Dylan and his dedication to getting better. He's playing like a beast? and he has done a great job of evolving.''

Saskatchewan's improved special teams play will get its best test to date with Banks. With the Riders losing all four of their games by a combined 12 points, field position will be paramount for the struggling club.

"Our guys need to play every snap like it's their last because when there's a mistake or an error in assignment then it usually results in big yardage,'' said Dyce. "We can't afford that, especially against (Hamilton's) unit.

"Brandon is definitely an explosive player and he's on quite a tear here. We've talked about it and we've said we really need everyone to do his job. We stick to our jobs and we know we'll be fine.''

Ainsworth added: "You're just approaching it like any other game. We know how talented of a player he is. But no one is fearful, no one is worried that he's coming in here. It's just another game and just another talented returner we have to stop.''

Notes: Saskatchewan added veteran defensive back Alex Suber this week. Taj Smith, a former 1,000-receiver with the Riders, has been shut down for the remainder of the season for undisclosed reasons.

(Craig Slater)

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ainsworth was another great find by the Rider brain trust!

Anonymous said...

Arnold Once said to improve putting, chip the ball closer to the hole.
To improve punt coverage continue to punt fewer times
Kickoff coverage has been brutal as in it cost last game. The returner got to the 11 yard line after the half. What a let down.
If this games comes down to punt coverage to preserve a lead , game over. If Hamilton elects to accept a kickoff after every field goal ....game over . For the riders to win they must not punt or settle for field goals and hope that the D can hold Hamilton to field goals after long kickoff returns.

Anonymous said...

To RP ref Thursday SportsCage...

1) You were literally going crazy on Thursday's show... Awesome! You sounded like one of those ranting right wing crazy guys on American radio - good for you.

2) You mentioned retiring some day in your 70's and where you would go? I suggest the following: Move out of the province of Saskatchewan so that you don't have to sweat it anymore. And yes I am referring to Rider Culture.

Don't get me wrong, you can still love the Riders from afar, but the reality is that you will not go crazy once you are out of the province as it simply is different outside of the Province - especially with regard the Riders.

An example, I live outside of Saskatchewan; I can still follow the Riders but here's the thing. When the Riders world crumbles and all the people in Regina are going crazy, there is nothing better than being a few provinces away.

Hey Poley did it... so don't knock it until you tried it...

Z in BC

Anonymous said...

Let's be clear, most fans don't want Chamblin fired...

It's just that one major thing has changed from last year, that is that Chamblin took over making calls for the defence. Since that time things have gone south. I suggest that Coach Chamlin reverse this, go back to head coaching, and leave the defensive coordinating to the defensive coordinator.

Kel in Victoria

Anonymous said...

Oskee Wee Wee,
Oskee Waa Waa,
Holy MAKINAW !
All bow down riderville buffoons, The Sk. Roughriders God Mr. Kent Austin making his annual visit to your hamlet Regina with his Tiger Cats from Hamilton. On field evisceration eminent along with stormy weather as you drop further 0-5 into the West Division basement. He ha ha, looks good on you flat land "bum"kins.

Pigglyskinpete

Anonymous said...

Kel said; "Let's be clear, most fans don't want Chamblin fired...

It's just that one major thing has changed from last year, that is that Chamblin took over making calls for the defence. Since that time things have gone south. I suggest that Coach Chamlin reverse this, go back to head coaching, and leave the defensive coordinating to the defensive coordinator."

Kel in Victoria

How would anyone in Victoria know what the people in Humboldt or Davidson are thinking?

Anonymous said...

Stuff it, Foreskinpete!

Anonymous said...

Saska Wow Wow,
Saska Pow Pow,
Holy Jackfish!
All bow down you Ti-Cat bozos, The Sk. Roughriders God John Chick making his annual visit to the Hamilton backfield. On field destruction eminent along with hot weather as you drop to your knees and kiss some firm gopher butt. He ha ha, looks like your going to get a good kick in your Oskaweewee!

Gainer
World's #1 mascot

Anonymous said...

Cornish has a broken thumb doo-dah doo-dah

Cornish has a broken thumb....everyone go WAAAAHHH!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Pigglyskinpete, what also looks good on us is our 2013 championship over who? Oh yeah those kitty cats from the Hammer. You enjoy those Eastern final wins. We will take our championship. By the way your in last place still too.

Anonymous said...

2013 a act of 8 team collusion by all to appease a pathetic suffering fan base who had only 3 titles in a 100 year plus history to date. 2 personally attributed and engineered by The Sk. Football God Mr. Kent Austin. All hail The Sk. Football God in riderville. 2013 title a freebie from the people of Canada to Saskatchewan as their club administration incapable of winning anything as indicate d by the record books.

Anonymous said...

Let the above be a lesson to all. Stay in school and don't do drugs.

Anonymous said...

There is only one football god my friend - Tom Brady!