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Thursday, August 6, 2015

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS

1 - GOING TO TORONTO:  The Saskatchewan Roughriders (0-6) will find themselves on the road in Week 7, facing the Toronto Argonauts (3-2) Saturday at Rogers Centre (5:00 pm Sask Time, TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network) ... While there's a positive buzz around the Riders this week as they plan to earn their first victory of the season this weekend, the oddsmakers feel otherwise.

The Argos have been listed as 9.5-point favourites ... Toronto is experiencing cooler-than-normal temperatures for this time of year.  The forecast for Saturday calls for mainly sunny skies and 22 degrees Celsius ... Whether the roof at Rogers Centre will be open or closed depends on Argos head coach Scott Milanovich.

2 - THAT POSITIVE VIBE:  The Roughriders held a closed practice on Wednesday but even to those of us locked outside the stadium, you could hear a huge whoop and cheer from the club as they concluded the workout.  Head coach Corey Chamblin said the team is ready to put the past month and a half behind them.  "I can tell you right now that the guys understand the storm is over and it's time for us to win football games."

The Riders feel the worst of the adversity is behind them and the tide is about to turn in their favour.  Not many are picking the Riders to win this game, but I am.  Anything can happen in the CFL and it's time for the Riders to get a break.

3 - HAVING SAID THAT:  Until the Riders get that first win, Chamblin will be dogged by rumours of his job status.  I was surprised how many of my TV and radio analysts aren't willing to provide Corey much leniency given all he's accomplished in his time here.  Of course there's the 2013 Grey Cup win in the biggest game the team has ever played, and also the fact the Riders have never missed the playoffs in Chamblin's tenure.  The scenario this year is eerily similar to 1991 when John Gregory was fired in August of that year, not even a season-and-a-half after delivering the 1989 Grey Cup championship.  The 1991 season was marred quarterback Kent Austin's separated shoulder early on but that wasn't enough to stop GM Alan Ford from dropping the axe.  That couldn't have been easy on Al.

I, for one, don't want to see a coaching change here.  We need continuity to achieve long-term success.

4 - A SHOVEL TO THE FACE:  Perhaps the biggest reason for the shock amongst the Rider Nation with the team's 0-6 start is the fact nobody expected it.  I figured the club would start 4-0 heading into that Week 5 showdown with Hamilton but injuries at key positions derailed that.  "I'm shocked," Hall of Fame Rider linebacker Cleveland Vann said on In The Huddle this week when asked about the team's struggles.  You wait -- if the Riders should pull off the upset in Toronto on Saturday, the mood of this province will change as quickly as you can snap your fingers.  However should they fall to 0-7, we'll be suitably devastated.

5 - THE BACK-UP PLAN:  No matter how this 2015 season turns out, there will be many who feel the franchise will return to prominence with the return of star quarterback Darian Durant in 2016.  However with devastating injuries piling up on Durant's football resume, you've got to think the braintrust is starting to look towards the Quarterback of the Future.

"A little bit," Rider GM Brendan Taman said.  "But Darian's still our guy.  There's no doubt about that going forward.  But you always have to think about the future and what it may bring.  I think that's why we wanted to bring a guy like Blake Sims in rather than a guy that's been around the bush a little bit.  That does go into our thought process, yes."

6 - DON'T LOOK NOW BUT ... :  Star Rider slotback Weston Dressler has now caught a pass in 76 consecutive games played.  However the UND product has a long ways to go to catch Don Narcisse for his CFL record 216 consecutive games-with-a-catch streak.  Interestingly enough, Narcisse also played 216 career games.  Remarkable.

NFL WATCH:  Last year at this time we were on red alert tracking the progress of Dressler in camp with the Kansas City Chiefs.  This year there's no such excitement however we've got an eye on Brett Jones in camp with the N.Y. Giants, Brian Peters with the Minnesota Vikings and Ben Heenan with the Indianapolis Colts.  Unfortunately Colts camp hasn't started off so well for Heenan, as the Grand Coulee, SK product was carted off the field on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury.  Should he return to Riderville, that would change things considerably.

As for Brian Peters, he has impressed Vikings coach Mike Zimmer early in camp.  Here's what Zimmer told reporters in Mankato, MN:  "He's got athletic ability," Zimmer said. "He is fast, he can run. He was a little bit more physical than maybe we anticipated, but now with the way the NFL is you kind of need some of these cover linebackers. I think what is going to determine with him is the physicality part of his game, being a former safety. He is a smart kid. Maybe, if he played in space in Canada, that might help some of those things, but so far we have been happy with him."

7 - THE CANADIAN TV RATINGS WATCH:  Sports on TV blogger Chris Zelkovich of Yahoo.ca does a nice job each week of tracking Canadian TV sports ratings and his latest report is not good news for the CFL.  The top four most-watched sporting events on TV last week all included the Toronto Blue Jays, highlighted by the 1.39-million viewers who tuned in on Monday to catch David Price's debut.  Coming in at #5 was the Saskatchewan-Edmonton CFL game Friday night which drew 600,000 viewers, was tops in the CFL.

8 - CFL GAME NOTES:  Here are some interesting tidbits from the CFL's weekly game notes package entering Week 7 ... 2015 is the most pass-dominated season in the CFL since 1993.  Teams are passing 74% of the time versus the run ... The games are speeding up.  The average CFL game takes 2:53:29 to play which has shaved off three minutes from last year despite the fact penalties are up 11% ... The average attendance in the CFL this season is 27,742 and Week 6 saw a 19% rise in attendance from Weeks 1-5 ... 22 teams in CFL history have started the season 0-6 and of those, only THREE have won Game 7 ... The East Division is 8-6 versus the West so far this year ... With only two defensive takeaways, the Roughriders are on pace to set a CFL record for the least in a season.  The 2006 Edmonton Eskimos set the mark with 25.  The Riders are on pace for six.

9 - GO RED SOX:  After a regular season which featured a double-digit losing streak, the Regina Red Sox are now a win away from advancing to Round 2 of the WMBL Playoffs.  Red Sox manager Scottie Douglas stopped by our broadcast location before Monday's Game 2 against Yorkton and winked, "Thanks for not giving up on us".  In the midst of their losing streak in late June, I chatted with Douglas in the locker room at Gold's Gym and told him, "You're the best skipper in the league.  Chin up!  You'll figure it out."  It was nice for him to remember that visit, and it felt equally good to stick by him.

Incidentally Red Sox President Gary Brotzel told us on Monday that way back in year one of their existence a decade ago, the Boston Red Sox sent the Regina ball club a Cease and Desist order to stop using the name "Red Sox".  The letter was ignored, and Boston eventually went away.

Congratulations too, by the way, to the Weyburn Beavers who have advanced to the second round of the WMBL playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

10 - OK BLUE JAYS:  If you're already sick of hearing about the Toronto Blue Jays, then move to China until November.  As Sportsnet's Arash Madani told the SportsCage on Tuesday, the Blue Jays' 2015 playoff push is going to "grip the nation" just like it did in 1992 and 1993.  Personally I can't wait.  One can only wonder if names like Kevin Pillar, Russell Martin, David Price, Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki will become national heroes like Devon White, Pat Borders, Duane Ward, Kelly Gruber, Paul Molitor, etc.  Even more interesting will be to see if manager John Gibbons can achieve the status of Cito Gaston.  It's going to be a fun next few months!

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MEDIA APPEARANCES:  For more Rider talk, tune into TSN 1290 in Winnipeg Thursday morning at 7:30 as I'll be chatting with host Troy Westwood and then in studio on Global Regina at 8:20 am with host Taylor Shire.  It never ends!

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THAT'S IT FOR TODAY! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND
RP
@sportscage
Instagram: ridervoice

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

"With only two defensive takeaways, the Roughriders are on pace to set a CFL record for the least in a season. The 2006 Edmonton Eskimos set the mark with 25. The Riders are on pace for six."

If the Riders can stay on that pace, all of Gretzky's records will be broken before this one is.

Anonymous said...

Head coach Corey Chamblin said the team is ready to put the past month and a half behind them. "I can tell you right now that the guys understand the storm is over and it's time for us to win football games."
I thought last weeks game was going to determine what kind of team the riders are??? I'm sure chamblin will have another great team-rallying quote after the riders fall to 0-7.... Unless he gets canned during the bye week. FYI, vegas already has the Bye favoured by 6.5 points.

Larry said...

We are off to Toronto in the morning to watch the Riders - Argos game.

Pregame Tailgate party at Shoeless Joe's on King Street starting at 4PM.

John Moore said...

"We need continuity to achieve long-term success." 2 & 15 is not the continuity to suggest long term success. Your blind journalism as a paid rider is wearing thin with your support. Be careful this site is starting to lose followers and that is on your head as are long term loses are on the head coach's head. Some of your statements like the above one are starting to sound a bit stupid.

Parkside said...

The Riders/Argos game should benefit in the ratings department being after the Jays game. I'd say ratings are down more so to the flag tossing that's slowed the game so much its painful to watch. But I guess it's for the long term. Go Riders. Go Jays.

Anonymous said...

One can only wonder if a name like Joe Carter could possibly, just maybe, make your list of Jays heroes?

Rod Pedersen said...

Take your Pity Party somewhere else John Moore. Hits to this website are at an all-time high. If you don't like a positive message, go cry elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry John Moore. Once Taman and Chamblin are fired during the bye week, Roddy will let us all know that is was due, and that it was time for a change.

GWil26 said...

What do you want Chamblin to say? "The guys have given up we don't even care anymore." Fact is he has to motivate and work with who he has he can't control what roster he's given come game day (minus the obvious handful of adds and deletes each week).

Anonymous said...

Just as I thought about replying to that moron I saw your reply. Attaboy! Definitely better than what I was going to say!

Rod Pedersen said...

It's a long list.

Anonymous said...

hey John Moore ... fire Chamblin and bring in the next coach so you and all the other inbreds can whine about him.

Maybe the team will be better to hire a white coach and get a white quarterback so the farmers are happy!

That's right, i said it.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^ isn't far off the truth.

Be proud Saskatchewan! Be proud!

Remember to bring your Confederate flags to the next home game!

Lyle Pederson said...

Keep up the amazing Rider coverage Rod. Your dedication and hard work bringing immediate and daily Rider news and discussion ... not to mention the opportunity to cheer, whine, rant, etc on the blog ... is the envy of some of my Stamps/Esks friends. (In fact they go to your blog)

Anonymous said...

John Moore - take your own advice and stop coming to Roddy's blog. How the hell would you have any clue if "this site is starting to lose followers" Take a hike John and don't come back.

Anonymous said...

With all this continuity the Riders can still be 12-6.

Anonymous said...

Question, why would we fire the coach and take the gamble that a new coach would purge personnel and lead us into a minimum of two years of rebuilding. Do we want Chamblain to to take his knowledge learned through hard knocks to another team and lead them to the promise land. Lancaster is a good example of this, along with countless others . Sure there have been questionable decisions, but they can be a learning experience. Not many coaches could pull the rabbit out of the hat with so many injuries.

Anonymous said...

Rod, Thankyou for having this blog, I enjoy reading all the feedback about sports in general but especially the Riders . Not the greatest sports fan but a little sports knowledge helps me enjoy it more. It's my choice to read the comments or bypass them and a quick skim tells me whether the post is worth reading. Quite honestly years ago I did not follow the Riders at all, didn't care about them or football in general. But when I did start to care about them they were not a very good team. I am and always will be the person that cheers for the underdog, so once I decided to follow them I was hooked.. Years of watching them play good football and bad football. Years of watching great players come and go. Years of controversy over hirings and firings. Years of making the trek in to watch as many games as possible, pumped after those exciting games they win in the last minute or two and deflated when they lose in the last minute or two. Sitting in the stands in 2013 for Grey Cup was undescribable and a moment I will never forget, but after the win comes the inevitable rise in expectations. When we were a team that couldn't make it to the playoffs we were a maybe next year fan club, now that we have achieved success for a few years we expect and demand greatness. It is not a bad thing to hope for great things but it is the journey to get there that players remember. The lead up to success the storylines the controversies, are all part of the growth of the team and we are in the middle of that right now. Don't expect greatness to arrive the next game, do expect more positives than negatives. Patience ,patience, patience. You need some bloggers that have had season tickets for forty, fifty years, they've seen it all!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rods point 3 that this is eerily like 1991 wehn John Gregory got gunned. that was a mistake at the time as we moved forward, as they were really in a rebuild and recovered next year. Thsi may be differtn in the fact that I think Chamblin's lost the team.

Anonymous said...

so this is a RACE problem now! WOW! just when I think you F'n retards cant get any worse. History dictates that you have an average team at best, once every 20 years or so you win a grey cup. in a league where every team makes the playoffs. its pathetic, keep whining, keep losing cause the entire country loves this. and no riderville they are not jealous, they just love seeing all the fairweather fans that claim to be the greatest, most passionate fans in the world, completely fall apart and turn on each other and their beloved riders. but its a race problem now. love it rider fans!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bitter Bomber fan...last Grey Cup November 25,1990. 25 years ago.

And I got a news flash, Bombers won't be winning this year either!

Anonymous said...

So now Rod is back pedaling on his slamming of previous reports that Chamblin was on his way out. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Rod, Chamblin has had his hand in the roster from day 1. I was at training camp every single day and I was surprised with the cuts of that roster. Three people had NO business making that roster and they are Richardson, Kory Williams, and Miller.PERIOD. You were at camp and you should know this too.

Anonymous said...

...ya you said it but you appear to be the only one thinking it.

Anonymous said...

Cue up the circus music. Things are just starting to get good lol.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight, Rod. You and everyone else were locked out of the closed practice but based on the loud cheer you heard at the end of practice you're predicting a win. That's good logic.

Anonymous said...

I hope taman and chamblin remain as GM and HC so we can continue to enjoy the circus.

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous person who posted the last seven comments in a row, why not just do it all in one post? Stop making a fool of yourself and grow up!

Fred

Anonymous said...

Taman and Chamblin ...... the ringmasters

Anonymous said...

Does that make O'Day the Junior ringmaster in training. I hope they keep him around so that the circus never ends.

Anonymous said...

Watermelon sales are down.... Popcorn sales are way up when the circus is in town.

Anonymous said...

Roderick Pedersen not a Saskatchewan Roughriders employee. Little prairie town am radio CKRM employed. On air broadcast rights secured by this station, 620 in the dial. This website? private venture?

Anonymous said...

Tough to tell which side comes up with the more asinine comments, the Pro Riders or the Anti Riders. Most days it's about even. Nut jobs on both sides.

3283

Anonymous said...

Fred? What a coincidence, my name is Fred, Fred.

Anonymous said...

Right on Fred. I wonder if we will be going to the same high school this year!

Fred

Anonymous said...

Why would Heenen wanna come back to CFL to play for a loser the LAST place riders in whinerville

Anonymous said...

No

Home schooled genius with off the charts Intellectual IQ

£ -//_ Celt Hogham £€

Anonymous said...


KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK PEDERSEN!!!

HATERS GONNA HATE!!

Anonymous said...

Jealous much?

Anonymous said...

"I was surprised how many of my TV and radio analysts aren't willing to provide Corey much leniency given all he's accomplished in his time here."

Maybe it's because they don't have green sunglasses on Rod. He doesn't even have a .500 record.

Anonymous said...

TV Ratings (two points):

1) After much anticipation for the start of football season, and many more new fans willing to give it a go, I am sure that many got so sick of all the momentum killing penalties, that they simply turned away. After all, when you have over half of all great and exciting plays brought back by penalties, after a while, everyone begins to wonder if this sport is even for real? That is, until US College football or the NFL starts. There, when a big play happens, you can actually enjoy it all and not have to be on pins and needles waiting to see if the another annoying and ongoing penalty calls that most usually wipe out every exciting play in the CFL.

2) Maybe the CFL should invest in an independent 3rd party to advise them on the merits of spreading out the product and having the games broadcast on more than one channel (that being TSN). There will never be many viewers when the other channels simply ignore the product. Sports fans are not subjected to the CFL product, therefore they don't watch the CFL.

Keeping it real,

Kel in Victoria

Anonymous said...

So Barb Taman of Moose Jaw wins loto 649 million/s. Can Brendan just go away now already?

Anonymous said...

Seems like the one fellow posting here today multiple times has a Rod fixation or maybe just took one too many stupid pills this morning. The level of intelligence displayed by many of these comments in this thread may have hit a new low.

Barney

Anonymous said...

Amazes me how many nut jobs come to Rods blog to make comments. There sure is a lot of low IQ people with access to Moms computer. What's up, your team has no such blog? That's because very few care about your team.
Rod, by the look of some of these comments I think you have a stalker.
The fruitcakes are out today.

Anonymous said...

Gee Pedersen, you were pretty candid on Winnipeg radio today! After your attack on Kirk Penton, you then come out and blow smoke up Lawless' ass, you are a real piece of work buddy!

Anonymous said...

Yep

Daryl Pratt said...

.....and yet you remain Anonymous with a statement like that !!! Give your head a shake this is 2015 !!!!

Anonymous said...

John and Stephen Moore, those blowhard NDP fools

Anonymous said...

This definitely is your Daddy's Riders

Anonymous said...

My cats breath smells like cat food.

Gary Lawless

Anonymous said...

Wow, Chris Jones just blew the game for Edmonton.

My source says he will be replaced by labour day...

Anonymous said...

Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar are the Blue Jays I remember from those years.