Tuesday, October 27, 2015
O'DAY ON THE EDMONTON GAME, MERTILE AND BEING READY
ON THE 35-24 LOSS TO THE ESKIMOS
JO: As everyone saw, we started out great. The team was fired up and had a good quarter of football (a 21-3 lead) and from there we just weren't able to continue on, and weren't able to finish the game. It's kind of the story of our season really. The positive part about is we're playing some young guys in some key positions and they played well against the top-rated defense in the CFL. It kind of gave us a glimpse of what it can look like in the future and some of those guys answered the bell as far as their play. Unfortunately we didn't achieve the main goal which was winning the game, but there were some positives.
WHO WERE THE BRIGHT SPOTS?
JO: The quarterbacks, between the two of them, they completed 75% of their passes which was something that I don't know if we've done all year, and it was against a pressure defense. I don't know if they pressured us as much as they normally do but when they did pressure us, we were able to catch them in some big plays. It was Keith Price's first chance in a pro football game and it was heckuva way to start off. Keenan MacDougall got a chance to start at safety and made a lot of plays for us. He put some pressure on the quarterback on the blitz and did well in coverage. He almost had an interception so we felt good about his play. Jeff Knox just keeps making tackles. He's had a great year and the future's bright for him.
Naaman Roosevelt made more big plays and got over 100 yards for the first time in his career as a Rider. He seems to be getting better every week. Nic Demski did a good job on punt returns and was solid all the time. And there was steady play from some of the offensive linemen. They did a good job against a very good front four or front seven for Edmonton. They answered the bell and Corey Watman has been solid at centre the past two weeks. There's a lot of positive signs. Again, it needs to start equating to wins but we're in an evaluation mode but there are some positive signs.
HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH DB JUNIOR MERTILE ABOUT HIS GAFFE?
JO: I think that's the role of the coaches. I don't think the GM's going to need to call a guy in after the coaches have talked to him. He's got a positional coach and a coordinator that'll address that. I don't think that's my role to call the guys in separately unless it's something major that needs to be talked about. They'll coach the players and try to make them better as players.
ON THE YOUNG PLAYERS WHO WEREN'T READY TO BE ACTIVATED
JO: That's going to be determined by them and guys, we're not talking about a very large percentage of players. When you look at our roster and the amount of guys that played, are injured or are on our practice roster, there's not a lot of guys that fall into that column. I don't want you guys to focus too much on who didn't answer the call in practice last week because a large majority of the guys are on the roster.
We went with two young quarterbacks, a young running back last week, we'll see another one this week. You've got Corey Watman at centre, Naaman Roosevelt still needs to get reps, Ryan Smith, those guys will get some reps. On defense, you look at the young Canadians at defensive tackle and in the defensive backfield, the linebackers are all young as it is. There's not a ton that can be gained this week in practice but we're not going to just put guys on the field if we don't think they're ready to play just to throw them out to evaluate them.
They're also being evaluated in practice. The game is definitely a different thing but if you're not ready in practice, it's hard for us to say you're ready for a game. And again, there's not a ton of guys in that boat.