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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

WEEK TWO ROUGHRIDER CAMP NOTEBOOK


SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Roughriders are well into Week 2 of 2016 Training Camp presented by Coors Light.  They held their Monday morning workout at SMF Field, and will remain there for the next couple of days.  Here are some notes from the Bridge City:

1 - After a light workout on Sunday, the team picked up the pace on Day 9 at the home of the Hilltops.

"Yeah it was a good-spirited practice today," said Head Coach & GM Chris Jones.  "I thought the guys came out and practiced with a purpose.  We as coaches have to bring our A game everyday and about midway we had to talk about it a little bit.  But I thought practice went real well."

2 - The Riders announced the release of four players early Monday morning (details are in a post below) and added three more including former Alabama and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Philip Sims.  With the release of rookie pivot Jacob Huesman, that means there are still five quarterbacks in camp.

"I spoke with (Cardinals coach) Bruce Arians last week about (Sims) and he's a guy that's been on our radar for quite some time," Jones mentioned.  "Bruce said he's very intelligent and has a live arm.  Freddy Kitchen really liked him.  He's the QB coach down there and he was with me at Alabama.  The kid's got a live arm and he's tremendously intelligent according to Bruce and that's saying something because Bruce doesn't compliment anybody!  I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what he brings to our football team."

For more on Sims, check out this online report from his alma mater:
http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2016/06/saskatchewan_roughriders_tryin.html

3 - The list of injured - or not participating - players is starting to become as long as your arm.  However we're almost reluctant to ask Coach Jones if it's becoming a concern because he's said on multiple occasions that injuries don't phase him.  At this point, it's giving other players opportunities to shine.  However if injuries like the ones bothering Jeff Knox Jr. and Justin Capicciotti extend past training camp, perhaps it'll be worth asking at that time.

4 - The temperature will rise into the 30-degree range for this week's workouts in the Bridge City before the club returns home on Saturday to host the B.C. Lions in preseason action at 7:00 pm at Mosaic Stadium (TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network).  So far, the rain has held off for the Riders' workouts.

I'd be flabbergasted if Saturday's exhibition game doesn't sellout however may listeners to the SportsCage on 620 CKRM on Monday wrote in that they have other plans that night.  There are two Garth Brooks shows in Saskatoon Saturday night which will draw 30,000 people plus Meatloaf is playing Moose Jaw's Mosaic Place.

My opinion?  If you want to hear those acts, pop in their CD.  This is the last-ever preseason game at Mosaic Stadium!

One listener pointed out that the game is to be televised nationally on TSN and if they're not able to watch it live, they can PVR it.

Grooooaaaan.  I still don't get it, but plus forgive me.  The Saskatchewan Roughriders are my life.  Any chance to watch them play live is a blessing.

- Don't forget the Riders will return to Saskatoon following Saturday's game and continue training camp here all of next week before their exhibition road game at Edmonton on Saturday, June 18.  It makes sense that the club will maintain its headquarters here in Saskatoon.  Imagine the logistical nightmare associated with transporting all these players to new living quarters and subsequent transportation around the Queen City.  The Riders are getting it done in one three-week shot.

- Kudos to former Roughriders head scout Craig Smith who's landed a job as Receivers Coach at SFU on the Kelly Bates staff.  Craig's one of the good ones.

So too is new Rider scout Vic Poma who covers Nevada, Arizona and Utah out of Las Vegas.  He arrived in camp on Monday and I always enjoy our visits.

7 - The news that the Roughriders lost $4.3-million dollars in 2015 has been a discussion point, although we steered clear of it on the radio on Monday.  Nice work by the Leader Post's Murray McCormick to cover the story.  Somebody asked how the big loss reflects on the Riders.  I'd say, not too poorly.  The club was 3-15 last year and it was a disaster from the get-go.  With all the costs associated with the new stadium plus the Legacy Program, it's been a lot to bite off.

The onus now is to only look ahead because the future is amazing in both the short-term and long-term.  The sooner we can bury 2015, the better.

Hosting Huddle with Darren Dupont
8 - The season premiere episode of In The Huddle airs Tuesday evening province-wide on Access 7 at 7:00 pm.  Saskatoon broadcaster Darren Dupont will co-host with me and we'll tell all the stories of Week 1, and feature players Levi Steinhauer, S.J. Haidara, Shawn Lemon, Nic Demski, Darian Durant and John Chiles.  There's even a cameo appearance by football maven John Lynch. Please tune in!

9 - The 2016 NLL champion Saskatoon Rush will hold a champion's rally at 11:30 am on Tuesday at the Bessborough Gardens featuring three players from the triumphant squad.  I wondered why they weren't staging a parade but Luc guessed it's because most players have already left the city.  Either way it's going to be a bang-up event, and it would be nice to be there however Rider duty calls.

10 - And you have to continually hand it to the Rush marketing department.  At a season-opening news conference in January, the club handed out a pair of season tickets to every reporter in attendance.  It was a surprise gesture and if you weren't there, you were S.O.L.  So throughout the season the media had the opportunity to take a friend to the game or act like a big shot and hand those tickets out.  What a genius ploy!  It's one of the many things that helped the Rush take this city, and province, by storm in its inaugural season here.

/=S=/

THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY!  SEE YOU ON THE RADIO AND ON T.V.!
RP
@rodpedersen


The following is the Day 9 report from the 2016 Roughrider Training Camp presented by Coors Light courtesy Roughriders PR staff.

ROSTER MOVES

Add to the Roster:
International offensive lineman Marcus Hall (#51 – 6.05/305 – Ohio State)
International quarterback Phillip Sims (#19 – 6.01/230 – Winston Salem State)
International receiver Devrin Young (#87 – 5.08/175 – Tennessee)

Delete From Roster:
International receiver Marcus Davis
National linebacker Marvin Golding
International quarterback Jacob Huesman
International receiver Alec Lemon

Did not participate:
Tim Agbaje (day-to-day)
Dylan Ainsworth (day-to-day)
Justin Capicciotti (day-to-day)
Johnny Dixon (day-to-day)
Matt Knight (day-to-day)
Jeff Knox Jr. (day-to-day)
Brendon LaBatte (day-to-day)
Graig Newman (day-to-day)
Eric Norwood (injured)
Alex Ogbongbemiga (day-to-day)
Matt Vonk (6 game injured list)
Matt Walter (day-to-day)

TUESDAY
Players and coaches will be back at SMF Field at Gordie Howe Park for practice tomorrow. Tuesday’s Day 10 workout will run from 9AM to approximately 11:00AM.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder. Forgotten or it didn't register that they are coming back after the game. Will be good to watch practice after the initial cuts.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic read as always Roddy. Thanks for keeping the 306 and 639 informed like we there watching camp. Really looking forward to the preseason game on Saturday, as we have so many new players that need to perform in order to make the opening day roster. We know from previous preseason games in years past that Chris Jones doesn't coach to lose, so you know the boys will be far more prepared than the scrimmage a few days back in Saskatoon. Remember the lickin' we took last year in Edmonton. I guess it really foreshadowed the entire year in 2015. Who knew?!!

Aaron Anderson

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that the pre-season game will be sold out. Probably far from it. There is too much other stuff going on that night, the weather is not supposed to be too good, the 1st preseason game is mostly rookies only so no one will know anyone out there and the game is on TV. I will be there because I am a crazy Rider fan who is going to Garth Brooks on Friday night but there are plenty of fans who won't go because of said reasons. Now if this was a regular season game, a lot of those reasons wouldn't matter but preseason.....

@mrt_man said...

IT WOULD BE GREAT IF THOSE FOLKS WHO DIDN'T WANT TO BOTHER GOING TO THE GAME GAVE THEIR TICKETS TO SOMEONE WHO WANTED TO GO. BE IT A FRIEND OR NEIGHBOUR... SOMEONE WHO CAN'T AFFORD IT OR THAT GUY WHO HELPED YOU MOVE.

IT HAS ALWAYS ANNOYED ME THAT SO MANY DON'T BOTHER TO SHOW UP. SHOW SOME SUPPORT. IT'S BEEN A LOONG TIME SINCE WE HAD A CHANCE TO GO TO A GAME JEESH.

SIDE NOTE: I WOULD LOVE IT IF THE RIDERS DID NOT CHEAP OUT AND SKIP THE FIREWORKS.

Anonymous said...

Skip Garth Brooks for a Rider pre season game...lol. You should take up comedy Rod. Those things are the biggest bore...who cares of its the last one.

Anonymous said...

Yeah ok RP, go to a preseason game filled with players soon to be cut, or go to see a country legend.
Are you on Crack?? lol.

Anonymous said...

Country music over a football game.
Hell I'd go to a lawn bowling game before I'd sit through the most annoying simplified music in the world.
Instead of Country they should call it simple minded Music. If you can't make it in your current genre. Just
Switch to Country and become a Country super star. Just ask Kenny Rogers and the 1st addition.


Anonymous said...

Rod,

You've had opportunities to watch Grey Cups live, and left before those games even started. It would have been an opportunity most fans would treasure for a lifetime, but you walked away because you were simply not interested.

And then you chastise fans for opting out of a preseason game?

Perspective. Please.

Rod Pedersen said...

I left to beat the rush. Plus, the Riders weren't playing in those games.

mister winnipeg said...

Haha, what a brilliant strategy! Beat the rush by leaving the stadium before kickoff!

If that's your approach Rod, you can't blame fans for "beating the rush" by avoiding a preseason game. Honestly, if they weren't included in season ticket packages who would even go?

Rod Pedersen said...

Diehards I guess.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rod.

Do you know if the team will be in Saskatoon on the 16th? I have a contact who wants to see the team if they are there. The TC sched is just week by week and the front office doesn't know any more than the rest of us. Would appreciate what you know. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I love the Riders too, but someone needs a life.

Anonymous said...

Just proved that you're not really a CFL fan.

Dick Rubnutz said...

No way the preseason game sells out.

Being a season ticket holder, I wouldn't go if it wasn't included in the ticket package. It's terrible, sloppy football (especially if it's the first preseason game) by a lot of guys that won't be with the team anyways when the season starts. I go to hang out with my Rider family and get out for a few hours, but I totally understand why people don't want to go to this game. They should discount the game for season ticket holders and lower the price in general to get more butts in the seats just to fill the place up.

Just my take on it

Anonymous said...

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are my life. Any chance to watch them play live is a blessing.

That summed up what I'm guessing has been 40+ years of a highly dysfunctional life.

Rod S. said...

At this time of year I'm in the terminal stages of football withdrawal, so there is nothing I would rather do than go to a preseason game. Garth who?

Rod Pedersen said...

Actually, an extremely wonderful life.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not answering. Surely you know what you are doing next week.

"Hi, Rod.

Do you know if the team will be in Saskatoon on the 16th? I have a contact who wants to see the team if they are there. The TC sched is just week by week and the front office doesn't know any more than the rest of us. Would appreciate what you know. Thanks."

Anonymous said...

Garth Brooks, Meatloaf and Theresa Caputo at the Brandt Centre which will be another 5,000 people not attending the Preseason game. Can't blame people for choosing other entertainment options over a meaningless game.

Rod Pedersen said...

The Riders will be here June 16 however the schedule has not yet been announced.

lee said...

I guess like people who have other things to do for the preseason game u have other things to do during the Rush party at the bess gardens

Rod Pedersen said...

Not really. I'm at my job during the rally. Those people are making an entertainment choice.

Anonymous said...

Rod,

Will "In The Huddle" be broadcast online for those of us out in the boonies?

Craig

Anonymous said...

Maybe they shouldn't be included in season ticket packages!

Do like the Pats did and have a youth and minor football day!

invite Schools and minor football teams across the province to attend the game!

Give some away to local charities or low income family who might not ever afford or have a chance to afford games!

Expand the program league wide and grow the CFL name and Fan base across the land!

make it a event!

Anonymous said...

With the Carolina Hurricanes getting relocated to Las Vegas what will that mean?

Anonymous said...

After reading your comments today regarding the pre-season game, there is now no doubt in my mind that there is no bigger idiot in the media than Rod.

Anonymous said...

Rod if you weren't a broadcaster and King George was in Stoon for a comeback performance, you'd be there front row centre throwing your gotch at the stage. There will be plenty of Rider games this season to go to, Garth doesn't exactly show up that often. I know you're trying to guilt trip people into showing up but it's not going to work. Kind of like when the Riders figured they'd charge full price for that Ottawa pre season game a couple years ago and some media said that if you didn't show up you're not a real fan.


Dubya

Anonymous said...

Great time to be in the province. Tons of entertainment options on the cusp of a wonderful, sunny summer! Whatever you do, have a great weekend!

Rob in S'toon

Anonymous said...

Volbeat is August 28 - the money designated for Rider tickets are now allocated to that concert. Three tickets $160 and a great show guaranteed.