Wednesday, August 10, 2016
RIDERS BACK TO WORK
The Saskatchewan Roughriders returned to the practice field on Tuesday for their first practice since Thursday's 35-15 loss at Calgary. That game closed the book on the "opening third" of the CFL season, and the Riders posted a 1-5 record during the stretch.
Saskatchewan Head Coach & GM Chris Jones says he's like a lot of CFL coaches in that he too breaks down the 18-game season into thirds.
"You can't look at it like an 18-game season," Jones explained. "Especially with a lot of young guys because that's probably more football than they've played in their entire life. If they're from college football, they likely only played 12 or 13 games."
So as far as that opening third went for the Riders, Jones says his club has pretty to work on.
"Well we've gotta improve," Jones asserted. "We've gotta win football games."
Quarterback Darian Durant was asked what his club learned about itself from their first six games.
"I think the main thing I hope the guys can take from it is just to learn how to win," Durant offered. "Once you realize that you're good enough to be in every game, now it's about executing down the stretch and knowing that you can win those games. Belief is a big part of our next step and as a young team, we have to believe that we can take the steps to win.
"I've been through the 7-0, 6-1 starts and I've been through the 0-5, 0-6 so it's about what you do going forward. Once this team learns how to win, and believes in that, then we'll take that next step."
The Roughriders host those same Stampeders on Saturday at 5:00 at Mosaic Stadium and Chris Jones likes the scheduling.
"You know what, I like the back-to-backs," Jones said cheerfully. "Because you have familiarity and you can come back and execute on the things you failed to execute on the week prior."
There won't be many roster changes from last week's game however Jones noted that rookie kicker Quinn Van Gylswyk will likely make his CFL debut in place of injured veteran kicker Tyler Crapigna.
Jones wouldn't address the report that the Riders worked out free agent Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge on Monday, saying they'll only comment on players who are currently on the Rider roster.
The Roughriders will celebrate the decade of the 1980's at Saturday's game as part of the Farewell Season at Mosaic Stadium. Players and staff who will be in attendance are Dan Rashovich, Lou Claire, John Walker, Bob Poley, Bobby Jurasin, Dave Ridgway, Norm Fong, Brian O'Hara, Ron Cherkas, Glen Suitor and Don Narcisse.
There will be an autograph session at Northgate Mall Friday from 6:00-8:00 pm featuring Poley, Ridgway and Jurasin as well as at Saturday's Fan Fest on the practice field from 3:00-4:00 pm.