Capital Auto Mall

Realty One

Access

Regina Rams Football

Thursday, September 22, 2016

THURSDAY RODSERVATIONS


15 HOME GAME WEEKEND NOTES

1 - Prepare yourself for a very fun weekend if you live in YQR or are coming down here for it.  The Saskatchewan Roughriders (2-10) host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6-6) Saturday night (7:30 kickoff, TSN, 620 CKRM Radio Network) in what's expected to be a doozy of a game.  There are several other sporting events going on in the area as well, which we'll chronicle later in the column.

More than anything else, it's the return of one John Chick.

2 - It sounds like a PERFECT night for football on Saturday at the Old Mosaic Stadium.  Rain, wind and a high of 13 degrees Celsius (!)  :(

We'll be checking that forecast closely for changes over the next 48 hours, but the Farewell Season wouldn't be complete without a rain game would it?

3 - The Tiger-Cats are favoured by 5-points by Bodog.

4 - GAME DETAILS: The decade of the 2000's will be honoured on Saturday (the franchise has conventiently skipped the woeful decade of the 90s), and there will be a commemorative highlight video of the 2007 Grey Cup shown at halftime.  The featured alumni include Mike Abou-Mechrek, Greg Fieger, Michael Palmer, Preston Young, Luc Mullinder, Wes Cates and Ken McEachern.

5 - Perhaps we, at some point, can have our own 90's celebration since that was the heyday for those of us born in the 70's.  Picture it: Reggie Slack, Warren Jones, K.D. Williams, Lamar McGriggs, Jim Daley, Mike Saunders, Ray Jauch, Paul McCallum, Steve Sarkisian and Ron Goetz are all brought back for celebrations each night at Lauderdales, Bart's on Broad and Checkers.  We all made those places what they are today!

Uh, never mind.  I'd have to add it up but the winning percentage of that decade was probably around .300.  However as Dan Rashovich said on the SportsCage last week, "We won every party!"

6 - Something special IS going on with this football club right now, in case you hadn't noticed or heard.  The intensity at Wednesday's practice was Grey Cup-worthy as the Offense-vs-Defense period came down to a 31-31 tie.  The concept is, the competition stands no matter if it's the 1st string, 2nd string or 3rd stringers going "12-on-12".  If the offense gets 4 yards or more, they get a point.  If the defense holds them to under 4 yards, they get a point.

So again, the session came down to a 31-31 draw and the score is tallied on the SaskTel Maxtron for the world to see.  (Offense is always 'Visitors' and Defense is always 'Home').  From what I could see, the players were all over Head Coach Chris Jones, begging him to run one more play to decide the winner.  The winners, or course, are bought chicken dinner by the losers.

And the winners on Wednesday were the Defense.  They went bananas.  Offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo was running around screaming that they'd been robbed!  It was hilarious.

"It was just like the feeling we had coming out of training camp," smiled Jones afterwards, recalling a time when the dreams of a season had yet spilled down on the floor (to quote Ian Tyson).

7 - The part of all this that got me excited is that this team clearly isn't going to wilt and die down the stretch.  They're not even talking about the playoffs, but rather simply coming together and getting better.

The prospect of shivering on the sidelines or freezing our butts in the aluminum bleachers this fall while watching meaningless practices wasn't something I was excited about.

However it appears we don't need to worry about that.

"We don't need to come up with things to motivate them right now," observed Rider receivers coach Markus Howell on CKRM's Coaches Show on Wednesday.

So as I've said over the past few weeks, if you turn your back on this club or 'check out' on the rest of the season, you're going to miss something very special.

8 - Is this mental turnaround too late?  Probably, as far as the playoffs are concerned.  But that's not a focus for Jones right now.

"I told our group that all we can control is what we do," Jones said on Wednesday.  "Just show up and win and see where the ball bounces.  We can't control anything anybody else does and we can't be consumed by anything other than just week by week."

9 - This is sometimes where general managers and coaches fall out of favour.  GM's generally have a "long-view" of what's best for the franchise (planning ahead, etc.) while coaches are known to have a "short-view" (a Win Now mentality).

So does Chris Jones get into a mental fight with himself when he goes home at night over what's best for his Saskatchewan Roughriders?

"Well again, the ultimate goal is to win the football game," Jones smiled.  "And then certainly we've got to look long range and see who's going to be around long-term to help us play football games, and win football games."

It would appear to me that Jones' primary focus is on the current version of the Roughriders, and he relies heavily on Jeremy O'Day and John Murphy for a lot of the information that pertains to the future of the club.  And then, he'll make the final call on where the franchise goes once he assesses all the information he's given.

10 - Just one victory - last Sunday in overtime over Edmonton - has snapped people back into a positive mood around here.  They're even taking a shining to Jones, or at least the ones I've talked to have.  Former Rider Mike Abou-Mechrek laughed on the SportsCage, "They're saying 'I believed in Jones all along!'", even if they wanted to show him the door in August.

You do need to be patient and resilient if you're a Rider fan.

11 - A tip I got on Wednesday morning is that two other teams are preparing contract offers for Darian Durant for this off-season.  The Riders are expected to offer Durant a contract with a lower base salary, and laden with incentives (primarily based on starts) while at least one other team will try to entice Durant with a much higher base salary.  Then it's going to be up to him to decide.

These are going to be very interesting times in the months ahead.

12 - I hear the term "Durant Haters" a lot around here, but don't actually run into any of them.  Do they exist anymore?

13 - The University of Regina Rams broke into the CIS Top 10 for the first time since 2012 this week, entering the poll at #9.  They'll host the #2-ranked University of Calgary Dinos Friday night at Mosaic Stadium.  The game will be broadcast live on Access and CKRM2.

I've gotta get down there and chat with Dinos Defensive Coordinator Tom Higgins.  It seems like he's got A WEALTH of information about the goings-on in the CFL office and the Montreal Alouettes (his last two employers).

14 - Jason Gregor of the Edmonton Journal and TSN 1260 Radio lambasted CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge in his Wednesday column.  It was, in my opinion, far worse than anything I've written.  Gregor called the CFL office "amateurish" and said Orridge has done "nothing" since he took up the job in April of 2015.

To me, that conversation is so August.  I've said my piece and moved on to other things.

15 - The Regina Pats, apparently, are in the nation's Top 10 as well.  I heard that talk on Wednesday but haven't seen it written anywhere.  If so, that's pretty exciting but we knew they were going to be an excellent this team no matter how the national rankings went.

The Pats open the 2016-17 season at home to the P.A. Raiders on Friday night and we'll be broadcasting the SportsCage live on 620 CKRM from the Brandt Centre beginning at 4:00 pm.

Raiders GM Curtis Hunt will also join us on today's show as we preview the WHL East.  Please tune in!

------

THAT'S ALL FOR TODAY! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO
RP
@rodpedersen

44 comments:

GPB said...

So the Rider defense can beat the Rider offense by one point. What an accomplishment. I can see why that would be worthy of so much celebrating.

Anonymous said...

Anybody thinking that last Saturday's Victory is anything but an anomaly isn't looking at reality. As the old cliche goes... even a blind Squirell finds a nut every once in a while. The EE are not a very good team and their record shows. The Hamilton Tiger Cats will come to town and quickly remind all of us Rider fans why we are the cellar dwellers. I believe that's why most jumped on Darian for his tweet after the game. Mentioning that the playoffs were still alive was not a smart move. Most people realize this season was over a long time ago.
I was talking to a Rider Fan just before the game. He was boasting that he's been a fan for 40 years. He was most defiantly a Durant hater. We disagreed on just about everything in Darian. He felt that Darians decision making has been poor. As well as his throwing accuracy is what is getting receivers hurt and that's why he has to go. At the end of the conversation I asked him who would replace Darian. Do you want the Riders to be like Montreal. How many QBs have they been through since Calvillo? We just agreed to disagree. Just know that the typical run the QB out of town SK mentality still exists in fans who really do not understand the position. They figure no matter how bad the team is. The QB should look and play like an all star.


Spock Logic

Rod Pedersen said...

You two seem like real fun guys.

Anonymous said...

Rod it's getting sickening how the CFL office cannot accept criticism. It seems like they think that everything is just fine and dandy and anyone that dares to say otherwise is a hater. They don't get the fact that guys like you and Gregor are saying these things because you love the CFL and want it to be better. You'd think that the heavy hitters on the CFL board have to be taking notice of all these shortcomings. It's crazy how much potential this league has and yet it continues to be amateur hour. We fans deserve better.

Keep up the public pressure. Sooner or later things have to change.


Dubya

Parkside said...

"Durant Haters" also go by "Idiots". They're still out there. Just using a different alias.

Rudyman said...

Wow haters going to hate...
Couldn't even sign their names to it.

I might possibly take two other quarterbacks in this league over Darian skill wise. But there is nobody in the league that bleeds more for their team then Darian.

Mike Reilly in his First season had that kind of heart. He dished punishment, he took punishment behind an offensive line that was horrible. The fans of the league ate it up.

Darian has always had it, and to go out on the field, with the injuries he has had, with a 1 and 10 team behind him and put that effort and sacrifice on the field. No Quit in the man. It makes me proud to have him on our team.

Like Ron before him, Darian is our quarterback until he decides to end it. When he does he will have 2 Grey cups to his name.

Anonymous said...

Who makes the CFL schedule? 7:30 kick off on a fall Saturday night? Against an Eastern team? So, Hamilton fans need tune in for a 9:30pm START?

Anonymous said...

I like the way the riders celebrated the last game like it was a playoff victory. 2-10 and the celebration begins!! Surprised they didn't break out the champagne in the dressing room.

Anonymous said...

1. Durant haters should go back to their basements where they belong.
2. Debbie Downers coming out early this morning.

Anonymous said...

The DD haters are still out there Rod. In Darius's defense I just refer it to our lousy 0-line.

Bradford Kruger said...

Being born in the 70's, living through all the ups and downs through to the late 90's, there is something different in how this version of the 'Riders is approaching the game.

Roddy spoke on the show last week about how the culture of losing had pervaded the locker room for a 3 season stretch in the 90s. The players just couldn't get up the energy to care anymore. I don't see that with this group. If what I'm hearing is true, these guys won't and aren't giving up. If that isn't a reason to get behind them, I don't know what is.

These men put their bodies, minds, heart and potentially their future on the line every week to supply us with entertainment. I don't see them owing us anything, other than the effort I see put into the game week in and week out for at least the past 6 games. Go Riders, Go Green. I'll be waiting for you when you come out the other side and start putting a ton more "W"'s up on the board.

Brad

Evan Wiome said...

That literally made me laugh out loud.

Thanks I needed that.

Anonymous said...

Spock Logic, if you can't visibly see that the talent on this team far surpasses that sorry lot from 2015, then you're out of your Vulcan mind.

Anonymous said...

I love Durant, I really do. But the fact is he is 1-9 as a starter this season. This offence up until the last game was only able to crack 25 points on two occasions, one of which he didn't play. I get that a QB is only as good as his supporting cast but there are a number of games where the offence has stunk. The QB has to rise above it and he did on Sunday. It's unfortunate the 'rise up' didn't happen a month ago.

Gord said...

Hi Rod, is it just me or do you really get annoyed by these Durant haters. Hes one of the best QB's to ever suit up for this team. Why does our fan base always crap on QB's. Its disgusting. Without him there is no 2013 Grey Cup and there is no 2009 or 2010 Grey Cup appearances. Durant has taken a pay cut and lives and dies with this team. What more do people want? As far as Im concerned Durant haters are not Rider fans.

On a side note have you read Rob Vanstones book on the 89 Riders? I just bought it on Ebay and wondering what your thoughts on it before I read it. I read your book Green Magic years ago and loved it btw!

Anonymous said...

Best leave no stone unturned, Armani Edwards should be evaluated at qb for the mere fact his collegiate background says so., he just might be the teams future answer in waitin at that critical position.

Anonymous said...

>> if you can't visibly see that the talent on this team far surpasses that sorry lot from 2015 <<

Talk is cheap. So is peoples speculation. Stats and Victory's speak loud. Even if they are better than last years 3-15 team. They are just as far behind the top 6 teams in the league as they were last year. Question: The Riders are last in how many stat category's?
Answer: Far too many and more than any other team. Our 2-10 record is exactly where we are at. We may be slightly better than last year. The top 6 teams are way better than they were last year.
Whether you accept that I am a huge Rider fan as well as a believer in Durant makes no difference to me. The only difference is if your going to be logical. This team has sucked just as bad this year as they did last year. There was many games last year the Riders lost by 4 points or less.


Spock Logic

Anonymous said...

The Sports Cage should adopt a favourite charity and raise some funds for it. The best way would be to sell bobble heads. I am sure a Mitchell Blair (in a John Ryan jersey) bobble head would be a bid seller as would the Rod Pedersen, Luc Mullinder and John Frenzy.

Anonymous said...

Spock Logic

The trajectory of last year's team was downward. It started off mediocre and then trended worse. The parts of that team that were good -- Messam, Chick and Dresser-- good guys, but all 30 plus found good homes elsewhere while we rebuilt. The rest of the team was not talented enough so when guys were inevitably cut, they landed nowhere.

This team is trending upward. They could have easily won any of the last four games, and have probably 8-10 players, if not more, who are young and would immediately find employment elsewhere.

If you are a long term and wise fan as you say you are, you know that initial rebuilds should be judged less by wins and losses, and more by talent, effort and trajectory of the team. I know well teams that are going nowhere -- I sat through the late 90s when we truly did NOT have talent to compete. That's not the case nos.

Perry K said...

People just need to be realistic.. Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was a championship team other than 2013 which was an all star team if I've ever seen one and there was hiccups along that road. Just think if we had not won the great cup that year and the mutiny that would have followed. How many jobs would have been lost and how many players may have jumped ship. Instead we win and all is glorious but it came with a price. Too many high price older players that would turn things into a salary cap mess. 2014 might have been another successful campaign had Darian not went down but it just showed we forgot to spend money in one position. That was at the backup QB.. When Kerry Joesph showed up that was the beginning of the end of Chamblin and Taman in my opinion.. After that it was one bad thing after the other. Yes Darian gets hurt at the beginning of the season in 2015 but at least we had Kevin Glenn to step in, but the coaching gaffs were what hurt us the most. After that the Rider brass knew that needed to do something. Just think if Kent Austin has stuck around the success we would have had but now he's in Ham and still dominant, his domination though has taken time. Give Jones time with the new young roster and he will take this team places, but the biggest thing rider nation doesn't have is patience. They wanna win now and don't care how... well we can if we do a carbon copy of 2013 once every 10 years but for the rest of the decade it will be painful aka The 90's.. I would rather the team be successful and contend continuously ( see New England Patriots ). This will happen but its not gonna happen over night. Jones and Co will do this but its takes time and patience. Im ready and waiting! Im with you Roddy if there are any nae sayers that wanna give up there season tickets.. Ill glady buy them. Once this team takes off in years to come it will be like the past years when there wasn't a ticket to be had and people were begging for seats. I will gladly reap the rewards when that time comes again.. Go Riders!

Anonymous said...

"Durant Lovers" also go by "Morons". They're still out there. Just using a different alias.

Anonymous said...

Just like the old saying ..... You're only as good as your record.

Anonymous said...

They have won 2 games this year by the skin of their teeth and they are celebrating ?????? and the media thinks its great ??????

WOW - get ready for more losing seasons with this attitude.

Anonymous said...

Hey Spock Logic. Why don't you wait until the season is over to determine weather this year's edition is better or worse than last year's. I'll give you the fact that they are not any further ahead then last year so far, but there are still six more games left to play! A Playoff Birth is out of reach, but I have a hunch that they will manage to string some wins together and gain back some respectability.

Vito in YQR.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if there are Durant haters as much as there are folks that don't believe he is a god for a grey cup victory years ago and who wonder if it makes sense to rebuild around an older QB. These people get labelled haters...

Anonymous said...

I read Gregor's column as well and listen to him fairly regularily online. He went to bat for you and Justin which I thought was pretty good of him. He also came on and spoke highly of your interview on TSN 1260 yesterday. Don't agree with all his takes but he is one of the better media people I've come across on the dial and in print.

Was a great interview by the way, I had to find the CBC one with Sheila Coles to fill in the gaps I missed while hopping onto a conference call. I remember sending you a message relating to the Flames gig when it was announced Peter Maher was retiring and never did hear back (wasn't expecting too!) on if you had applied...unfortunate you had to lose out on that opportunity. Hope another one comes your way in the future.

All the best in your recovery Rod, sounds like the last 19 months or so have been good to you.

Dustin in Regina

Anonymous said...

For some unnamed idiot to suggest that 6 teams are better than they were last year shows how brain dead some functioning people are. Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto have all been hot and cold and really not impressive. Winnipeg (after a QB change) and BC appear to be better than last year. They have also not been ravished by injuries and defections. Calgary might be better than last year but that's still up for debate. To suggest some of the nonsense being spewed on here is total Horse..BLEEP! 2 more wins and we are already better than last year. Does Spock have any idea of how many close and overtime games there have been in the CFL this year? i.e. last second field goal wins?? To devalue a win by our team is absolutely a big steamy pile of BS…

DD has not had his best season but he has had to play with perhaps the weakest O-line in the league, and I'm pretty sure that's had a lot to do with it. He will be back better than ever and will not be defined by an unfortunate set of circumstances. The Riders have to rework and create the "best" O-line in the league. DD deserves it.

The "haters" who post on here also do so as well on other sites. They are very lonely, sad, and rather despicable people. They clearly must not like what they see in the mirror every morning as they shave, but then again a great many probably don't. They don't do a service to anyone or anything.

Anonymous said...

Seems like "haters" like you hate anyone who disagrees with your opinion by referring to them as unnamed idiots. Nice try anonymous. I think the offensive line has been average.

Anonymous said...

Dustin it would seem that things worked out pretty good for Rod. While he didn't get the Flames job and that sucks, he does get his own fancy new broadcast booth in the swanky new stadium. Plus a Rider team on the rise with a bright future ahead for years to come. But most importantly he gets to stay here in SK with people who love him and looked past his shortcomings (ie Mrs. Sportscage and his bosses) to get him the help he needed. Judging from the reaction all week to his openness on his lifestyle change the people of this province have gained even more love and admiration for him than before. He's the face of sports in SK and that has to be way more satisfying than any NHL rink.


Gunderson's Yorkton

Anonymous said...

Durant is our quarterback until someone dethrones him, get over it. Rod what's the deal with Kendial Lawrence? I thought he was picking up his game a bit, or is it an off the field issue?

Anonymous said...

All you Rider haters forget the one thing and that is the fact that the Saskatchewan Roughriders win or lose are " Simply the best , better then all the rest". And always will be.

Unknown said...

I like it too. It shows that they give a crap and that they would rather be willing than losing. What would you have them do? Sulk off the field after winning a good game in overtime? Give your head a shake...

Chris

Chris Most said...

I like it too. It shows that they give a crap and that they would rather be willing than losing. What would you have them do? Sulk off the field after winning a good game in overtime? Give your head a shake...

Chris

Anonymous said...

It absolutelyrics makes sense to rebuild around an older, experienced, grey cup winning QB. If it were that easy to replace him, somebody would have stepped in over the 1.5 years he was hurt and made a serious run at the job. I'm the first to admit that DD isn't going to be the most accurate passers in the league. But he's a proven leader and winner. Hes a field general, with plenty of football left in the tank. That is exactly what
you need at the QB position, when rebuilding.

Anonymous said...

By the time Jones gets this team even partially rebuilt and ready to compete, Durant will be done as a QB in the CFL.

Anonymous said...

Treat Darian right! He needs to stay here and wants to be here! I believe he is irreplaceable at this time! Make his offer something he won't be able to refuse!
He still has lots to offer!

Anonymous said...



Who can't tell time. Hamilton is only 1 hr ahead its not Paris France.

Anonymous said...

Actually Hamilton is 2 hours ahead...Paris is 8 hours ahead genious.

Anonymous said...

Rod, you're like Justin Trudeau claiming he's in touch with the people.

The province is full of DD bashers. They just don't say it in your company because they don't want to get cussed out.

P.S.

I'm not one of them.

SWC

Anonymous said...

Go U of R Cougars!

Anonymous said...

Wish the fans would cut the team some slack. We had a reasonable chance with Durant until we lost Chris Best and Labatte. Two all-stars and starting Canadians. The only choice Jones had was to replace them with Americans and getting immediate Allstar caliber was almost impossible. The Canadians we inserted definitely were not allsar level so the overall performance of the team has suffered. Chris Jones has done pretty good with what he had to work with. Many of these new guys he introduced us to look like keepers. Hopefully Labatte and Best are not finished and 2017 will go better for us.

Evan Wiome said...

GENIUS.

Anonymous said...

Labatte and Best are done. The team is building a new o-line.

Bart in Regina

Anonymous said...

Something special brewing in Rider Land? Pilsner coming out with a new formula?