|Darian Durant Thursday in Ottawa|
1 - Ottawa (6-6-1) and Saskatchewan (3-10) will meet Friday night at 5:00 pm Sask Time in Week 16 of CFL action. On Thursday the teams held their day-before media availabilites.
2 - Carm and I were told the RedBlacks would be on the field at TD Place Stadium at 10:30 am for their walk-through. When we showed up, we were politely asked to leave by RedBlacks Offensive Coordinator Jaime Elizondo who noted that we were Saskatchewan personnel.
Apparently it was a "pre-walk-through" with their offensive personnel and the RedBlacks didn't want to tip their hand. NBD. Carm and I walked over to a bagel shop for coffee. The walk was great, and we toured the new residential and commercial development around the stadium. It's amazing.
3 - Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris was injured in the game July 22 at Taylor Field and was replaced by back-up Brock Jensen. The Riders went on to win the game 30-29 for their first victory of the season. Now Harris is back, and ready to face a new-look Saskatchewan team Friday night.
"They've changed. They've evolved," Harris told reporters. "They've got great pass-rushers. Their personnel's changed quite a bit and it'll pose a different challenge but at the end of the day it's going to be Chris Jones and they'll do what they do.
"They're gonna blitz, They're gonna put heat on you and make you get the ball out. They're gonna jump routes and obviously just be ready in all different zones. There's not a bunch of tendencies which makes it pretty tough but we just have to come out and execute our game plan."
4 - The Riders announcd their roster for the game on Thursday morning and there are three changes from their last game, a 20-18 victory over Hamilton at Taylor Field two weeks ago. IN are WR Jeff Fuller, DE Willie Jefferson and LB Henoc Muamba. OUT are DB Tyler Hunter, WR Ryan Lankford and LB Korey Jones.
5 - It's shorts and t-shirt weather here in Ottawa, and Rider quarterback Darian Durant was dressed accordingly. He held a cordial 5-minute media session with reporters covering a wide range of topics.
First off, Durant said he's not a fan of TSN's "Mic'd Up" broadcast Friday night where Durant and Chris Jones will be wearing microphones during the game as will Ottawa's Trevor Harris and Rick Campbell. "I don't like the idea," Durant said. He feels the inside coverage will provide intel on verbiage to coaches of other teams. As far as fans go, Durant doesn't think they'll be able to pick up much information. He said it's a "foreign language" to them.
Regarding the team's 10-day road trip to Eastern Canada for back-to-back games in the East Division, Durant said each player has his own take on it. Players with families don't like it because they'll be away from their wives and kids. As for himself, Durant described himself as a "homebody" and he'll spend most of his downtime in his hotel room watching TV.
And regarding Hurricane Mathew which is a Category 4 hurricane causing millions to flee their homes in coastal Florida and South Carolina, Durant said his family in Florence, SC is heading to his home off-season home in Atlanta for safety. Darian laughed that his Mom indeed has keys to his place. Florence is 40 miles inland from the coast.
THAT'S IT! GO JAYS ...