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Monday, May 29, 2017

THE MONDAY MORNING GOALIE


CAMPING

1 - SASKATOON:  "Energy" was the buzzword on Day 1 of Saskatchewan Roughriders 2017 Training Camp here at Griffiths Stadium on Sunday. That word was on the lips of Head Coach & GM Chris Jones as well as quarterback Vince Young when they met with the media after the abnormally windy session. Veteran QB Kevin Glenn said all the players came in "ready and prepared" for the start of training camp, and the plays are still fresh in their minds from the Florida minicamp in April.

2 - I would characterize the opening session as "sloppy", whatwith the large number of interceptions, fumbles, and time count violations which marred the day. Chris Jones admitted as much, saying they weren't nearly as crisp as he'd like to see but we all know there's an incredibly long ways to go. They weren't wearing pads on Day 1 either.

Unlike the Florida minicamp which was a highly intense three day session six weeks ago, main training camp is a marathon, not a sprint.

I've covered 19 Roughriders training camps now and Day 1 is always a get-acquainted session. Would you like to be judged on your first day on the job? So therefore I put very little stock into individual performances although I appreciate the meticulous analysis I've seen on message boards and social media postings from fans on Sunday.

I stood on the sidelines for a portion of the workout and a lot of rookies were confused by Chris Jones' "Double Barrel" concept where they line up back-to-back and run plays in rapid fire. It was far quicker than they're used to, but they'll have picked it up by Day 2.

As far as the Offense vs Defense competition of tracking reps goes, the defense won the day.

3 - Some players did jump out though. Rookie DB #19 Mark Roberts registered a pair of interceptions and his solid overall play had me checking my roster several times for his name. It wasn't long before his name stuck in my head and he'll be one to watch over the next few weeks.

Rider great Don Narcisse tipped me off on Roberts - who participated in the Florida minicamp - because Narco is close friends with Roberts' father from their days in Port Arthur, TX. Don asked me to keep an eye on Mark Roberts and was pleased with the Day 1 assessment.

4 - The first interception of the day came from veteran Tevaughn Campbell (the Regina Rams grad) who picked off Vince Young midway through the first morning session. Veteran Kacy Rodgers came up with a pick too while linebacker Dillon Grondin scooped up a fumble.

Clearly it was the veterans who stood out on the opening day of training camp and that's generally the case although, again, the two picks from rookie Mark Roberts were notable.

5 - CKRM football analyst Luc Mullinder labelled the Riders' starting receiver group as "scary" and he's right. Rob Bagg was Rob Bagg, scoring touchdowns and catching everything which came his way. Naaman Roosevelt is back from the knee injury which ended his season last year and looks primed for a 1000-yard season.

Duron Carter
6 - We'll be keeping a close eye on star receiver Duron Carter of course, who I tabbed as the player I'm most keen to watch in training camp. His size and skill are undeniable and it's clear this game comes very easily to him. Although I was particularly impressed by the screens he set downfield, or the "little things" in his game.

"I can get anybody open," Carter smiled to Mullinder on the Riders' livestream broadcast after practice on Riderville.com.

CFL types feel Carter is the best receiver in the league and I think he could be the best overall player in the entire CFL if he puts his mind to it. But he comes with considerable baggage, after being kicked off the Montreal Alouettes with three games to go last year.

"He's one of those guys who's a completely different player off the field," surmised Carter's former Montreal teammate Kevin Glenn on Sunday, who would know him better than anybody. "He's definitely misunderstood."

My fingers are crossed for the Riders that Duron Carter has a breakout season this year in Green & White.

7 - Kevin Glenn continues to sparkle and if he's the quarterback who leads the team into its Week 1 showdown at Montreal, I'm very comfortable with that. He was so good in Florida that he basically got Days 2 and 3 off and that eased any concerns I had about him being the #1 guy. Glenn didn't drop off any on Day 1 here.

8 - Rider fans are particularly curious about veteran Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge and that tells me he has a lot of people pulling for him. I didn't track every single rep because I was catching up with the media types after a long off-season, but their assessments of Bridge were wide-ranging. "He's really struggling," offered one reporter while the next said, "Bridge is having a real good day."

TSN's Farhan Lalji was at the Day 1 workout and will appear on Monday's SportsCage as he makes a tour across West Division CFL training camps. It's clear that Farhan is a huge supporter of Bridge, remarking "All he needs is a chance."

Vince Young
9 - All quarterbacks struggled with the wind at Griffiths Stadium on Sunday and that includes Vince Young. Again, I didn't put too much stock into any individual performance because of the long road ahead before the first preseason game on June 10 against Winnipeg in Regina.

But Vince was good. His 6'5" frame is a huge benefit as his launch point is several feet higher than most of the other quarterbacks here and he has no problem seeing the field. Young displayed his cannon for an arm on occasion but was also accurate on short passes. His upside in the CFL is huge.

Many have asked if there's a huge media glare around Young in this camp but the only American media outlet in attendance is Sports Illustrated who sent up a photographer.

And Young was a lot more guarded with reporters than he was in Florida, or during his initial news conference in Regina in March. He had a real downhome, folksy demeanour about him in past media sessions but on Sunday he was somewhat robotic.

Clearly, he's danced this dance many times over before.

However so far, he doesn't appear to be having any second thoughts about this comeback.

10 - OTHER DAY 1 OBSERVATIONS: It was tough to get a read on the first group of the offensive line due to the absence of Derek Dennis and Peter Dyakowski. Kennedy Estelle and Josaih St. John filled the LT and RG spots ... I'll watch much more closely on Monday, including the 1-on-1's ... Luc Mullinder was particularly impressed by the play of rookie OL Dariusz Bladek ... Rookie QB Maty Mauk hit Nic Demski on a 45-yard touchdown which drew a roar of approval from the large crowd at Griffiths Stadium ... Rookie Canadian receiver Mitch Picton of Regina was as expected: smooth and sure-handed ... Veteran WR Ricky Collins made the circus catch of the day, a one-handed grab which delighted everyone on the field. A few reps later he went down with an apparent ankle injury but he returned shortly ... DT Linden Gaydosh is in camp which is newsworthy because of his injury history. He came over in the deal with Hamilton last year which sent Xavier Fulton and Justin Capicciotti to the Ticats ... Punter Josh Bartel was absent so his reps were taken by kicker Tyler Crapigna who did a nice job ... The list of players auditioning on punt returns was as long as a phone book so it's way too early to make any generalizations there ... DE Jordan Reaves has come back as an absolute monster and looks to have packed 15 lbs of muscle onto his frame. It's hard to believe he was ever looked at as a DB however he was much leaner a year ago ... We haven't even discussed the running backs, so I'll take a harder look at that position on Monday .. Many are talking about Saturday's trade where the Riders sent import receiver Armanti Edwards to the Argonauts for non-import lineman Peter Dyakowski. It seems like a "win" for the Riders because first and foremost, it's a Canadian for an American. Secondly, Dyakowski adds important veteran Canadian depth on the offensive line and thirdly, I'd heard Edwards' career might've been over due to lingering injuries. I wish him all the best in Toronto because he's a classy kid.


Lastly, thanks to all who came out for Saturday's Pedersen Media Summit 2.0 at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw where we discussed Social Media and Branding. There was a very broad cross-section of companies in attendance including A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, CHAB Radio, Moose Jaw Warriors, Seedhawk, Regina Riot, Cougar Womens Basketball, Alpha Bull Events/PBR Tour, Saskatoon Blades, Cross Canada Flooring Depot, Moose Jaw Library, Weyburn Red Wings, SJHL, Kodiak Property Management Group and EMJ Marketing.

When I first started doing these I was so nervous I wanted to throw up but I knew I had a lot to offer so I pushed on. Now, after seeing past attendees winning awards, securing big contracts and growing their business exponentially using my techniques, I'm very excited to put these events on.

We'll be doing more of these! Keep watching for details on a Social Media/Branding Summit near you.

THAT'S IT! SEE YOU ON THE RADIO
RP
@rodpedersen
IG: rodpedersenofficial
SC: Pedersenmedia

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great read with monday morning coffee

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me the training camp times for the roughriders?..is it just a 9am session?

Rod Pedersen said...

9:00-12:30 daily.

Anonymous said...

Rod if there's a spread in SI featuring Vince please let us know so we can go buy a copy.

I've figured out a comparison on the CFL's lack of marketing. It's similar to Marco Rubio in the US Republican primaries. He thought he could win by simply posting on social media, whereas to do so you have to have a strong ground game and be everywhere at all times. Of course, he lost. Same thing with the CFL. It seems they think they only need to have a social media presence and that'll be enough to interact with fans. WRONG!! Like you said Saturday, social media can help get people in the door but it's up to YOU to close the sale. And the CFL's marketing department has blatantly forgot that.

Hopefully the new Commish recognizes this and changes course because it's grossly unfair to everyone involved to have this great league's profile as diminished as it is. A crime, actually.

Anonymous said...

Reporters giving evaluations of football players lol. Wanna be gms and scouts

Anonymous said...

Since Lalji is on Sportscage monday you may want to talk to him about Vince Young. You were mentioning his accuracy on short passes while Lalji is on TSN video talking about his struggles on short passes. I see Mr. Carter still seems to have that "attitude" which could be just cockiness or something else again. He can get anybody open? Carter's a bit of a string bean @ 6'5". If you look @ his NFL combine comments, he was told he should improve his 40, although I think he is fast enough, & put some weight on his tall frame. There's a difference between 6'5" & 205 vs, say 6'2" & 220. The latter can block LB's & cause problems for DB's but @ 205 you're not manhandling too many LB's or DB's, so I take Duron's comments with a grain of salt. I do think the club is improved but Jones has to find some DB's because that is a big area of concern right now. Not surprising there are some mixed reviews so we'll see how it goes.

The Poet said...

The Rider camp has begun in old Saskatoon
A fan who is not hopeful is surely a loon

Just know that hard working Coach Jones and his loyal crew
Are now a'grinding and leading his men into his winning stew

With Durant now just a fond memory from before
Onward with Old Kevin or Young Vince to soon help them score

The only sure prediction in 2017 beyond win or lose
Its that the Riders will sell a lot more booze

In a new stadium full of loud fans from all over
Knowing that it will take more than Mr. Sully's four leaf clover

Remember that there is one sure thing about a win
It eliminates need for media spin



GB said...

I see you're still trying to convince people that Vince Young is the real deal. Won't be long before a mysterious training camp injury flares up and we see the last of him.

Anonymous said...

Montreal released Bear Woods - what are the chances of Jones getting him to come here?

Rod S in Saskatoon

Rod Pedersen said...

Regarding Farhan's report, I just watched it. He taped that hit with Lee Jones an hour into workout 1. There were still 3 hours to go in the session.

polkabill504 said...

Thanks for yet another MMG and yesterday's Podcast which I really enjoyed as well. You will be a busy person with the Rider season just starting. I am hopeful for a season "which shows progress" over last year. Polkabill from the Peg

3RD and 1 said...

I would suggest that Luc Mullinder is far more than a reporter when it comes to the CFL. The guy played Defendive line for SK and Montreal just a few years ago. You don't think he's showing Rod a thing or two. Maybe that's why Luc is now part of the team calling Rider games on CKRM.
Reporters have always covered CFL\NFL camps! What is your point Anon? They are a lot closer to every aspect of the game then you or any people writing in here. Including myself.... They have 1st hand information from Head and Assistant Coaches, Defence and Offence Coordinators as well as positional Coaches and players. Who should be reporting and evaluating the camp? You?
Your comment is ludicrous and completely uncalled for.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, I noted a previous annon asking about how Young got into Canada and I had seen the blog where the US judge allowed it. What I do not understand is how Canadian law feels about that. I personally know a Canadian who is not allowed into the US by their laws while he has been pardoned by Canadian law. Are their laws that much tighter. I personally feel if Young keeps his nose clean and has the ability to perform let him.

3RD and 1 said...

Hey Rod... maybe you know about this already. If not have some fun on Luc's behalf.
Here is what iTunes reports when your going to have a listen.

Rod and Duke are in the cage with special guest Darcy Tucker. On demand thanks to

""DUKE"" a hahahaha ... Luc the Duke of Riderville. All One Million of us crazy MoFo's

Anonymous said...

Woods is too old and a injury history plus too expensive.

Anonymous said...

ADVISORY!
RP/LM not school trained reporters per se per se (News media). Talking heads with personal opinions more aptly descriptive.

Anonymous said...

Duke = Derek Meyers

Anonymous said...

May 29, 2017 - two Woods in the news: Tiger and Bear. What are the odds??

3RD and 1 said...

I'm not sure if Duke = Derek Meyers as the next day iTunes states....
Rod and Luc are in the cage with a focus on the upcoming Rider training camp.
I think Duke was a typo for Luc .... Luc the Duke on Rider Radio

Anonymous said...

RP has a degree in broadcasting from Mount Royal and it shows. There is no comparison between him and Luke. Don't misunderstand, Luke sounds and looks unprofessional, not RP. Education in this case trumps desire.

Anonymous said...

No... smh if you listen to the sports cage enough you would know meyers nickname is duke

Anonymous said...

The Poet???? You stink!!!!!!!