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Thursday, June 22, 2017

GAME DAY IN MONTREAL!


WEEK 1 NOTES

1 - Thursday's 2017 CFL season-opener between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes is hotly-anticipated for a ton of reasons (5:30 pm Sask Time, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network). For one, it's always exciting to be the first game on the CFL schedule and the Riders and Als haven't hooked up in a CFL season-opener since the famed Canada Day Comeback in 2010 (a 54-51 overtime victory for Saskatchewan).

2 - For two, you could call this game the Bad Blood Bowl, that wasn't. Starting quarterbacks Darian Durant and Kevin Glenn have swapped teams, and it's generally agreed upon that neither was wanted by their old clubs. For his part, Glenn spent a good deal of time on Wednesday explaining to reporters that he harbours no illwill against his former clubs, particularly since he's been property of eight CFL teams over his 17-year career. If he held hard feelings, he wouldn't have many friends left in this league!

Durant certainly said all the right things to reporters this week but you know there's a fire simmering deep in his belly with regards to all the things that went down leading up to his trade to Montreal on January 13.

It's doubtful that he'll play angry - or with a huge chip on his shoulder - but we all know Darian enough that he'll be significantly motivated for this contest and want to prove Chris Jones wrong for showing him the door.

But one thing was made very clear to me on Wednesday - Darian is not angry, and that caught me by surprise.

Even still, his desire to prove Jones wrong makes this match-up salacious.

3 - There are other players who've swapped Montreal jerseys for green Saskatchewan uniforms, and vice versa. Roughrider receiver Duron Carter was kicked off the Alouettes late last season and reporters tried their darnedest to pry some venom out of him at Wednesday's media session but he wouldn't bite.

Nor would new Saskatchewan cornerback Jovon Johnson, who was released by Montreal on the weekend. He feels he got caught up in the numbers game with the Alouettes, but landed on his feet as the starting field corner for the Roughriders this week.

And offensive lineman Matt Vonk was shipped to Montreal in the Radford deal, but he was all smiles on Wednesday as we shared a few minutes. He's just happy to be anywhere!

4 - As far as Kevin Glenn goes, even the Alouettes players said on Wednesday they feel they've upgraded at quarterback with the addition of Darian Durant. It couldn't have been intended as a slight at Kevin but professionally, it was. But the fact is Kevin Glenn has had a magnficent pro career and is in the Top 10 all-time passers. All that he's missing is a Grey Cup ring, and then he'll be considered an all-time great. Until then he's the CFL's Dan Marino, which really isn't too shabby when you think about it.

5 - Roster Stuff. The Riders unveiled their roster for Week 1 on Wednesday and while there weren't many surprises, there certainly were some interesting tidbits. Saskatchewan has dressed seven offensive linemen, with Dariusz Bladek and Josiah St. John listed as the two back-ups. Clearly it was too close to call as to who's ahead of whom, so the team brought both.

And with WR Rob Bagg sent to the 1-game Injured List, veteran Nic Demski will start in his spot with Desmond Radford as the back-up. Radford was acquired from Montreal in a trade early in training camp, but it was with the understanding he'd be a defensive back and/or returner. Now he's been moved to the offensive side of the ball.


6 - Included on the Riders' depth chart this week was their Injured List and it's already long. On the 1-game Injured List are: WR Rob Bagg, LB Sam Eguavoen, OL Dillon Guy, RB Kienan LaFrance, DB Derrick Moncreif, DE Jonathan Newsome and K Quinn Van Gylswyk. On the 6-game Injured List are KR Chad Owens and DB Tevaughn Campbell.

7 - CFL Game Notes Tidbits: The Roughriders are the CFL's youngest team at 26.9 years average while the Alouettes are the oldest at 28.4 ... Saskatchewan had the largest roster turnover from last year with just 29 returning players ... 7 of the 9 first round picks in this year's CFL Draft made opening week rosters while 14 of the 18 players selected in the first two rounds made their clubs ... For just the second time in CFL history, the season begins with the past seven Grey Cup winners being seven different teams. The topic of "CFL parity" came up over lunch with CFL agent Tim Fleiszer on Wednesday, but it appears it's at an all-time high.  The intention for the salary cap was to even the playing field, and it has ... Only four CFL teams are starting the same quarterback as they did in Week 1 last year. They are B.C. (Johnathan Jennings), Calgary (Bo-Levi Mitchell), Edmonton (Mike Reilly) and Toronto (Ricky Ray). The changes are Hamilton (Zach Collaros), Ottawa (Trevor Harris), Montreal (Darian Durant), Saskatchewan (Kevin Glenn) and Winnipeg (Matt Nichols).

8 - More Notes: Visiting teams are 32-26 all-time in season-opening games dating back to the origin of the Canadian Football League in the 1950s ... The CFL Statistics Department is adding a handful of new categories this season including Drops and Quarterback Pressures. It'll be interesting to see which receiver leads the CFL in drops this year! He likely won't be around for long.

9 - Thursday's game is not soldout, which should be a concern. And, I'm told, the Alouettes season ticket base is the lowest it's been since the team relocated from Baltimore in 1996.

10 - The forecast calls for 24 degrees Celsius and sunny. The Alouettes are favoured by 6.5-points.

RP
@rodpedersen

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

This league is in serious trouble in Vancouver Toronto and Montreal, it won't survive as a 6 or 7 team league.

Anonymous said...

Why , the NHL did. Jones is finding out it's not that easy to get players to sask. 50% turnover again . Riders without a quarterback

Anonymous said...

Despite the worst stadium in the CFL, Stamps have no problem attracting talent. Players want to win. Fancy digs are icing on the cake but winning is more important & playoffs put extra money in pockets for players who aren't necessarily that well paid. If Jones starts winning they'll come. Different story if it's the same old same old. Then you have to pay more for the big stars to get them here.

Anonymous said...

It's too bad the CFL can't draw fans in BC, Toronto and Montreal. I can't see league surviving without those 3 cities, even if a Halifax/Moncton team added.

Anonymous said...

Game predictions;

Darian Durant will be sacked a total 11 times by Team Sask. Roughriders.

Darian Durant will be out for the season due to injury tomorrow night.

Takethattothebank.

Anonymous said...

I'm expecting another "save the Riders" fundraising drive within a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Why do people say Jones didn't want DD? Jones offered him almost the same money but DD wanted it guaranteed but Jones said you have to play to get paid and Montreal paid him up front. Time will tell who is right.
Stamps were not always a good place to play. Give Jones the amount of time Huff has had and see what Riders have. Some of you are thinking you can build a team in one or two years.

Anonymous said...

Hufnagel didn't blow anything up.
He improved on what he had.
Big difference.

Anonymous said...

No continuity again this year means no playoffs.

@mrt_man said...

"Why do people say Jones didn't want DD?"
NOT SURE... MAYBE IT WAS THE SHOTS THAT HE TOOK AT HIM IN INTERVIEWS, OR NOT BOTHERING TO BRING HIM TO THE LAST GAME? IF YOU SOMEHOW MANAGED TO BELIEVE THE MEDIA SPIN, THEN JONES PLAN WORKED GREAT... HE LEARNED FROM THE BACKLASH AFTER CHICK AND DRESSLER... DON'T WANT TO CUT D.D. EVERYONE LOVES HIM... I'LL GET SKEWERED AGAIN. OH I KNOW, I'LL MAKE HIM A RIDICULOUS JOKE OF AN OFFER AND THEN PRETEND TO BE SURPRISED WHEN HE DOESN'T TAKE IT. THEN EVERYONE WILL THINK DD IS GREEDY, AND I WON'T GET RAKED OVER THE COALS AS MUCH... THEN I CAN PROCEED WITH MY MASTER PLAN. (IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER TO HAVE GREAT RESPECT FOR THIS MASTER PLAN IF THERE ACTUALLY WAS A LEGIT QB IN THE WINGS)

I PROBABLY COULDN'T COME UP WITH 2 GOOD THINGS TO SAY ABOUT MONTREAL... BUT I WOULD STILL PROBABLY MOVE THERE IF THEY WANTED TO PAY ME AN EXTRA $100K TO DO SO.

Anonymous said...

That secondary scares the crap out of me. Surprised to see Moncreif on the q game injured list. He has looked real good.

Anonymous said...

He's got 8 games then the fans will howl. Ottawa won the cup the 3rd year , they say you can rebuild in 1 year, who are they though ?

Anonymous said...

Where did all the extra money go from not paying Durant and picking up Glenn? Because I see a lot of rookies on the team and second year guys that don't get paid much. Did it go to Carter because if so I don't get it because we already had good receivers and he is a bit of a locker room cancer. If it went to the offensive line like Dennis what's the point if you don't have a run game or a quality starting qb. I know Glenn ha put up a lot of yards in his career but has trouble inside te red zone which has been the main reason he can't win big games counts on the D to much and we don't have that D yet not in the secondary at least.

Anonymous said...

Yes who are they? Ottawa is only the Grey Cup champs. In three years. From an expansion team. This, the start of the second year, there is only 29 players left from last year and some positions have gotten worse. And Ottawa did it without cheating and enormous fines. And they did it with a first time head coach. And without criticizing players. And without bringing in players that hadn't taken a snap in six years. They did it with class and intelligence. That is why they have support from their fans while here, a lot of fans are cheering for Montreal tonight.

Anonymous said...

There is no sure fire formula for success in the CFL. My guess though is that Glenn, who is a very good QB, will give us a "moderately successful" year which will maintain Jones job but not get us any closer to a championship. If indeed Franklin is Jones guy he should pay the price and get him whatever the cost and quit with the mediocrity.

Pay close attention and you will see the Stamps and Lions in particular, and to a lesser extent all teams in the league are built to have as little turnover as possible in the offseason. Kind of the opposite of the impatient "there is a plan but I can't tell you" Jones.

DJR

Anonymous said...

Stay the course, Jones will deliver. And Roddy, thanks for keeping it positive unlike other local writers who continually want to throw mud at the Riders and take a negative spin on things. Won't mention any names but DD are the initials. The Riders win tonight and start a 5-0 run before heading to BC in week 7. Go Riders.

Anonymous said...

Did you watch Dan Marino play? Looking at the NFL alltime leaders I'd say a more apt comparison for Glenn is Vinny Testaverde: very long career, a couple of pro bowls, but never in the conversation for the top QB in the league. I'd love more than anything to see Glenn come out and look like Marino but I wouldn't bet the farm on it

Anonymous said...

Ottawa was strong because the expansion draft was designed to make sure of that.

They weren't completly starting from scratch and we all know that.

Don't use this to spin your disdain for Jones.

Anonymous said...

Why are these people that come on hete so stuck in the past?

Your negativity is horrible and you must live shitty lives.

Let's move forward and be positive. Things will be better but it seems you all want things to go bad just so you can say I told you so.

Give it up already.

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of these Ottawa won in 3 years stories. Looking at them and the Rider's since Jones started is like comparing Apples to Oranges.

Ottawa started with a draft, in which they were able to poach good talent very easily from every team.

Jones started with a sub par secondary (he released the entire secondary and how many got picked up by other teams I think 2) He had players going into the final year of their contracts being completely overpaid (Chick and Dressler, there was a reason why no other team wanted to trade for them under their contracts at that time) as well as a cap disaster. DD took a pay cut because he felt bad for getting paid to not play over the course of the previous 2 years, that's why he was even around last year.

It is definitely not the same thing, the Rider's lost good talent to the Red Blacks that wasn't readily available to fill in, as did every other team.

I just don't see how, with the way the draft was set up, you can even compare the two situations.

w said...

Go Darian! Destroy Jones.

Anonymous said...

They lost two national DT's shouldn't be too hard to replace every team lost talent. Why is it so hard on us to lose one starting DT and a backup DT.

Anonymous said...

Funny how Chick and Dressler renegotiated with their new teams. And if you check it out, Ottawa did not have a lot of their expansion draft players left last year but did win the Grey Cup. They did it with good trades and free agent signings. Can you name one good trade that Jones has made? Nothing left from Durant's trade. Traded two starters in Fulton and Cappicotti for a backup and a bag of chips. Ottawa could very easily had a revolving door roster but were smarter than Jones and made every move count.

Anonymous said...

Remember the game last year in Montreal. What a disaster? The Riders totally laid an egg. I sure hope that's not the case this year. We need to get off to a good start so this team learns how to win.

Anonymous said...

I am a fan of DD and I hope he does well wearing blue. JUST NOT AGAINST THE RIDERS.

Still a fan of the Team Not individual players.

Go RIDERS Go

Newt from YQR

CM said...

Glenn is no Marino! Marino all-time great, best pure passer of his generation, had all the stats no championship no defence or running game for years. Glenn is not an all-time great. He has longevity, which is impressive, but he's really more of a journeyman. Chris Chandler or Ryan Fitzpatrick are journeymen like Glenn. Im a Rider fan but it cant be a good plan to downgrade at qb from DD to Glenn. To go from a 34 yr old to a 38 yr old doesn't seem to be too smart or a wise master plan. the $100K in savings or whatever the difference was is small $ when empty seats show up if the team is losing. The D and the receivers will definitely have to carry this team.

Anonymous said...

Why are you yelling?

Anonymous said...

And yet Riders fans fill other teams stadiums, can you even start to explain that one?

Anonymous said...

WISH PEOPLE WOULDN'T USE CAPS WHEN MAKING COMMENTS. Now isn't this easier to read?
Durant hardly played for 2 years. What was Jones supposed to do? Jones is using this as a QB transition year to groom Bridge and Williams for the future instead of taking a risk on DD.What's wrong with that? No matter what Jones does the haters will hate.Will the Riders be better than last year? Hope so.

Anonymous said...

Yeah what's with all these people hoping we lose to Durant.

Get over it already. If your hoping for us to have another year of losing to get rid of Jones then be prepared for 3 more years of losing after that as well while a new regime rebuilds it their way.

Jones knows what he's doing and you so called know it all think it takes one year to build.

Get a grip already.

@mrt_man said...

Who will be moderately successful in this game? DD or the Rider defense?

Willie said...

I think the Riders will come out on top in this one. First couple of Exhibition games as far as the score meant Nothing as the Riders pretty well played every player on the Roster. Now the Nitty Gritty starts and I hope we are in for a few good surprises to get the year started. I think Kevin Glenn just my stand out in this one.
Let's get the negative comments off of here with a BIG WIN. Go Riders.

Anonymous said...

DURANT ONLY WON 5 GAMES LAST YEAR, BECAUSE JONES SET HIM UP FOR FAILURE, NO O.LINE , NO PROTECTION. He didn't help the cause at all because he wanted to get rid of him, same with dressler and chick. .

Sonny Wolfe said...

Als mgmt hasn't done a very good PR job in a long long time. They were also handicapped by having Jim Popp coach them. Popp has proven himself as a GM but had little success coaching. The declining attendance has resulted from both of the above. Winning and playing exciting football will get seats in the seats.

Anonymous said...

Regular season begins and there are so many questions about our team that can only be answered by playing the games. Trust in the coaches and management to know what they are doing and be patient! It's a long season and there will be ups and downs, there always are. I hope we have a very competitive team this year and I'm very comfortable with Kevin Glenn as our QB. Pretty excited to see this team gel from week to week and I believe the Riders are going to surprise a few people.

BLaz said...

There's isn't the slightest problem getting players to play in Saskatchewan. Learn the important difference turnover and attrition. Kevin Glenn is one of the CFL's all time leading passers. If that's "without a quarterback" to you, then you are clearly doing a very weak job of trolling.

Anonymous said...

Dan Marino shredded defenses for close to 20 years and had at that time the greatest Head Coach of all time. During that era all roads to the Super Bowl went through Buffalo and it was only when Jimmy Johnson came in and wanted to change up how they played Marino balked. That's why although a HOF'er and all time great he is in the discussion as being the southern Florida version of Dan Fouts another HOF'er in San Diego.

The great ones adjust - Elway did the last two years, and got his rings. Anthony Calvillo adjusted he had his 3 rings. Jimmy Johnson didn't have the stomach to do to Marino what he did to those old Cowboys when he took over and the rest is history.

Kevin Glenn could be the CFL Vinny Testaverde without the heart but travel wise and stat wise he's there. - I would put Kevin Glenn as the CFL version of Gus Frerotte, Jeff Blake or Chris Chandler - most likely Chris Chandler.

Either way I expect the Roughriders to be demolished tonight and Chris Jones one more loss away from either a restructure to his duties or outright dismissal.





Anonymous said...

Riders could have a winning season if Sheets and Reid were in the backfield in their prime. As it stands..."remember the alamo"...!

Anonymous said...

Montreal can't get fans...looks like a full crowd is there.

JackD83 said...

Glenn needs 20,000 more yards before you even mention him in the same sentence as Dan Marino.

Anonymous said...

funny how Durant beats us, everyone wants to blame ourselves for handing it over which we helped them out a lot, but when Durant was here, if we lost it was all on Durant, when we won, it was the other team gave it to us, or everyone else around him. Here we are making excuses for the loss but yet when Durant was here, it was always his fault, not the fact that he went through how many different head coaches, essentially a new offensive coordinator every year as well, not having the same talent at WR as say Bo-Levi, or Hank, etc. you can't really blame him for his reaction can you unless you are purely looking through green colored glasses. I don't know too many pro athletes these days that aren't selfish. If everyone is so much classier than Durant, how come every WR, or RB basically celebrates every first down, didn't the classy Narco do the same thing, every sack is celebrated, seen Als players tonight celebrating a special teams tackle even though we returned it 15-20 yards on a punt. RELAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!