Realty One

Access

Regina Rams Football

Thursday, August 10, 2017

LABATTE ON THE 2-4 RIDERS. "IT'S EMBARRASSING"


The Saskatchewan Roughriders were back to work on Wednesday for the first time since Saturday's 30-15 loss at BC. The club held an open workout under an overcast sky at Mosaic Stadium.

At 2-4 and coming off a lacklustre performance, I thought the best guy to talk to is 10-year veteran lineman Brendon Labatte. The Weyburn, SK product is into his sixth season with the Roughriders and has experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows.

I asked him where this campaign rates compared to the rest of his time here.

"When you look at the last few games on the road, it's tough to look back and say where it stacks up," Labatte offered. "But just the vibe of the optimism we had going, and then to lay an egg in back-to-back division road games, it's a pretty humbling experience. I know what I want to say, but that's probably not a good word so I'll just leave it at that.

"I don't know if it's the lowest of the lows, but to say it's a disappointing time would be the best way to put it. We've been talking about what we're going to do but when we go out to do it, we haven't even been close and that's the most disappointing thing."

Labatte's been on a lot of different Rider teams and seen scores of players come and go. Therefore he's qualified to judge the talent level on the 2017 Riders.

"I don't think the talent is an issue," Labatte observed. "I've been on teams where you line up and you know, man-on-man, guys are going to have a tough time no matter where those match-ups are; linebacker/running back, O-line/D-line. I think we have the talent and the groups in here to do win those one-on-ones but we need to win them consistently and cut out the penalties. Those are the kind of things that'll wreck a season if we don't get it changed."

I asked "Blue" if time is all that's needed for these talented players to grow together and learn how to win.

"There's probably a bit of that but time's something we don't have a lot of Roddy!" Labatte smiled. "You've gotta be able to pick it up and we have to be able to make those changes on a 5,6,7-game day turnaround. Probably the most frustrating thing is I feel we haven't taken a big jump or turned a corner. It's fine to win some games at home but when you go out on the road against good teams, that's when you'll truly measure yourself. We've come up way short so we have a lot of learning to do in not a lot of time."

The Rider Nation is beyond impatient right now and Labatte said he's very in tune with the fans' angst.

"I hear it, just because I'm from here," Labatte shrugged. "I've got friends and family all over this province so of course I hear it. Not so much on Twitter because I block that out but I know what the vibe is around here. It's embarrassing. It's tough to be from here, be a Saskatchewan resident your whole life, and know the amount of importance this organization carries in this province, and not be able to turn it around.

"That's kind of the worst part about all this. 2 1/3 years of under-achieving. It's bad for the people of this province, the fans, the team. It's something we need to get turned around but we don't have a lot of time to find the answers."

Of course Labatte experienced the best there's ever been, being the starting left guard on the 2013 Grey Cup champion Roughriders. He, more than anybody, knows that when it's good around here, it's great.

"That would be the great thing," Labatte said of a return to winning football. "Hopefully when we do get it turned around, it'll snowball and some of these guys that are new to this will see how good it can be. We just have to get the ball rolling right now."

The Riders host the BC Lions Sunday at 6:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.

NOTES: Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones reported after practice that C Dan Clark and DT Zach Minter have been placed on the 6-game Injured List ... Kicker Quinn Van Gylwsyk handling the kicking chores on Wednesday meaning incumbent Tyler Crapigna has not yet healed from a muscle pull which kept him out of the club's Week 7 game.

RP
@rodpedersen

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thats about the first credible, and honest assessment of this teams performance coming from anyone inside the Rider organization that Ive heard this year. Including Jones and Reynolds - even when they are critical of the teams performance they just dont sound like they really believe they are underperforming.

This team needs more leadership, from guys with character like Labatte. Where'd they all go?

Oh yeah, nevermind they're all old and overpaid. No need for experience - in jones we trust.

Anonymous said...

Attention Tampa Bay Buc fans out here. The NFL Hard Knocks first full episode in up on the NFL.com.

Anonymous said...

Finally, an honest assessment of the 2017 Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect the poor guy to say about the talent level? He has to play and sit in the locker room with these guys. Labatte has way too much class to call anyone out.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of asking how this team stacks up? What player is ever going to say "we are no where nearly as talented as we were 4 years ago"? No one is going to say "we are clearly one of the worst teams in the league"? No one is going to say it even when both of those things are probably true.

Anonymous said...

It's embarrassing he says as him and Kevin Glenn yuck it up. There is no fear on this team for job security whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

I don't care what the experts say... air Canada needs to get a chance. After seeing KG smart ass remarks on the sideline about a QB controversy. This guy is too cocky with zero cups.

We have all these receivers but need someone who can throw. This boring 8 yard pass crap is getting old.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Labatte very honest interview. Too bad he doesnt call some of his team mates out. We need more guys like Labatte on this team that actually bleed green.About time we had an interview to clear the air like that one

@mrt_man said...

I'VE KIND OF GROWN ACCUSTOMED TO SEEING RIDICULOUS COMMENTS ON HERE, BUT COME ON...
KEVIN GLENN... COCKY SMART ASS? KG HAS GOTTEN THE SHAFT MORE TIMES AND HARDER THAN ANYONE LEFT IN THE LEAGUE. HE'S BEEN PASSED OVER AND PASSED OVER... THANKS FOR THE WINNING RECORD AND GETTING US TO THE PLAYOFFS... THE BENCH IS THAT WAY! HE'S BOUNCED ALL OVER THE PLACE AND QUIETLY PROVED HIMSELF EVERYWHERE THAT HE HAS BEEN, BUT HE CAN'T SEEM TO CATCH A BREAK OR GET AN OUNCE OF RESPECT FROM ANYONE.

HE'S OBVIOUSLY NOT ANTHONY CALVILLO, BUT IT MAKES MORE SENSE TO PLAY THE PROVEN GUY. IF HE HADN'T SHOWN THAT HE WAS THE BEST OPTION IN CAMP, THEN HE WOULDN;T HAVE GOTTEN THE START.

DO I THINK IT WAS DUMB TO DITCH DD WITHOUT A STARTER, YUP.
WOULD GLENN BE THE FIRST GUY I WOULD CALL IF I WAS STARTING UP A NEW TEAM NEXT YEAR... NOPE.
DID GLENN MAKE THE OTHER GUYS LOOK LIKE ROOKIES IN CAMP... YUP

willy said...

Let's just get positive and win some games . It can be done and it will be done. Riders will come out of this very soon , just a couple of wins and the confidence will soar high. Go Riders we know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

I wish I knew for sure if the players actually read these comments. I'm thinking they probably stay clear of this. If I could say 1 thing to a lot of the players it would be this... With the way you present yourself as a Saskatchewan Roughriders on the road. Many of you do not deserve to wear the [=S=] on your chest. As it stands for "STUD" not "SAP"

Rider Prider

Anonymous said...

Seems to me if you read between the lines, he is blaming bad preparation. We have the talent and he believes we're going out there to do the right things but we aren't and keep making mistakes. He won't say it's coaching but that exactly what he thinks and why it's the one thing he wouldn't say imo.

Anonymous said...

So happy Labatte is back playing. I think he has been performing well. Been surprised how much Dennis has been beat but the o-line is way better this year than last. If these guys stay healthy they will gel.
Bart

CM said...

good comments mrt_man on Glenn. Its not his fault he's the best option. and he is, but his leash should be way shorter like a 1/2 when he stinks on the road. That's on mgt that they put 38 yr old Glenn in this position where he is the #1 choice. When he was 21 he was the #3 option behind Greene and Burris here. Shows you how the talent level has dropped since back in the day.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how Labatte feels about being moved to Centre???

Anonymous said...

Quit YELLING!

Anonymous said...

I dont think he's saying its coaching, specifically. He's alluding to the fact that talent is great, but you need leaders who know how to win to bring the younger guys along faster. "We have alot of learning to do in not alot of time".

Anyways, regardless of exactly what he meant that was the first time I felt like someone was taking real ownership over the teams performance since Durant was still here. It drives home what this team is missing.

Anonymous said...

Labatte at centre is a huge upgrade over the other guy (Clark). Likely impacts the ratio, so does this mean LaFrance starts Sunday at RB?

Anonymous said...

"It's embarrassing"....to hear people continue to whine about water in this beautiful new stadium!

Anonymous said...

How does he play 17 seasons. I really can't understand that.