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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

1 - THE HAMMER: I love road trips to Hamilton! Hamilton gets its share of knocks, but it's a fantastic CFL city with the best fanbase in the East Division. There's already a buzz in town surrounding Thursday's clash between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Thursday Night Football!

2 - CASE IN POINT: Everybody follows the Ticats in Steel Town. So much so that the very first person we talked to - our server at a trendy restaurant on Hess St. - gave his opinion on the Johnny Manziel situation. As soon as he noticed we were CFL personnel, he immediately launched into why Johnny Football should be starting at QB for Hamilton ahead of Jeremiah Masoli. It seems to be a popular notion.

3 - THE GAME: The Riders beat the Ticats 18-13 two weeks ago in Regina, and then both teams went on a bye week. Now, they play each other for a 2nd-straight game. According to CFL Stats, that's never happened before. Hamilton is favoured by 11-points in this one and the forecast calls for sunshine and 27 degrees Celsius.

4 - MORE ON THE GAME: There's a lot riding on it. Massoli has Manziel breathing down his neck even though he's poised to set a new CFL record for consecutive 300+ yard passing games (he's tied with Kent Austin and Sam Etcheverry with 9) ... The Riders and Ticats are both 2-2, and in a log-jam in their divisions ... And there's a lot riding on Saskatchewan's starting QB.

5 - AIR CANADA: Rider QB Brandon Bridge has 2 career victories in the CFL, and they're both against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. That has to be a good omen ... The criticism of Rider Coach Chris Jones' decision to rotate QBs Bridge and David Watford astounds me. Had they lost last game using that method, I could see it. However lost in the shuffle is the fact Bridge led Saskatchewan on a 77-yard TD drive in Week 5 to win the game in its final minutes. It's a treasure to be able to watch his young career play out before our eyes. These are the things we dream about when it's -47 in January. Enjoy it!

6 - CANADA'S TEAM: The Saskatchewan Roughriders are leading the CFL in attendance heading into Week 6 and have the CFL's highest TV ratings on TSN. The most-watched game of the year was in Week 4 with Hamilton at Saskatchewan. That's why they're called: Canada's Team.

7 - WELCOME BACK CARTER: When the Riders reconvened after the bye week, Duron Carter was right back at CB and will start his 4th straight game on the island on Thursday night. There's no hidden agenda here, nor secret deal between Jones and the Carter family, or an NFL team. The Riders are pleased with Carter's progression at the position and feel he'll only continue to get better. Practice rosters are limited and Jones feels this is the best usage of his personnel. That's why he gets the big bucks.

8 - JONES'ING: Rob Vanstone wrote a Leader Post column last week about Rider fans' dislike of Chris Jones and former Rider Marshall Hamilton rips the Rider boss every week on our TV show In The Huddle. Why the hard feelings? Because the team isn't winning consistently. Once they are, and a Grey Cup or two is added to the mantle, Jones will be loved from border-to-border. It's that simple. You can't tell me any different.

9 - RAINBOWS: It's two weeks late on this item but I still think a lot about the rainbow that showed up for the first quarter of the Riders' Humboldt Strong game against Montreal at Mosaic Stadium. Is there any part of you that DOESN'T believe that rainbow was the 16 Broncos themselves? And then almost as quickly as it showed up, the rainbow disappeared. An acknowledgement from the Broncos. It still gives me shivers.

10 - STATS: Saskatchewan has won four straight games against Hamilton going into Thursday's game ... From 2004-2009, the Riders beat the Ticats in 11 straight games ... Saskatchewan's defense leads the CFL with 31 forced 2-and-outs ... The CFL has never had two 6,000-yard passers in a season but Jeremiah Massoli and Mike Reilly are on pace for that ... Reilly is only 1 year younger than BC's Travis Lulay who - because of injury - seems like the oldest 34-year old on the planet. And yet, we pull for him because he's a Hall of Fame human being.

Enjoy the games,
RP
@rodpedersen

7 comments:

Rudyman said...

Rod, i think there is a time in life playing sports that you can have a bad practice, or just be bad at practice. At the pro level, with the restrictions on practice time that the teams have, if they players are not prepared, focused, and working with urgency and an intensity needed to cover all the needed items in practice, you just can't win consistently.

This team has serious issues if players are not prepared and are not practicing at a pro level.

It is very noticeable at warm up before games. Every single visiting team we have played has a focused warm-up, with bodies in action across their half of the field in separate groups or as a whole. Their coaches are engaged with the players, and there is work being done. Our team is wandering around, some groups working on something, lots of standing around. Does it mean you win the game, no. But the fans perception of the team is impacted by it, and it is not positive.

The players are given an golden opportunity to play a sport at a professional level, and they are not focused, knowledgeable, and professional at the practice? That is embarrassing. The visual image of it when fans are watching (as you know, we watch more then just at game time) is not a positive image of a team who is working at becoming better.

This team gives the impression that they just don't care. Maybe the fans shouldn't care either.

Cory Huber said...

Something to go Hmmmm....
Could the possibility exist that the reason we are not bringing in Offensive linemen to have back-ups during a game (which are not d-lineman), and also Db's simply be because we are so deep in players on defense and simply do not have cap room to bring anyone else in? Just food for thought

Look at the starting roster, we are two or three deep on the D-line... Offensive line 1, maybe..


Cory

John Knight said...

Rod, no-one including Coach Jones gives a rats ass if his changing the QB astounds you!!. Just report and leave Jones to do his job. If you knew what you were talking about, you would be a coach not a commentator.

Scott Thompson said...

Both fair comments, something to ponder. Looking forward to more progress from the offense this week. As long as they improve, even slowly we’ll be in good shape. The defense and special teams have carried the load up to this point. Go Riders!

SWC said...

#8 JONES'ING.

Rod, some of us went into the Jones era with open minds but Chris Jones has changed out mindset.
He's now had two and a half years to prove he knows what he's doing and he's doing a poor job of it.
Having no back-up O-linemen or DBs is not a winning formula.
Your theory on the Jones love-in after we start winning is never going to happen.

Dion Rogal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Football Fan said...

@Cory Huber
You need to clean your glasses. The roster shows that we have five backup OLs, two American and three Canadian. That's lots, and all of their salaries except JSJ's - because he's currently on the six game list - already count against the cap. On the true gutter element, the Shame of Saskatchewan, is claiming that no back-up O-linemen or DBs, so don't be fooled.

Rod, there is no outrage against Jones from the true fans, or the vast majority of the fans for that matter. This is fake news, orchestrated outrage, by a certain element. Look at the attendance. Look at the TV numbers. Look at the merch sales. We the fans love Chris Jones. He has taken this team from a corrupt, incompetent, shameful state to being a winning, professional, team worthy of our pride. Sadly the same corrupt element that tore our team down is now trying to undermine Jones.