Thursday, October 18, 2018
RIDERS PRIMED FOR SHOWDOWN IN CALGARY
Both teams are coming off losses and Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones expects the Stamps to put up a whale of a fight.
"What's amazing to me is all the people who are, all of a sudden, writing the Calgary Stampeders off," Jones said Thursday. "You don't do the things that they've done over the course of a decade or more without being a tremendous football team."
Riders defensive end Willie Jefferson wouldn't call this game a potential playoff preview, but knows it could go a long ways in the west.
"Oh for sure," Jefferson offered in the Rider locker room. "Just with the way these things have been shaking up these past couple of weeks, coming to the end of the season, knowing we're still fighting for spots and looking for leverage in the playoffs, knowing that Calgary doesn't usually lose back-to-back games at home, we're just looking to go in and shake it up."
The Riders sacked Stamps QB Bo Levi Mitchell five times and intercepted him once in their last meeting, a 40-27 home win for Saskatchewan in Week 10. Jefferson hopes to have the same success this week.
"It's just the coaching scheme, and Coach Jones," Jefferson continued. "Bo Levi being the QB that he is, it's about mixing up the coverages in the back-end and then getting him to move around and be uncomfortable. We know he's a comfortable, pocket passer but we want to get him uncomfortable."
The Roughriders' offense is 8th-ranked in the 9-team CFL has been under the microscope all season but particularly after Saturday's 31-0 loss at Winnipeg. Star tailback/returner Marcus Thigpen plans to do all he can do to provide a spark.
"I would say, honestly, just get off to a fast start when it comes to catching every ball that comes my way," Thigpen said. "Just being locked in and executing the things we do in practice. When we come out and fumble and drop passes, that makes things difficult for us. But just being positive and having first down success will put us in a good place."
Kickoff on Saturday is 5:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.