I would like to start off today's blog with a quote that pretty much sums up my thoughts on the Riders. In the words of Rob Schneider in Waterboy "Aww, we suck again!" Just when I thought this version of the Riders was different from the Riders of old, we have now slipped back into a team that has a tendency for choking just when things look to be going great.
I think the DAWGS should change their name to DIE (Defense Is Embarrassing). I can't even talk about problems with coverage and containment since those concepts are far too advanced for the level of play our D is showing. We can't even grasp the most basic defensive concept of all... tackling. Sources say that Richie Hall is considering moving practice this week from Mosaic Stadium to LeBoldus High School so the players can be exposed to players and drills that are more at their level.
James Johnson should be benched for a couple games, plain and simple. In a regime that stresses accountability you can't let this guy slide under the radar. Did you notice how Burris threw to his side on almost every play? Glenn did the same thing on Labour Day. Now I'm not an expert when it comes to quarterbacking but I doubt that QBs routinely pick on a talented DB. While I can forgive allowing talented receivers to make catches, I cannot forgive not being able to at least tackle the guy after he makes the catch. Johnson showed tackling abilities on Saturday afternoon that rival those of Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen.
While it's hard to fault the offense for a loss when the defense gives up over 500 yards, I do think our QB situations needs to be addressed. While I commend Kerry Joseph on his leadership and heart in the first half of the season, I think it may be time for a change. Joseph is an average passer at best but his ability to use his legs to make plays makes him very dangerous. The problem is if you don't use his legs all you are left with is a mediocre pocket passer. In the last 2 games combined, one of the CFL's most mobile QBs managed 2 rushes for 20 yards (compared to the last 9 games where he averaged 48 yds per game). He also rarely rolls out of the pocket anymore. I've been saying for 2 weeks that I think Joseph is hurt and now I'm more convinced than ever. But whether he's injured or not, unless you are going to roll him out and run him, put in Crandell as he's a vastly superior pocket passer. I would also bring in Keanu Reeves as a back-up plan. If movies have taught me nothing else it’s that Keanu can lead a professional football team to victory. We would also need a deaf tight end, a sumo wrestling O-lineman, a wiry kicker and of course Clifford Franklin because Clifford Franklin has moves even Clifford Franklin never seen before. We could also look at taking the Sentinels’ approach of having a former player released from jail, but I guess we already have enough options at middle linebacker (too soon?)
I will admit that the reffing was slightly better this week than it was for the Banjo Bowl but that's not saying much. Yet again the refs botched a few calls. Most notably the first Rider punt (where the ball was clearly fumbled and recovered by the Riders) and the Rambo TD (where he was clearly out of bounds). Now one could argue that Austin should have challenged those plays and rightly so. However, what would have been even better is if the refs had got the calls right to begin with. Novel concept hey? On the Rambo TD the ref was within a foot of the play and didn't think to look at Rambo's feet to see if he was inbounds. Just because Austin didn't challenge the plays does not excuse the refs from making a bad call. When I screw up at work I can't just absolve myself of wrongdoing by telling my boss "Well it's your fault for not pointing it out earlier."
Well that's it for now. This is the Rider Prophet saying help control the pet population have your pets spayed or neutered (hey with Bob Barker gone, someone had to step up to the plate).