Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Week 1

Okay I realize that it’s neither Monday nor morning anymore but it’s the long weekend, cut me some slack.

Riders 34 - Eskimos 13

Well it appears both the Riders and Eskimos picked up right where they left off last season… the Riders playing like champions and the Eskimos … well being the Eskimos. While we didn’t have the best start, we did manage to keep it close in the first half and then make halftime adjustments and blow them out of the water and open the season with a win.

The defense had a great game not allowing the Esks to score a major. In fact, we have yet to give up a TD on defense this year when we dress our starters. Keeping Ricky Ray from scoring is no small feat, it’s like keeping a prostitute at a basketball players’ convention from scoring. The defense also threw some new looks at Ricky Ray, such as the “rush 2 up the middle and drop everyone else” play (no doubt the work of Gary Etcheverry). To be fair, James Johnson had a decent game (and if you know me, you know that I died a little inside just writing that).

The offense took awhile to get going, but once they did, it was a thing of beauty. Once he got those INTs out of his system, Crandell really seemed to get into a groove, nailing some nice passes to Cates, Flick and of course Adarius Bowman who once again made a nice catch in double coverage for a long TD play. I know it’s only Edmonton but the fact that 2 DBs consistently can’t cover the long ball to Bowman makes me very excited for the rest of his rookie season. Another guy who will have a big season is Wes Cates.

For those of you who still have doubts about the loss of Fred Perry look at his stats from Saturday… 1 tackle 0 sacks. This means his defensive output put him on par with current Rider defensive standouts such as Wayne Smith, Andy Fantuz and Wes Cates. Just saying is all.

I thought I knew all the football terms there was to know in the CFL but Saturday’s game introduced me to a new one… the “illegible receiver” which I can only assume means that the ref couldn’t read the name on his jersey. Thank you Andre Proulx.

Around the CFL…
This week’s action started in Hamilton where the Alouette’s showed that yes indeed, Hamilton is still as bad as last year. Who would have thought that uniting the worst defensive coordinator in the league with the worst offensive coordinator in the league would lead to such a terrible on-field performance? Evidently not Bob O’Billiovich.

After defeating the Bombers on Friday, Argo head coach Rich Stubler came to 2 realizations: 1) He shouldn’t have traded Noel Prefontaine and 2) He definitely shouldn’t have traded Glen January. Despite the win, the Argos are on the verge of a complete gong show one week into the season. Turns out the NFL’s most accurate kicker, is currently the CFL’s least accurate kicker; The first 2 doctors David Boston saw about his fractured foot were right about him needing surgery; letting 4 offensive tackles leave in the same season will come back to haunt you; and I don’t even know where to begin with the fiasco they have at QB.

Watching that game you almost had to feel bad for Joseph. It certainly wasn’t the debut he was hoping for. I mean few players can say they were pulled twice in their first game with a new team. But you see that’s the difference between Saskatchewan and Toronto. The Riders could only afford to pay Joseph $250K because we spent the rest of the money on things like an offensive line that can actually block and a coach who isn’t a complete idiot when it comes to dealing with starting QBs. Toronto on the other hand did not bother investing in these types of things so they were able to offer Joseph way more money. Joseph needs 2 things to be effective: protection from the O-line and the ability to use his legs through rolling out. Rich Stubler, the offensive genius that he is, decided it would be better to offer no O-line protection and not roll/run Joseph at all. Bravo Stubler. It will be entertaining to watch this gong show all season long as I think it’s only going to get better as weeks go by.

Who had “the first half of game 1” in the “How long before Buck Pierce gets hurt Pool”? Although replacing Dave Dickenson is not easy you’d at least think they could have found someone who was slightly less fragile. With Buck now nursing injured ribs and a throwing shoulder that according to him “can’t get anymore separated” I wouldn’t be surprised if Pierce is done. Not just for the season, I mean his career. He’s got talent but he’s a fragile as my Grandma’s hip.

That’s it for now, check back later as we cue up the first Rider road game of the season (and the return of Matt Dominguez!). I’m the Rider Prophet and those are my (belated) sentimonies.


Anonymous said...

As usual, Proph, you hit the nail on the head. I thought the Riders-Esks game played out as expected. I mean, REALLY, who did the Esks add in the off-season beside NO ONE of any significance? Sask's real tests will come against BC and Calgary. Those will be the measuring sticks against which this year's team will be measured. And I personally like the Riders chances against both clubs. This is going to be a VERY interesting 2008 campaign.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as always the west will be a very tight division (well except the Eskimos) so every game against west teams is huge. A win in BC would put the rest of the league on notice that the '08 Riders are for real.