Thanks to some odd scheduling the Riders will be headed right back into action just 4 days removed from their last action. I don’t recall ever having such a quick turnaround during the preseason (then again my memory is far from photographic so who knows). I can bet the players aren’t too excited about it… though I guess the only positive is that they will get a longer rest before the real games start.
Wednesday’s game will serve 2 purposes. 1 – It will be the final tune-up for our starters (including Durant’s first live snaps of 2011) and 2 – it will be the absolute last chance for the guys vying for back-up and practice roster spots to show their stuff in the hopes of not showing up on Saturday’s list of final cuts.
Normally preseason game #2 is my least favourite Rider game of the year since it’s always been the one game I don’t get to witness with my own eyes. But thanks to TSN’s expanded coverage I finally get to watch the game … though I’m sure there will be moments in the 4th quarter when I’d probably be happier not seeing the follies of a bunch of guys that will soon be looking for work. Also if Rob Black ends up calling the game, it might outweigh any positives of being able to see things. I guess that’s why the mute button was invented.
Here are a few things I will be watching closely…
- The battle at centre. Whoever gets to snap to Durant should be pretty telling as to where the coaches are leaning on this one.
- Chris Graham. I just like seeing someone that big hit people.
- Luc Mullinder and Shomari Williams. Did little to instil confidence in our apparent decision to stay Canadian at DE. Looking for a bounce back performance from both.
- Which receiver hopefuls see the most time with the starters.
- How are kick return and cover teams play when the ball his not traveling backwards in the air due to wind
As with all preseason games, I’m excepting absolutely nothing, hoping we emerge from the game healthy. I also hope the conditions are a bit better so we can get a better assessment on our QBs, receiver hopefuls and kickers.
In other Rider news, wayward draft pick Matt O’Donnell is continuing his trek to avoid coming to the CFL. Since the Celtics tryout apparently didn’t materialize (I’m shocked) and his attempts to catch on with the NFL have yet to materialize, he is starting to get desperate. Just how desperate you ask? Well he has resorted to trying out for the Toronto Raptors. That’s like the universal sign that your basketball career is not looking so promising. Though I guess he managed to find a team where talent is not a requisite for making the team.
Since O’Donnell seems to be desperate to try any professional sport that’s not the CFL I have some other suggestions for tryouts he might want to pursue when this Raptors thing is done that would seem to be up his alley: outfielder for the Montreal Expos; professional wrestler for WWE; and potential defenseman for the Maple Leafs (where his lack of any tangible hockey skills will be a perfect fit with the rest of the team).