Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Roundup: Preseason Game 1

Riders 10 – BC 44

Well the Riders are lucky that I was so football starved after the off-season that that that sorry excuse for a game was enough to satisfy me. It’s kinda sad when you think about it.

For those of you concerned about the results of a preseason game (especially the first one) calm the hell down or I will be forced to slap you! Its preseason… wins and losses are meaningless! Here’s a piece of history for you:

-       Between 2009 and 2010 we lost all 4 of our preseason games by a combined score of 65 to 132 and ended up in the Grey Cup both years

-       In 2008 and 2011 we actually won a preseason game but ’08 resulted in the whole Michael Bishop fiasco and ’11 resulted in… a gong show so severe that all the whiskey in world could not suppress the horrifying memory of (believe me I tried).

So forgive me for not being concerned about the end results of a preseason game. The purpose of the preseason game is to evaluate players and to that end I think it served its purpose.

That said, I am not naïve enough to think everything in Rider-land is all rainbows and lollipops. There were some definite areas of concern. I am just saying we should wait until we have all of our starters and use all of our playbook before we start writing off the season. Half the people I was swearing at on Wednesday will be cut soon anyways.

Here are my thoughts on the game

-       Would have liked to have seen more from Durant but a) it was his first action in many months, b) he was missing the talented portion of his OL (aside from Picard) and c) wasn’t using the full play book. He’ll get better

-       First 2 backup QBs did a whole lot of nothing. Brown in particular disappointed me because I have high expectations of him. You can tell Brown has the arm but he will need to show a lot more than that.

-       Drew Wily on the other hand leapfrogged himself back into the QB competition after lagging behind all training camp. He had a real nice 4th quarter. Granted it was against BC’s soon to be unemployed but he showed good instincts, kept cool and made plays when the play broke down and most importantly moved the ball. Still think he is behind the other 2 but certainly is making a strong case for consideration. I would love to see him and Brown overtake old man O’Sullivan.

-       BC games will forever be painful for me to watch because there are constant in your face reminders that the Riders consciously passed on Shawn Gore in favour of Jordan Sisco.

-       Offense was utter garbage until the 4th quarter with the exception of that beauty run by Sheets. I have long predicted that one of Sheets or Rankin would be our starter and West’s only chance was as a back-up/returner… Wednesday confirmed that and made me actually excited about our running game.

-       Seriously BC? An illegal trick sleeper play in the preseason? At what point did this seem like a good idea?

-       Alexander Krausnick-Groh continues to impress me. I think he is underrated in what he brings to this team as a quality back-up.

-       Graig Newman looked lost out there. I seriously question the decision to give him reps on the corner… he is suited for a safety but is out of his element on the edges.

-       Pass rush was a bit concerning given that 3 of BC’s starters are currently injured.  Hopefully things will improve when Shologan, George and Willis get in there.

-       Noticed that the equipment managers got lazy and only put Gagne on Kevin Regimbald-Gagne’s jersey. Guess they told him he’d have to pick only one name for the jersey. Apologies to the Regimbalds.

-       Glen Suitor was back in fine form. My personal favourites were when he claimed that the roof being open was Mike Benevides’ way showing its his team not Wally’s and his claim that Chris Getzlaf will be a 1400 yard receiver. It really makes you wonder if Suitor should be examined for long-term affects of repeated head injuries from his playing days.

-       I wonder if Stu Foord misses the standing ovations every time he touches the ball regardless of how meaningless the play is? Won’t get that treatment in BC.

-       Why oh why do Offensive Coordinators ever call for an empty backfield on 1st and goal from 5 or less!?!? Doug Berry was notorious for it and Dyce did it too… that one time were we inadvertently found the redzone (luckily for him it resulted in a passing TD). I still despise that formation. At a minimum give the illusion that you are considering running.

Guys who improved their odds of making the team: Kory Sheets, Zach Evans, Terrell Maze, Sam Hurl, Patrick Brown (nothing spectacular but always caught the ball), and Jason Chery (who I just discovered has only one R in his last name)

Guys who may have fund their way onto the cut list: Eddie Russ, Booooooo Robinson, Dan Clark and my pick for surprise camp casualty: Tristan Jackson.


Anonymous said...

Wasn't Trstan Jackson playing a new position of halfback? The coaches need to see if some players can play acceptable in non-familiar positions. Tristan didn't sparkle at his new position but has been very solid on the corner. He is a good punt returner and plays corner well. Seriously, how can you say he won't make the team?

Rider Prophet said...

Its called making a bold prediction. Personally I have no problem if Tristan stays. He was one of the few that actually played like he cared last year. As you say he can play corner and return. He's not a bad player.

Thing is every year there is a least one surprise cut and I just have this feeling Tristan may be that guy. Chamblain really likes big tall physical corners and Tristan is one of the shortest guys on the team.

uncle_jim said...

Spot on Prophet! You laid it out well. Just got back from the Riders AGN .. good crowd ... free muffins & coffee. Upbeat mood. Team made a bundle ($$$) last year even if the play results were crappy. Ten are being cut tonite I think I heard. I agree that some folks need to chill during exhibition games .. we did play a basically unchanged Grey Cup championship team the other nite. Go Riders Go.

uncle_jim said...

... should read .. AGM .. annual general meeting ...

Anonymous said...

Well said! I think the team has changed so much things will take a while.

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