Riders 31 – Esks 24
That wasn’t a half bad game for a preseason debut. I mean sure it was riddle with errors and far from the prettiest football I’ve seen but it was at least entertaining. I’ve kinda gotten used to the idea that the Riders tend to suck in the preseason (particularly on the road) so to see us play some half decent ball was a pleasant surprise. Who am I kidding though, not even Rod Black could put a damper on the first Rider game of the year (though he certainly tries).
Here in no particular order are my thoughts on the game:
- Don’t get people who are down on Durant’s performance. 8 of 11 for 117 in limited action, with a scaled back play book, 2 non-starters on the OL, no Dressler/Simon and repeated screw ups on the hand offs with Sheets isn’t a bad first day at the office.
- Taj Smith looks good. Last year he showed flashes but was pretty inconsistent. But if this is what we can expect of 2013 Smith then he is in for a good year.
- Really liked how Sanders looked on returns. Damn good.
- Clearly the Ben Heenan at tackle experiment was a failure. No harm in trying and likely good experience for Heenan but hopefully Chamblin now realizes that Valdez needs to be our guy. He’ll just have to get used to standing by Best instead of his trusty donkey
- I’ll preface my discussion of the D-Line by saying Edmonton likely has the worst OL in the league at this point and I would be very concerned if I was them… that said I still liked how strong our line looked. Chick and George looked very powerful out there. Yes it was against weak opponents but also consider that Shologan and Foley didn’t dress. My concerns about Chick taking time to regain his CFL form have been allayed. Excited to see how they will fair against a stronger Stamps OL
- Looks like we are going to challenge the middle of the field deep more on offense and I like it.
- I liked the little bit we saw of Spencer Moore. Wouldn’t mind seeing him stick on for special teams and the odd offensive play.
- Love how they had Greg Carr out in the 4th quarter just feasting on soon to be cut DBs.
- I was about to declare Turenne a cut after getting burnt on the TD but he balanced that off with a pick and another nice cover. Tough decisions coming in the secondary
- I really like what I see in a healthy Macho Harris. Macho Madness!!!
- I should really have printed off a roster because by the fourth quarter even my vast Rider knowledge wasn’t enough to keep up. Didn’t help that the announcers kept going off on segues about Edmonton.
- Poor Matt Nichols. Gotta feel for the guy but I still have no clue how he hurt his knee on that… hip maybe but knee? No clue.
- Kerry Joseph must have been secretly smiling all night on the sidelines. Had that game gone any longer he would have moved up from 6th on the depth chart to opening day starter by default
- For just picking him up out of junior, Graig Newman was a hell of an addition.
- Anyone else struggle to identify the members of Hair Force without their flowing locks?
- Congratulations to Phillip Livas for winning the “cut before he got back to the sideline” award.
- For as decent as Tino Sunseri looked (maybe good enough to unseat Levi Brown) man was he god awful at plunges. ONly way he could have been worse would have been by Sanchez-ing himself on an O-lineman and butt fumbling. Cortez finally had to give up on him and let him throw for the TD.
- Just before that Jordan Sisco showed fine form in failing to make a catch… mainly because he was inexplicably and needlessly jumping for the pass that was no higher than eye level.
- Kicking game is still a concern. Maybe our plan is to just always score TDs on offense. Seems like a safer bet at this point.
- Between Willy, Chick, Bagg, Brown, Johnson and Ferri this has potential to be a great year of blogging. All we are missing is Chip Cox and De’Audra Dix.
This was a great way to start the season out. Now we can start counting the days to the first home game of 2013!! 3 more sleeps!!!