The Riders kicked off the 2014 preseason by knocking off the Redblacks in their inaugural game... much to the delight of the 7 people in the stands. The game had less Rider fans than most actual road games do. If nothing else this game proved that there are indeed limits to the fanatical nature of Rider fans.
The game itself was about as good as you could expect from a preseason game. There were some good things, there were some bad things, there were some people earning jobs and others who will be unemployed shortly. The best news is that there were no major injuries... like what unfortunately happened to Graig Newman. On that note: I think local junior players who elect to leave town are cursed of late. First Stu Foord, now Newman. Dan Clark better not be getting any ideas.
Here are my random quasi-coherent thoughts on the game (Note that the first round of cuts are due as I type this so I fully expect one or 2 of my thoughts to be rendered irrelevant by that)
- I know it was only preseason and defense was liekly playing pretty base stuff but Durant looked dialed in just like at the end of last year.
- Nothing earth shattering from the receivers but for it being game 1 it was enough to give me hope. Swain gives me this vibe that he will not be the flashiest receiver but will be as reliable as they come. Also Ryan Smith looked good. I think we should just completely anoint him the new Dressler and have Coop come out with All Smithler and Un-Smithler chips. Riley still seems inconsistent but he reminds me of Taj Smith in 2012. He shows flashes and if he could ever put it all together he'd be a damn good player.
- No one jumped out for me at RB but Toston struck me as the best of the bunch... and not just because he steam-rollered that defender. Allen was probably second best. I get the sense our preference is for a bigger back this year with a speedier backup RB to change pace. I don't expect a lot of big runs this year but as long as we can find a guy to chew up yards when needed to move the chains and take the pressure off the pass game then we will be fine. I think the 2nd preseason game will decide the winner here.
- Holy return game Batman! Green made more guys miss then there were fans on the east side and Stoudemire looked good picking a lane and attacking it. I like Tristan Jackson but I think his job security may be in jeopardy with all these DB/returners.
- The way that Bartel was punting the only that concerns me there is having to endure Rod Black go on about him being australian. Side Note: I wonder if Bartel has ever played knifey-spooney before?
- The Rider Prophet endorsed Chad Kilgore didn't exactly light it up but I think he got better as the game went on and showed enough to stay in contention. That said Morty Ivy looked pretty good too so he's far from locked that job up.
- Macho was just feasting on the soon to be unemployed in the second half. Man I wish he wasn't made of dollar store material.
- I know Carlo Thomas is versatile and has done good things but he's another vet whose job security may be at risk.
- Dwight Anderson played better when he had charges pending.... I'm kidding. You could tell guys like Anderson and Maze where not quite giving 100% effort. They will be fine once things start to count.
- For a 3rd stringer, I like Seth Doege. It's just too bad his family refuses to pronounce the name like its spelled. I'm pretty sure its in the QB rule book that last names that don't sound like they are spelled are only acceptable if you've broken some all-time records... or texted pictured of your junk to a reporter.
- On that note did anyone else see the Winnipeg QB Robert Marve and go "See that's how you spell that pronunciation"
- I don't hate Henry Burris enough to wish injury on him but I kinda hope that he gets hurts and Ottawa is stuck wallowing with Thomas DeMarco lamenting the day the got rid of Kevin Glenn.
I will be interesting to see who our 10 cuts are... though it will likely be more like 5 cuts, 3 people placed on the 6 game IR (that's new this year) and 2 guys who are "cut" but sill be seen around practice for the next week or so.