Hello football season, goodbye workplace productivity!
Saturday the Blue Bombers visit the Riders to open the inaugural season at new Mosaic Stadium. It's regrettable that we have to ruin our new stadium with Winnipeg stank so early in the year but it probably balances out with the lack of "mystery liquid dripping from the ceiling" stank that the old stadium had.
Normally preseason games mean playing the Official Rider Prophet Preseason Drinking Game. If you are a die hard and want to play along again the rules can be found here. But at the beer prices in the new stadium, I would have to either sell my car or perform sexual favours for money in the bathroom to afford it. It's a pretty fun game to play but even I have some standards.... what?I do so!
Here's what I will be looking for during the game:
- Vince Young is out. Kevin Glenn's only contribution to the game may be making sure the sideline turf doesn't blow away. That means this is a huge opportunity for Bryan Bennett and Brandon Bridge. The #2 spot is up for grabs and both will likely get a lot of reps with the 1s and 2s instead of having to wait until late in the game when they are relying on the future unemployed to make them look good. Marquise Williams (who will likely only see a bit of action late in the 4th) likely gets more reps than normal due to Young being out. He needs to show he's progressed enough to be considered as our #3 developing QB.
- As much as I have publicly loathed the Vince Young experiment, I'm a bit disappointed he's not playing. I would rather see him play and prove that he's not worth keeping to everyone than have him go out this way.
- Preseason game is when you really get a sense of how your RBs and LBs stack up. Practice at these positions only tells you so much. You need to see people try and tackle or break tackles when they are going full tilt. Unfortunately I doubt LaFrance plays but the more he stays in tub, the more the door opens for Cameron Marshall to assert himself as a viable starter. Allen too. As for our LBs, I have full confidence in Muamba... but would feel a lot better if I saw some visual evidence of the other LBs playing well.
- I'll be watching the OL to see how St JOhn fares now that he has an actual training camp under his belt. I will also be watching the young guys (Bladek, Meredith, Guy) to see how they show.
- If your name is not Carter, Roosevelt or Bagg you better be laying it all on the line in this game because they is far more talented WRs than their are roster spots. Not just catching but you can bet coaches will be looking for who gives full effort in the little things like blocking as well. Holley, Grant and Stroshak seem to be in the lead but things can change quickly.
- Along the D-line I will be watching our tackles to see how string we are in the middle. I'm hopeful there but some actual visual evidence would help calm my nerves. As for DE I am praying that someone shows something because as I have probably annoyingly repeated every chance I get, I don't like Leonard and Newsome. Looking at the roster, I guess by default I'm pulling for Tull.
- Lastly there's the secondary.... Please don't be brutal, Please don't be brutal. This unit is our biggest question mark coming into the season and a minimum of 2 starting spots are up for grabs. We really need a couple DBs to step up and separate themselves from the pack (especially now that Bingman may be out). Adams, Dargan and Roberts are guys I will have my eyes on.
See you in the stands!