Monday, June 10, 2019

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Preseason and Roster Thoughts

It was a busy few days for the Riders. They closed out the preseason on Thursday and then proceeded with the easiest part of the any coach's job... the cuts. I don't want to dwell too much on the preseason results with actual meaningful football just days away but I will give a few thoughts on the game and then some thoughts on the names that made the team, and those that did not.

Thoughts on the preseason game:
- We saw what we needed to from the offense. Collaros started off still struggling to throw to the correct coloured jersey but recovered to turn in a good half. Not a great half but after last season, a good passing game would be an upgrade. We would have killed for 2 passing TDs in a half last season. Sure the Bombers didn't have the full starting D but it was still good to see.

- Powell came as advertised. It's nice to see a run game that's not based on 3 yard runs up the middle.

- Shaq Evans remains the american Chris Getzlaf. Drop an easy one. Catch a hard one. I'm glad for him he found the endzone but I have this sinking suspicious he blew his TD on a meaningless game. Hope I'm wrong.

- Dyshawn Davis is a baller. Glad we have him with Elimimian such an unknown.

- Justin McInnis showed just a flash of what he's capable with at his size.

- There's a reason the people who played in the secondary in the second half aren't the starters.

- Bouka's performance was not all that comforting. His coverage seemed fine but his ability to make a positive play when the ball arrived was not on display. Hope that was on anomaly.

- For a brief moment when the Bombers fumbled late in the game I thought we were destined to finally win preseason game. That feeling lasted mere minutes before reality came crashing back in. Oh well, at least it was a competitive, entertaining game.

- The Riders' approach to sprucing up game day seems to be throw a bunch of shit at the wall and hope something sticks. A DJ in Pil Country (still not sure why), trying to get "the Rider stomp" going (it failed), the new Flex Cam (has potential) and random bloopers (stunning success). 

Still good to be back in the stands.

Onto the roster.

- Only one cut really surprised me and that was Chad Geter. 3 sacks and strong special teams play. I thought he was in line for a bigger role but seems to have been beat out by Lavar Edwards... who had a strong preseason.

- Crezdon Butler surprised many but not me. His career was not on the right trajectory. He went from great halfback, to decent corner to not having a set position in consecutive years. The shelf life a of DB is not long (especially given how many NFL miles Butler had before coming here). Seen it with Chris McKenzie, seen it with James Patrick. DBs don't trail off slowly in performance. It makes guys like Eddie Davis and Brandon Smith who can sustain success for so many years all the more impressive. 

- Deon King was a bit of surprise based on much time they gave him with the 1s during camp. But Dyshawn Davis being awesome was a factor. Also it would appear Idowu beat him out. 

- Other than that if you were surprised by the cuts, you weren't playing attention. They were as predictable as the fact that Brandon Bridge and Josh Stanford are both currently unemployed.

- I'm going to get pre-emotively on this and pump the brakes on the Harker hype train. I can already predict that following Collaros' first interception there will be calls to appoint Harker the starter. As a back-up QB in Saskatchewan he ranks only behind Corner Gas cast members and Jon Ryan in terms of popularity. I like his potential but he's 3rd on the depth chart for a reason. Let him develop a bit before naming him saviour of the franchise. 

- By my math we need to put 5 people on the IR by Thursday. I assume Elimimian, Lenius, Arceneaux will be on there. Terran Vaughn may go the one game. Sounds like Labatte might as well (which isn't great but we do have depth to survive). We have a ton of Cdn Lbs on the roster and I have a hard time thinking we dress all of them (Judge, Hurl, Gagne, Chevrier, Teitz, Bartlett)

Overall I think we are in good shape. Question will be if Means/Bouka can lock down the CB spot. 

Buckle up Rider Nation. Regular season is days away. 


Govind said...

Glad Davis looked good. It makes the Elimimion injury not as big a concern. Even with o-line depth the Labatte injury is more concerning. Agreed on Harker. For his age and experience he looked good. But right now he'd get eaten alive facing starters and different looks vs vanilla schemes.

Did Bouka play field or boundary on Thurs?

Anonymous said...

Good comments all around. DB concerns me. The big 4 returnees are very good. Means has been kicking around since Jones' days in Edmonton & Bouka hasn't looked good. No reason to give up on him but as a backup to Edem might be a place to start. Minimal competiton there in Radford. I think they should have kept Geter. Going into the season my biggest Rider fears, outside Collaros, is DE. Not sold on Leonard. Hughes could easily bomb. DE's don't trail off slowly either. Kind of expected Henry to be cut but good to keep him to give Dabire some time.

Rider Prophet said...

Gov - I think he played a bit of both. He subbed out Marshall a couple times but also played field.

Anon - I was not sold on Leonard following 2017. I thought he was just a product of the Jones scheme and playing opposite of Willie. But his success in Ottawa has me reconsidering. He may just be genuinely good. Remember that everyone who plays opposite of Hughes has a career year.

Anonymous said...

If Hughes, at the ripe old age of 35 draws extra attention that may help Leonard. But he was a healthy scratch for the final & Grey Cup. I think Leonard's okay, but not convinced his arrow is pointing up. Odds are some of these 32+ players are going to peter out this year. Hughes, for me, is a prime suspect. It happened quickly for Chick after an all- star campiagn at age 34. Did Hughes make Jefferson better or the other way around?