Thursday, June 6, 2019

Riders vs. Bombers: Preseason Game 2

Thursday we get our first taste of live Rider football at Mosaic... or at least as close to that as you get in the preseason. I shared some stats in my Monday Sentimonies about just how awful the Riders are in the preseason. So I'm fully prepared for us to play miserably and I'm fully prepare for portions of Rider Nation to lose their collective minds about the results. That's how we roll around here. Lose a preseason game = fire everyone, call Kevin Glenn and convert Jon Ryan back to receiver. Win = plan the parade route. There is no in between.

I did some research into just how meaningful preseason results are. I went back to 2006 (yes I am somewhat ashamed of how much effort I put in researching the preseason) and the results were telling. No team has lost both preseason games and gone onto win the Cup. So if you believe that correlation is causality then Thursday is a big game.

Sounds like Collaros will play the first half... which means that on every single offensive play (and any defensive plays that head towards our sideline) fans will be anxiously holding their breath hoping he doesn't get hurt. I don't want to see him in the game unless the starting 5 OL is in front of him and a veteran RB and WRs are available to block. I get that he needs to get some real game action in to prep for the season but if we are being honest, given our offensive strategy (i.e. do the absolute least possible) I'm not sure you'd notice a rusty Zach Collaros over a finely tuned one. I'd like to see him make quick decisions, get the ball out quickly (and to the correct jersey). 

As for what else to watch I'll be watching...
- I'll be watching the line and how they perform without Labatte (who is being rested). Be interesting to see how Clark does so quickly after his car accident. 

- Hopefully the WRs step up. Kyran Moore was not great in the first game and it will be Shaq Evans' first game. They will probably only get 5 yard passes on 2nd and 9 but hopefully they make the best of the cards they are dealt.

- In the second half we should see the back-ups so I'll be watching Justin McInnis in particular in his first action.

- Defensively Micah Johnson is sitting which gives guys like Jeremy Faulk, Charbel Dabire and Tresor Mafuta and opportunity for some valuable reps at DT. 

- The linebacking core will be an area of interest for me. Each passing day makes Elimimian's likelihood to play week 1 less and less which means someone needs to be ready to step up. Looks like Plan A is Cam Judge at MLB and Dyshawn Davis outside. We will likely see a lot of Deon King in the middle as well. Hope they can instill some confidence.

- In the secondary we will get to see what we have at safety outside of Edem as he is being rested as well. Looks like Crezdon Butler gets first crack at the spot with Bouka on CB. BE interesting to see if Butler can translate his veteran savvy and sure tackling to success in the middle. It would also be nice to see at least one new DB show some promise. I love our starters but I'm not sure what we have backing them up... plus no Duron to bail us out there this year :)

- Lastly I will be watching the crowd give a standing ovation for every Jon Ryan punt regardless of length. Look he's a great guy on and off the field but a punter should not be the most hyped guy on the team... even one like ours who make frequent use of our punter. 

I'll just be happy to be back in the stands watching football. Normally this is the game were we would play the Official Rider Prophet Preseason Drinking Game but when you factor in the Thursday night game and the price of alcohol... I can't see that being good for your employment/wallet/health/relationship status etc... But hey... if you're still hardcore like that, the rules are below (participate at your own risk).

1.     Every dropped pass of fumble you drink
2.     Every time the announcer screws up, drink
3.     Drink 2 if a flag bearer is out of formation during pre-game
4.     Every time count, illegal formation, no yards or offside penalty you drink. Two if it’s on the Riders. Four if it’s Too Many Men
5.     Every TV timeout you drink 
6.     If someone calls for a fair catch you shot-gun a beer
7.     If a player who is not dressed gets credit for a stat or penalty, you drink
8.     If a cheerleader falls, you drink
9.     If a Mexican player scores a TD, down a bottle of tequila while wearing a sombrero (Traditionally this was the Jordan Sisco, it just gets modified each year).


Anonymous said...

I think we're going to see some well-known veterans let go this year. We can't go into next year with some of these guys another year older & young players who haven't had a year of developing playing. Let's be honest - this year the chances of winning a Cup are slim at best. Start getting some younger players in there for next year when the Cup is here.

Bryce Taylor said...

Bring on the cuts!

Rider Prophet said...

Anon - I'm not nearly so doom and gloom. With a healthy Collaros we likely make it to the west final last year. Team is essentially the same so while it will be a very competitive west there's no reason to think we won't be in the mix.

Bryce - Easiest part of any coach's job

Anonymous said...

I don't buy the idea of rewriting history. As much as we might think Collaros makes those 2 tosses to Roosevelt, it was Bridge's feet that got us in the shadow of the goalposts. Riders were a dismal 7% TD's when starting in their own end so more likely Collaros gets us to FG range. Down 14-13 going into 4th, Bombers ran amok with no pushback from our elite defence & pretty much imposed their will. If Collaros started, different game, different strategies. Bridge did throw for 1 TD so Collaros would need that TD plus the other 2 that never happened. How often did Zach throw for 2 TD's in a game, never mind 3. Time to get over the shoulda coulda woulda. IF Shreveler were in the Labor Day game in Winnipeg, he wouldn't have thrown the 2 INT's & run or taken a loss. Two Bomber FG's, no 14 Rider points on long INT returns for TD's, 20 point swing, final gets played @ IG Field. Woulda coulda shoulda - this door swings both ways. Love your column but gotta let it go.