Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Tuesday Morning Sentimonies: Preseason Victory

The Riders opened the preseason yesterday and according to the official CFL stats the Bombers won 146 to 138.75 with Ron Lancaster passing for a TD and Chris Walby notching 7 sacks. The only thing more deplorable than the CFL/genius attempts at stats are the Riders attempts at gouging. As I predicted yesterday, given that Coach Mace is bringing some renewed excitement to the team, they did not have $5 beer before kickoff anymore. In fact, two rye now cost over $21. The Riders’ marketing team truly adhere to their mantra: “The customer is always supposed to like what we tell them to.”

Anyway onto the game. Tough to really analyze a game where Winnipeg did not play most of their starters and even our top guys didn’t even finish the first half. That said, one thing I did notice and was very happy to see was energy. Even though it was preseason, players were pumped up. They were celebrating and congratulating each other. Mace has brought the energy and excitement level up. Also, if you listen to his post game speech he is also continuing to build a culture of accountability. While congratulating the team on a good first step he called them out for too many penalties. I know he hasn’t coached a real game yet, but he continues to pass the smell test.

Other random thoughts on the game:

-        Starting offense looked alright in limited snaps. Really looking forward to the Harris-Schaefer Baker connection (which we never got to see last year). Bane also still looks great.

-        O-line looked pretty good (albeit not playing against a full starting D). They had pretty good push and held their own. Most importantly they weren’t visibly embarrassing so that’s a positive step forward. At LT Trevor Reid was a mixed bag. Some good plays, got embarrassed at least once by Jefferson (though the QB got the ball out in time) and took a major penalty. I liked him a lot better than Tucker though, so hopefully he can clean up the issues he had in game 1. 

-        The back-up OL were less reassuring. Sceviour cannot snap to save his soul.

-        Defense was making plays. Again easier to do when guys like Collaros, Demski, Schoen and Olivera are not dressed but there were multiple sacks and multiple turnovers.

-        Chris Streveler remains an NFL caliber runner who can’t execute any throw reliably except chuck it deep.

-        Didn’t get to see much of Fine (and Sceviour’s errant snaps impacted all his limited reps). I thought Patterson looked good. Made good reads. Connected on a beauty deep ball (even though it got called back on an offside).

-        I also thought Coan looked good for his first Canadian action. Calm in the pocket. Good reads. Far from perfect but he looks like a guy worth further developing.

-        Not sure I have ever seen a tougher, more hard hitting RB room. Ouelette, Hickson, Betrand-Hudon and now Ratkovich. They all run angry and I love it.

-        Dhonte Meyers has speed. Its too bad a lot of the yards he gained were negated.

-        Ajou Ajou has nice size and made some nice catches. The offside won’t help his cause.

-        On the INTs McClain literally did not move at all. The Bomber QB just through it directly to him. Fagot made a nice adjustment on his INT.

-        I did not really think of Sterns as a returner but he sure had a nice long one.

-        Lauther is in his annual early season slump that predictably leads to people questioning his continued employment and his eventually return to being awesome. Its like clockwork.

-        For those not in the stadium the Riders had a new commercial break promotion where 3 contestants and Gainer pick a card to see who wins. Gainer won. Suck it fans.

-        Also, whoever they got to through footballs at the moving target was by far the worst to ever do… like you would need to try to do worse and even then it would be hard. I would kinda like to see them make Streveler do it, just for curiosity sake.

Quick turnaround as the Riders finish the preseason Friday in Edmonton. Hopefully they continue to build on the successes of this first game.

No comments: