here are some of my thoughts on the 1st game. First off I was pleased overall, and also hats off to the Eskimos. I did not think they would look that put together with all of the changes there.
Penalties...there were a lot of procedure/offsides. To be expected in 1st preseason game, but so many by vets.
Receivers - WOW...some really tough choices to make there. Everyone looked solid! It would appear Wheelright will be on the squad this yeah, Koch look fabulous as always (what a catch).
Running Backs - did not see much of the new faces, hard to judge, but the running game looked ok.
O-line - The o-line looked like it may have improved. It was holding the pocket, but it will take a few games to truly see.
DL - again, need a few games to judge. I do think it will be improved, and was obviously better at stopping the run.
Secondary - I was not sure what to expect from the DBs, but Eddie Russ was spot on. I liked what I saw from him.
QBs - Leak is the new face, so does not know the playbook as well. That being said:
- Dinwiddie looked not too bad. He made one pass where he lobbed it over a DB and the receiver leaped exposing his ribs. That was a bad choice. Other than that he looked alright.
- Bergquist I thought looked the most impressive. Good in the pocket, comfortable rolling, looking at multiple receivers, very efficient.
- Leak did not impress. Bad recognition on coverage, and tunnel vision on primary target. The D did not have to guess where he was throwing. Learning the playbook...perhaps, but it was by far the worst performance of the 3.
Coaching (OC calls) - The one thing that really upset me was the last possession. 104 left, 2nd and nine and you pass into a wind that has been creating havoc all night, with a struggling QB, and the pass was not even in 1st down range??? Now granted, it is preseason and perhaps they wanted to see what he could do in the pressure situation. If it was regular season I would be livid. a run brings that to about 35 seconds, then 20 seconds off the clock, and another plunge up the gut brings it to about 7-8 seconds, and enough time to attempt a 60+ yard FG.
Some other notes:
The breeze TSN talked about was no breeze. That was a horrid, cold, strong, gusty wind.
Both Stuart and Graham looked really impressive on D. They were all over the field and had superb pursuit. Really nice to see, and Canadians to boot.
There is no blocking below the waist on forward passes. A Rider got hurt on that. No penalty. Refs need to watch that.
The Riders hands team needs work. The wind was plain viscous. You will agree if you were there. The Esks used that well on kickoffs, and created 2 turnovers from it.
I believe (shoulda had a pen to jot it down haha) it was #48 (Daryl Townsend). I would like to know his time in the 40, because his pursuit was amazing. When the ball was out of the QB's hand he was racing to the other side of the field. I was really impressed with his effort and speed, and could see him dropping coverage on a blitz.
Loved the televised pre season game.
Cates made a strong statement .I wonder with the absence of Fantuz and Bagg if that helps Wes's case any.
Graham is a specimen, needs to see the field., Suits said he played Rush End before , so that may be an in.
O'Day........How rare is it for a player to unretire.
Leak is receiving some unfair abuse. New guy in adverse conditions. That's when I start to cheer for a player.
He's got the strongest arm in camp, keep him around ....never know what will transpire with Berqquest.
For our O-Line we just need some time for our guys to gel, we have great individual talent but they really just need to work as one and DD won't have a finger laid on him all season. Disapointents for me on Defence was Montez Murphy, 2 offsides I think it was 2 straight times? Cmmon Man!? And Craig Butler, not his fault he wasn't thrown near but I didn't hear his name called once? As for offence, Sisco wasn't even looked at while Koch, Nunn and Wheelwright all impressed. Special teams looks good with that Punt Return and it wasn't even all Charles, the blocking he got? Awesome the new ST coach is doin some good. As for QB's we do have to give Leak some time, but he did look a little jumpy, he never really settle in to throw a pass as soon as he got the snap it seemed like he was off balance and would just rifle it for a 3 yard gain? That being said looking forward to Wednesday's game and we'll do some evaluating then!
I had to PVR the game. On the weekend I watched it.
#70 - Like! His body frame reminds me of Vince Goldsmith. I was happy to see this guy move around and if he can have a chance at DE, great. Hawkins is hurt again and maybe the door is open for some unknown to get on the roster.
#48 - Like - Got around really well. Honourable mention to Russ (#16). #41 as well.
Leak was not very good. But I am guessing he had the worst ofthe playing conditions.
Lots of receivers I agree. Coaches will have some sorting out to do. If anything I think you have to applaud Brendan Taman with the talent they have in camp. Lots of notable efforts out there and it will make it tough on the coaches.
Is this the year Stu Foord gets dropped? As a RB he's moot point. If the Riders use Charles and Cates, they can't get Stu the ball as well? We're more than fine at FB with Hughes/Bell (both Cdns). If there is a Cdn. DB/LB that can play teams as well or better than Stu, he might be in tough to crack the squad.
yeah, Leak did have the worst of the conditions, and Edmonton was stepping up. But for me what was troublesome was that he stared at his primary target from the time the ball was snapped. Now I know that he doesn't know the playbook as well and that is a factor, but still, one can not really argue that he looked the worst of the 3. In the next game DD will likely play most of the 1st half. Dinwiddie will perhaps get a series or 2, and Leak and Bergquest will likely get about a quarter each. In my eyes Leak will have to do something really impressive in that time frame to make the squad as I can't see them going with 4 QBs, and at this point he has shown nothing in action that would win him a spot. Perhaps there is something in practice that will scew that judgement, but nothing that was displayed in game play.
Charles looked sweet on his big return. Good combination of power, speed, moves and heads-up ball.
I Don't believe he comes close to Cates hands, but I'd love to see Charles on a Screen or dump pass, One on one in the open field, he could be dangerous.
Thanks depop. Being at the game is a better vantage point than me watching the replay.
I think Leak came in with much fanfare. As the #3 guy in Montreal he was pushed into action and I thought he played well in the 2.5 games he played.
The good outcome thus far is that Dinwiddie and Cole have been pushed and have overcome this pressure. Like dogs, they've set the hieracrchy and Leak will have to do a great deal to push into #3. Some players like free agency but in this case maybe Montreal knew better than to resign him.............and Leak signs with us and he does have to clay catchup on the playbook, he came into camp without that advantage on his side. I bet he gets a hangnail and is assigned 9 game injury, that is if the Rider brass have seen enough to warrant that investment. Or he goes PR and if they lose him on waive they would be aware of that.
Cole botched a snap, but i watched it twice and it was a bad snap. I did not confirm who the centre was and i should have. Bad snap in wet weather...........maybe he could have pulled it down? Just saying if Cole is used for holding that cements him onto the roster as #3 and I don't think Dinwiddie is going anywhere.
Tonight we watch a game played without the elements. I will have my eyes on 70. I've looked at their DE's and we have issues on the end. no speed. mullinder is very average at the end. I believe we're fine in the middle, but nobody close to top end off the edge....................might have to break down and see if there are trade opportunites. Or you confirm Sean Lucas at weakside LB and have Jerrell playing end? Chris Graham might take Kye Stewarts spot and Kye played pretty well last week?