Sask @ Toronto -- Week 2

Well, week 1 saw fumbles, inteceptions, blocked kicks, and an offence that only played half a game. We draw KJ and the Argos who are coming off a win against their rival Ti-Cats. Jamel Robertson looked impressive for them, and we did not really look strong against the run. The Argo O-Line just got re-inforced by Rob Murphy -- who was missing from the BC line that got dominated in week 1.

Darian put up 300+ yards against 6 DBs all night -- pushing Dressler and Fantuz into the top recievers.

I think the keys to practice this week are tackling and securing the football. I don't see the Argo linebackers or secondary as an improvement over BC, so the only question is what our O-Line will look like ( with 3 or 4 starters now injured ), and whether they can get the job done -- and if week 1 was any indication, they're up to the task.

The defence will have to be able to contain the run, from Joseph and Robertson. I'm not worried about Toronto's passing game, but we need to able to get pressure while containing the run. If we can keep Joseph in the pocket, we can shut down their offence. And if we learn how to tackle, we'll be unstoppable -- Joseph is a big, strong body -- and our tackling has to be a lot better or we could be in for a rough night.

I'm waiting to see if Abou-Mechrek has kept in game shape and if he shows up this week. We could use some re-inforcements.

Worried about the defence? Maybe we went to different games. I think BC only had about 100 yards total in the 1st half. Maybe less than 100. 2 of BC's touchdowns came from an interception and a blocked kick. If the Riders play defence like that they will win a lot of games.

I agree, although our D against the run does need a little work, but thats just complaining. If our Offense can play an entire 60 minutes we'll be pretty damn good this year

Well Kerry Joseph is tougher to bring down than Bucky Pierce so tackling will be huge in this game. The run D was suspect against the Lions but again that comes down to tackling.

I don't view the Argo's as having a better defense than the Lions, but Durant will have to make smarter plays if we want to win on the road in this one.

I think overall the Riders are better than the Argo's, we'll just have to see how they perform on the road.

I'd like to see the Riders establish the run early on Toronto. We have an uncomfortable QB and a young O-line. That would be the best way to settle the offence in. Hand the ball off to whoever, but make a point of running the football. Then Darian and the O-line will settle in more nicely. You can't ask much more of our D. AMAZING!!!

Jamel Robertson won't have more than 50 yards. He stinks. KJ will probably look to run a lot considering our DBs will dominate their receivers.

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It looks like injured offensive lineman Belton Johnson will miss no more than two weeks.

The Riders are bringing in an offensive lineman — import Joel Bell, from Furman. He is to arrive in Regina tonight.

I think Abou-Mechrek or Morin-Roberge coming back is ruled out now. Dime-a-dozen imports don't impress me much, but should be able to get the job done.

That defensive scheme was fairly predictable. The game plan was tuned to a weak O-Line and running game. Toronto doesn't offer that up for us. They seem to be thinner at reciever, and their running game is able to perform ( against Hamilton ). The defence has to adapt to be more run-contain than pure blitz. As stated by others, tackling has to get better as well.

But Stevie Baggs is still a beast -- two sacks and another forced fumble. Nothing against Kit, but I'm glad that Baggs is down there and Chick is healthy.

Positives out of week 1 - no broken legs and we won. Going into week 2 I hope Darian can eliminate some of the mistakes and we need a running game - can that happen with our O-line depleted like it is? We also need a return team for punts and kick-offs - why have we sucked so bad in that department since Corey Holmes left the first time? I think if the D plays with the same intensity as last week and we reduce our turnovers and penalties we should be 2 and O to start the season.

Other than 1 return, we were only average when Holmes was here in '07. Dressler was a good returner, but is clearly too valuable as a receiver. Hopefully we'll keep bringing one little speedster after another until we find the right guy. Although, Elf Morris didn't look bad in week one. I'm willing to be patient with him.

I think Bart Andrus would disagree with your assessment of Robertson. TO pprobablly has one of the best o-lines in the CFL with the off-season aquisitions. If our defense shows good against this o-line I'll be a believer.

I was talking about 2002-2005.

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— Offensive tackle Matt O’Meara has returned to the Riders. O’Meara Saskatchewan's first-round pick (third overall) in the 2005 draft out of McMaster University. In 2007, O'Meara — who can play centre, guard or tackle — was traded to Winnipeg, where he played under now-Roughriders offensive line coach Bob Wylie. O’Meara was cut after training camp.

Miller said it was possible that O’Meara could start at right tackle in Saturday’s game against the Toronto Argonauts. There is a hole there because Belton Johnson is nursing a right quadriceps strain suffered in Friday’s win over the Lions.
The Rider also learned that Johnson had suffered a separation of left clavicle and sternum which is quite painful. Johnson was originally expected to be sidelined for two or three weeks. Miller made it sound like it might be more.
Import tackle Joel Bell hasn’t arrived yet but is expected today. Miller also suggested that Bell could be activated for Saturday’s game.
— Miller confirmed that former Riders’ quarterback and guest coach Marcus Crandell has been added to the offensive staff. Crandell will serve as an offensive assistant and look after scouting the Riders. For more and Crandell’s plans for his playing future, check back later online and in Tuesday’s Leader-Post.
— It was back to fundamentals for the Riders running backs on Monday. After fumbling four times against the Lions, the coaching staff worked with the players on securing the football. One player carried two footballs under either arm while his teammates tried to slap it free. They also ran the gauntlet with running backs slapping at the football. I understand the drills will be part of every practice. For more check online and . . . well you know the rest by now.

The O-Line carousel lands at -- O'Meara -- Unless Bell gets here and gets ready in time.

Hopefully securing the football won't be a problem anymore.

Toronto Update:

Import tackle Joel Bell hasn’t arrived yet but is expected today. Miller also suggested that Bell could be activated for Saturday’s game.
RB Wes Cates ran drills with the first team but head coach Ken Miller says he is still at least a week away. Offensive Lineman Matt O’Meara made his first appearance at practice playing tackle with the first unit. The other options include moving Marc Parenteau to tackle and putting rookie Nick Hutchins in at guard, or using Import Joel Bell (cut from Buffalo Bills mini camp) who arrived today but won’t practice till tomorrow.

Robertson is a great back. He will be a challenge the Riders D and a lot of other D's in the CFL. Wish he was still wearing green.

Antonio Hall just got released by the stamps. Another option we might have if Belton is on extended absence. If the Bombers would rather have Dominguez than Armstrong, I think that tells us something. Maybe we should let Matt play. Although his will to play is not as strong as his will to play for the Riders -- that could tell us something too.

I don't think the Bombers interest in MD was an assessment of ability relative to Armstrong. They are boxed into a corner with Armstrong, need an import WR, and are probably feeling the need to do something....anything, quick.

Rumour on the Bomber board is that they signed that Mitchell kid the Tabbies cut, which, given Hamilton's receiving corps, says about all that needs saying about the desperation level in the 'Peg.

Toronto is much better than last season, particularly on O-line, but don't believe the hype on Robertson. Not going to happen against the SK front six. Robertson = Joe Smith circa 2008.

This will be a good test for the Riders. Toronto upgraded in 3 key areas. Coaching, o-line and MLB. And without a circus at QB KJ should be much more effective. The net result should be a much improved Argo team. And they have a big advantage over BC last week--game film.
We aren't going to get 9 sacks every week. In reality, if we average 3 a game, that'll be a good effort. So our DBs and LBs should get a better test this week. Plus I think right now, the Argos have a better RB. And KJ is better than Buck. And we are on the road. In the east. It all adds up to a good early season test for the team. I continue to be a big DD fan and liked most of what I saw last game. He needs to learn to look off the DBs and be more patient. I guess that is fair after only 6 starts.....
As he gains experience and confidence, this kid may be a keeper. And if he is, we will prosper because the talent around him is pretty good. (once the o-line is healthy)
I don't know how we will do this week, but I am hopeful. I thought the performance against BC left as many questions unanswered as answered so we will see.
The entire league is in flux this year, and hard to predict. To put a finer point on that, Ken Miller is currently tied for 2nd for all time wins among active coaches in the league. Predicting the future requires a track record and we really have little to go on at this time....