Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Mailbags In

Here's the Day 8 mailbag folks...Due to the amount of questions regarding the Riders Receivers, that group will be the focus of our Position Analysis tomorrow.

Let's get to it...

You have given us a look into an athlete’s battle, but what’s one thing that people don’t understand about being a pro in any sport?

• What’s not talked about enough is the sacrifices that friends, family, and significant others make daily in order for the athlete to be successful.  It’s so hard to balance relationships and your commitment to a sport.  Quite frankly, it’s hard for the other people in the player’s inner circle to firmly understand what is required of an athlete in order to be a part of the organization for which they play. Don’t get me wrong, the athlete has just as much of a hard time trying to understand the other side of the coin as well.


One example of the many:


Most guys live in different locations other than the cities that they play for, especially in the CFL.  Leaving home for 5-6 months out of the year is excruciating for all involved.  If the player has a young family then the mother automatically has her work load seemingly quadrupled, and sometimes they have ZERO help.  Mother’s lives get put on hold for the time-being.  Kids suffer the most.  They miss Dad because although Skype is good, nothing can replace physical presence and they’re too young to understand that their father is supporting the family, and living a dream that he hopes will come true for them one day.  

For the athlete, sometimes the frustration with the sport mixed with the absence of family or friends can get explosive.  If one doesn’t have the most open line of communication as possible, it could be detrimental.  


Families sacrifice an extraordinary amount.  It takes a special type of person to be able to survive some of the things pro football throws in one’s way.  


I could write a book on the trials and tribulations that are involved in pro sports and the family dynamic.  It’s full of ups and downs. 


What are your thoughts on the overall kicking game?  Do you have faith in Chris Milo, and could Ray Early be the punter on this year’s team?


• The kicking game is, and will be, fine.  Milo’s been solid at camp, and hasn’t seemed too fazed by the fact that there’s a number of guys that have been brought into camp at his spot.  A lot of people thought that Milo would begin to buckle under that pressure, but the only one who has battled inconsistency is Hugh O’Neil.  KEEP IN MIND there’s a lot of camp to go still and Milo still has to make all his kicks.  As of now he’s been cool and collected while hitting from all spots.  The Riders may elect to go with a punter to compliment Milo’s FG and kick-off game, like they have in the past, and if they do they have a good candidate for that as we speak. 


Ray Early has a great shot at being that Punter on Day 1 of Week 1.  His leg has been on display all camp but one of the things that Bobby Dyce will be looking for, in him, is his ability to put the ball into certain spots of the field.  The Riders aren’t going to need booming 65 yard kicks all the time.  There is always a wind factor in Mosaic Stadium that plays a role in the Special Teams approach on game day and Early has yet to see or experience it.  Don’t forget about the 3rd downs where the coaches need directional kicking into certain areas of the field.  Ball placement and field position are absolutely game changing, and if Ray Early demonstrates impressive control over those variables, he could be looking for accommodations when camp breaks!

CFL teams are always looking for the next Justin Medlock.  A guy that can execute well in all three phases of the CFL kicking game.  Sean White is another example of this ability in Montreal.  Ray Early has gotten some looks at Field Goal kicks, but his go-to is definitely punting the rock.

Another guy that may get some chances on Saturday is going to be a guy namded Cody Thornton of Graceland University.  He may surprise you.  Very unassuming kid but he’s looked really good stroking FGs, and I believe he’s been doing a fair share of Kick-off work.  He’s worth a look!


That’s it for now guys.  Like I stated earlier the other questions will be answered in the positional review that we’ll be doing all week!  Keep the CFL questions rolling to.  Those are fun to answer.  In case you’ve missed it as well, the first positional review was posted this morning.  We took a stab at the LBs.  It should be below this post.

Talk soon!


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