Thursday, 11 June 2015

Mails In!

I have to apologize to a couple of you…I didn’t get enough time to answer all the questions we’ve received lately, but I WILL HAVE THEM ANSWERED BY TOMORROW.  A couple of them were really good, and I didn’t want to rush the answers because they warranted more of an explanation, and I was late to a function.  So I’m really sorry if your answer isn’t in here today. It will definitely be addressed in tomorrow’s mailbag!


Here’s what I had time to get to today.  


You were a big fan of how Alex Anthony.  What happened?

• Completely a fan of his work.  I thought Anthony was having a good camp.  He was making plays, catching the rock, and seemed to be figuring out the offence.  That fact that the Riders cut him isn’t necessarily a sign that he was bad, it’s more of a testament to how good the other players at that position group are doing.  Cutting #83 frees up more reps during the exhibition season, for others players that the staff is high on, and to the younger guys like Melvin Abankwah and Alex Carroll who both have shown potential.  You have to consider where Alex would have fit in the grand scheme of things, vs. how he was playing at camp, no matter how he was playing.  The early release is fair to Anthony because it allows him to catch on somewhere else, hopefully before week 1 rolls around.  Keeping him in camp just to be a body would have limited him to an injury pick-up during the season.  There was a cut similar to this made by Montreal last week when they let veteran Scott Paxson go in order to take a better look at some of their younger talent on the defensive line.  

This is a tough business to be a part of, but the front office has to do what’s best for the team.  Sometimes guys who you think are doing great, fall victim to the bigger picture.

How’s Matt Kozun look?

• First of all, you can’t miss him!  He’s huge.  I don’t know what you guys are putting in the water in Saskatoon but Kozun and Jr. WR Evan Turkington are out there looking like walking GNC ads.  #79 (Kozun) is coming along.  He’s been getting reps at DT and he may see some significant snaps on Saturday.  This is probably the first time he’s had to study a real playbook, and it can be overwhelming even for the best players.  If you watch him on the field, you know exactly when he knows his assignment, and exactly when he’s unsure.  Matt’s still very raw, but I’m sure the coaches appreciate how hard he works day-in and day-out.  Like all young guys that are used to overpowering other competition, he has tendency to play a bit high with his pads and search for the ball instead of handling the guy in front of him and then moving to the ball after he has got through the blocker.  This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just something he can work on to make the next step.  There’s a log jam of Canadian linemen in camp, and soon the herd may start thinning out.  I don’t think they’ll be in any sort of rush to send him back to his program with the Hilltops, and for now he doesn’t look out of place at all in this defense that demands a lot from its linemen.

Could Ryan Smith be a Week 1 starter?  Or is he too much like Dressler?  It seems he’s only with the 1s if #7 is down…

• In Pro Foootball, you’re always 1 snap away from being the starter!  This year’s offence is going to be very different from the way things were ran last year in that the guys were plugged into certain spots and used in a set playbook.  I think Ryan Smith is going to contribute whether he is coined a “starter” or not.  In 2015, the offensive playbook is going to feature a number of different substitution packages and personnel groupings, and Chapdelaine is going to figure out a way to use all of the guys who can make plays.  That’s why it’s been important for Ryan Smith to play the way that he has.  He’s given the coaches something to work with and think about when considering his skillset on different down and distance situations, and in various parts of the field.  He might be out there with Dressler at times, who knows.  My advice would be try to not limit guys to positions this year.  There’s a bunch of guys that will be utilized in different ways and scenarios.


How often do players put in gym time during the season?  Do they back off training so they can rest the body between games?


• Players absolutely work out during the season.  They don’t lift and run like they did prior to June but everybody will have their own program that focuses on maintenance of strength without demanding much extra.  There’s no point in adding to an already brutal workload.  The guys who don’t work out during the season will most likely deteriorate, and be ineffective in the later stages of the year, especially in the playoffs.  Resting the body is also important, so a lot of players that are on the 42 man roster will have their workouts all done by the time Day 3 rolls around.  Short weeks are tough.  Sometimes you’ll only have time to get in a quick total body workout.


Talk to ya’ll tomorrow!  Hope that helped!

Sorry once again for not getting to a couple of you.



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