Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Keeping the Party Going...

I had the opportunity to chat with one of the beat writers who covers the Green and White today and during our brief convo I got the feeling that the general consensus among the media was that because the practise session was shorter, it meant that it was some how “easier”.


From an athlete’s point of view, having the amount of time you’re out on the field cut down is a nice thought, however one has to keep in mind the gravity of the situation at hand.  There is never an “easy” day during the most important job interview of your life.  #ProSports


I was puzzled by the logic of the suggestion, especially seeing as the team was in full pads this morning HOWEVER I did understand where the media was coming from having never physically been through something like this in their lifetime.


In the real world, if ones boss designates a day of work that the employees only have to come in for half of the day, the employees celebrate like it’s a holiday. #PubCrawlTuesday  


Unfortunately, such is not the case during training camp.


Day 3 and 4 are always the tougher days to get through during the grind that is June.  The bumps and bruises are piling up, ones muscles are stiff and sore, and it seems like plays are being installed at 100 miles per hour.  

One cannot stress enough about how important mental toughness is over the next couple of days for these athletes.  

As the job interview becomes harder, the players that let the uncontrollable circumstances, like practise sched and tempo, affect their process will be the ones left behind by the guys who understand that the COMPETITIVE EXPECTATIONS never change.


That’s why I scoff at the notion that practise today was being approached with an “ease off the pedal” attitude.  For those onlookers that expected that mentality, I’m sure they were surprised with the proceedings today.  Things were as lively and as spirited as ever!  As a matter of fact, I’d venture to say that this one of the more competitive days the Green and White have had during the early stages of training camp.


The score board is quickly becoming my favourite part of this year.  Right now it’s my MVP! #ChefCurry


The fact that this team is keeping a running score between the offence and defense throughout the day is AWESOME because it has become a reference point for all the team periods and a catalyst for the competition that Chris Jones is trying to foster.


Case and point...One of the reasons why today’s practise was so lively is because the players were focused on WINNING the day.  The last team competition period became as close to an actual game as one could simulate without referees because the score was tied up until the last play of practise!  Doubles (Darian Durant) even utilized a hard count to get a Dlineman to jump offside in order to secure the winning point. #VetMove  


There was no way the D wanted to let the day end like that so Chris Jones elected to give the team one final play to resolve things to the delight of everyone involved.


Even my competitive nature as a former Dlineman kicked in during the final snap and I couldn’t have been happier when the defense ended up winning the day with Dan West blowing up a ball carrier to keep him from gaining the yardage necessary to put up an offensive point.  

Practise couldn’t have ended on a better note!  

The 2016 Saskatchewan Roughriders are starting to form their identity folks!  The fact that the bonding agent they’re using is COMPETITION is perfect considering the makeup of this group.


Sure, there’s going to be a ton of new faces on the field when the Green and White start the regular season, and because of that, there’s going to be some speed bumps that they’ll have to deal with along the way.  


The most important part of training camp right now is not just about who’s going to end up where.


Right now the Riders are developing an innate drive to compete down in and down out.  If that mentality is developed and carried into the 2016 CFL season, they’ll always have a chance at success.


“The only thing on the mind of a shark is EAT.”


As usual, here are some other (Day 3) notes of interest that you guys may add to your water cooler conversations...


• It’s no secret that the Canadian content of this organization has not only increased, it’s gotten better.  One of the players that keeps taking advantage of the reps he’s being given is Dillon Grondin from the Windsor Jr. Program.  We first ran into Grondin at the Vero Beach Fla mini-camp where he opened some eyes specifically with his coverage ability.  He’s popping up everywhere this week and one of the positions that is not deep in CDN talent is the LB spot.  It’s been a good start for the young man.


• During The Sportscage yesterday (620 CKRM) we talked about the need for finding some pocket pushing Defensive Tackles.  One of the guys we didn’t mention was Markus White who is another hold over from the last couple of seasons.  White had a good day today, especially during 1v1s, and don’t count him out of the mix on the interior quite yet.


• Going back to yesterdays theme of ‘getting the most of players athletic ability’ Chris Best was the latest to display a multi-purpose skillset.  #66 took reps as the TE in the teams big packages and did a fantastic job of collapsing the edge of the defense and resetting the line of scrimmage.  He also took snaps at Centre and continued to knock guys off the ball whether it was individually or within a double team.  You can tell the veteran Guard is digging the new offensive mindset of Coach McAdoo...Control the ball by dominating upfront.


• To add to the point above, the Olinemen are doing a terrific job asserting their physical presence on any drill they’re involved in.  There were a few holes opened up today that sprung backs for big gains.  Edmonton’s Oline were known throughout the league for their nasty demeanor and one can see that it’s slowly developing with these players.


• Ed Gainey continues to cover all sorts of body types.  His value goes up every day.  


• I tweeted this earlier today but one of the highlights of the competition on the field has been watching Otha Foster and Rob Bagg go at it.  Whether it’s Pass Skelly, 1v1s, or during Team periods, both players are getting the most out of their reps.  #BestOnBest


• I’m getting sick of people complaining that “they don’t know anybody on the roster any more!”  I get it, there was an emotional attachment to some of the guys that used to be here but the more people sit and wish the jersey they own is more relevant, the more we’re going to miss out on the future insert former favourite player here.  Just remember guys; at one point in time the John Chicks and Weston Dresslers of the world weren't legends and they to had to step through the 'Door or Opportunity'.  Don't miss out on the chance to see the FUTURE legends of this organization dwelling on the names that you've come to revere.
There's plenty of time in the Plaza of Honour for all of that!




















  1. Cappicciotti & Lemon are both gonna be crowd favorites! I have seen them at a couple of functions and they are #AllIn! Great to see!! Some GREAT young talent being assembled... if you don't know some of these names, you're only watching Rider football and not CFL football!

  2. Good stuff as always Luc, once the RUSH season is over will be focused on all your RIDER content. #GORUSH #GORIDERS

  3. Just listened to you on the Sportscage podcast, you can't be forgetting about the Rush. You have the best Rider breakdowns and analysis, good job!

  4. Hey Luc, don't let this blog turn into Pedersen's with the slagging of your readership (your last paragraph). You're better than that.

  5. Hey Luc, don't let this blog turn into Pedersen's with the slagging of your readership (your last paragraph). You're better than that.