Coming off the heels of an EXCITING week of CFL action we got some great questions pertaining to Week 3 from YOU, our readers.
For those of you who are knew to the game here at Pro Perspective, our Mailbag Monday column is for your questions...
Anything goes, and much like the time spend in football meeting rooms; there are NO dumb questions! We just enjoy helping you through whatever topics that are on your mind.
There are two ways to join the conversation, you can get your questions into the comment section below, or shoot them to us on Twitter via @lucmull95.
Here's what our answers to the questions you guys had this week!
Via Twitter (@lucmull95)
Q: It’s early but what’s the brightest spot for the Saskatchewan Roughriders so far?
A: If you missed it, I’ll include it in a link at the bottom of this answer, but I wrote about how important this Offensive Line was going to be to the Green and White in my first column of the year for Riderville.ca.
In my mind the best part of this young season has been watching the Face of the Franchise Darian Durant operate effectively from the pocket while going relatively untouched. Saskatchewan’s Oline has only allowed 1 sack in two games and if we look at what some of the keys to success are in 2016, the biggest one was probably the need to keep Durant healthy.
Doubles went 27/38 for 4 TDs and 317 yards on Friday against an Edmonton D that features some capable pass rushers. I’m sure if you were to ask him, he’d give credit to his guys up front for allowing him to go through his progressions stress free.
This team is going to go as far as Durant can take them this year, and I’m not saying that in an effort to separate him from the pack. After a terrible 1.5 seasons without #4 and the makeup of this team on the defensive side of the ball, the Riders will need to limit two-and-outs and SCORE TD’s (not Field Goals) in the score zone, while the D finds their groove. Over the course of the first two games, despite both being losses, the Offensive Line has done a fantastic job knocking guys off the Line of Scrimmage, winning 1v1 battles, and sorting out the blitz.
The BIG HOGGIES up front have been one of the brightest spots in the early stages of the 2016 season.
Via Text (use the comment section please)
Q: What’s it like to TIE a football game?
A: In futbol (soccer) ties are part of the deal, and one can watch an entire game fully aware that one team may be playing simply to draw against their opponent. THIS AIN’T SOCCER (SAWFFFT).
Ties are the worst. I can’t remember what year it was but as a member of the Green and White we played to a tie against the Calgary Stampeders and I would have rather lost that game than tie it.
One feels like the whole week of prep and travel (if you’re the visiting team) was an absolute waste of time. As a football player or coach, one conditions themselves to compete and WIN. If winning doesn’t happen, then one is trained to learn from every teachable moment and go out and compete to WIN when the next opportunity presents itself.
There is NEVER a post-game plan for a stupid TIE, or a set of emotions that are associated with it. Guys just sit in the locker room after a tie wondering where the hell the last two hours of their life went.
It’s like a groom being left at the alter…part of him wants to be absolutely devastated, but a piece of him also wants to fly to Vegas and celebrate his extended freedom.
One can’t even say, “Well at least we didn’t lose…” Yeah, no kidding…somehow the team did worse than losing…now slap yourself.
“You play to win the game!!! HELLO…You play to win…You don’t just play to play it!”
I love that Herm Edwards quote as he went off on the New York Jets media.
In this case Coach Edwards summed it up perfectly.
Tie games just mean that you played the game just to do something. Ties provide ZERO closure in a sport where one wants to be able to close the book and move on to the next week. Never mind the standings and all of that other stuff.
Professional athletes are as competitive as they come. Ties are the last thing a competitor wants on their conscience.
Via FaceBook MESSENGER (from the All RIDER Fan Page)
Q: How come you never do Power Rankings?
A: I don’t know. I never paid much attention to Power Rankings when I was a player, and I still find them a bit misleading because a lot of them are based on records and don’t take into account team’s performance over the BIG PICTURE. For sh*ts and giggles, I’ll give one to you guys here, including a brief explanation for the position. Let me know how I measure up to YOUR RANKINGS!
1. Ottawa…If Nic Grigsby doesn’t fumble on the Goal line, the RedBlacks are 3-0…But they’re also lucky that Bakari Grant had a game winning TD slip through his hands.
2. Calgary…They’re scoring TD’s, which is the only reason they’re number 2 over our #3, 4, and 5 teams. #BoLeviMitchell
3. British Columbia...Did anyone else notice how good Travis Lulay looked in the 2nd half of their game against TO? Their Defence has only allowed 46 points over 3 weeks. I have them ahead of the ARGOS if Lulay IS playing, and behind them if he isn’t. I know this looks stupid considering they’re ranked higher than the team they just lost to but the Lions are different with Lulay at the helm and that’s where this position stems from. Phase of the year is also a consideration here.
4. Toronto…HUGE win for the Double Blue in BC behind the leg of Hajrullahu, but Field Goals aren’t going to get it done in this league over the long haul. Teams will take winning by a Field Goal or two, however the kicker cannot be one’s primary source of points. The Argos have to find a way to get into the end zone. I’m not taking the win/loss record into account here. Mike McCullough and I talked about Ricky Ray on the Roughrider Roundtable (620 CKRM) and right now we have a push-up bet on whether Ricky Ray gets 12 starts under his belt this year. He’s over, I’m under. Obviously we have utmost respect for Ray and don’t want to see him get hurt at all, but something doesn’t seem quite right there.
5. Edmonton…They got the WIN and that’s all that counts, but they cannot continue to play with fire Defensively. Right now it seems like they HAVE TO score on every drive. The Esks ability to score points with Mike Reilly and his arsenal of weapons should be a luxury not a requirement.
6. Bombers…Realistically teams 6-9 are all interchangeable but I guess we have to start somewhere! The Bummers did a great job capitalizing on opportunity, whether it was through turnover or situations that befell them. With Edmonton and Calgary on deck they’ll need to continue playing SOLID D while their O continues to figure out ways to score. We really got to see the benefits of the Andrew Harris signing in Winnipeg as the TiCat/Bomber game ticked down and ball possession became excruciatingly important.
7. Montreal…The ALS are treading water wearing ankle weights here at the 7 spot and they’re going to have to find a way to get things done this week minus a minimum of TWO of their Offensive Stars. Fortunately, their D is capable of keeping them in every game and they’ve got the turnover prone Offence of the Hamilton TiCats coming into their building this weekend.
8. Saskatchewan…NO GREEN GOGGLES HERE. The reason that the Riders find themselves above the TiCats in this one is because the Tabbies are turning the ball over on Offence in absolutely crucial phases of the game. Hamilton’s fortune changes THE MINUTE Zach Collaros gets back on the field.
9. Hamilton. Like I said, the 6-9 rankings are interchangeable at this point. Hamilton shot itself in the foot far too many times against Winnipeg to have a legitimate shot at winning the game and their Defense is spending too much time on the field because of it.
The CFL is a crap-shoot early and things like Power Ranking aren't a beacon of light that one should depend on. When one looks at the facts, like teams being UNBABLE TO WIN in their own buildings it shows us how unique and fragile the scales of power are in this league!
Hope this encourages your water-cooler convo's and cigarette breaks! Talk soon folks.