Monday, September 28, 2015
Something to "Mitch" About
It took 13 games and it may be too little, too late, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders finally played the type of football many knew they were capable of at Mosaic Stadium on Sunday in beating Montreal 33-21. The Riders were in control basically from the get-go with the score flattering a Montreal team who just seemed disinterested which I found surprising considering they are fighting for a playoff spot. Here are some thoughts on what transpired.
--Macho Harris has taken a lot of abuse this year for his play and at times for good reason as he has missed several tackles, but he got the job done on defense intercepting three Montreal passes taking one of them back for a touchdown. It's Macho's first ever 3 pick game. It had to be his career best game.
--The aggression the Riders put on Montreal in the first series had Montreal on their heels right from the start. The way Kevin Glenn was slinging the ball in the first quarter it looked like he could have a 400 yard afternoon.
--Why hasn't Naaman Roosevelt been on the roster all season?
--The o-line had their best game of the season. Chris Best led the way.
--The balance shown by the offense was something you have to have to be successful and it may have been the first time that was realized this year.
--I don't know if Bob Dyce will go into 2016 as the head coach of the Riders, but he is making it tough on those who will do the hiring. There are still some flaws with this team, but there is a different demeanour amongst this group.
--Rob Bagg's 100th game was a memorable one as he caught one touchdown pass and let another one slip through his hands. For Rob to get to 100 games considering what he has gone through is a true achievement and is a sign of what this guy brings to the table. I said going into the 2013 Grey Cup that there were many guys I would be happy for if they won considering what had happened in their football careers and Bagg topped the list because of the battles he has gone through and that never-ending desire to stay on the football field. I still remember him leaving the field in tears a few years ago after he thought he had suffered another serious knee injury only to find out it wasn't as bad as first thought. The guy just refuses to stay down and that was the same thing yesterday after he got clocked by Chip Cox on a hit that went unpunished even though it was a head shot.
--Andre Monroe is a lot faster than I thought he was. The big man can scoot.
--Are the playoffs a possibility. Likely not, but a win over B-C next week will start people talking.As we have seen in the CFL though, never say never and with the Riders starting the last third of the season at 1-0, who knows! I wouldn't make any bets on their future, but if you do, the odds will be high and you will cash in.
--Now we have that out of the way, let's get to some other things.
--A lot of credit has to go to the Argonauts. They walked into the beehive known as TD Place in Ottawa and beat a very good REDBLACKS team.
--Michael Sam says the CFL made him worse as a football player. WHATEVER!! The fact is big boy, you can't look in the mirror and see you just did what many others who have come to Canada thinking they will dominate and don't. You underestimated this league and the bottom line is you weren't good enough. Perhaps if you weren't such a diva (which people associated with the Alouettes say he was), and actually concentrated on trying to be a professional football player like what you claimed to have wanted, you wouldn't be making statements like this. Good luck finding a job in the game. Your act has worn thin to many.
--Jonathan Jennings became the 20th quarterback to start a CFL game this year. That is not good in a nine team league and it will be 21 when Hamilton plays their next game. There has been a lot of negatives in the CFL this year, but that one has to top the list.
--The University of Regina Rams were flat out embarrassed on Saturday afternoon as the number 1 team in Canada showed why. The University of Calgary, one week after putting 80 up on Alberta, put up 72 on the Rams beating them 72-8 at Mosaic Stadium. The game was on Access and SHAW and if it hadn't been on SHAW, I'd have been calling for Polkarama or Bingo to come on after the 1st quarter. In all my years of watching the Rams, I can't remember the team being beaten that badly. It is now up to head coach Mike Gibson to reinforce to his young troops that it was just one game and it was against the top team in Canada because I'm sure there are a lot of players on that team questioning themselves after that performance. The old "if you don't like it, stop it mentality" can be taken too, but when Calgary is throwing deep with two minutes to go, it shows a cockiness on their part. I guess you can have that when you are on the top of the mountain though.
--75 hundred people showed up at SaskTel Centre on Saturday afternoon to watch Connor MacDavid and the Edmonton Oilers battle the Minnesota Wild.
The Oilers won the game and it would appear from the many I spoke with that MacDavid showed why there is so much hype around him. Many said it is not what he does with the puck that surprised him, it is what he does away from the puck and the smarts he has that impressed them. It is also my understanding the Wild basically dressed an AHL caliber team which I'm sure left many unimpressed.
--The Blue Jays are in and now we wait to see who they will play in the American League Divisional Series. There is no doubt David Price starts the opener, but then where do you go. I have had a lot of debate with Toronto fans on how the rotation should look. I say it should be Price, Stroman, Estrada and Dickey. Others think Dickey should be number 2 and some others think Dickey should be 3. As good a second half as he has had, I just don't trust Dickey and that knuckleball. It won't be an easy decision for John Gibbons no matter what way you look at it. By the way, was that celebration just a little over the top? If that is what they do for clinching a playoff spot, what are they going to do when they win the division and so on. However, seeing Munenori Kawasaki celebrate was worth it. That guy is a beaut. He has to be on Toronto's playoff roster somehow. One other thing and that is Sunday's walkoff homer secured the American League MVP award for Josh Donaldson. It shouldn't even be close when it comes time to vote.
--MLB commissioner Rob Manfred was on "The Dan Patrick Show" this week and said he would like to add two new franchises. If someone can pony up the money for a stadium in Montreal, you would have to think the re-birth of the Expos would be coming. The team can't and shouldn't play at Olympic Stadium, but if they can do so for a year or two while the new digs are being built, it would be great for baseball in this country.
--Back to football and thoughts on Week 3 of the NFL season
--Ben Roethlisberger is the latest quarterback to go down. It has been a bad year for quarterbacks in both the CFL and NFL.
--Only the St. Louis Rams would have a game delayed because their field caught fire because of the opening pyrotechnics.
--The Seahawks are fine, the Ravens are not!
--I thought Miami was supposed to have a good defense, who knew the Falcons would have such a good offense. By the way, if Julio Jones keeps up his current pace, he will catch 181 balls.
--The Raiders are 2-1 making me think Premier Brad Wall will make Derek Carr an honorary Saskatchewan citizen within days and maybe Charles Woodson too.
--Tom Brady continues to snub his nose at the NFL with his play. The guy is literally amazing.
--I can't wait for the first Cardinals-Seahawks matchup of the year. That will be fun.
--What the hell has happened to Colin Kaepernick?
--Texans defensive end and all around superman JJ Watt is a big Kelly Kapowski (Tiffani Amber-Thiessen) fan. Can you blame him? He went to Twitter after seeing a picture of Tiffani holding up a mens magazine saying she heard he was looking for him saying his mind was blown that he had gotten a tweet from his all-time crush. Look out Zack Morris!
That's all I got. Have a great week!