--Welcome to Saturday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order.
--When did Matt Elam become "the guy" for the Saskatchewan Roughriders? By looking at the thoughts of some, you would think the fact an incorrect roster was submitted meaning Elam could not play was the reason the green-and-white lost in Edmonton. Yes, get those pitchforks out for Chris Jones and blame him for a clerical error that had NOTHING to do with the end result of the football game. It is somewhat laughable. Did I say somewhat? Some suggesting he was out-coached by proven Gatorade cooler abuser Jason Maas because an incorrect lineup was handed in.
The outright hate for Jones continues and it will be that way until he leaves win or lose. Those that try to say that's not the case should just come right out and admit it. It will be better for yourself in the long run.
At the end of the day, what transpired on the turf at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night was an entertaining football game and one that showed me that with the lineup they want in the game, the Riders are a formidable squad.
The problems of the offence weren't solved, but the presence of Zach Collaros under center certainly made them a better football team. The same could be said with Duron Carter being back on the field. The running game did not suffer without Jerome Messam (albeit he could have been used in short yardage at the goal line), Jordan Williams-Lambert continued to show us what he has and the defence was the defence as an Edmonton team that had only allowed four sacks total going into the game allowed four on this night.
As I see it, the game came down to three plays:
1) The goal-line stand by the Eskimos that had to be reviewed by the command center. Don't get me started on that effort by the command center or the crew itself.
2) The Derel Walker TD catch in which he made a fantastic catch on a pass over Ed Gainey in the endzone
3) The 46 yard catch by Kenny Stafford which set up the game-winning touchdown. Again, a great pass by arguably the CFL's best player.
At 3-4 going into their 2nd bye week and having lost the first games against Edmonton and Calgary, I would think that the chances of a home playoff game may be gone, but there is still two-thirds of the season to go. If this unit that was sent out in Edmonton, the unit Chris Jones envisioned on opening night, they will be much better over the last 11 games.
Make no doubt about it, there are still improvements that have to be made---mental improvements. You can't have the receiver go offside three times, you have to make sure to be on the field when your number is called and you have to be able to convert on short yardage situations. If the Riders score on that play, it might have been and very likely would have been a different outcome and perhaps we could have seen Mr. Happy on the other sideline take out his frustration on some other inanimate object. At the end of the day, the Riders lost, but they didn't do so in the same fashion that Ottawa lost. The "no lead is safe" moniker definitely applied to that one. I get the feeling that could be a game that changes the season for both of those clubs.
--Soooooo Johnny Manziel. About that debut? Have we learned yet that Kavis Reed simply continues going through football hell because of the 09 Grey Cup? If Montreal has a "Sheldon", I am guessing he tossed himself in front of a subway at the end of the first half.
--I just want to make sure I have this right when it comes to Major League Baseball. Mariners 2nd baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for performance enhancing drugs. If the Mariners make the post-season he can't participate. Roberto Osuna gets suspended for 75 games for domestic violence and could be in a position to win a World Series ring with the Houston Astros after being traded by the Blue Jays. Major League Baseball is saying they take performance enhancers more seriously than domestic violence. Absorb that for a while.
--TSN has on the World Junior Showcase from Kamloops and the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament from Edmonton/Red Deer. We are in mid-summer. We don't need hockey games on TV do we? This is coming from a hockey guy!!!
--The summer is half over!!
--If you have been at the QCX or even if you haven't, you must know you can purchase a cricket grilled cheese sandwich.. I have been told by a few sources that not many are parting with their money to sample one. No surprise! No thanks! Now that meatball corndog might be a thing!
--That's all I got. Have a great long weekend!