Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Morning After

The only way the Canada Day Long Weekend could be better for Rider fans is if you won the Lotto Max last nite or win the 6-49 tonight. What a performance by the green guys---uh I mean the white guys. I didn't see this team racking up 43 points on night one of the season and admittedly, I picked them to lose. Its OK to be wrong though. Someday, I will stop using the Rob Vanstone methodology of picking sporting events. Just some thoughts on the night at Ivor Wynne

--The white helmets made the Riders look like stormtroopers from the Star Wars movies. If that is the case, does this mean "The Empire Is Striking Back". Is Weston Dressler actually Luke Skywalker? It doesn't look right, but as I said with the uniforms, it doesn't matter what colour they are or what they look like, its what the guy inside them does and the guys inside them did a helluva job Friday night.

--If there were any first night jitters, head coach Corey Chamblin certainly didn't show them. He had a helluva gameplan and the guys bought in. This team sent a message to the CFL last nite that the Riders are back. Yes, its just one game, but I think everyone saw that the 2012 edition was better than the 2011 one.

--Once again, it is only one game, but Darian Durant looked like the QB of 2009 and 2010 which is good news for everyone concerned. As I said earlier, he has a quiet confidence around him this year and it showed on the field. When all is said and done, the move to bring Khari Jones in as quarterbacks coach might be the biggest thing the Riders did all year. As for Weston Dressler, well, he was Weston Dressler and you can't really say anything more about this guy can you?

--The biggest series of the game in my mind was the first Rider possession of the 2nd half. The Riders had a shot at putting what would have been a gift three pointer on the board only to see Chris Milo bounce one off the upright. Hamilton was in the football game at the half and that could have been a real momentum changer. The Riders needed to do something with the football to start the 2nd half and they did as Durant moved the team 72 yards in just three plays on completions to Bagg, Getzlaf and Dressler for the touchdown. From that moment on, it was all Riders as that drive just seemed to end any hope that the Ti-Cats might have had.

--Kory Sheets had a great game running the football and his blocking was superb as well as he helped Durant out at times when it was needed.

--Keith Shologan had an outstanding game (a sentence that will likely be repeated many times this year)

--While they are raw and inexperienced to the CFL game, linebackers Abraham Kromah and Tyron Brackenridge showed they belong. They will just get better as they learn.

--Odell Willis didn't make any sacks, but his presence was felt out there. Was it him being held on the long touchdown pass to Chris Williams that was negated? I think it was.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that the Riders are a much different squad than what we saw last year. There is once again a fire there---a fire that I didn't see for much of last season. Corey Chamblin promised us a young group that would be full of energy and on night one he delivered. It is only one game and one game does not a season make, but Rider fans should be feeling optimistic that 2011 was just a bump in the road as the organization suggested and that good times have returned. It will be interesting to see what the Eskimos bring to the table tonight and if the Riders can keep the momentum going into the home opener next Sunday. Oh yeah, I'll be taking the home team to win that one---but I would have been doing that regardless of the outcome last night.

(picture courtesy


Anonymous said...

I like the Stormtroopers reference. Rod Black said during the game that the Riders look reminded him of the New York Jets. I can't disagree!

Great game by the Riders!!!


Anonymous said...

I think the thing that impressed me the most was the way Durant interacted with his O-linemen when they were losing their cool. TWICE. I really do think he took ownership of his team last night.


Anonymous said...

The positives far outweighed the negatives.

Nick Graham at the corner scares me. I thought thats why Woldu was brought in.

Don't like the white helmets.


Anonymous said...

You ain't kidding when you say they looked like stormtroopers. Perhaps they should play some Star Wars music when they come out from under the helmet if they ever do that at home.

Completely different looking Durant from last year. Looked more like the guy that got us to GC.

One game doesn't make a season, but it starts the weekend off right.



Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Kory Sheets is a weapon in the backfield we haven't had for a long time. Kudos to Taman for finding him!

Anonymous said...

I'm OK with the white helmets, but I'd much rather have green!


Anonymous said...

For thoses of you who are older than dirt, you may recall the 1951 Riders under Glenn Dobbs also had white helmets.I was a kid and remember "Dobberville" Talk about retro uniforms!!!

Anonymous said...

Shologan does just his job. Nothing flashy, he just gets it done. Keeping him was one of many big moves for Taman. I thought he would go home and play for Edmonton.


Anonymous said...

It was Willis being held on the penalty that negated the Williams TD. How many times is Nick Graham going to get burned? He was lucky on that one!


Anonymous said...

So if they ever wear the all-whites at home, should they come out from under the helmet to the Star Wars music.