Monday, September 12, 2016

Something To "Mitch" About

WOULDA, SHOULDA, COULDA --- It was right there for the taking, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as the beat goes on in Riderville.

Former Rider linebacker Mike McCullough says you have to expect "incremental growth" on a week by week basis and we saw that from the green-and-white as this team of young players continues to plod along, but sadly that incremental growth doesn't include wins.  While I am onside with what his plan is, I can't help but put this one right at the feet of Chris Jones. 

Yes, Jones isn't responsible for the Riders having to settle for a field goal on their first drive because the o-line couldn't get the job done and yes, Jones isn't responsible for Caleb Holley having what turned out to be a disastrous fumble inside the Winnipeg 20 in the 4th, but he is responsible for calling what was a terrible fake field goal in the final few minutes.  Was there anyone at Investors Group Field or watching on TV that knew Tyler Crapigna was not going to try a 57 yard field goal? The fake was poorly executed, and it led to the Bombers getting the winning points.  Another loss! SIGHHHH!!

Why not punt, hem the Bombers in and then hope a defense which had played so well all day can give you the ball back in decent field position? Was that too much to ask? Sometimes coaches out-think themselves and in this case, that is what happened.

Other thoughts on what transpired:

 --Despite the final head-shaking 5 minutes of play, this was a great game for the Rider D. I thought for the most part they kept Winnipeg in check. This was the defense I was expecting to see from Jones in about Week 5 or 6.

--The o-line needs Brendan Labatte and Chris Best back and they need them back yesterday. That line isn't winning many battles.

--What more can you say about Naaman Roosevelt that hasn't been said before? This guy is a keeper!

--Why wasn't Kendial Lawrence returning punts all game? The last time we saw Lawrence he was taking a punt back 95 yards and then a decision is made to put Armanti Edwards back there? When Lawrence did go back to returning kicks, he had a huge return on a missed field goal that was called back. By the way, while the call on Justin Cox was "chintzy" to say the least on that play. The same thing happened on the Kevin Fogg punt return TD so it evened out.

--Winnipeg has won 6 in a row. Have the Riders won six games since Durant went down in the 2014 Banjo Bowl? SIGHHHHH

--We are seeing what this team can do, but until they start learning how to win and keep gaining that experience, these feelings of frustration aren't going away. McCullough said during Saturday's phone-in show it won't be much better next year. Can you as a fanbase accept that considering what you've gone through for the last two years. I don't know!

A QB SHUFFLE - So much for those Durant to Toronto rumours. The Bombers get defensive back TJ Heath, a first next year and a 3rd in 2018 for Drew Willy. It was clear Willy's time in Winnipeg had come to an end with the play of Matt Nichols, but to see the Argos give up so much for him is somewhat shocking, even moreso after seeing how Dan Lefevour performed against Hamilton. To see Willy go to Toronto isn't surprising, but to see the return the Bombers get is.  The Bombers then filled the void left by Willy's absence by picking up Kevin Glenn for a 4th in 2017 as the CFL journeyman calls Winnipeg home again.  Winnipeg obviously feels this will allow them to take a shot at Calgary. Sorry Winnipeg, that isn't going to happen even though you are playing some great football right now.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON - Many people are still buzzing over the performance of Noah Picton on Thursday night at Mosaic Stadium. The U of R quarterback threw for 490 yards and 4 touchdowns in a come-from-behind last second win over Manitoba. Picton has now thrown for 971 yards and 8 touchdowns in two games. TWO GAMES!! That is beyond Madden-like. It had Canada West on Shaw play by play man Jim Mullin proclaim that while it is just two weeks into the CIS season, that is Hec Crighton material. Picton obviously has the pedigree as his father Dean was a great QB for the Rams. One of many the team has had. OK, long-time Rams fans, the resume isn't complete on Noah, but where does he stand when it comes to Ram QB's. Is he better than Dad? With all due respect to Dean, I think he might be and I think Dean would be OK with that assessment. Is he better than Leason? Is he better than Mueller? Its a great debate to have.

NFL WEEK 1 - There was no doubt I would be parked on the couch for the first Sunday of NFL action. There were some wild games, there were some defensive struggles, and there were some dramatic finishes. In all games I watched though, I saw quarterbacks throw passes that saw receivers and defenders battle for with no flags being thrown. The stripes let the guys play. Yes, there were a couple of calls I wondered about, but it was great to see a call or non-call get made and no delay result because of a challenge. If the Miami-Seattle game was played under CFL rules with CFL refs, it might have been halftime around 8 o'clock. If the CFL can make it so that defenders aren't neutered to the point that we might as well be playing modified flag football, it will go a long way to correcting a game that is broken as far as I'm concerned.

CM FLUNK --  WWE wrestler CM Punk didn't even get out of the first round at UFC 203. After training for many months to step into the octagon, Mickey Gall made short work of him. I thought UFC would give Punk some soup-can to give him some momentum, but that obviously didn't happen. I still think the chances of seeing him in the octagon before we see him on RAW or Smackdown is high. He let it be known that while not successful, it wasn't going to stop him from trying again.

EXTENDING EDWIN -  I think its pretty clear by now that when baseball free agency hits, the Blue Jays have to concentrate on keeping Edwin Encarnacion and letting Jose Bautista walk. I don't think the team can afford to pay both free agents enough to stay in Toronto. Edwin is going to get you 40 plus homers and around 125 RBI's when all is said and done. At 33, you can't give him a monster deal, but I think you have to make sure he sticks around. With fans filling Rogers Centre again, I don't think money will be an issue.

That's all I got. Have a great week! 


Anonymous said...

Evvvvvvvvvvryone knew a fake FG was coming as soon as Bridge came out to hold. I like the "trickery" Jones has had in the special teams game this year with the short kicks, but this was just too predictable. Of course, Pedersen has to try and defend it, but that was the wrong move at the wrong time and it arguably cost us the game.

Having a game decided by a bad penalty is one thing, but having a game decided because of your own stupidity is another.


Anonymous said...

Very happy to hear the Durant to Toronto stories can end.

This guy is our QB and should be our QB for the next 3-5 years.

Can Reynolds get involved with any extension talks or is that strictly a Jones thing?

I can't see this team going through another Dressler/Chick/Getzlaf scenario like we did last off season, but who knows what Jones is thinking.

Anonymous said...

I hope Glen Johnson watched the NFL over the CFL this weekend. He might have learned a thing or two.

Anonymous said...

Leason. End of story!

Anonymous said...

For a guy who loves defense, Jones didn't allow his defense to get the hold needed to try and win the game.

Anonymous said...

The NFL comments are so true. It was great watching games where defenders can actually touch someone without worry of a flag coming down. The three games I watched were more enjoyable than a lot of CFL games this year for that reason.

I have confidence the league has seen what type of monster it created, and will do some backpedalling in the off-season. It isn't just in Riderville where the angst is being felt.


Anonymous said...

Unreal start for Picton. Hope he keeps up in Vancouver this weekend. UBC didn't look very good against Calgary.

Anonymous said...

Scruffy said; "Jones isn't responsible for the Riders having to settle for a field goal on their first drive because the o-line couldn't get the job done."

Why isn't he responsible? Isn't he the coach and recruiter?

Anonymous said...

I had no idea who the guy Punk was fighting was until Saturday night. He cleaned Punk's clock. He says he wants to continue, but he is overmatched. It will be a full year before he steps back inside a Cage so he can learn a little more.

Anonymous said...

McCullough said during Saturday's phone-in show it won't be much better next year.

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