A View From The Stands - Week 4 Edition
Published: Sunday, Jul 7th 2019, 2:07pm
By:Sheldon Jones (@Sheldon_Jones83)
The curse of the back up QB has again haunted the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Nick Arbuckle was named the starter for the Calgary Stampeders after Bo Levi Mitchell injured his right pectoral muscle last game. He has since been placed on the 6 game injury list which gave Arbuckle the chance to show off what he is made of. Lucky for him he was playing the Roughriders. Saskatchewan has been a team that has always allowed other teams back ups to look like the next marquee franchise QB. This game was not pretty but here are my observations.
- The Riders caved to the fan reactions regarding Gainer 2.0. I think this was actually a brilliant marketing move by the team as the reaction to Gainers initial reveal went viral quickly. The video of him throwing out the green contacts was hilarious and the fans reacted well and gave the new Gainer their seal of approval. I know I was hard on Gainer initially but I did grow to love him even with those creepy green eyes.
- You could tell early on that one of two things (or both) was happening in the game. Either the Riders were just too tired from their short week, or they completely overlooked the Stamps without Bo Levo Mitchell. The OLine was terrible at opening holes and protecting the QB allowing 5 sacks against and limiting William Powell to only 50 yards rushing.
- Solomon Means needs to be cut tonight. He was atrocious and was responsible for 3 penalties that contributed to points and couldn't cover anything. How we kept him over Crezdon Butler I will never know.
- It was good to see Solomon Elimimian out there but you could tell he needs to knock the rust off. Here's hoping that the old Sol makes an appearance in our next game.
- As stated in last week's View from the stands, Cody Fajardo was needing to have another impressive game tonight to gain any real traction to becoming this teams undisputed starter. He came back down to earth after having two amazing games. To be fair he didn't have the time in the pocket that he has been used to the past couple games and he tried to tuck it a run a little to often early on. He made a very bone headed call decision on his pick-6 and never should have thrown that ball. After that Issac Harker came in and while he did look impressive again, it was clear that the Stamps were playing off and letting the underneath stuff go. Cody should still get the start on July 20th vs BC but if he has another outing like tonight it will be time to see what Harker can do as a starter.
- Craig Dickenson has seemingly made a big gaffe in each game in his rookie season as HC. Tonight when down by 20 points with 7 mins left, he elected to go for a FG try instead of gambling on offence. Our regular kicker Brett Lauther missed the game due to an injury so earlier in the week we signed Gabriel Ferraro. Craig chose to try to get 3 points with a rookie kicker and still be a 3 score game instead of going for it to try to cut the lead to 2 TD's. This wasn't Jason Maas level dumb but come on coach. When down by that much a FG is not going to help you there.
- Again Stampeders HC Dave Dickenson showed his true colours by calling a deep streak when already up by 20 points. He may be a great coach but since Wally Buono retired, Dave is the HC I hate the most. (But dammit i do respect his coaching expertise, except for when he runs up the score or fishes on his challenges)
- Great to see the Sasky boys Jayden Schwartz and Tyler Bozak bring the Stanley Cup to Mosaic. With Tyler Bozak and Jon Ryan I now went to school with 2 world champs.
All in all it was a terrible showing by the Riders in all three phases. In a game that should have been close, the Riders chose to over think and underestimate the competition. This was the first game in league history to have 2 brothers coach against each other and Dave clearly had the upper hand. Hopefully the next time these two team meet it will be a more entertaining football game. The bye week has come at the right time for the Roughriders and while we do not need to see wholesale changes as our season is not over, the coaching staff needs to seriously evaluate who should be playing for this team down the stretch.