What We Learned From Preseason Game 2
Published: Saturday, Jun 9th 2018, 9:06am
by: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)
The Riders ended yet another pre-season with an (0-2) record, this time falling 39-12 to the Calgary Stampeders. In fact, the Riders haven’t won a preseason game since 2014 when Keith Toston ran rampant over the Ottawa REDBLACKS and then never saw the field again after that until week 17. No, I’m not still bitter about that at all.
Enough about that, let’s look at last night’s drubbing, and what we can take away from it.
Adusei You Later
I will be genuinely shocked if Emmanuel Adusei isn’t on the list of cuts made by the Saskatchewan Roughriders later today. He didn’t look good at all last night, including the play where he got beat and almost got Zach Collaros killed. We know we are going into the season with 2 nationals on the offensive line, and its more than likely Dariusz Bladek will be the 6th OL, with St John potentially the next guy up. He had to show up last night, and he certainly didn’t.
If you’re in the market for the jersey of an up and comer with a ton of potential, look no further than JWL. He has impressed in camp and did nothing to hurt his stock last night with 3 catches for 57 yards. He made a very nice sideline catch on a David Watford pass in the 4th quarter. Look for him to have at least earned a practice roster spot.
I stopped counting how many major penalties the Riders took that directly lead to touchdowns by the Calgary Stampeders. It was either 2 or 3 for sure. Multiple times the Riders held the Stamps on 2nd down, only to see a roughing the passer or pass interference call extend the drive. Preseason or not, this team needs to be more disciplined going into next week against the defending Grey Cup champion Toronto Argos and Ricky Ray.
Last night did nothing to alleviate concerns of those in Rider Nation who wonder if Zach Collaros can still get it done. 6/16 for 41 yards is not good enough. Hopefully things change when the lights come on for real and Collaros can get back to his MVP form. Having said that, it’s not like Brandon Bridge did much to vault himself up the depth chart ahead of Collaros either. 2/5 for 21 yards and several errant passes. Neither quarterback looked remotely comfortable. While we were told we’d see Collaros in the 1st and 3rd and Bridge in the 2nd/4th, the whiff by Emmanuel Adusei put an end to the 2nd half for both of our top two quarterbacks. And rightfully so. We shouldn’t have had our starting QB in without our starting offensive line, and we saw why.
Speaking of quarterbacks – David Watford had the best day out of all 4 QBs who saw the field. He moved the pocket, used his legs, and made things happen. I won’t get too excited yet because it was last in the game, but it was good to see a QB turning nothing into something on multiple occasions. Watford has certainly earned that #3 spot on the depth chart going into the regular season.
Several players looked good last night, including Derrick Moncrief and Jeremy Cutrer. Duron Carter had a rough outing, taking 2 major penalties (1 unnecessary roughness and 1 questionable DPI), while Chad Geter managed to get some push last night. Speaking of push, we finally saw a sack from our defensive line, with Gary Wilkins breaking through for the Riders first and only sack of the preseason.
The potential starting unit did a good job of holding Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps while he was on the field. I’m not concerned at all about our defense going in to the 2018 regular season.
What are your thoughts on the game last night, Rider Nation? Who stood out, and who likely earned themselves a one-way ticket home.