Piffles Top 5 – Things to Watch in Riders vs Blue Bombers Preseason Game
Published: Wednesday, May 31st 2023, 1:05pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The Saskatchewan Roughriders are set to head out to Winnipeg for the preseason finale on Friday night and we will finally get a look at the projected starters, including our first real look at Trevor Harris in a Riders uniform. Here’s 5 things I’m looking for in this game as we close out the preseason:
1. Does Trevor Harris Look Comfortable?
No, I’m not talking about how his pants and jersey fit, although it is important those fit well. I’m talking about how comfortable he looks with his new teammates. Is there any chemistry there already with the new group of receivers for the Riders? Is he comfortable enough with the playcalling to take a few shots down the field? I mean, why not… you have nothing to lose in the preseason, let’s see some risks here. Regardless of how many points are put up, I’d like to see some drives established and the ball being moved downfield. Tempo offense, a slower, more methodical offense, it doesn’t matter to me. We need to see that Harris is ready to go for game 1 next week.
2. The Starting Offensive Line
How good is this unit together? The starting unit didn’t play in the preseason win against BC, so is the chemistry there? Projected starting Left Tackle Jerald Hawkins won’t play due to a personal matter that he went home for, so he won’t even have 1 single snap against live action all preseason long… is that going to be an issue going forward? I thought the O-Line did really well against BC last Saturday evening, not allowing a QB sack… will the starting unit have the same success? I’m very interested in how this O-Line fairs this week.
3. How Long the Starters Play
Only a handful of starters got playing time last week against BC… do the projected starters play a full half this week? Only a quarter and a bit? If they struggle early on, does Coach Dickenson pull them immediately or give them a chance to find their groove? The number 2 QB position is still up for grabs, who gets time with the starting unit and how much time do they get with them before backups come in?
4. Backup QB Battle
Last week, all 3 QBs, Jake Dolegala, Shea Patterson and Mason Fine all looked pretty good. Who is going to win the #2 job behind Trevor Harris? Will someone grab the job or will one or more of them lose the job? Dolegala got the most time last week, will he be the first one in with the starters after Harris leaves the game? This is going to be a great battle until the very end.
5. CUT OUT THE STUPID PENALTIES!
Coach Craig Dickenson has talked the talk all offseason, including most of 2022, but he still hasn’t walked the walk when it comes to cutting down penalties. I know he’s not the one taking the penalties, but it’s a direct reflection of leadership. I don’t mind when O-Lineman stand up for their QBs when they take a late hit (like we saw last week vs BC), it’s the dumb ones that bother me. NEED to cut those out. Walk. The. Walk.
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