Position Watch: Pre-season game 2
Published: Friday, Jun 16th 2017, 2:06pm
By Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)
The Riders are back on TV! The second preseason game is upon us and we are going to have “real” football in less than a week, but first, we need to get through the game versus BC and cut down day.
So, what positions should we keep an eye on?
As mentioned last game, all eyes are on the Offensive line as it was pretty bad last season. The starting group featuring Brendon Labatte, Peter Dyakowsi, Dan Clark, Derek Dennis, and Thaddeus Coleman looked solid as a unit last game. Expect to see a bulk of the snap to go to the younger guys where hopefully a guy like Dariusz Bladek can show that last week’s poor performance was just nerves in his first pro game.
As advertised the receiving corps looked good at new Mosaic Stadium, so there is still a lot of jockeying for position still to go. The surprising release of Canadian Mitchell Baines could open a competition between Mitch Picton and Joshua Stanford as a national receiver behind Rob Bagg and Nic Demski.
As for international receivers, there is going to be a name player cut. Just looking at the numbers there has to be at least one… and it probably not going to be pretty on Rider Nation Twitter when it happens.
Lost in the shuffle of last game was the Running Back situation. Kienan LaFrance’s hamstring injury keeping him out since the beginning of training camp has slowed plans of what was expected to be a National Running Back platoon of him and Greg Morris. Fortunately, the Riders have a good duo of American RBs with Anthony Allen and Cameron Marshall if LaFrance is going to be on the shelf much longer.
Expect Quincy Walden to get a look coming out of the backfield in BC after his show of speed on a missed field goal kick return… despite the fact, he got caught by the kicker.
The most popular player in Rider Nation… The Backup QB. Brandon Bridge helped his case immensely versus the Bombers, while “Training Camp Stud” Bryan Bennett fumbled the ball all over the place. Kevin Glenn is expected to get at least a quarter and Marquise Williams is expected to have more of a role against the Lions. So, expect Bridge and Bennett only to have a little over a quarter each for their job interview as Kevin Glenn’s understudy.
The only question is if Bridge is lights out again, and Glenn falters… Do you ride the hot hand into the season opener in Montreal? Or is Kevin Glenn your starter because he’s Kevin Glenn? Who knows, but it is sure is fun to speculate.
God, I love that football is back!
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