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Riders take Country Roots Night to Heart, Channel Inner Travis Tritt

Published: Monday, Aug 1st 2022, 2:08am

Riders take Country Roots Night to Heart, Channel Inner Travis Tritt

 

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

Friday night was the Country Roots theme night at Mosaic Stadium for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Little did we know going into that game, they’d take it seriously and channel their inner Travis Tritt in their loss to the BC Lions.

 

Mercy, look what just walked through that door.

 

Well hello T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

 

After their third straight loss, dropping their record to 4-4 in their easiest part of the schedule, the dream of a home playoff game and likely, a home Grey Cup game is slipping away faster and faster. 

 

Of course, injuries and suspensions have hurt this team so far, but the issues go much deeper for the Riders this year. To me, the issues ultimately fall on General Manager Jeremy O’Day and Head Coach Craig Dickenson.

 

First, let’s start with Jeremy O’Day. To be clear, I think since he took over from Chris Jones as GM, he’s done a fairly good job with the roster. He has some hits and some misses, but all GM’s do. But I find it absolutely ridiculous that a former O-Lineman did pretty much NOTHING to upgrade a BRUTAL O-Line from the 2021 season.

 

After sitting out 2021, I still think that O’Day was expecting Brendon LaBatte to come back with Covid protocols pretty much done and over with. What he wasn’t expecting was ‘Blue’ (unofficially) and draft pick Mattland Riley deciding to retire, leaving the team pretty thin on the OL. 

 

So he brings in Josiah St. John, Na’Ty Rodgers and Jamal Campbell. St. John missed the first 6 games and hasn’t panned out to more than a 6th O-Lineman over his career (even that is a stretch), Rodgers has been worse than Brett Boyko last year and Campbell can’t even get a chance. O’Day had ONE weakness on this team coming into 2022 and he quite simply, failed at upgrading it (yes, the best OL the team has is hurt, but even with Dan Clark, the OL still sucks).

 

Which takes me to Craig Dickenson. He COULD make a change and put Campbell in for Rodgers, who would help with the ratio and really, would he be any worse than Rodgers??

 

But when it comes to decision making as a Head Coach, I guess some Rider fans ain’t ready for nothin’ like Y-O-U.

 

Craig Dickenson is too nice. That’s his downfall. I think he’s a very nice guy, every interaction I’ve had with him has been pleasant… but he won’t address the real problems with this team. We all know the discipline issues this team has since he took over in 2019… but they’ve won in spite of all the penalties they’ve taken. What have we learned about Dickey and all the penalties? “Well the guys know what they did was wrong, it won’t happen again and I told them I love them.” 

 

WHAT?? 

 

Craig, it’s great you love your players. Any good coach truly does care about them. But you are more worried about being their friend than being their coach and it’s starting to hurt the team. I could spend some time talking about his decision to start Cody Fajardo before the bye week on a bad knee and how that hurt the team, but we’ll save that for another time.

 

The 2022 CFL season is showing us that there are two top level teams, Winnipeg and Calgary. BC is in the next tier and falling from there to the bottom tier quickly (ok, Ottawa is the bottom of the bottom tier) is the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

 

With the easy part of the schedule behind them, a three game losing streak and now looking at two more games with BC, three against Winnipeg, two against Calgary and add one more against Hamilton in there… I’m having a really hard time seeing this team sticking around in the West Division race with all the imploding they have done over the last month both on and off the field.

 

I smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

 

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