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The Morning After – Riders Scrape by Elks to Finish Preseason With a Perfect Record

Published: Sunday, May 26th 2024, 8:05am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

 

Well, that one sure looked like a preseason game. The Riders, on a VERY short week, went into Edmonton and beat the Elks 28-27 to finish the preseason a perfect 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. It definitely wasn’t pretty, but it was entertaining. Greg and Stephen will join me on The Piffles Podcast on Tuesday night to get into this game deeper, but here are some of my thoughts on the Riders win in Edmonton… The Morning After:

 

  • First, General Manager Jeremy O’Day needs to bring in another kicker this week. I’m not suggesting to replace Brett Lauther, but to challenge him. For the second straight game (and second straight season), Lauther has been shaky at best at the beginning of the year. No one else was brought in to push him in camp, they HAVE to do it now.

 

  • Can we already call Dan Farthing, the Riders new Strength and Conditioning Coach the MVP of the year already? I can’t remember a preseason where the Riders got out pretty much injury free. He’s going to make such a difference with this team that most fans won’t even realize. 

 

  • Okay, back to the game itself. I thought Mason Fine was, yeah, fine. He started off a little slow, but got better as the first half went on. Nothing that really jumped out to me, though, and I really think he needed that moment to get back into the QB2 spot. Seeing Jack Coan come out for the 3rd quarter was a bit surprising and he looked… well, not good. Maybe they bring him back on the practice roster, but I think they can do better. Shea Patterson made some nice plays in mop up duty to finish the game. I really think he SHOULD be the backup to Trevor Harris as he has more upside to me than Fine does, so it will be interesting to see what the team does this upcoming week with cutdown day looming.

 

  • Even with the starting O-Line in, the run game was pretty much non-existent for the entire game. That’s a bit concerning, though the pass protection was pretty good.

 

  • Receiver Dohnte Meyers made this team. From his TD, to his sideline grab to showing some flashes in the return game, he’s one that has to stick around. I liked him more than KeeSean Johnson and Geronimo Allison this game and he has shown he can do more than those two overall. I just wonder if the other two did enough to push Jerreth Sterns out of a job.

 

  • It didn’t work, but I love that Corey Mace tried icing the Elks 3rd string kicker late in the game. Even in preseason, the guy is playing to win! 

 

  • On defense, it was a bend but don’t break team in the first half and you could tell they were playing their second game in five days in the second half. They looked tired. I was disappointed by lack of a pass rush the entire game. I’m not sure who’s going to win the open defensive end starting spot opposite Malik Carney, but no one on Saturday jumped up to grab it. But I did think Lake Korte-Moore had a decent afternoon.

 

  • I like Antoine Brooks Jr. in the defensive backfield, but he was playing just a bit too far off the receiver for my liking. He’s physical and he had the pick-6 in the first half. I think he’s definitely worth keeping around in some capacity. 

 

Alex’s Star of the Game: I think the obvious choice here is receiver Dohnte Meyers, who had that great touchdown catch from Mason Fine in the first half (and some other nice plays, too), but I have to go with defensive back Kosi Onyeka. He had the Riders opening TD on a fumble recovery on a punt return, a fantastic play on D by fighting with a receiver that originally beat him for a touchdown catch until Onyeka ripped it out as they hit the ground and had another fumble recovery late in the game on an Elks punt return. I was quite impressed with his performance!

What’s next: The Roughriders come back to Regina to finish off Training Camp with a few practices. It’ll be the last chance guys on the bubble will have to crack the team this year. The final roster is due on Saturday, June 1st, though it may not be announced until Sunday, June 2nd.

 

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