Top 5 – Things to Watch for the Riders Against the Redblacks
Published: Saturday, Aug 5th 2023, 12:08pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
I’ll be completely honest, I’m more excited about going to the game with my beautiful wife Amy and seeing some great friends from all over the country this weekend than I am about the game. I’m looking forward to seeing Clint and Ashley from Ottawa, Adam from Toronto and Vince and Deb from Calgary. That said, I’m still going to be there to enjoy the game as well! Here’s what I’m watching for this week from the Riders.
1. Mason Fine’s Leash – Over Fine’s two starts this season, he has yet to have a touchdown drive. That is very concerning. And in his one drive, Jake Dolegala has one touchdown drive. Greg said that Dolegala should have been given the 2nd half last week if Fine wasn’t doing much and this is probably the week that the leash is that short. If the Riders are only kicking field goals (or are shutout again) at the half, it’s JD time.
2. Kelly Jeffrey’s Playcalling – I didn’t hate the playcalling last week, but it was more so the timing of some calls that I didn’t like. Fine was doing pretty well when he was able to use the middle of the field with Tevin Jones and Shawn Bane Jr. What was bad was the screen passes and hitches that CONSTANTLY lost yards and for some reason were called on 2nd and long. I know it seems like a foreign concept here in Saskatchewan, but moving the ball FORWARD is actually a good way to go about it. Hopefully Kelly Jeffrey has learned that.
3. Tevin Jones & Shawn Bane Jr. – These guys have been the two best players on offense for the Riders this season and they’ll need to be stars again this week. I love what I’m seeing out of them, just keep feeding them the ball downfield.
4. Team Demeanour – For the guys who were on the team last year, 2023 must feel awfully similar. Start the season out with a good record, only to come crashing down. Last year, the team stopped playing for Craig Dickenson. If the players lose interest again, it’s going to be a LONG final two-thirds of the season for the Riders. The players need to stay engaged and that’s all on Coach Dickey. I’m interested to watch their body language on the sideline if things don’t go well.
5. The Fans – Over the last couple of home games for the Riders against Edmonton and Calgary, there were a lot of boos in the crowd directed at the team (mainly after all the two and outs). I just said the players need to stay engaged… will the fans? How many punts will it be before fans get vocal against Kelly Jeffrey, Mason Fine and Craig Dickenson?
For more on this game and everything else going on in Riderville and the CFL, check out this week’s episode of the Piffles Podcast (presented by Dairy Queen Grill & Chill)!
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