Top 5 – Things to Watch From the Riders Against the Ticats
Published: Friday, Oct 6th 2023, 11:10am
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
The Riders are on a 4 game losing streak and things look a lot like last season… but a win against Hamilton on Saturday will go a long way in the team making the playoffs and instilling even just a little bit of faith back in the fans for the remaining few games. Here’s what I’m looking for from the Riders this week when they host the Ticats:
1. BRING. THE. ENERGY. – With the heartbreaking passing of the legendary George Reed, those in attendance will be ready to cheer. The pregame ceremony for Mr. Reed will get fans going and ready for the game. The players will need to show the same energy right from opening kickoff and not save it for the final two minutes. Add in having a championship team in attendance, the expectations of proving yourself will be there and I sure hope we see it.
2. Simplify the defense – Jason Shivers has some really good talent on his defense… he’s just using them in awful spots sometimes. KISS – Keep it Simple, Stupid. Have your pass rushers rush the passer. Stop playing your secondary so soft. Let your linebackers close to the line of scrimmage to make plays. Whatever Shivers has been doing lately has resulted in the worst D in the league. Do SOMETHING different here and just let them go out and play.
3. Stop being soft – This one is directed at Nic Marshall. His… we’ll call it “effort” against BC last week was laughable and reminded us too much of Junior Mertile. I can live with his boom or bust style of play, but I can’t accept it when he just doesn’t give a damn. Give a damn, Nic and stop being afraid to get in there and contact someone sometime.
4. New Faces – Coach Craig Dickenson mentioned this week that we may see some new players on the field for this game in the hopes of creating a spark for the team. For the first time this season, are we going to see vets benched for a younger guy? Injury replacements are one thing, but if this is sending a message to the team, I like it. Took a bit too long for my liking, but they need to do it NOW and get the train back on the tracks.
5. Halftime Adjustments – All this season, we’ve seen none. Absolutely no halftime adjustments from the coaching staff on either side of the ball. So maybe it’s unfair of me to think it will happen now, but the coaching staff has to learn at some point, right? I know they want to stick to their game plan, but game plans get thrown out the window when you get punched in the mouth. Adapt and overcome!
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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