Under sunny skies and in 19 degree Celsius temperatures, the Saskatchewan Roughriders held their first practice in New Mosaic Stadium Monday. Here are some notes:
– Head Coach & GM Chris Jones said it was “pretty cool” to hold that first workout, and that the club gained an extra half hour because players didn’t have to drive to the old training facility at Albert & Dewdney for “a lift”. Jones also said the players enjoyed the meeting space in the lavish new facility.
– Monday’s practice wasn’t padded, and was something of an elevated walk-through as the club prepares for Thursday’s season-opener at Montreal.
– Left Guard Brendon Labbatte returned to the field after missing much of the past two weeks with a lower body injury. However veteran returner Chad Owens was absent.
– Regarding facing Darian Durant and the Alouettes on Thursday, most everyone downplayed the drama surrounding the game. LB Henoc Muamba smiled, “I’m sure he’s going to want to beat us!”
QB Kevin Glenn said he really has no idea what Darian’s thinking leading up to the game. Glenn’s been on several teams but never harboured any resentments towards his old clubs.
Chris Jones wasn’t interested in taking any bait, and said the Riders have moved on.
Whether or not it was symbolic of the fact they have moved on, rookie LB Cameron Judge wore #4 in his first practice with the team but had no idea the significance of the number, nor of the player who wore it before.
Jones said right now it looks like Judge will make his CFL debut on Thursday.
The team will hold a short workout Tuesday before heading to Montreal for Thursday’s game which starts at 5:30 on 620 CKRM. Our pre-game show will begin at 2:30