RIDERS ADD WILL FORD

July 22nd, 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders today announced international running back Will Ford has joined the teams practice roster. 
 
Ford (5’11 – 195) is a three year CFL veteran after originally entering the league in 2012 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Last season the South Carolina State product was named an East Division All-Star after running for 594 yards and two touchdowns on 113 carries while adding seven receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown in 13 regular season games with the Bombers. The 27-year-old also had 45 kickoff returns for 1,047 yards and two touchdowns including a 100 yard long return. He was twice named CFL Special Teams Player of the Week following performances in week 11 and 15.   
 

TAMAN ON THE CAGE

July 21st, 2014

Saskatchewan Roughriders GM Brendan Taman made his weekly appearance on 620 CKRM’s SportsCage on Monday and discussed the state of his 1-2 Riders as they return from the bye week for Tuesday’s closed practice at Mosaic Stadium. Here are his quotes:

ON BYE WEEK ACTIVITIES

BT: You’ve gotta pace yourself in this business and our coaches took three or four days off and then came back at the end of last week. J.O. and I took a couple days off and tried to take it easy but in our business, it never stops. You can field an agent’s call or a trade call or maybe somebody’s injury isn’t coming around. Who knows? I don’t know if it ever stops but I just looked at it as another week to our off-season. We did quite a bit of work.

ON RB WILL FORD

BT: I’ll tell you exactly what happened. Obviously Winnipeg released him last Monday and he was was talking to some other teams in the league. We’d gotten ahold of him Monday and that was our first contact with him. We’d planted a seed that we were looking at running backs and we may have an interest with the way it was going. He had some interest from another team and made it known he wasn’t going there and jumped the gun a bit regarding a signing bonus from us and all that. We were on a bye week so why would we sign him then? We weren’t playing. At the end of the day, he flew in Sunday night, he’s going to take a physical, and then we’ll sit down with him Tuesday morning. He will practice on Tuesday, but I don’t know what his status will be; practice roster or 44-man roster. News travels fast in this business and we weren’t as far down the road with him as people thought we were but some people in this business have a big mouth and that’s just the way it is.

WILL IT BE A FRESH START COME TUESDAY?

BT: The message is easy; WIN. Go out and win. We’re just not playing smart or technically sound right now. It frustrates our coaches to the inth degree because we’re better than what we’ve shown and we all know that but until they show it, we’ve got to get on them a little bit. We’ll be fine. We’ve just gotta play smart, efficient, within the system and make plays. We just haven’t been doing that the past couple weeks. A play here or a play there, we might’ve won those games.

Our guys have shown throughout their careers, wherever they’ve been, that they can make these plays but we as an organization always have show that, when players like Will Ford become available, if we can upgrade our team, we’ll have to look into that. We’re not going to have a fire sale or wholesale changes but we’re always looking to upgrade our team. We wanted him in free agency but the money was out of whack. It’s not like we took a guy off the scrap heap. We had interest in him for quite awhile.

When we had guys fumbling the ball, we had an opening to look into some people. That’s the way this business works, no matter what position it is. Anthony Allen and the likes are still here and Will will join that group and we’ll see what comes out of it.

ON COACH COREY CHAMBLIN

BT: I’ve known Corey for quite some time as you well know and after the BC game, I wouldn’t say he was dejected, but he was pretty hot. He was very frustrated and disappointed in how we were playing. Since then he’s had a chance to review, refocus and re-energize and he’s very focused. He’s very expectant of our team to play better. He’s not dejected, I can tell you that, but he’s not upbeat either. He’s very focused on being geared to win a football game this week. When he’s geared up and focused, a lot of good things happen.

OMARR OUT, REAPER IN

July 21st, 2014

Today the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee announced a new member will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor. This year Reggie Hunt will join the previously announced Chris Szarka in having their names forever etched into Saskatchewan Roughrider history.
 
Due to travel and timing difficulties, Omarr Morgan has been removed as an inductee for 2014. Morgan remains eligible and will be reconsidered for future induction.  
 
Besides being Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sporting dinner, the Plaza of Honor Dinner has contributed over $6 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.
 
The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 116 individuals who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The club has also inducted the 1966, 1989 and 2007 Grey Cup championship teams.
 
The cairn honouring the Plaza of Honor Inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. The Plaza of Honor cairn is sponsored by SaskTel, SASK SPORT INC. and the City of Regina.
 
This year’s dinner is set for Friday, September 19th at the Credit Union Eventplex – Evraz Place. To accommodate a much larger audience, the event will once again take place in the Eventplex and will allow patrons a spacious opportunity with a large reception area throughout the evening to meet and greet friends and associates.

STAMPS, HOWARD INJURY UPDATE

July 18th, 2014

(Edmonton) –  During yesterday’s game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Fred Stamps sustained a hit to the chest late in the fourth quarter. Following the game, he was taken to hospital for precautionary tests after experiencing shortness of breath. Stamps was released from hospital and returned to Edmonton this morning where he will continue to be monitored by team medical staff.
 
Eskimo defensive end  Marcus Howard sustained a broken thumb on his left hand. He is out indefinitely.

RIDER TRANSACTIONS

July 16th, 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders today announced the release of the following players:
 
· International running back Hugh Charles
· International linebacker Adrian Moten
· International defensive lineman Richard Sumlin

O’DAY ON THE 1-2 RIDERS

July 15th, 2014

Saskatchewan Roughriders Assistant General Manager Jeremy O’Day stepped into the SportsCage to discuss the current plight of the 1-2 football team.  O’Day couldn’t confirm the report that the team is poised to sign veteran running back Will Ford, an East Division All-Star, who was cut by Winnipeg on Monday.  However he said the fumble problems of running backs Athony Allen and Hugh Charles have caused some concern at that position.
 
“The tough part about it is if either one of our guys hadn’t turned the ball over, we probably wouldn’t even be talking about it right now,” O’Day said.  “But because everyone’s looking at that position and it’s under the microscope, it seems to be the topic of discussion.  And rightfully so – guys need to know turnovers are a big part of the game.  Both the guys we’ve had in there have had some good success, they just unfortunately couldn’t hang onto the football and that can be a big problem if it’s not taken care of.”
 
O’Day also cautioned the Rider Nation that it’s still very early in the season and it’s not time for people to be jumping off of buildings.
 
“In the bigger perspective we also have to understand we’re only three games into the year and we’ve played one good football game and two bad ones,” O’Day reasoned.  “We’re a team that’s had some turnover and have some guys in new positions and we need some time to get that cohesiveness together.  We need to get the guys working on the same page but it doesn’t happen overnight in pro football.  You can’t just plug a guy in and thing it’ll be like normal.  It’ll take some time but we’ll improve the good news is we have room to improve.”
 
In Saturday’s 26-13 loss to BC at Mosaic Stadium, the Riders were in position to win the game late however they couldn’t pull it out.  They lost the turnover battle 3-1.  However winning games early can mask some problems and on the bright side, the Riders are going to work to fix these issues earlier rather than later.
 
“That’s the truth – you have to take care of the small things and you’re absolutely right; sometimes when you win a game your mistakes aren’t looked too much under a microscope,” O’Day concluded.  “When you lose, obviously they’re amplified a little more.  The turnovers are a huge concern and you have to protect the football.  You don’t have to be super smart to know that if you turn the ball over, you’re not going to win many games.  You’re right though, there are some positions and guys that need to step up and play a little bit better.  They understand that but the good news is they know that and they’re upset about it.”
 
The Roughriders are currently on their bye week and don’t play again until Saturday, July 26 when they host Dwight Anderson and the Toronto Argonauts.

WEEK 3 CFL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

July 15th, 2014

TORONTO – Andrew Harris, Almondo Sewell and Jock Sanders were named the Canadian Football League Players of the Week for Week 3 of the 2014 Canadian Football League season.

The three players were chosen by a panel of judges including: former Canadian Football League players Matt Dunigan and Duane Forde of TSN, and Pierre Vercheval of RDS.

BC Lions running back Andrew Harris was named the Offensive and Canadian Player of the Week for Week 3. Harris rushed for 138 yards on 18 touches and scored a touchdown, to give the BC Lions their first win of the year on the road against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 26-13.

Edmonton Eskimos defensive tackle Almondo Sewell was named the Defensive Player of the Week for Week 3. Sewell recorded four tackles, including sacking Ottawa REDBLACKS quarterback Henry Burris a career-high three times in the Eskimos win over the REDBLACKS, 27-11.

Calgary Stampeders kick returner Jock Sanders was named the Special Teams Player of the Week for Week 3. Sanders returned Swayze Waters’s missed field goal for 121 yards to set up a Jeff Fuller touchdown in his team’s 34-15 win over the Toronto Argonauts.

CFL MOVES

July 15th, 2014

Montreal, July 15, 2014 -  The Alouettes announced on Tuesday that national fullback Dahrran Diedrick has signed a one-year deal with the team, returning home after previously spending eight seasons in Montreal.

Diedrick (6’0”, 222 lbs.) was selected in the third round (24th overall) by the Edmonton Eskimos during the 2002 CFL Canadian Draft. After one season with the Eskimos, the 35 year-old fullback signed with the Alouettes as a free agent in 2006. This will be Diedrick’s second stint with the Alouettes, having previously played in Montreal from 2006 to 2012. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats acquired him from the Alouettes in 2013 for a fourth-round pick in the CFL Draft.

Following his college career with the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers, he suited up with the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins. He made his CFL debut in 2005.

Diedrick, a Scarborough, ON native, lifted the Grey Cup for the first time in 2005 with the Edmonton Eskimos. He also added two championships with the Alouettes in 2009 and 2010. In his nine-year CFL career, he registered 49 special teams tackles and scored six touchdowns on offence.

The club also announced the signings of international quarterback Jonathan Crompton to a three-year contract and international linebacker Kyler Elsworth to the practice roster.

Crompton (6’4”, 225 lbs.) was selected in the fifth round (168th overall) by the San Diego Chargers during the 2010 NFL Entry Draft. Prior to his professional draft selection, Crompton suited up for the University of Tennessee Volunteers.

A native of Asheville, North Carolina, the 26-year-old quarterback also spent time with the New England Patriots, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Washington Redskins. He joined the Edmonton Eskimos last season before being released last week.

A year ago with Edmonton, Crompton completed 30 of his 58 passes for 451 yards, in addition to recording five touchdowns in eight games. He also registered 20 rushing yards on five runs, scoring one rushing touchdown.

Elsworth (6’1”, 225) helped the Michigan State Spartans win the Rose Bowl against the Stanford University Cardinals by a score of 24-20 last January. He was named the most valuable defensive player of the game with four tackles, including the one that sealed the outcome of the game when Elsworth stopped the Cardinals’ fullback on a fourth down, causing a turnover on downs.

He completed his college career with a total of 73 defensive tackles and three quarterback sacks as well as forcing a fumble and recovering one.

The team also announced on Tuesday the release of quarterback Zach Zulli.

WINNIPEG, MB., July 15, 2014 – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has acquired International quarterback Josh Portis from Toronto, in exchange for a conditional draft choice.

Portis (6-4, 210, California University of Pennsylvania , July 14,, 1987 in Woodland Hills, California) spent the 2013 season with Toronto, mainly on the injured list, dressing for one game against B.C.  Prior to joining the Argos, Portis spent the 2012 season with the Seattle Seahawks as their third string quarterback, and spent some time on their practice roster.
 
His college career saw him play two seasons at California University of Pennsylvania (2009-10), three years at Maryland (2006-2008) and one year at Florida (2005). He set a school record at California University of Pennsylvania in 2009, throwing for 3,421 yards and 36 touchdowns. His senior season was completed in 2010 when he threw for 2,651 yards and 33 touchdowns in 12 games.

LIONS 16 RIDERS 13

July 13th, 2014

REGINA – Paul McCallum booted three field goals and running back Andrew Harris racked up 197 total yards and a touchdown to boost the B.C. Lions to a 26-13 victory on the road over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Harris, on a 58-yard run, and Courtney Taylor scored touchdowns for the Lions, who earned their first win of the CFL season and improved to 1-2. The Riders have lost two straight and share the same record.

Harris racked up 145 total yards in the first half, including 94 yards along the ground.

His 58-yard run for a touchdown late in the first quarter gave the Lions an 11-0 advantage and was the Lions’ lone major in the opening two quarters. Harris finished the night with 132 yards rushing and 65 receiving, both of which were team highs.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn, who had thrown six interceptions in his first two games with the Lions, played turnover-free football on Saturday. He completed 16 of 27 pass attempts for 160 yards and one touchdown.

The Lions led 14-13 at halftime thanks to a 41-yard field goal from Paul McCallum as time expired in the second quarter. The late score was set up after Charles lost a fumble on the previous play.

(The Canadian Press)

CHAMBLIN’S THURSDAY COMMENTS

July 10th, 2014

The Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-1) concluded their practice week on Thursday as they prepare for Saturday’s visit from the BC Lions (0-2) at Mosaic Stadium (7:30 pm, TSN, CKRM Rider Radio Network).  Here are the post-practice comments from Rider head coach Corey Chamblin:
 
ON SATURDAY’S GAME
 
CC:  I expect a lot more fire.  There should be a lot more fire from those guys and that’s what we talked about; you’ve got to have it not just coming out of the gate, but we gotta have it for a full four quarters
 
ON DEFENSIVE CHANGES THIS WEEK
 
CC:  It’s always evaluation because as far as sending messages goes, I pretty much meet with all these guys one-on-one as much as I can so there’s nothing that’ll catch a guy off-guard and they know where they stand.  If we’re in a team setting I’ll tell you if you’re up or down, are you doing good as a group or not?  So those guys know where they stand.
 
ON PLAYER DEMOTIONS
 
CC:  It’s just simple.  It’s about ‘Hey this is what we see and what you need to work on’.  If somebody’s doing better, we’ll just put them in there.  Hopefully they catch back up and surpass the guy we put in their spot.
 
ON TRISTAN BLACK REPLACING SAM HURL AT MLB
 
CC:  They’ve both been getting reps there.  At the end of the day it doesn’t matter who walks in there.  They’ve all gone with the first group.  I can’t tell who’s a 100% go (for Saturday).  We’re rotating until we find the best football team to put out on game day.  Both Tristan and Sam are similar in what they do.  They’ve done a lot on special teams.  Neither one’s really started at LB (before this year) so it’s an opportunity to see what we have there and who can do some things.
 
WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE MOTIVATIONAL THINGS LIKE THE ‘BIG TICKET’?
 
CC:  They all paid off!  This one right here is more like a fire sale.  They’re trying to get a win and we’re trying to get a win.  It’s two different teams. They’ve had turnover to where they’re not as veteran as they once were and we’re the same way.  It’s two teams trying to get their teams together after a big turnover.  It’s two teams trying to find themselves and their identity moving forward.
 
ON TAJ SMITH IN CHRIS GETZLAF’S ABSENCE
 
CC:  Taj is doing good.  He’s even slid in to do some things in the slot.  He wants more and he wants to step up so that’s a positive.  He’s on the same page with Darian but when we move them around, they have to learn to get on the same page.
 
ON THE YOUNG SLOTBACKS
 
CC:  I thought they’ve done some good things and I’ve seen big plays.  It’ll take time but hopefully it’s not years, it’s just a couple of games.  Without Getzlaf in there, Darian is forced to find his next group of receivers.  That’s what he has to do and that’s a positive.  His hesitation comes from not yet knowing how the receivers run their routes and where they’re going to be.  I hear him talking to them and he has to be comfortable with exactly where they’re gonna be when they’re supposed to be there.