Roughly 3,000 fans turned out to Saskatoon’s SMF Field – home of the PFC’s Hilltops – for the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ annual Green & White scrimmage. It was sunny with temperatures in the mid-20’s with a 40 km/h wind. Although the defense won the day 44-39, Riders Head Coach and GM Chris Jones wasn’t pleased with the showing.
“It was not very good execution,” Jones simmered. “Too many penalties, sloppy play, ball on the ground, throwing to the other team, defense can’t stay onside, that was a poor display. We’re gonna have to look at the film real closely and find out guys who want to do things the right way. We will pick the right players. It’s just a matter of getting the film evaluated but unfortunately there’s gonna be some guys who won’t be with us.”
Veteran receiver Naaman Roosevelt scored the only touchdown on the day (a deep pass from Darian Durant) while kicker Tyler Crapigna was 3/3 on field goals. That was about it for positives.
“There wasn’t many bright spots,” Jones continued. “I didn’t see a whole lot. It was one of those deals where, for whatever reason, on a day when you have the most people at your practice, you decide that you’re going to take the day off.”
Jones was particularly discouraged that after six days of training camp, they’d have a showing such as Saturday’s in simulated live-game action.
“It makes me want to throw up,” Jones concluded. “When you play like this, you’re not going to win many football games. It’s not what we’re going to be about and it’s not how we’re going to do things. But we’ll bounce back. Unfortunately we have to live with this for a week.”
The Rider boss was asked if he often feels nauseous.
“Every time we lose a game”.
As far as quarterbacks went on Saturday, Darian Durant was 9/17, Brett Smith was 8/16, B.J. Coleman was 9/14 and Jacob Huesman was 2/5. Durant and Smith both threw interceptions while Huesman fumbled a snap which was recovered by the defense. That was part of four turnovers on the day.
Defensively, DB Rollins Stallworth (Stanford) had a game-high five tackles with a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Four players had one sack each: Shawn Lemon, Corey Irvin, Markus White and Kalonji Kashama.
The most-targeted receivers (5) were Ryan Lankford, Qudarius Ford and Nic Demski.
The Riders are back on the practice field Sunday at noon at Griffiths Stadium. Next Saturday they host the B.C. Lions in preseason play at 7:00 pm on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network.