The Saskatchewan Roughriders held Day 1 of their practice week at Carleton University in Ottawa on Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday’s CFL 2017 East Division Final at Toronto (12:00 pm Sask Time kickoff on TSN and the 620 CKRM Rider Radio Network).
Here are some notes:
1 – It was sunny and +6 degrees Celsius for the two hour workout, and it actually felt even warmer. There was no wind.
2 – The forecast for game day in Toronto calls for +2 degrees and windy conditions.
3 – Left Guard Brendon Labatte practiced on Wednesday after missing Sunday’s Eastern Semifinal with a lower body injury. He declined to get into specifics about the nature of the injury. Head Coach & GM Chris Jones said Labatte felt “a little bit better” but the team will be “cautious” with him. Labatte said he hopes to play against Toronto.
4 – Jones said the solid of play of Derek Dennis at LG against Ottawa has put the team in a good position no matter which way they decide to go against Toronto.
5 – U of R Rams receiver Mitch Picton was signed to the Riders’ practice roster Wednesday morning and practiced with the team. Jones said Picton was a drafted player and will have a big role with this club down the line.
6 – Jones discussed facing the CFL’s #2 passer, Ricky Ray, in the Eastern Final. He said they’ll have their hands full with Ray, and that they’ll have to mix their coverages up and get him “off his spot”.
7 – Regarding their own QB position, Jones said they’re very pleased with their group and the production they’ve received with a cumulative effort. He said Kevin Glenn’s selfless attitude has allowed them to have that success.
8 – Kevin Glenn chuckled about Sunday’s battle between the CFL’s two oldest players – Glenn and Ricky Ray – who are both 38. He also discussed his long standing friendship with Argos defensive coordinator Corey Chamblin. They’ve known each other well for over a decade.
9 – Regarding the Argos’ defensive game plan, Glenn said the Riders will be “ready for anything”. Glenn said they’re studying the Argos’ tendencies but in do-or-die games such as this, teams will pull out all the stops to win the game and Saskatchewan will be prepared for whatever they see.
10 – The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Chad Owens is particularly excited for this Sunday’s game, but only because of the opportunity which it presents; to advance to the Grey Cup. Owens said he holds no animousity towards the Argonauts (who didn’t re-sign him after the 2015 season) because it’s an entirely different regime now than it was then. However the 9-year vet is excited to play in the first ever playoff game at BMO Field, in front of friends and family, and to compete again. He said the opportunity to make history as the first crossover team to advance to the Grey Cup is in the back of their minds, but the in the forefront is the Toronto Argonauts and winning on Sunday.