Riders will be under fire in Edmonton

It took until Week 20 for the Riders to play the Eskimos. Until now, the Riders haven’t had to consider how to deal with the CFL’s most-aggressive defence.

The Eskimos lead the CFL in the following categories:

  • Blitz percentage
  • QB Pressures
  • QB Sacks

Centre Dan Clark is well aware of the unique challenge the Eskimos present.

“I think in one of their packages we counted 16 different blitzes out of it.”

For the record, 16 is a very high number.

“It’s not really something you can get a good bead on,” Clark continues. “And it’s something that kind of changes your protection rules as an offensive line.”

The Eskimos have three players in the top-10 in sacks (Almondo Sewell, Mike Moore and Kwaku Boateng). Clark says the number don’t lie.

“That group is a smart group, they’re a physical group, an aggressive group, so they want to get after us at any cost.”

And it stems from their Defensive Co-ordinator Phillip Lolley. As the DC in Hamilton in 2017, they also ran the most blitzes in the CFL.

“I know Phillip very well,” says Head Coach Craig Dickenson. “He’s a very good football coach. He’s an aggressive guy with an aggressive mindset. So they’re going to try to disturb the quarterback’s timing by blitzing, and they want to hit him every down.”

NOTES: It was a closed practice on Wednesday. Dickenson says defensive backs Ed Gainey (back) and Loucheiz Purifoy (personal) were back after having Tuesday off.

Manny Arceneaux practiced with the first-team receivers for the second straight day.

Dickenson confirmed that Takoby Cofield will start at left tackle. Terran Vaughn is dealing with some injuries.

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