Pressure will be the story of the game

The Riders and Eskimos are the two teams that create the most pressure on the quarterback this season.

The thought that he’ll be under pressure Saturday doesn’t phase Riders QB Cody Fajardo. Though the Eskimos defense blitzes more than any team, Fajardo says they don’t disguise their intentions much.

“I got a good feeling on when these guys are pressuring me and when these guys are dropping out,” says Fajardo. “They do a great job of hitting the quarterback. I know that’s their number one philosophy.

“When you’re the quarterback watching this (on film), you’re like ‘Oh man, I gotta get the ball out of my hand fast, I gotta be precise in my reads and I gotta be confident.”

Dickenson talked about a way to beat pressure. It was a response to a question about Trevor Harris, but could very well apply to the Riders as well.”

“If you’re willing to take some shots, you can really make a team pay when they blitz a lot,” says Dickenson. “If you’re not willing to take shots then there’s a chance you can get them to throw some incompletions.”

The Riders generate the second-most pressure in the CFL. But they’re facing an offense (perhaps especially important is QB Trevor Harris) that allows the second-fewest pressures. And Harris has been sacked seven times on passing plays–a historically low 1.5% of his dropbacks.

“He’s very good at getting rid of the ball,” says Head Coach Craig Dickenson. “Very good at seeing the pressure, seeing blitz and throwing it quick.

“We talked about it this morning at the meeting–if we can get him off his spot. The idea is that he’s at a certain spot. If we can make him move off that spot–make him go from A to B and feel the pressure–I think you can still be effective even if you don’t sack him.”

Kickoff at Commonwealth is at 5:00 pm. The pre-game show with Michael Ball begins at 2:00, with Derek Taylor and Luc Mullinder live from Edmonton at 4:00. The broadcast is live on 620 CKRM and across the Cooperators Roughrider Radio Network.

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