Heading into his third season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, QB Cody Fajardo is feeling comfortable and excited about the start of the 2022 CFL season.
Now that training camp is in the rear-view mirror, the Riders QB is feeling positive about the upcoming campaign. “Felt like I had a really strong camp, an efficient camp, and I am seeing things a little bit slower, now we’ll see when gameday comes anything goes a little quicker, I’m feeling comfortable and confident.”
With the Riders hosting the Grey Cup in November, Fajardo spent a lot time of working on improving on a few areas of his game, knowing that this upcoming season is a crucial one for the green and white.
A section of the Riders offence that Fajardo would look to see improved this season is the deep ball attack. Giving the wide receivers a better chance to catch those deep passes is something the Riders QB has been working on throughout the winter. Fajardo noted he will be trying to put some more air into his passes this season. “To give our guys a chance because if you don’t give a guy a chance, you don’t complete the ball so that was something I was trying to focus in my offseason work is trying to throw the ball with some more air to have the receivers track it and the training camp has definitely helped.”
Developing a strong rapport with his wide receivers was an area of focus during training camp for Fajardo. The chemistry was tested at several points during the 2021 season with Duke Williams joining the Riders midway through the year along significant injuries to key targets Shaq Evans and Kyran Moore.
Fajardo feels that he and the receivers are on the same page heading into the first game of the season. He noted knowing what the receivers like and don’t like is very important heading into the regular season.
One receiver Fajardo is looking forward to seeing on the field is Jakob Prall. The wide receiver from Brown University was one of the pleasant surprises during training camp beating out Paul McRoberts for a spot on the Riders roster. Fajardo noted Prall brings an exciting dynamic to Riders offence that should make Prall a fan favourite for the green and white. “To have a young guy like him come in and just grasp this offence as quickly as he did and he’s a speedster so I think Rider Nation will be excited to see him run around and making some plays.
No Roughrider quarterback has enjoyed the start that Fajardo has achieved. Through his first 29 starts, the Riders starting quarterback has complied a record of 21-8. If the Riders pulls out a win on Saturday, Fajardo will move 7th spot for the most amount of wins for a QB in his first 30 starts in the CFL, which would allow the Riders QB to surpass a group of other former QBs headlined by Dave Dickenson and Jeff Garcia.
Heading into the first week, the Riders are aware of the challenges that they face. Fajardo says a tough aspect of facing the Ti-Cats on Saturday is the lack of game film they have, especially with the new rules including the hash marks placement, that was introduced by the CFL in 2022. “There’s now that much tape on your opponent, I know they have a defensive coordinator that has carried over, that has been there for the last couple of years, you can watch prior games but with the hashes changing, I know defenses have changed things defensively.”
620 CKRM will have all the coverage of the Riders Week 1 tilt with the Hamilton Ti-Cats beginning with Countdown to Kickoff at 2:00, Michael Ball will have the call at 5:00